GREECE/Antiochus IX Kyzicenus BCE 114-95

AR Drachm, 3.82 g, 17 mm, 12h, Tarsus mint , c. BCE 96/5

SC 2356

O: diademed hd of Antiochus IX r, clean shaven, diadem ends falling straight behind, fillet border.

R: [Β]ΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines on r., ΦΙΛΟΠATPOPOΣ on l., Sandan mounted on back of panther/griffin., holding ax. Controls outer l., field.

GREECE/Seleucid; Alexander I Balas BCE 152-145

AE 14 mm, 3.67g 12h  Antioch mint

SC 1791.1a

O: hd of Dionysus r. dotted border

R: BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ above AΛΕΞANΔPOY below, elephant, monograms.

PORTUGAL; Pedro II O Pacifico 1683-1706

AR 40 Reis (2 Vintens) 1.57g., 16-mm, 6h, minted Lisbon c. 1683

KM 134
Gomes 21.01

Ex: Morton & Eden (13-11-2012) "The Huntington Collection of Portuguese & Portuguese Colonial Coins" portion of lot 104
Ex: Hispanic Society of America Collection #25987
Ex: Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955) Collection


GREECE/Armenia; Tigranes II BCE 95-56

Æ Chalkous  (5.24 g, 17 mm, 11h). Tigranakert mint. Struck c. 80-68 BC.

 CAA 93 corr.; AC 48

O:Draped bust right, wearing five-pointed Armenian tiara decorated with star between two eagles

R: [BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ] BAΣΙΛΕΩN TIΓPANOY, Tyche of Antioch seated right, holding palm with Orontes at her feet; TP monogram across inner right field  A below.

ex: Warren Esty


Pocket Change

 Pocket change from a trip to Italy Fall 2017
Austria 20c 2016

Some friends who are not collectors recently returned from a two week trip to Italy and brought back (at my request) their pocket change from the trip that ended up being about
€7,00 or 23 coins in denominations from 1c to €1,00 (2c coins were missing from this sample).
My interest in their pocket change was out of a curiosity based upon my interest in Roman coins and knowing a little about how Roman coins of different mints, some far afield from where they were eventually found in hoards circulated freely in the "common market" of the Roman Empire.
No hard and fast conclusions can be gathered from this small sample, but I find it interesting that for the first time since the collapse of the Roman Empire, Europe has a standard currency that circulates as its Roman predecessors did 18 centuries ago.
This sample of 23 coins can be broken down as follows with coins originating in:

Austria 1   4.3%
Spain    5    21.7%
Germany 5  21.7%
Italy 10   43.4%
Greece 1  4.3%
France 1   4.3%

The 56.6% of the sample originates from outside Italy, but the largest single contingent is Italian in origin, followed by Spain and Germany.

By denomination, the breakdown is as follows:

1-1c (Italian origin and not found in change but picked up randomly from the ground)

2-5c (1-France, 1-Italy)

7-10c (3-Italy, 3-Spain, 1-Greece)

6-20c (1-Italy, 2-Germany, 1-Austria, 2-Spain)

4-50c (2-Italy, 2-Germany)

3-€1,00 (2-Italy, 1-Germany)

Mints and Dates:

1c Italy 2013

5c Italy 2002, France 2007

10c  Greece 2002, Italy 2007 & 2011, Spain 1999 & 2005

20c Italy 2002, Austia 2016, Germany 2002F & 2002J, Spain 1999, 2007

50c Italy 2002, Germany 2002D

€1,00 Italy 2009 & 2010, Germany 2002G


The coins from Spain traveled approximately 1,200 miles East  from Madrid to their destination in Rome which was the furthest any of the coins traveled with one of the German coins traveling from Hamburg (mint) South to Rome at about 1,030 miles. The Greek coin traveled approximately 836 miles west from Athens to Rome.




ISLAMIC/Abbasid; Harun ar-Rashid CE 786-809/AH 170-193

AR Dirham, 2.89 g, 21 mm, 3h, Madinat as-Salaam (Baghdad) mint AH 192 (CE 807-808)

Album 219.2
Wilkes 384

O:  inner inscription:

لا اله الا

الله وحده

لا شرك له

Outer inscription:

بسم الله ضرب هذا الدرهم بمدينة السلام سنة اثنتين وتسعين و ماءة

R: inner inscription:





Outer inscription:

محمد رسول الله ارسله بالهدى و دين الحق  ليظهره على الدين كله ولو كره المشركون



ROMAN/ Maximianus CE 286-310

AE Antoninianus, 3.34 g, 22 mm, 6h, Lugdunum mint CE 286

RIC V Diocletian 388
Similar to RCV 12669 (Diocletian with no similar listing for Maximianus)

O: IMP C VAL MAXIMIANVS PF AVG; rad, cuir draped bust r.
R: IOVI CONSERVATORI in left field D; Jupiter stg l holding fulmen in rt hand and scepter in l.

ex: Ephesus Numis.


GREEK/Seleucid; Antiochus III BCE 223-187

AE 18 mm 5.6 g, 6h, Uncertain mint 60; Military mint in Coele Syria during Fifth Syrian War from BCE 202
SC 1089
WSM 789 though identified as Antiochus I from the mint of Carrhae both of which appear incorrect now.
O: Macedonian shield with gorgoneion in center, dotted border.
R: BΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines beneath elephant r, dotted border.

No controls visible nor Anchor symbol which should facing right above the elephant


ISLAMIC/India; Sultanate of Delhi; 'Ala-ad-din Muhammad Khalji CE 1296-1316

Billon 2 Gani; 3.18 g, 17 mm, 5h. nm, nd.

Goron-Goenka D233
Wilkes 2473

O: (Nagari inscription around) Sri Sultan Alavadin
(Arabic inscription)
محمد شاه

R: (Arabic inscription with portions off flan)

العظم علا  
الدنيا والدين


A Visit to the UK and the New Pound Coin

In late July, during a visit to London and it's environs I encountered the New 12-sided Pound Coin in my change. The coin is obviously different from the old Pound Coins in that it is bimetallic and 12-sided to begin with, but it is supposed to be one of the most secure coins around (we shall see). Considering how the old pound was counterfeited, the Royal Mint better hope that it's micro-printing and other devices do in fact secure the coin for the foreseeable future.

Click on the link below to learn more about it's interesting features:

The New Pound Coin


A Visit to Canada 150

During a short visit to Ottawa this past week, I visited the newly opened Bank of Canada Museum across Wellington from Parliament Hill. I have to say that it was a wonderful visit to an engaging and enjoyable interactive museum experience. Not only for adults but for kids as well.

In addition, if you choose to visit this year, I also recommend visiting Park Jacques Cartier on the Gatineau, QC side of the Ottawa River where you can visit the amazing MosaϊCanada 150 outdoor sculpture garden. At the end of the tour, there is a Royal Mint of Canada booth where you can purchase commemorative coins for the 150th Anniversary celebrations this year. Many of the examples are 99.99% silver (as well as gold coin and colorized coin examples).

A circulating example of a 150th Anniversary coin is the "Loonie" without the Loon:
You would think that the portrait of the Queen would be less stylized and more authentic as it had been in the past, or as detailed as the reverse.

Another change since our last visit to Canada a few years ago was the introduction of Polymer bank notes. We found the notes in our possession seemed to wrinkle and stay that shape. Our Canadian friends said that the notes were not problematic to use and in fact they have no complaints about the new notes, that have been in use for about three years.  A black and white photo of a $5 bill in circulation appears below. The actual note is light blue in color. The notes have many examples of the latest in anti-counterfeiting technology and the Bank of Canada Museum has a great display relating to this and the history of Canadian paper money. Apparently, the polymer notes are expected to last 2-3 times longer then conventional paper money.

The key landmark in Ottawa is the impressive Parliament Hill Center Block with the Peace Tower as depicted below:


IRAN/Sasanid; Khusro II CE 590-628

AR Drachm, 4.04 g, 31 mm, 3h, AHM =Hamadan mint RN: 27= CE 616-617
Göbl 212

O:  crowned bust right, XUSRUI on right AFZUT on left  “Khusro, may he increase”

R: on right AHM on left regnal date "Haftbist"/= 27


ROMAN/Trajan CE 98-117

AE Sestertius 34mm, 28.84 g, 6h, Roma mint c. CE 106-107
RCV 3201 variety; RIC II 528; Woytek 204cA; Banti 168; BMCRE 813-4
O: Laur., draped bust with aegis, IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TRP COS V PP
R: Victory stg r, l. foot on helmet(?) inscribing VIC/DAC on shield attached to palm stump.
SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI/ S-C in lower field.

Commemorates Trajan’s victory in the Second Dacian War.


IRAN/Parthia; Phriapatius BCE 185-170

AE Chalkous 2.78 g, 16 mm; Hekatompylos mint

S 8.2 var. (Mithradates I in Sellwood 1980)

O: bust left wearing a bashlyk
R: horse prancing right with retrograde APΣAKOY across the upper field



IRAN/PARTHIA; Vardanes I. Circa AD 40-47

AR Tetradrachm (14.16 gm; 28mm x 25mm) Seleukia mint, Dystros SE 354/February CE 43

Cf. Sellwood 64.14;
cf. Shore 350-351;
Sunrise 413.
O: Diademed bust left, wart on forehead

R:  Vardanes seated right, receiving palm from Tyche standing left, holding cornucopia.



between Tyche and Vardanes ΔNT

There is graffito on the obverse left field that appears to be ancient based upon the patina
and it appears to refer to "ROMA" as the inscription is in Latin script not Greek.

Graffito highlighted above and as it appears without highlighting below


ROMAN/Gratian CE 367-383

AE 2, 23mm, 6.09 g, 12h, Roma mint CE 379-383

Sear 20006
RIC IX 43a2

O: DN GRATIA-NVS PF AVG, diad, draped cuirassed bust right.
R: REPARATIO -REIPVB/SMRP in ex., Gratian in military attire stg l raising with right hand a turreted female figure who kneels before him and holding victory on blob in left.

Ex: Warren Esty
Ex: Ron Bude/RomanLode

BYZANTIUM/Heraclius CE 610-641 & Heraclius Constantine CE 613-641

AE 12 Nummi, 17 mm, 4.45g, 5h, Alexandria mint c. CE 613-618

SB 853
DO 189
BMC 289-296

O: dd NN hERAC (apparently blundered and not entirely visible here)
facing busts of Heraclius bearded l, and Heraclius Constantine beardless r. each wearing a chlamys and crown with a cross.

R: large IB with cross potent on two steps between. in ex. AΛEΞ


Two Venetian Grossi of the 13th Century CE

Doge Jacopo Tiepolo CE 1229-1249
AR Grosso, 1.97 g, ---mm, ---h


Biaggi 2769

Doge Jacopo Contarini CE 1275-1280
AR Grosso, 1.89 g, ---mm, ---h


Biaggi 2783