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A Festivus miracle; my signed-for package arrives!


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After a week of unnecessary  delays my Zurquieh package arrived!  It easily fit into the mailbox, so I think the only possible problem was the eccentric packaging?  The 4 Chrosroes II uncleaned Drachmae were packed in a cup (with taped tissue) causing the padded envelope to really bulge.  The only thing I can think of is that it somehow set off postal alarm bells? Although if the package were to do anything, it'd do it in my mailbox.

I'm relieved the situation got resolved and even more relieved that I can keep my streak of 2+ years of not going to the post office.

The coins were Roman, Sasanian and Phoenician.  I'll post the details once I get situated.

The shipping from Zurquieh was ultra fast, as it was with my first order. Not counting the delays, about 5 days from order to door.  No complaints there. With Zurquieh I noticed that one kind of has to know what one's doing and do the attribution oneself.  The listing shows a picture, size and weight.  That's usually it.  Individual coins also come bare in individual envelopes.

I'd order from Zurquieh again if I can get the signature thing sorted out.  Although I suspect I'd have little to no problems with non-bulk lot orders.

The main reason for the order was the 4 Sasanian uncleaneds; they were only $15 each, but fairly nice for the price.  I guess partially uncleaned, because a true uncleaned would be encrusted in dirt.  The dirt is removed, but they're pretty much otherwise uncleaned - they're near black in color.


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The description didn't include weights, size, etc.  They're standard size for the time, althoughsome seem to be slightly clipped.  I rather like the bottom left portrait.

They're much more interesting as uncleaneds, in my opinion.  One doesn't see too many uncleaned Sasanian drachmae.

Come to think of it, why are Sasanian drachmae so much cheaper than Parthian?


ensive hole-filler of an emperor whom I didn't previously have; Valentinian II.



The terse description only reads 21 mm, 3.35g.  I'll have to do the attribution myself, but IIRC weren't these bust types from Constantinople?  And weren't decargyri nummi heavier than that?



Claudius II billon Antoninianus

25MM . 3.57GM

I haven't gotten the Sear volume out yet.  I'm guessing Antioch?  The big ones are often Antioch.  I bought it because of the large module.





I'll have to remember to fish this tiny coin out of the envelope in the morning.    I find the fight scene amusing, especially on the ones where the lion is seemingly punching the hero.

PHOENICIA. Sidon. `Abd`aštart (Straton) I. Circa 365-352 BC. AR Sixteenth Shekel

10mm. 0.8 g



Edited by Nerosmyfavorite68
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Woo-hoo, the first miracle of the Festivus season!  Guess I should put up my aluminum pole soon. 😀

I've only ordered from Zurquieh once before, and I had no problem with the shipping.  At the apartment building where I live, all mail and other packages are signed for by the front desk, so that probably eliminates some potential problems.

I bought some uncleaned Sasanian drachms years ago, I think it was from Joel Malter.  Naturally most were Khusro II, but I had fun cleaning and attributing them.

Good question on why Sasanian coins are (somewhat) cheaper than Parthian.  My guess is it comes down to supply and demand, though I'm not sure on the details.  I think Parthian are a bit more popular than Sasanian (Parthians have Greek legends, Parthians are more associated with Golden Age and Silver Age Rome, to ID Parthians you don't have to try and read Pahlavi inscriptions that were badly engraved to begin with, poorly struck and then corroded, which doesn't even take into account how similar so many letters are...  sorry, I tend to rant about terrible Pahlavi script), though a lot of collectors (like me!) collect both.  We'd also predict Sasanian coins to be more common- assuming equal amounts of Parthian and Sasanian coins were initially struck, more Sasanians should survive because they've had less time to be melted down, corroded to nothing, etc.  Or maybe some other factor that I'm not seeing- it's 2 AM and I have insomnia, perhaps tomorrow I'll have a flash of insight.

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I’m glad you received your order, @Nerosmyfavorite68!  

I’ve ordered from Zurqieh 10 or 12 times over the past few years and I’ve always had fast and dependable service. Hussam Zurqieh, the owner, is friendly and accessible via email and always responds quickly to my inquiries. One of my orders from him was a bulk lot of Judaean lepta and prutot.




Edited by LONGINUS
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3 hours ago, Spaniard said:

Very nice!...Looks like all the sassanian coins have good reverse detail and you'll be able to identify the mint and date which is always a bonus...Congrats on an interesting haul..

There used to be such a Sasanian site.  Does it still exist?

5 hours ago, Harry G said:

Nice coins, and I'm glad to hear your order arrived!

That Claudius II antoninianus is interesting - the obverse appears to read IMP C CLAVDDIVS AVG

Hmm, it does. I hadn't paid much attention, to be honest.  I just plopped it in the basket because all I had was a cruddy, small example.


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Thanks!  I'll bookmark them!

I have trouble reading the squiggles, especially since I'm at the mercy of the die-engraver.

Do I read them fromleft to right or right to left?

I also changed my blanket Parthian Drachm search term and more sub $100 results turned up than before.  My preference is for the earlier, more realistic ones. 

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I ended up transliterating the legends the best I could.  I think I'm fairly confident of my attribution of coin #1 (BBA).   I had written it out but had to start over again on all the coins when I discovered I hadn't flpped the fire to the right.  All are transliterated with the coin on its side, the flame pointing right.

Coin 2.  The left character is kind of fat so I drew it the best I could and filled in the color.  There's a bottom swoosh that looks very much like my keychain bottle opener when looked at on its side.  There's a thought bubble on the aboveleft of the 'swoosh' and the swoosh. Immediately to the right of the 'swoosh' (disregard the part in the circle) is a less fat line.  Rigthermost character; I'm unsure if the little arc crossbar is a die break or an actual character on the thinner line. The thinner line kind of looks like an L______

I went up and down the wiki list and didn't see any character like the left 'mystery character'.

My chicken scratch notes kind of look like pahlavi but it's supposed to say 'close together'.

Cion 2 - here's an mspaint rendering of the left character.  I only traced the outlines and didn't fill in the color. I wasn't able to pc draw the 'thought bubble' part of the character too well.  The pen drawing is more faithful to the thought bubble, only I didn't color in the outlines well enough.


Coin 3.  GWD?  I came across that while looking for the mystery character on coin 2.

Coin 4: was too hard to transliterate.

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I looked at the coin just now and discovered that I had misdescribed the right 'swoosh' character.  I'm re-uploading my new drawing.

Referring to the very bottom.  My transliteration of the left character is fairly faithful. The right character is less long and probably a bit smaller, but the shape is conveyed (the swoosh).

The coin didn't seem to be double struck...

I'm also a bit confused if I should count the "!" by each fire attendant.  If one flips the coin right side up, there's a ! on each side, very close to the edge. Flipped on its side the ! would be sideways, with the period to the left.


I wish they all were BBA.  That's the easiest  :classic_laugh:.

The thought bubble (left character) is gazingup to the sky.  In reality the way it joins to the 'can opener' is a bit thinner but the general shape is conveyed.

Does this help or change opinions any?

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My opinions on the Sasanian coins:

Coin 2 is Hormazd IV, the others are all Khusro II.  (You probably already knew this as you didn't ask, but maybe someone else was wondering.)

The date on Coin 2 is AShLA (10).  I can't see the other dates well enough to say anything useful.


Coin 1: BBA (Court Mint, which traveled with the king)

Coin 2: probably NAL (Narmarshir in Kirman Province)

Coin 3: almost certainly SK (Zaranj in Sakastan (Sijistan))

Coin 4: probably NAH (uncertain site)

The dates on the remaining coins may be identifiable after cleaning.  Hope this helps.


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4 is blank; the one at the bottom was my re-drawing of 2.

The characters on the bottom are also a bit thinner than my portrayal.  They fattened up when I sought to convey the shapes.

I'll try to tackle 4.  It was too hard to transliterate.  There's a bunch of small characters, some not very clear. I'll have to peruse the lists.

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