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


Brazil/Empire; Dom Pedro II 1831-1889

AR 1000 Reis, 29 mm, 12.6 g, 1857, Mintage: 512,000

KM # 465

Views of Dom Pedro's Brasil:

On the road from Rio to Petropolis, the Summer residence of D. Pedro

View of the Summer Palace in Petropolis

D. Pedro's final resting place in the Cathedral at Petropolis.


Three Cuban Non-Circulating Commemoratives

Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution 1959-1989
CN 1 peso, 30 mm, 11.3 g., Mintage: 2,000
KM # 257

Undated Commemorative of 2007 Commemorating the 40th Anniv. of the death of Che Guevara
issued in CN and Copper plated varieties, both depicted here, but the difference in these two examples is also noted in their respective weights. (Cu plated example is 3.6 g heavier)
CN 1 peso, 38 mm, 26 g., Mintage: n/a presently.
KM # 871
Cu plated 1 peso, 38 mm, 29.6 g. , Mintage: n/a presently.
KM# 871


ISLAMIC/Palembang; Mahmud Badruddin II 1804-1821

Tin Piti, 0.73 g, 18 mm, undated, Robinson #11.1 (R1)

Blundered legend should read:

ضرب في بلد فلمبغ دار الاسلام

ISLAMIC/Palembang; Muhammad Badruddin II 1776-1804

Tin Piti, 0.73 g, 18mm. AH 1203/CE 1789, Robinson #9 (R1)

Inscription reads:
السلطان في بلد فلمبنغ سنة ١٢٠٣


GREEK/Seleucid; Antiochos IX Kyzicenos BCE 114/113-95

AR Drachm, 4.02 g 16.5 mm 12h, Uncertain Mint (Spaer thought Northern Syria)
SNG Von Post 603 (this coin)
SNG Spaer 2720 
(from plate for SC 2400 which used Spaer 2720 as the example depicted)
Naville X 15-18 June 1925, lot 1483
SC 2400
HGC 1239d (R3) 

O: diad. Hd rt. Dotted border
R: Nike adv left holding out wreath, [BA]ΣIΛEΩΣ/[A]NTIOXOY on right  and [Φ]IΛ-OΠATOPOΣ on inner left with controls on outer left AΩ monogram above Δ 

From the three examples that have been identified, it appears that all of the three coins were produced from the same obverse and reverse dies, meaning a single die produced all three examples.  Without additional examples I think it may be premature to jump to any conclusions on the basis of just this observation at this time. If you are aware of other examples of this coin, please email me.

It may be that Von Post acquired this coin while he was Swedish Ambassador in Turkey from 1946-1951.  Though we can only surmise through this information that the possible find spot was somewhere in that region, perhaps even Cilicia where it is possible that it was minted.  Though no certain conclusions can be reached with our circumstantial evidence being stretched to such ends. Without the original information on the provenance of the coin we are left poorer and our theories on origin all the weaker.

Eric von Post
Ex: Sotheby’s (UK); Coins Medals & Banknotes Auction, "The Collection of Greek Coins formed by Eric Von Post (1899-1990)", 9 October 1995, sold as a portion of lot 228.
it appears that the write ups for the coins were taken literally from SNG Von Post. The information about the mint being Antioch and that the drachm is a variety of SMA 404 are wholly incorrect as we now know and likely an example of expediency rather than scholarship on the cataloger's part.
The winning bid of £638 for the lot exceeded the original estimates. In 1995 USD, that was equivalent to $1,006.70 or approximately $201.34 for each of the five coins in the lot.  With inflation, that winning bid would be approximately $1,623.58 or $324.72 for each coin in 2017 USD. (thanks to Ella Hall of Sothebys (NY) Coin Dept for price realized).

Resources consulted:
Sotheby's Auction Catalogue 9 October 1995
Houghton etal, Seleucid Coins Part II (Vol 1 & 2)
Newell, SMA
SNG Spaer
SNG Von Post
Naville X 1925
Hoover, HGC Handbook of Syrian Coins Vol. 9
Thanks are extended to ANS Librarian David Hill who provided copies of the pertinent portions of Naville X and the Sotheby's auction catalogues.

ISLAMIC/Palembang; Mahmud Badruddin II 1804-1821

Tin Piti, 19 mm, 1.29 g, undated, Robinson #14 (R1)

Inscription reads:
ضرب في بلد فلمبغ دار الاسلام

ISLAMIC/Palembang; Mahmud Badruddin II 1804-1821

Tin Piti, 17 mm, 0.80 g, AH 1219/CE 1804, Robinson #10 (R1)

Inscription reads from bottom left around to bottom right:
مصروف في بلد فلمبغ ١٢١٩