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an unusually lovely Ardashir III drachm

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I didn't have any ideas for a buy, so I went back to the well of a previous want, a really nice example of Ardashir III (628-30), the ill-fated boy king who reigned briefly after the overthrow of Khrusru II.

One can never tell what the toning will be from this seller, due to the photography lighting.  This was a case where it's pretty true to the picture, a lovely slightly golden hue.

This coin had really stood out to me; the portrait was so much better than the others, huge flan, etc.  It had also stayed around for a long time.  This dealer is great for getting inexpensive coins and uncleaneds, but the $100+ coins tend to be overpriced, in my opinion. The price on this was really not too far above the norm, however.

Apparently other colletors disagreed with me.  This had probably been there at least a year.  I loved it from the start but didn't commit until recently.





Sasanian Empire. Ardashir III (AD 628-630) AR drachm (35mm, 4.03g). WH (Veh-Ardashir) mint. Struck in regnal year 2 (AD 629/30). Bust of Ardashir III r., wearing first crown / Fire altar flanked by attendants. Göbl type I/1.


The second coin is an uncleaned (or really, really deep (near black) cabinet toned Parthian of the last king of Parthia, if I'm not mistaken.

Vologases VI (208-222)


20mm . 3.14gm Ecbatana? mint


The downside to the inexpensive coins is the barebones description, just a size and the weight.  However, I happened to come across Forum's Parthian numiswiki page...

Feel free to post your post-Khrusru II (after 628) drachms.

He also had one of the more obscure ephemeral late Sasanian kings, but the portrait was really ugly, in my opinion, and he had kind of a lame crown.  It was also much more than the OP coin.


Edited by Nerosmyfavorite68
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  • Nerosmyfavorite68 changed the title to an unusually lovely Ardashir III drachm

Terrific example, @Nerosmyfavorite68.  I don't have any that are remotely as late as this (doesn't keep me from wanting one ...or two!), but the relief on this one really pops.  One thing that's easy to like about Sasanians is that they manage to avoid the kind of stylistic decline that's more evident in late Roman.  Comparably to the Andalusian taifas, they never missed a beat where cultural sophistication was concerned; they just got badly beaten up by various unwashed barbarians who could run circles around them on the military front.

And, Wow, that sit-up-in-your-chair latest Parthian looks from here like another coup.  If it was me, I'd do the bare minimum about the toning, if that.  ...If the Greek on the reverse is merely stylized, but still legible, that has to be pretty impressive in its own right.  On the other hand, I'm wanting to see some impending influence on early Sasanian portraits, too.  If I'm not making all of that up, it makes for a cool cultural dialectic. 

...More generally, there have been a few times when I've gotten exceptional examples of something or other at a little more than the going rate, and watched comparable ones proceed to double in price.  Nothing I can count on, but when the wind's blowing just right, that can actually happen.

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Thanks for the very kind sentiments!  I'll leave everything as-is.  The toning on the Ardashir may very well be find toning as well.

I've had enough collecting experience to know when to get something before it goes away.  Soon it will be tough to get uncleaneds and nearly uncleaneds.

The Parthian was mainly just an inexpensive tack-on coin.  I carefully went through the list of late ones and picked out the best one in that price range.

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Both very nice coins @Nerosmyfavorite68!  I wouldn't try to clean either of them, the toning is fine as-is.  Vologases VI is the penultimate Parthian king; his rival Artabanos VI (modern numbering, older sources call him Artie IV) lasted until at least 224, and possibly to 229 (sources are unclear on exactly when the Sasanians finally killed him).  By this time the Greek reverse legend of Parthian drachms had degenerated to complete gibberish, in fact just letter-like forms.  Both Vologases VI and Artabanos VI had to add a line at the top of their drachms (unfortunately off the flan on your specimen) in Aramaic that stated their names!  Don't have any cool facts about Ardashir III ready, but it's also a very nice coin, congratulations.


Well, you asked for post-Khusro II, so I'll show off my Queen Boran (630-632) again:


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