Two DDR (1949-1990) Commemoratives

1972-A Buchenwald 10 Mark KM#38 (31mm, mintage 2.5 million, CuNi)
1971-A Thälmann 20 Mark KM#34 (33mm, mintage 2.5 million, CuNi)


JORDAN; Abdullah II (1999-); Half Dinar 2006/1427 AH

KM# 79
28 mm, 9.43 g.

OBS:  عبدالله الثاني ابن الحسين ملك المملكة الاردنية الهاشمية
“Abdullah ath-Thani Ibnal-Husayn Malik al-Mamlakah al-Urdaniyyah al-Hashimiyyah”

With large ١/٢ in center.

FRANCE; François Mitterand; President 1981-1995; Centennial

Coin Specifications:  (this example is BU)

 France    (LU-G1002 Leuchtturm 2018 Catalogue Euro number)
Year Of Issue:
 2 Euro
Mint Mark:
 Circulation: 9,980,000; Brilliant Uncirculated: 10,000; Proof: 10,000
 Cupronickel Outer Ring: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel Clad; Nickel Brass Inner Core: 70% Copper, 24.5% Zinc, 5.5% Nickel
 8.5 grams
 25.75 mm
 Lettering (2** 2** 2** 2** 2** 2**)
OBV Designer
REV Designer
 Luc Luycx
 Circulation, Brilliant Uncirculated, Proof
For more info click here.


ROMAN/Severus Alexander CE 222-235

AR Denarius, 3.28g 19 mm, 6h, Rome mint c. CE 231

RSC 76

O: IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laur., draped cuirassed bust r.
R: IOVI PROPVGNATORI, Jupiter adv left looking right and reading to throw a fulmen from his right hand.


INDO-PARTHIAN/Gondopharid; Pakores c. late 1st Century CE

AE Tetradrachm 8.31g 25 mm, 11h, Arachosia ? mint
Senior 269.8T

O: diad bust left
R: Nike adv right


ISLAMIC/'Abbasid Governors of Tabaristan; Jarir جرير CE 786-788

AR Hemidrachm, 23mm, 2.04 g, 3h, PYE 135

Album 64 (R)

Malek 95

Wilkes 110 (Islamic Coins & their Values Vol. I)

O: name in outer margin of obs Q3 جرير , “Afzut” in place of name before bust.

R: “Tabaristan” on right, “135” on left of attendants and fire altar.


GREECE/Seleucid; Antiochus I Soter BCE 281-261

AR Tetradrachm, 25.5 mm, 16.61 g, 6h, Aϊ Khanoum mint

SC 438.1a

O: diad hd r

R: Apollo Delphios std l on omphalos testing arrow in his right hand and holding bow in his left, monogram Δ in a circle to inner left. BAΣIΛEΩΣ on right ANTIOXOY on left.

Ex: CNG 367:252 (27 Jan 2016)


IRAN/Parthia; Phraates II BCE 138-127/6

AR Drachm, 4.2g, 20mm, 12h,  Tambrax mint struck c. BCE 128-126

Sellwood 16.11
Shore 50
BMC Parthia pg. 17, 15
Sunrise 272
O: Short bearded bust left wearing diadem, TAM behind

R: BAΣIΛΕΩΣ/MEΓAΛOY on right separated by guide line, APΣAKOY/ΘEOΠATOPOΣ on left separated by guide line.
Arsakes I seated right on omphalos, holding bow


IRAN/Parthia; Vardanes I c. CE 40-47

AR Drachm, 3.73 g, 20 mm, 12h, Ecbatana mint
Sellwood 64.31
Shore 353

O: bare-headed bust left with medium pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at top and three ends; earring visible; three lines on forehead representing royal wart.
R: archer std r on throne holding bow, below bow Ecbatana mint mark. Blundered Greek legend.


GREECE/Egypt; Ptolemaic; Kleopatra VII Thea Neotera BCE 51-30

AR Tetradrachm; 24 mm, 13.59 g, 12h. Alexandria mint, RY 14/BCE 39-38

Svoronos 1828 (Ptolemy XIII)

SNG Copenhagen 408

Noeske 370-1

DCA 70

O: diad. Hd of Ptolemy I r, wearing aegis around neck

R: Eagle with closed wings stg l on thunderbolt, palm frond over shoulder, LIΔ over headdress of Isis to left, ΠA to right. Around ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛΕΩΣ.




Roman Republic, c. BCE 210

Anonymous, c. BCE 210, AE Sextans; 20mm, 3.16 g, 4h, Sardinia mint.

CR 64/6a
RCV 1226

O: hd of Mercury r wearing winged petasos, two dots above
R: Prow of galley right, ROMA above, MA monogram to right, two dots below.

Possibly overstruck on a Carthaginian bronze.

Ex: CNG 376 lot 764 or 765 (06-15-2016)
Ex: RBW Collection
Ex: UBS 59 portion lot 6125 (01-29-2004)            


Greece/Seleucid; Demetrius II Nikator (first reign) BCE 146-138

AR Drachm 3.78 g, 16-17 mm, 12h, Probably minted at Seleucia in Pieria

SC 1927.1

HGC 982 (R2)

O: diad hd of Demetrios r, diadem ends falling straight behind, dotted border

R: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY in two lines on right, NIKATOPOΣ on left, anchor flukes upward.

Control inner left Flower (rose or lily?)


Ex: WKR Collection


ROMAN/ Geta, as Caesar CE 198-209

AR Denarius, 17 x 19 mm, 2.33 g, 12h, Rome mint c. CE 203-208

RIC Geta 47 (R)
BMC p. 245 note 454 ("The denarius quoted by C.86 is very doubtful")
RSC 86

On 9 Oct. 1991 Curtis Clay (who is revising RIC for Septimius Severus and family) wrote to the prior owner stating that this example was only the second known example. The G. R. Arnold collection did not have one. (CNG sold an example in 2013 for $2,200).

O: P SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES, bare headed draped bust right

R; MINERVAE VICTRICI,  Minerva, helmeted, draped, advancing left, brandishing javelin in right hand and holding shield in left hand; at her feet, snake preceding her.

Ex: WE Collection
Ex: ANA Chicago 1991, London Coin Galleries (CA)


ROMAN/Titus CE 79-81

AR Denarius, 3.26 g, 19 mm, 6h., Roma mint, c. September to December CE 79
RSC 287a

BMC 23

RIC 41

R: Ceres seated left holding wheat ear and poppy in rt hand, lighted torch in left, TRP VIIII IMP XV COS VII PP

an example of this coin sold at Gemini X (2013)  lot 664 ex: Harry N. Sneh Collection. The note accompanying that example stated "Very rare with portrait left, a variant first reported in ASFN 1884, p. 175. RIC 41 cites another specimen from Boric-Breskovic's catalogue of the Belgrade collection; ours could be only the third recorded."

The example depicted here appears to be the fifth recorded.

The other four were the Gemini example, an example sold by CNG in 2012 and an example posted on Forum Ancient Coins Gallery that had been acquired from the French firm CGB in 2012 and a fairly worn example from the ANS OCRE site from the Museu de Prehistòria de València , that was part of the 1990's Llíria Hoard (http://nomisma.org/id/lliria_hoard).


ROMAN/Two Lugdunum (Lyon) Emissions of Probus CE 276-282

AE Antoninianus, 3.42 g, 21 mm, 12h, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, c. CE 277 3rd emission

RIC 37 bust 

RCV 11992

O: IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate cuirassed bust right

R: MARS VICTOR/III, Mars advancing right, carrying trophy and spear

AE Antoninianus, 3.74 g, 22 mm, 6h, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, c. CE 278-279

RIC 84 variety

RCV 11992




IRAN/Sasanian; Examples from a Hoard from the time of Yazdgard III in Kirman c. CE 642-645/6

The hoard has invariably been referred to as the "Silk Road Hoard" or the "Tokharistan Hoard" but was described in great detail in an article entitled "A Hoard from the time of Yazdgard III in Kirman" by Heidemann, Riederer & Weber ( Iran 52 (2014): 79-124). 

As these examples are studied further I will be updating their respective information. These are both drachms minted posthumously in the name of Khusro II (CE 590-628) and are thought to have been minted at a centralized mint of Yazdgard III sometime after the Battle of Qadisiyya and possibly just before the Battle of Nihavand during the early days of the Muslim conquest of the Sasanian Empire.

AR Drachm, 32 mm, 3.92 g, 9h, ShY (Shiz) mint, Yr. 37
Heidemann etal, Die 33 late=ShY 37A=0483, 26 examples noted.

AR Drachm, 32 mm, 4.1 g, 3h, ART (Ardashir Khurrah aka Jur or Gor mint), yr. 37
Heidemann etal, Die 15 = ART 37A=0082, 23 examples noted.

GREECE/Sicily; Himera c. BCE 415-409

AE Hemilitron; 15 mm, 2.76 g., 11h.

Kraay, Bronze, group b, 3
CNS 35
HGC 2, 479

O: Hd of nymph left six pellets before.
R: six pellets (Mark of Value) within wreath


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

AR Dirham, 2.93 g, 23 mm, ---h, ar-Rafiqah الرفقة mint (Syria) AH 188/CE 804-805

Album 219.2 (S)

Ar-Rafiqah was Harun ar-Rashid’s capital during his reign. It is now known as the town of Raqqah in Syria which in turn is the “capital” of Da’esh داعيش aka ISIS.

O: بسم الله ضرب هذا الدرهم بالرفقة سنة ثمان و ثمنين و مية

R: anonymous reverse with just محمد رسول الله in three lines in the center field above the dot.



ROMAN PROVINCIAL; Syria; Philip I CE 24-248

Bi Tetradrachm; 25 mm, 9.55 g, 6 h, Antioch, CE 248-249

McAlee 947
Prieur 449

O: radiate draped and cuirassed bust r., AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CϵB
R: eagle stg r holding wreath in beak, ΔHMAPX ϵΞ OYCIAC YΠATO Δ in ex.

Ex: Dionysus/Germany
Ex: Warren Esty Collection

Apparently scarce variety counted 12 examples on two sites of which this is one. 

An altar in the Archaeological Museum of Girona, Spain dedicated to Philip from the people of Girona photographed by me during a visit in August 2018, translations in English, Catalan and Spanish appear below.



GREECE/Seleucid; Seleucus I Nicator BCE 312-281

AR Drachm, 4.01g, 16 mm, 6 h, Seleucia on Tigris II mint, from c. 296/5 BCE

SC 131.5a

ESM 77

O: Laureate head of Zeus right
R: Athena brandishing a shield and spear in a elephant quadriga right, anchor and monograms above  A/T  behind Athena and Θ above the elephants. Dotted border.  BAΣIΛEΩΣ on l., and ΣEΛEYKOY in ex.  

GREECE/Seleucid; Antiochus IX Philopator BCE 114-95

AE 18-20 mm, 5.34 g,  11 h, minted probably in Phoenicia, c. BCE 112-101

SC 2388.8 type

SNG Spaer 2743

O: Bust of winged Eros r. dotted border
R: [B]AΣΙΛΕΩ[Σ] ANTIOXOY in two lines on r., ΦΙΛΟΠATOP[OΣ] on l., Nike adv l., holding wreath.

Ex: WKR Collection

cf. please refer to very interesting information pertaining to this type in SC II vol I pp. 542-544.


HAWAI'I/Kalakaua I 1874-1891

AR 25 c (6.21 g) KM #5 (mintage: 500,000 but 242,600 remain after redemption and melting) 


R: UA MAU KE EA O KA AINA I KA PONO/1/4/ D./HAPAHA, crown above COA dividing ¼ and D.

Note: (from Wikipedia) "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono is a well-known Hawaiian phrase which was adopted as the motto of the state of Hawaii. It is commonly translated as "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness".

The motto is also utilized by the Hawaiian sovereignty movement having been the motto of the Kingdom of Hawaii before it's overthrow by American business interests in 1893. The motto appears to be the one constant connecting Hawaii past and present.

Iolani Palace, Honolulu constructed during the reign of Kalakaua and the only royal palace on US soil


Greece/Seleucid; Demetrius I BCE 162-150

AE 17 mm, 4.86 g, 12 h, Seleucia on the Tigris mint, minted early in reign after BCE 161

SC 1691
HGC 839 (R2)

O: jugate busts of Demetrius I, diademed, and Laodike V, veiled and wearing stephane

R: [BAΣIΛEΩΣ/ΔHMHTPIOY] Nike stg. L., holding wreath and palm. No symbols or monograms

Bevelled edge on obs with casting spurs. 


IRAN/Arsacid; Parthia: Vologases III CE 105-147

AR Drachm, 3.65 g, 20 mm, 12h,  Ecbatana mint. 

Sellwood 78.5

Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots.

Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow; archer's seat represented as horizontal line; blundered Greek legend; monogram for Ecbatana below bow

IRAN/Arsacid; Parthia: Orodes II BCE 57-38

AR Drachm, 3.73g,  21mm, 12h, Ecbatana mint

Sellwood 48.8

Obv: bust left with pointed beard wearing diadem and griffin-ended torque; star before, crescent above star behind; wart visible on forehead; circular border of pellets

Rev: beardless archer wearing bashlyk and cloak seated right on throne, holding bow in right hand; behind archer, anchor; below bow, monogram for Ecbatana; no border; seven-line Greek inscription = 


A leaden aside....

Lead has been utilized for a variety of purposes throughout history; coins being an example of the more sedate usages.

Mainly, Lead has been used in human warfare as well as in everyday products in the recent past that have contributed to needlessly killing and poisoning many generations of humanity.

The examples provided below, span two millenia and are objects utilized in different kinds of warfare, the first from a battle in Spain c. BCE 45 and the second from the American Civil War 1861-1865.

Roman Glans, c. BCE 45, likely from the Battle of Munda

39 x 15 mm, 37.85 g (views of all sides)

American Civil War 1861-1865, dropped 58 caliber Minie ball likely Confederate manufacture (Georgia?), conical cavity. 22mm long, 12 mm wide, 6 mm deep cavity and 26.43 g., MM 380 type, TT 165v, weapon rifle musket. paper cartridge, muzzle load, percussion cap ignition.

before use:

after use:

previous flipped over. 26.27 g


HAWAI'I/Kalakaua I 1874-1891

AR 10 c (2.43 g) KM #3 (mintage: 250,000) 


R: UA MAU KE EA O KA AINA I KA PONO/ONE DIME/UMI KENETA, crown above denomination inside wreath.

Note: (from Wikipedia) "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono is a well-known Hawaiian phrase which was adopted as the motto of the state of Hawaii. It is commonly translated as "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness".

The motto is also utilized by the Hawaiian sovereignty movement having been the motto of the Kingdom of Hawaii before it's overthrow by American business interests in 1893. The motto appears to be the one constant connecting Hawaii past and present.

Nu'uanu Petroglyph of human figure and dog near Kapena Falls, Oahu, HI


A Hiker Found an Extremely Rare Gold Coin almost 2,000 Years Old

NOTE: not a gold "denarius" as the expert denotes, but an aureus, RCV 3338 (RIC 820, BMCRE 699) minted in Rome CE 107 and valued by Sear in 2002 in EF at $16,500

OCRE reference with photo,

The newly found example is much nicer than the example illustrated in OCRE that resides in the BM


France/ 17th Century Jeton

Louis XIV CE 1643-1715 (no date) minted in Lorraine

AE Jeton; 28mm, 6.56g, 6h.

F. 12542

O: LVD XIIII D G FR ET NAV REX, King on horse to left. 
R: HOC SYDERE + LILIA FLORENT, crowned coat of arms surrounded by double collar


ISLAMIC/Lu’lu’id/Badr ad-Din Lu’lu’ بدر الدين لؤلؤ CE 1233-1258

AE Fals, 26mm, 8.74gm, 8h, Al-Jazirah mint AH 649/CE 1251-1252 (mint and date not legible)

SS 70
Album 1875 (RR)

O: Kalima, name and titles of the 'Abbasid caliph al-Mustansir; in margin, mint and date formula.

R: kalima continued, name and titles of Lu'lu' 


ISLAMIC/Ghorid; Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad b. Sam AH 567-602/CE 1171-1206

AR Dirham 29 mm, 4.57 g, Ghazna mint AH 597-599/CE 1200-1202

citing Ghiyath ad-Din, square in circle type, struck from 97-98% silver

Album 1771 (S)

Zeno.ru #164641 (this coin)


From NY TIMES 9 January 2016---‘Broken System’ Allows ISIS to Profit From Looted Antiquities

"SHUMEN, Bulgaria — Acting on a tip, the police raided four homes in eastern Bulgaria, looking for contraband that regularly traverses this country on the way to markets in Western Europe and America. In one rusting shed behind an apartment block here, they found a cache of looted antiquities: 19 classical statues and fragments of marble or limestone.
Among them was a square tablet depicting a procession. If genuine, its style would make it neither Roman nor Greek, like the rest, but even older, dating back nearly 5,000 years. Its appearance suggested it came from the ancient Sumerian city of Lagash, in what is today southern Iraq."
Follow the link below for the remainder of the article:

‘Broken System’ Allows ISIS to Profit From Looted Antiquities


ROME/Caracalla CE 198-217

AR Denarius , Rome mint, CE 212 , 3.65g 19mm
OBS: laureate bust right, ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT
REV: Serapis wearing polos, raising hand and holding scepter.,
VM 59/1(VB1), RIC 194

In CE 212, Caracalla issued his "Constitutio Antoniniana" granting Roman citizenship to all free inhabitants of the Roman Empire. Roman historian Cassius Dio (d. CE 235)  was a contemporary to the events of 212 and wrote in his history the following (78:9):

 Now this great admirer of Alexander, Antoninus, was fond of spending money upon the soldiers, great numbers of whom he kept in attendance upon him, alleging one excuse after another and one war after another; but he made it his business to strip, despoil, and grind down all the rest of mankind, and the senators by no means least. In the first place, there were the gold crowns that he was repeatedly demanding, on the constant pretext that he had conquered some enemy or other; and I am not referring, either, to the actual manufacture of the crowns — for what does that amount to? — but to the vast amount of money constantly being given  under that name by the cities for the customary "crowning", as it is called, of the emperors. Then there were the provisions that we were required to furnish in great quantities on all occasions, and this without receiving any remuneration and sometimes actually at additional cost to ourselves all of which supplies he either bestowed upon the soldiers or else peddled out; and there were the gifts which he demanded from the wealthy citizens and from the various communities; 4 and the taxes, but the new ones which he promulgated and the ten per cent tax that he instituted in place of the five per cent tax applying to the emancipation of slaves, to bequests, and to all legacies; for he abolished the right of succession and exemption from taxes which had been granted in such cases to those who were closely related to the deceased. This was the reason why he made all the people in his empire Roman citizens; nominally he was honouring them, but his real purpose was to increase his revenues by this means, inasmuch as aliens did not have to pay most of these taxes. But apart from all these burdens, we were also compelled to build at our own expense all sorts of houses for him whenever he set out from Rome, and costly lodgings in the middle of even the very shortest journeys; yet he not only never lived in them, but in some cases was not destined even to see them. Moreover, we constructed amphitheatres and race-courses wherever he spent the winter or expected to spend it, all without receiving any contribution from him; and they were all promptly demolished, the sole reason  for their being built in the first place being, apparently, that we might become impoverished. 

(http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/78*.html, accessed 01-08-16)

Mary Beard in her recent book "SPQR" seems to differ with the explanation of Dio's that it was for the purposes of taxation that the Constitutio was proclaimed and citizenship was extended to all. She writes that citizenship did not need to be extended in order for taxes to be increased. Nevertheless, the grant of citizenship to all of the free populace of the Empire was an extraordinary development and this coin is one of those that dates from that year.  On the other hand I like this piece because it mentions Britain as one of his titles and has a portrait that appears to have had a frozen grimace for 1,800 years as if he smelled some malodorous scent at the time of striking.  Perhaps he's smelling what became of his reputation despite his extention of citizenship to all.