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Sasanian Coins

This page will contain Sasanian coins and is a work in progress as I build it with attribution tips and techniques. For more information on coins from the Sasanian culture, please visit Thomas Mallon-McCorgray's site. My deepest gratitude to Tom Mallon-McCorgray and Howard Cole for their assistance in confirming or changing my attributions of the coins and understanding the various marks and references. The "standard reference" I will be using for this section is Sasanian Numismatics, written by Robert Göbl in 1971, published by Klinkhardt & Biermann in Germany, 97 pages with 16 plates, 1 map and 16 tables. It is a very interesting book with many line drawings of crowns, mint marks, dates, legends and devices to assist with attributions.

Sasanian coinage can be somewhat intimidating, but it is often very beautiful. Once you learn the different attributes to observe, determining the ruler, mint, year, etc. can come along without too much difficulty. I've been told, once a person gains an understanding of the crown each king or queen wears, it becomes easy to quickly attribute a coin to a ruler. Below is a chart, showing each ruler and their crown, as I get examples.

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Understanding the obverse of a Sasanian drachm:

Here we see the ruler, Khusro II, bust facing, head right, wearing winged crown surmounted by star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescent with star at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock.  There is Pahlavi script in the lower right margin and to the left and right of the king's portrait within the borders.

           

To the upper right of the king, inside the borders and keeping in mind Pahlavi is read from right to left, we find his name: 'hwslwb', or Khusro.  The Kh is also sometimes spelled as X or Ch, so you may see Khusro (Mitchiner), Xusro (Göbl) or Chosroes (Frye), depending on the reference used for attributions.

           

To the left of the portrait, also within the borders, there is more Pahlavi script.  On this coin, it reads GDH apzwt, translating to something along the lines of 'may his glory/splendor increase/grow' and refers to the ruler.  Therefore, reading all of the script together, we get 'Khusro, may his glory grow'. The GDH is a ligatured ideogram, translating to xuarr, meaning splendor (from Göbl, Plate XV). Anywhere in this section you find something in upper case, it is either an ideogram or an acronym.

The script in the lower right margin reads APD.  APD is an expression of praise and translates to 'good/excellent' or 'wonderful'.  Not all coins will have writing in the margins.

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Understanding the reverse of a Sasanian drachm:

This reverse shows a common theme of Sasanian coinage - two attendants (or guards) flanking a flaming altar, crescents on their heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescent with star at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock.  This scene was symbolic for the Zoroastrianism religion the Sasanians followed. 

           

To the right of the right attendant is the mint mark.  This mintmark reads DA for the mark for the Darabgird mint, in what is modern-day Iran.  Note - not all Sasanian coins will have a date or mint mark.  Also, the locations of the mints themselves are not agreed upon by all experts, so there will be variation again, depending on the attributing reference.

           

To the left of the left attendant is the date.  The date on this coin is from year 'pncsyh', or 35, of Khusro II's reign.  He reigned from 590-591 then from 591-628 AD, so this coin would be from 624/625 AD.

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Crown Identification Table

Example Ruler Göbl Type Description Reign



Shapur I I Four-merlon crown with ear flaps and surmounted by globe, diadem ties follow contour of hair behind 241-272



Shapur II Ia Four-merlon crown surmounted by globe decorated with five lines and pellets between, diadem ties behind globe, diadem ties behind crown and pointing up 309-379



Shapur II Ia Four-merlon crown surmounted by globe decorated with four lines and one pellet, diadem ties behind globe 309-379



Shapur II Ib Four-merlon crown surmounted by globe decorated with scattered pellets, diadem ties behind globe, diadem ties behind crown and pointing up 309-379



Khusro I II Three-merlon crown, side merlon with three levels, three short diadem ties behind, crescent in front, tassel in middle to left and surmounted by crescent with |||: 531-579



Hormazd IV I Three- merlon crown, side merlon with two levels, three short diadem ties behind, crescent in front, tassel in middle to left and surmounted by crescent with |||: 579-590



Khusro II II Winged crown, three merlons, three short diadem ties behind, crescent in front, surmounted by star and crescent 591-628



Hormazd VI I Winged crown, two side-merlons, three short diadem ties behind, crescent in front, surmounted by star and crescent 631-632

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Name Identification Table

Example Pahlavi Ruler



whrmzd Hormazd



kw't' Kavad



hwslwb or hwslwd Khusro

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Mint Identification Table

Example Mint Mark City Name Location



AHM Hamadan Media/Central District


AW At or near Erankhvarrah-Shapur Khuzistan Province



AY Erankhvarrah-Shapur Khuzistan Province



BN (Uncertain) Kirman



BYSh Bishapur Fars/Bishapur District



DA Darabgird Southern Iran



GD Gay or Jayy Media/Southern District



MR Merv Khurasan



MY Meshan Southern Iraq/Northern District



RAM Ram-Hormizd Khuzistan



RD Ray or Rayy Media/Northern District



ShY Shiraz Fars



ST Istakhr (Persepolis) Fars/Istakhr District



WH Veh-Ardashir (Seleucia) Central Iraq/Northern District



WYH Veh-Kavad Central Iraq/Southern District



WYHC (Uncertain) Fars/Central Iraq



YZ Yazd Fars/Yazd District

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Regnal Year Identification Table

Example Pahlavi Year



tyln 2



tlt' 3



pwzn 5



chldh 14



pncdh 15



y'cwyst' 22



sycwyst' 23



chlwyst' 24


pncwyst' 25



sswyst' 26



hptwyst' 27



hsywyst' 28



dwcsyh 32



pncsyh 35



sssyh 36



hstsyh 38

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Ardashir I: 224-241 (Son of Papak, who was son of Sanan)

Ardashir I, Billon AR Tetradrachm
Pahlavi legend
Bust right with long beard wearing Parthian-style headdress with ear flaps
Pahlavi legend
Fire altar without attendants
27mm, 13.47g
Göbl SN, Ardaser I, II/5; Mitchiner ACW 784-786

Shapur I: 241-272 (Son of Ardashir I)

Shapur I, AR Drachm, 241-272
Pahlavi legend
Bearded bust of Shapur I right, wearing merlon crown with ear flaps and surmounted by globe, diadem ties follow contour of hair behind
Pahlavi legend
Fire altar with two attendants dressed in kingly garb, facing outward, spear in outer hand
24mm, 3.72g
Göbl SN, Sapur I, I/1 (Plate II/23); Valentine 13

Note: Göbl translates the Pahlavi legends as obverse meaning "The Mazdah worshipper, the divine Shapur, King of the Kings of Iran, heaven descended of the Gods" and reverse meaning "The fire of Shapur".

Hormazd I: 272/273 (Son of Shapur I)
Varhran I: 273-276 (Son of Shapur I)
Varhran II: 276-293 (Son of Shapur I)
Varhran III: 293 (Son of Varhran II - No coins known from this ruler)
Narseh: 293-303 (Son of Shapur I)
Hormazd II: 303-309 (Son of Narseh)

Hormazd II, AR Drachm, 303-309
Pahlavi legend
Bearded bust of Hormazd II right, wearing merlon crown surmounted by forepart of eagle and globe decorated with four standing figures (?), diadem ties behind globe, diadem ties behind crown and pointing up, all in single dotted border
Pahlavi legend
Fire altar with two attendants dressed in kingly garb, facing inward, short staff in both hands, bust of Ahuramazda facing in flames above altar, all in single dotted border
28mm, 3.88g
Göbl SN, Hormizd II, 83
Ex Pegasi Numismatics, Central States Show, April 2010

Note: This issue does not have mint or date marks.

Shapur II: 309-379 (Son of Hormazd II)

Shapur II, AR Drachm, 309-379
Pahlavi legend
Bearded bust of Shapur II right, wearing merlon crown surmounted by globe decorated with five lines and pellets between, diadem ties behind globe, diadem ties behind crown and pointing up, symbol in left field
Pahlavi legend
Fire altar with two attendants dressed in kingly garb, facing inward, short staff in both hands, bust of Ahuramazda right in flames above altar, Pahlavi script on altar
23mm, 4.12g
Göbl SN, Sapur II, Ia/6a (Plate VI/102); Valentine 26


Shapur II, AR Drachm, 309-379
Pahlavi legend
Bearded bust of Shapur II right, wearing merlon crown surmounted by globe decorated with scattered pellets, diadem ties behind globe, diadem ties behind crown and pointing up, symbol in left field
Pahlavi legend
Fire altar with two attendants dressed in kingly garb, facing inward, short staff in both hands, bust of Ahuramazda right in flames above altar, Pahlavi script on altar
23mm, 4.08g
Göbl SN, Sapur II, Ib/6a (Plate VI/105); Valentine 26


Shapur II, AR Drachm, 309-379
Pahlavi legend
Bearded bust of Shapur II right, wearing merlon crown surmounted by globe decorated with four lines and one pellet, diadem ties behind globe
Pahlavi legend
Fire altar with two attendants dressed in kingly garb, facing inward, short staff in both hands, bust of Ahuramazda left in flames above altar, Pahlavi script on altar
23mm x 24mm, 4.11g
Göbl SN, Sapur II, Ia/6b (Plate VI/106); Valentine 26

Ardashir II: 379-383 (Brother, son or nephew of Shapur II)
Shapur III: 383-388 (Son of Shapur II)
Varhran IV: 388-399 (Son of Shapur III)
Yazdgard I: 399-420 (Son of Shapur III)
Varhran V: 420-438 (Son of Yazdgard I)
Yazdgard II: 438-457 (Son of Varhran V)
Peroz I: 457/459-484 (Son of Yazdgard II)
Hormazd III: 457-459 (Son of Yazdgard - Fought civil war against Peroz I and lost, no coins known)
Kavad I: 484 (Son of Peroz I, Short Reign or Investiture)
Valkash: 484-488 (Son of Yazdgard II)
Kavad I: 488-496 (Son of Peroz I, First Reign)
Zamasp: 496-498/499 (Son of Peroz I)
Kavad I: 498/499-531 (Son of Peroz I, Second Reign)

Kavad I, AR Drachm, Second Reign, Year 39? (526/527), At or near Hormizd-Ardashir
kw't'
Facing bust, head right, wearing merlon crown (second crown), inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
nwcsyh (?) | AW
Fire altar with two tall attendants standing facing, all inside double dotted-border
27mm x 30mm, 3.98g
Göbl SN, Kavad I, IIIc/2 (Plate XI/182-193); Valentine 39

Khusro I: 531-579 (Son of Kavad I)

Khusro I, AR Drachm, Year 32 (563/564), Veh-Kavad
pwzn | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing merlon crown with tassel to left and surmounted by crescent with |||: inside single dotted-border, crescents at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
dwcsyh | WYH
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, wearing tall headgear, both hands on sword hilt, all inside single dotted-border
30mm x 32mm, 3.84g
Göbl SN, Xusro I, IIc/2 (Plate XII/196-198); Valentine 44v

Hormazd IV: 579-590 (Son of Khusro I)

Hormazd IV, AR Drachm, Year 3 (581), Yazd
pwzn | whrmzd
Facing bust, head right, wearing crown with tassel to left and surmounted by crescent with |||: inside single dotted-border, crescent with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
tlt' | YZ
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, wearing tall headgear, both hands on sword hilt, all inside single dotted-border
29mm x 31mm, 4.04g
Göbl SN, Hormizd IV, Ia/1 (Plate XII/200-202); Valentine 46


Hormazd IV, AR Drachm, Year 5 (583), Uncertain Site (Fars or Central Iraq)
pwzn | whrmzd
Facing bust, head right, wearing crown with tassel to left and surmounted by crescent with |||: inside single dotted-border, crescent with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
hwms' | WYHC
Fire altar with two attendants, wearing tall headgear, inside single dotted-border, no marks outside border
30mm, 4.03g
Göbl SN, Hormizd IV, Ia/1

Varhran VI: 590-591 (Usurper)
Vistahm: 591/592-597 (Brother-in-law of Hormazd IV)
Khusro II: 590/591 (Son of Khusro I, First Reign)
Khusro II: 591-628 (Son of Khusro I, Second Reign)

Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 14 (603/604), Ram-Hormizd
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
chldh | RAM
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm x 33mm, 4.12g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 15 (604/605), Uncertain Site (Fars/Central Iraq)
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
pncdh | WYHC
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
30mm x 31mm, 3.59g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 22 (611/612), Gay or Jayy
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock
y'cwyst' | GD
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm x 34mm, 4.11g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 23? (612/613), Uncertain Site (Kirman Province)
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
sycwyst' | BN
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm x 32mm, 4.15g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 23 (612/613), Meshan
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
sycwyst' | MY
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm x 33mm, 4.09g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 23 (612/613), Ray or Rayy
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
sycwyst' | RD
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm x 36mm, 3.98g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 24 (613/614), Yazd
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock
chlwyst' | YZ
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm, 4.12g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 25 (614/615), Meshan?
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
pncwyst' | MY, MR or GD?
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm, 3.93g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 26 (615/616), Veh-Kavad
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
sswyst' | WYH
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents (?) on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm x 33mm, 3.88g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3

Note: The fire attendants appear to have rounded headgear versus the expected crescents for years 11-39


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 26 (615/616), Shiraz
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
sswyst' | ShY
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm, 4.09g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 26 (615/616), Shiraz
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
sswyst' | ShY
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm, 4.13g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 27 (616/617), Uncertain Site (Fars or Central Iraq)
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
hptwyst' | WYHC
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm x 32mm, 4.12g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 28 (617/618), Merv
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
hstwyst' | MR
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm x 32mm, 4.12g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 28 (617/618), Istakhr
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
hstwyst' | ST
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm, 4.13g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 30 (619/620), Uncertain Site (Fars or Central Iraq)
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
syh | WYHC
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
30mm x 31mm, 4.13g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 30? (619/620), Uncertain Site (Fars or Central Iraq)
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
syh | WYHC
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm, 3.72g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 32 (621/622), Veh-Ardashir
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
dwcsyh | WH
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm x 33mm, 4.05g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 33 (622/623), Ray or Rayy
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
sycsyh | RD
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm x 32mm, 4.13g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 35 (624/625), Hamadan
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
pncsyh | AHM
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
29mm x 31mm, 3.21g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 35 (624/625), at or near Erankhvarrah-Shapur
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
pncsyh | AY
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm x 33mm, 4.12g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 35 (624/625), Darabgird
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
pncsyh | DA
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm, 4.13g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 35 (624/625), Veh-Ardashir
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
pncsyh | WH
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
30mm x 33mm, 4.02g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 36 (625/626), Bishapur
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
sssyh | BYSh
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm, 3.84g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 36 (625/626), Istakhr (Persepolis)
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
sssyh | ST
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
30mm x 31mm, 3.59g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 28 or 38? (617/618 or 627/628), Veh-Ardashir
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
hstwyst' or hstsyh | WH
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
34mm, 4.10g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 38 (627/628), Uncertain Site (Fars/Central Iraq)
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
hstsyh | WYHC
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm x 33mm, 3.35g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50


Khusro II, AR Drachm, Year 40? (629/630), Shiraz
GDH apzwt | hwslwb
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
APD in lower-right margin
chl' (?) | ShY
Fire altar with two attendants standing facing, both hands on sword hilt, crescents on heads, all inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
31mm x 33mm, 4.06g
Göbl SN, Xusro II, IIb/3 (Plate XIII/211-215); Valentine 50

Hormazd V: 593 (Usurper)
Kavad II: 628 (Son of Khusro II)
Ardashir III: 628-629 (Son of Kavad II)
Shahrbaraz: 629 (Usurper - no coins known)
Peroz II: 629 (Nephew of Khusro II, no coins known)
Khusro III: 629-631? (Nephew of Khusro II)
Buran: 629-631 (Daughter of Khusro II)
Azarmidukht: 631 (Daughter of Khusro II)
Hormazd VI: 631-632 (Grandson of Khusro II)

Hormazd VI, AR Drachm, Year 2 (632), Uncertain Site (Fars or Central Iraq)
GDH apzwt | whrmzd
Facing bust, head right, wearing winged crown with star and crescent, inside double dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
tyln | WYHC
Fire altar with two attendants, crescents on heads, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock
32mm, 4.02g
Göbl SN, Hormizd V, Ia/1

Note: Göbl does not list Hormazd V as a usurper, thus his numbers are off by one from Mallon-McCorgray

Khusro IV or V: 631-637? (Grandson of Khusro II?)
Yazdgard III: 632-651 (Grandson of Khusro II)
Kushano-Sasanian

Peroz Kushanshah, AE Unit, 250-276 AD, Kushano-Sasanian
Pahlavi legend
Bust of Peroz Kushanshah right, wearing crenellated crown with palmettes at top and fillets at back
Pahlavi legend
Stepped fire altar with fillets, surmounted by bearded bust of Mithra, no attendants
19mm x 21mm, 4.09g
Göbl Kushanreiches 1118-1119, 1123; Cribb type 33 (Studia Iranica 19)

Tabaristan

Arab-Sasanian, Umar ibn al-'Ala, Abbassid Governors of Tabaristan, AR Hemidrachm, Year 124 (AH 159 = 775 AD)
AUMR
Facing bust of Umar, head right, wearing winged crown surmounted by star and crescent, inside single-dotted border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
||U| in lower left margin, APD in lower-right margin
Pahlavi date (Jharvistst) | Mint mark
Sasanian style fire altar with two attendants standing facing, crescents on their heads, both hands on sword hilt, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock, three pellets at the diagonals
24mm, 1.92g
Walker 263
Ex Harlan Berk, CICF Show, April 2009


Arab-Sasanian, Sa'id ibn Da'laj Suleiman Mukatil (787-789), Abbassid Governors of Tabaristan, AR Hemidrachm, 136 PYE (Post Yazdgard Era = AH 170 = 787 AD), Tabaristan Mint
Bakh (Arabic script)
Facing bust imitating Khusru II, legend in diamond replacing face, wearing winged crown surmounted by star and crescent, inside single-dotted border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
||U| in lower left margin, APD in lower-right margin
Pahlavi date | Mint mark
Sasanian style fire altar with two attendants standing facing, crescents on their heads, both hands on sword hilt, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock, three pellets at the diagonals
23mm x 24mm, 1.49g
Album 65

Note: The obverse legend translates to "good" and was used by Suleiman instead of a portrait as was forbidden by the Muslim faith to use graven human images. The style on this example is particularly fine.


Arab-Sasanian, Anonymous Issue, Abbassid Governors of Tabaristan, AR Hemidrachm, 136 PYE (Post Yazdgard Era = AH 170 = 786/787 AD), Tabaristan Mint
AFZWT
Facing bust imitating Khusru II, head right, wearing winged crown surmounted by star and crescent, inside single-dotted border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
||U| in lower left margin, APD in lower-right margin
Pahlavi date | Mint mark
Sasanian style fire altar with two attendants standing facing, crescents on their heads, both hands on sword hilt, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock, three pellets at the diagonals
23mm x 24mm, 1.95g
Album 73

Note: The Pahlavi obverse legend translates to "strong".


Arab-Sasanian, Muqatil, Abbassid Governors of Tabaristan, AR Hemidrachm, 139 PYE (Post Yazdgard Era = AH 174 = 790 AD)
GDH apzwt | mtrgl
Facing bust of Muqatil, head right, wearing winged crown surmounted by star and crescent, inside single-dotted border, crescents with stars at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock
||U| in lower left margin, APD in lower-right margin
Pahlavi date | mint mark
Sasanian style fire altar with two attendants standing facing, crescents on their heads, both hands on sword hilt, inside triple dotted-border, crescents with stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock, three pellets at the diagonals
23mm, 1.72g
Mitchiner 282/284

References used for Sasanian Coinage:

Göbl, Robert, Sasanian Numismatics, Klinkhardt & Biermann, Braunschweig, Germany, 1971, 97pp.
Valentine, W. H., Sassanian Coins, Rahul Publishing House, Delhi, India, 1993, 118pp.