JUDEA/Herodian/Agrippa II אגריפס השני CE 49/50-94/95

מטבע של אגריפס המציג את דיוקנו של אספסיאנוס
AE 26 mm, 19.48 g, 12h, Caesarea Panias mint, Yr 29=CE 77/78

Hendin 1292
Meshorer 172
RPC II 2288
SNG VI: 285

O: AYTOK[------]ICAPI CEBATΩ (celator error missing “C” between A & T).
Laureate bust of Vespasian r.

R: ETOY KΘ BA/AΓPIΠΠA across fields in two lines. Tyche-Demeter stands l wearing kalathos, holding grain ears in r. hand and cornucopia in l. 

Ex: Patrick H.C. Tan Collection


France; Coinage of Daniel Dupuis 1849-1899, 10 centimes

An example of the lovely bronze coinage of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century from France designed by the artist Daniel Dupuis (1849-1899).  

1917, 10 centimes, 10g/30mm, NMM, KM #843 (minted from 1898-1921)
mintage in 1917 was 11,914,000

O: Liberty head r
R: allegory of the Republic protecting her child.

(portrait of Dupuis c. 1881)


ISLAMIC; Timurid Iran, Shah Rukh 1405-1447

AR Tanka, 4.94 g, 22 mm, 7h, Amol (Mazandaran) mint, ND

O: Shahada

R: Duriba/Amol in central circle surrounded by As-Sultan al-'azim Shah Rukh [----]

Great Britain; Hanover; George IV 1820-1830

AR Six Pence, 2.75 g, 19 mm, 6h. dated: 1825

S. 3814

BULGARIA; Second Empire; Ivan Alexander Иван Александър and Michael Asen Михаил Асен CE 1331-1355; Two Examples

AR Grosch, 1.12 g, 19 mm, 6h.
AR Grosch, 1.65 g, 20 mm, 6 h

Both can be described as follows:

O: figure of Jesus stg facing before seat, arms raised, IC XC and monograms across field.

R: Ivan and Michael stg facing each holding cruciform scepter and holding between them a staff topped with a banner. monograms across the field, stars flanking base of the staff.

CHINA/Tang Dynasty 唐朝 CE 618-907

Kai Yuan; 4 g, 24 mm, middle period c. CE 718-732

H. 14u

old label affixed by original collector with "traditional" Chinese character reading "Tang"

O: KAI/YUAN/TONG/BAO (the inaugural currency)
R: crescent above the hole.

Ex: Stephen Album who advised that this came from the "Chang Collection" that was collected between 1916 and 1930.


Greece/Seleucid; Cleopatra Thea & Antiochus VIII BCE 125-121

AE 19 mm, 7.61g, Antioch mint, dated SE 191=BCE 122/1

SC 2263.4b

O: Radiate, diademed hd of Antiochus VIII r., one diadem end waving behind the other falling forward over shoulder, dotted border.

R: ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ ΚΛΕΟΠΑΤΡΑΣ in two lines on r. ΚΑΙ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ in three lines on l., owl standing facing on fallen amphora.

Date in ex on left, A۹ Ρ (SE 191), aphlaston in ex on right

Ex: Dan Clark Auction, April 1984 lot 237


Treasure from Caesarea on display at Israel Museum, article from Coins Weekly

Abu 'Ali al-Mansur al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah. (AH 386-411/996-1021 CE), gold dinar minted in Cairo, AH 403/ 1012 CE. Photographed by Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority as depicted from Coins Weekly and utilized for illustrative purposes only under fair use doctrine.

Read about it by clicking this link.


IRAN/Parthia (Arsakid); Vonones I CE 8-12

AR Drachm 20mm, 3.83g, 12h, Ekbatana mint c. 10-12 CE

Sellwood 60.5
Shore 329

O: diad head left, BACIΛϵYC ONωNHC

R: Nike adv r holding wreath and palm, Ecbatana monogram below. Inscription around the outside in a square BACIΛϵYC/ ONωNHC/NϵIKHCAC/ APTABANON

An interesting propaganda piece for a short lived victory over Artabanus, who was the eventual victor in the struggle with Vonones. Vonones had spent time in Rome as a hostage and seems to have acquired a very Roman boastfulness that didn't serve him well with the Parthian public. For that matter it didn't serve him too well with the Romans either. So much for cross cultural polination two millenia ago. 


IRAN/Parthia (Arsakid); Orodes II BCE 57-38

AR Drachm 4.06 g, 18 mm, Court at Rhagai mint.

Shore 230 v
Sunrise 362
Sellwood 45.9

O: diad bust l, wearing torque with pellet end

R: Arsakes I std r on throne, holding bow, blundered legend to r, Rhagai mint mark

IRAN ایران /Sasanian شاهنشاهی ساسانی /Bahram IV CE 388-399

AR Drachm, 3.9 g, 22 mm, NM ND

Göbl 136 v

O: bust right wearing winged merlon crown with korymbos, distinct name proceeding from bottom right and around to the left. Appears to be “Bahram malkan mazdisn” or “King Bahram, mazda worshipper”.

R: fire altar with ribbons flanked by two attendants. 


Greece/Seleucid; Demetrius I Soter BCE 162-150

AE 15 mm, 2.14 g, 12h,  Tyre mint  
SC 1676, SNG Spaer 1337-1342v
O : diad hd of Demetrius r., one diadem end flying up behind, the other falling straight behind, dotted border.

R: ΒΑΣΙΛ[ΕΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY] around, palm tree, off center
Date on either side of palm: 
only portion of Ρ is visible

Controls: none


IRAN/Tabaristan; Dabuyid Ispahbads; Khorshid CE 740-761 اسپهبد خورشید‎‎

AR Hemidrachm, 24 mm, 2.10 g, 3h, PYE 94=c. CE 745-746 (AH 128) Tabaristan mint

Album 52
Malek 31 variety (this particular obs die is not illustrated)

O: Crowned bust right in Sasanian style similar to Kurush Parviz though with differences in the crown. "May xvarrah increase" in Pahlavi behind bust and "Khorshid" in Pahlavi before. APD or "excellent" in second quarter of margin.
R: fire altar with attendants, Tabaristan on r and "post Yazdigerd era" year 94 on left. 

please cf. H.M. Malek "The Dabuyid Ispahbads of Tabaristan" in AJN 5-6 (1993-1994), pp. 105-160, which includes seven pp of plates illustrating many examples and varieties from these rulers. 

General location of ancient Tabaristan or as it is now called Mazandaran on a current map of Iran


IRAN ایران /Sasanian شاهنشاهی ساسانی /Kurush II Parviz CE 590/1-628

AR Drachm 31mm, 4.1 g, 9h, YZ (Yazd) mint. Regnal year 28/CE 617-618

Göbl 212 

O: XUSRUI AFZUT  “Khusro, may he increase”

R: on right YZ on left regnal date "Hashtvist"/


the Pahlavi text can be found at the following URL: http://www.beastcoins.com/Sasanian/Sasanian.htm along with additional helpful info for the beginner regarding Sasanian coins 

The above example is as struck by the Sasanian mint authorities, the example below has seen greater circulation and has evidence of having been clipped down to a later standard that appears to be an Islamic Dirham standard. It is also a Drachm of Kurush II Parviz, but is 27 mm in diameter and weighs 2.68 g. The coin appears to date from late in Kurush's reign, perhaps year 37 (?) and possibly the Nihavand mint.


INDIA/Indo-Sasanian/Chalukyas of Gujarat or Paramaras of Malwa; c. CE 950-1050?

AR anonymous drachm (gadhaiya paisa), 16mm, 4.11 g, 11h.

Deyell 158
Mitchner Non-Islamic 427

O: stylized Sasanian style bust r
R: stylized fire altar, crescent to upper right


IRAN/Sasanid; Yazdigerd I (یزدگرد) CE 399-420

AR Drachm; 25 mm, 4.02 g, 3h,  AS mint to right of altar flames (Asoristan per Album, but abbreviation AS had also been utilized for Isfahan by the previous ruler).

Göbl 147

Inscription refers to Yazdigerd as “Ramshahr” or “giver of peace” 
cf. a very interesting discussion by Touraj Daryaee in AJN 14 (2002) pp. 89-95 regarding this, entitled “History, Epic and Numismatics: on the title of Yazdgerd I (Ramshahr)”

IRAN/Parthia (Arsakid); Phraates II (فرهاد دوم‎) c. BCE 138-127

AE Chalkous; 15mm, 2.36g, 11h, Ekbatana mint

Sellwood 16.29
Shore 56

O: diad bust left
R: inscription beginning on right vertically BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ/MEΓAΛOY
APΣAKOY/ΘEOΠATOPOΣ on left. Elephant standing right.

Besides being contemporaries, Phraates II and Antiochus VII were combatants, and Phraates II though losing the initial rounds eventually gained the upperhand and Antiochus VII was defeated and killed. He also had a trump card with the captivity of Demetrius II who was released around this time. The defeat of Antiochus VII heralded the death knell for the Seleucid state, which had been in decline for sometime. Less than 70 years later, the Seleucid state was reduced to just another Roman province leaving only Egypt for a short time afterwards as the sole survivor from the successor states of Alexander. Unfortunately for the victor, Phraates II did not survive much longer after his victory succumbing to a battle in the Parthian east versus the Sakas where the Greeks whom he captured in his defeat of Antiochus turned the tables on him. 
Antiochus VII & Phraates II


IRAN ایران /Sasanian شاهنشاهی ساسانی ; A representative selection of drachms CE 459-590

Mints represented by the coins illustrated below. Map is adapted from SASANIAN NUMISMATICS by Robert Göbl (Sanford Durst, NY 1990).

Firuz I CE 459-484 پیروز 
AR Drachm 26 mm, 4.15 g, 3h. Rev Ardashir mint c. CE 462-467
Göbl 171
O: KADI FIRUCHI MAZ(DISN) "Fortunate Firuz the worshipper of Mazda"
R: mint mark RI on right and symbol in place of date on left.

Kurush I Anurshivan CE 531-579 انوشيروان
AR Drachm 30 mm, 4.1 g, 9 h. Ram Auhrmazd mint, Yr. 26/CE 556-557
Göbl 198 v

Kurush I Anurshivan CE 531-579 انوشيروان
AR Drachm 30 mm, 3.99 g, 3 h. Ram Auhrmazd mint, Yr. 42/CE 572-573
Göbl 198 v

Kurush I Anurshivan CE 531-579 انوشيروان
AR Drachm 32 mm, 3.93 g, 3 h. Nishapur mint, Yr. 45/CE 575-576
Göbl 198 v

Hormizd IV CE 579-590 هرمز چهارم
AR Drachm 30 mm, 3.81 g, 4 h. Ram Auhrmazd mint, Yr. 7/CE 585-586
Göbl 202

Hormizd IV CE 579-590 هرمز چهارم
AR Drachm 32 mm, 3.91 g, 2 h. Ram Auhrmazd mint, Yr. 10/CE 588-589
Göbl 200 v

Hormizd IV CE 579-590 هرمز چهارم
AR Drachm 29 mm, 3.84 g, 9 h. Ayran/Sush mint, Yr. 10/CE 588-589
Göbl 200

Hormizd IV CE 579-590 هرمز چهارم
AR Drachm 31 mm, 4.0 g, 3 h. Meshan mint, Yr. 10/CE 588-589
Göbl 201 v

Hormizd IV CE 579-590 هرمز چهارم
AR Drachm 31 mm, 4.0 g, 3 h. Bishapur mint, Yr. 12/CE 590
Göbl 202

All Ex: CNG 339:661 (19.11.14)


Byzantine/Anastasius CE 491-518

AE Follis, 30mm, 18.01g, 7h,  Constantinople mint off. B or more likely E

Sear 19

O: diad draped bust r, DNANASTA----SIVSPPAVC
R: large M with cross atop, B or E below, stars to right and left and CON in ex.

Anastasius is well known for his achievements in finance that kept the Byzantine Empire in the black for some time to come after his death. Though he should also be remembered for his long life at a time when most people were fortunate to reach 30. Anastasius was born around CE 430 and died approximately 88 years later in CE 518. There are records of others who lived well past their "sell by dates" in antiquity, but Anastasius lived nearly three average life spans.

Anastasius wasn't the only person in antiquity that lived to a ripe old age. While were on the subject of long lives in antiquity, there is a fragmentary tombstone of a veteran of Legio II Augusta from Caerleon, UK that reads: "To the spirits of the departed. Julius Valens, veteran of the Second Legion Augusta, lived 100 years. Julia Secundina, his wife and Julius Martinus, his son, had set this up." It's thought that this stone dates from the early third century CE. (reference: page 142 of Wacher, J The Coming of Rome, London, RKP, 1979 a volume in the "Britain Before the Conquest" series).


ISLAMIC/Abbasid; al-Muqtadir AH 295-320/CE 908-932 (المقتدر بالله‎)

AR Dirham, 25mm, 4.76 g, 7h, likely Madinat as-Salam (Baghdad) mint AH 317/CE 929-930

Album 246.2

O: heir "Abul-'Abbas bin Amir al-Mu'minin" named 
R: Caliph named as "al-Muqtadir billahi" in fourth line of central inscription. 

ISLAMIC/Khwarezm Shahs; 'Ala ad-din Muhammad (علاءالدین محمد) CE 1200-1220; three Jitals


A & B are the same issues of the Rajput Bull type minted in Peshawar. Note two different obs and rev dies were utilized in the striking of these two examples.

both are Tye 293 v
and Album 1741

A is 16 mm and 2.98 g
B is 14 mm and 3.3 g

AE Jital, 17mm, 2.22 g, Kurzuwan mint.

Tye 246
Album 1731.2

O: Kurz/uwan in center with As-Sultan al-'Azim Muhammad bin as-Sultan around
R; Shahada below Allah, and "an-Nasir" at bottom.

 cf. Kurzuwan Mongol seige issues of similar type


IRAN/Parthia; Mithradates II BCE 123-88 Ex: Sellwood Collection

AR Drachm; 18mm, 4.1g, 12h, Rhagai mint c. BCE 96/5-93/2

Sellwood 28.1
Shore 95
Sunrise 296

O: diad, draped bust l, wearing tiara with ear flap, long beard and torque ending in sea-horse
R: BAΣIΛEΩΣ BA ΣIΛE[ΩN] MEΓAΛOV APΣAKOV/EΠIΦANOV, archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, holding bow. 

Ex: David Sellwood (1925-2012) Collection
Ex: Baldwin's 90 Sellwood I; portion lot 1154 (24 Sept 2014)

ISLAMIC/Ottoman; Selim II (Selīm-i sānī) CE1566-1574

AV Sultani; 19mm, 3.45g, 9h, Misr (Cairo/القاهرة‎) mint dated AH 974

Album 1324


IRAN/Parthia; Artabanos III (اردوان سوم) CE 10-38

AR Drachm 21mm, 3.76g, 12h, Ecbatana (Hamadan) mint

Shore 345 (Artabanos II)
Sellwood 63 type

O: diad hd of king left.
R: Arsakes enthroned with bow r, monogram for Ecbatana mint, multilined inscription top, bottow and sides, 8 lines. Appears to be in agreement with Shore.


US Civil War Era Penny

"Indian Head Penny" 1863 CuNi mintage 49,840,000  VF20

Besides Gettysburg and the other domestic US events that occurred in 1863 it was also the year that French Chemist H. M. Mourries developed margarine. How's that for an obscure and otherwise overlooked event from a momentous and horribly bloody year. 


IRAN/Parthia; Phraates IV ( فرهاد چهارم) BCE 38-2 ex Carathéodory Paşa collection

AR Tetradrachm; 14.69g, 26 x 27 mm, Seleucia mint, c. BCE 26-24

Sellwood 51.25-51.43 (date and month off flan) possible mule of 52.1 obs and 51.25 reverse

Shore 272 type

O: long bearded bust left wart on brow

R: King enthroned on left receiving palm from Tyche on rt holding cornucopiae. Year and month in ex off flan.



Bottom (inverted): ΔIKAIOV[with month and year beneath].



Great Britain; Hanover; George II CE 1727-1760

AR Shilling (26mm - 5.95 g). LIMA issue. 1745. 

ESC 1205
SCBC 3703

O: Laureate, draped, and cuirassed old bust left; LIMA below 
R: Crowned cruciform coats-of-arms of England and France, Scotland, Ireland, and Hanover around rayed central Garter star.

for interesting background information pertaining to the "LIMA" issues cf the following URL:


Greece/Seleucid; Antiochus II Theos BCE 261-246

AE 10mm, 0.77g, 12h, Sardes mint

SC 530.1 (as no controls are readily visible)
WSM 1384
HSC 288 (R2-3)

O: laur. Hd of Apollo three quarters r.

R: BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ANTIOXOY on l., tripod, standing on Seleucid symbol (anchor r.)

Most if not all of the inscription is not readily visible

ISLAMIC/Artuqid (Mardin), Najm ad-Din as-Sa'id Ghazi I AH 637-658/CE 1239-1260

AR Dirham, 22mm, 2.7 g, 7h. Mardin mint AH 643/CE 1245-1246

Album 1834.2 (S)

O: outer hexagram Shahada
inner hexagram al-Imam al-Mustasim/billahi Amir al-Mu'minin

R: outer hexagram duriba bi-Mardin sanah thalatha arba'in sittami'ah
inner hexagram al-Malik as-Salih Ayyub/ al-Malik as-Sa'id Ghazi


GREECE/Lesbos; Mytilene; c. BCE 377-326

EL Hekte, 10 mm, 2.53g, 12h.

Bodenstedt 89
SNG Copenhagen - 
Weber 5624

O: Wreathed head of Dionysos right
R: Wreathed head of Persephone right within linear square.

Ex: Roma Numismatics Ltd, 15 lot 208 (31 Jan 2015)

(originally classified as B. 85 by auction house)


GREECE/Samaria 4th Century BCE

AR Half-Ma’ah/Hemiobol; 7mm, 0.26g, c. BCE 375-333

Meshorer & Qedar 189 (This coin illustrated on plate 26 of Meshorer & Qedar Samarian Coinage, INS, Jerusalem, 1999)

O: Head of Persian satrap right wearing a tiara

R: Young male head right

Ex: CNG 353 portion lot 791 (17 June 2015)

Ex: CNG 117:76 (29 June 2005)

CNG photo of Lot 76 from EA 117 in 2005 that also appears in article referenced below.

This coin illustrated on plate 1 #6 as well as mentioned in text in INR 6:2011 for article “Tiarate Heads on Samarian Coins” by Jarosław Bodzek (pp. 3-19)