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Sasanian Mints

by T. K. Mallon

A compendium of attributions from Album, Gbl, Gyselen, Kolesnikov, Mitchiner, Mochiri, Paruck, Schindel and Sears.
Many identifications are preliminary and/or questionable.

Sasanian Empire coins for sale in Forum's Shop

Also see:
Sasanian
Sasanian Dates
Sasanian Names
Sasanian Timeline

Online Resources

T. K. Mallon's Sasanian Empire Pages - archived copy available: http://web.archive.org/web/20140326092955/http://www.grifterrec.com/coins/sasania/sasanian.html

ZENO.RU - Oriental Coins Database Sasanian page - http://www.zeno.ru/showgallery.php?cat=2805

Beast Coins Sasanian Coins page - http://www.beastcoins.com/Sasanian/Sasanian.htm

The British Museum Sasanian coin project - http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/research_projects/all_current_projects/sasanian_coin_project.aspx

Mint Locations and Signatures

WLC= Worazan(Today is called Bprazjan in south of Iran)

Northern Provinces
AT=Azerbaijan (?)
ZWZWN/GWGWN, etc.=uncertain site(s)
GNCKL, GNC=Ganjak-Chez

Central Iraq
WH=Veh-Ardashir
WYH=Veh-Kavad
BBA=Court mint at Ctesiphon or Dastagird; itinerant

Media
Western District: AYLAN=at or near Eran-asan-kar-Kavad
Central District: AHM=Hamadan; NY=at or near Nemavand
Northern District: LD, LDY=Ray
Southern District: GD=Gay
Possible Attributions: MA=May; ASP, SPHAN=Spahan; GW=at or near Goyman;
A or S=uncertain site(s)

Southern Iraq
Northern District: MY=Meshan
Southern District: PL=Furat-i-Meshan

Khuzistan
AY=at or near Eran-khvarrah-Shapur
LYW, KWN LYW=Rev-Ardashir
AWH, AW=at or near Hormizd-Ardashir
LAM=Ram-Hormizd
AS=uncertain site
Possible Attributions: HWC=Gunde-Shapur
LA=Ram-Hormizd or Rev-Ardashir (?)

Fars
Veh az Amid Kavad District: WYHC=Veh-az-Amid-Kavad (Arrajan)
Bishapur District: BYSh=Bishapur
Ardashir Khurra District: ART=Ardashir-Khurra; KA=Karzi
Istakhr District: ST=Istakhr
Darabgird District: DA, DAL=Darabgird
Yazd District: YZ, YZD=Yazd
Possible Attributions: ShY=Shiraz

Kirman
KL=at or near Shirajan
BN=Veh-Ardashir
GLM=Bamm
NAL=Narmashir
GY=Giruft
Possible Attributions: HLCN=Hurjand (?)
NAT=uncertain site

Khurasan
APL, AP=Abarshahr
ML, MLW=Merv
HL, HLY, HRYDW=Herat
BHL=Balkh
Possible Attributions: TWS, TW, T=Tus (?)
HLM=Xolm (?)
SML=Samarkand (?)

Sistan
SKSTN, SK=Zarang
BST=Bust

Uncertain Mints
AH=unknown
AM=Amul (?)
AL=unknown
ALM=unknown; not in the Caucasus, Khurasan or Sistan
AYL=unknown; Central Iraq or Northwestern Iran
AYLA=unknown
BYN=unknown; not in Kirman, Khurasan or Sistan
CACW=unknown; Chach (?)
DL=unknown
DYNAW, etc.=Dinavar in Media (?)
GWD=unknown
GWLCAN=unknown
H=unknown; not Herat
NAH=unknown
LHW=unknown; Roxvadh (?)
MRWVART/TRUKVART=unknown; Merv al-Rudh (?)
WLC=unknown; not in the Caucasusium of attributions from Album, Gobl, Gyselen, Kolesnikov, Mitchiner, Mochiri, Paruck, Schindel and Sears;
many identifications are preliminary and/or questionable.

Pahlavi Alphabet 

Pahlavi (Middle Persian) is read from right to left. Many letterforms are similar: B and Y; R and L; D and K; G and Z; U, V, W and N.

TRANSLITERATIONPAHLAVITRANSLITERATIONPAHLAVI
al
bm
gn
ds
u, v, wp, f
zts, ch
kh, hr
i, ysh
kt

Pahlavi Mint Signatures

The mint name is usually on the reverse right and read downward (reminder: Pahlavi is read right to left).

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
Auncertain siteMedia

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
AHunknownunknown
KWN AHSNS 3; Varhran IV

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
AHMHamadanMedia/Central District
KWN AHMSNS 3; Varhran IV

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ALunknownunknownMitchiner lists AR for both Armenia and Fars

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ALMunknownnot in the Caucasus, Khurasan or SistanMitchiner's Armenia

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
AMAmul (?)Khurasan

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
APLAbarshahrKhurasan
AP

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ARTArdashir-KhurraArdashir-Khurra District

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ART(H)Sh(TR)------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ASuncertain siteKhuzistan

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ASPSpahan (Isfahan)Media
SPHAN

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ATAdurbadagan (?)Atrapatan (Azerbaijan) (?)Sears: may be blundered ST; probably not Adurbadagan

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
AWat or near Hormizd-ArdashirKhuzistanMochiri's AO/AOH; Mitchiner's AU/AUH
AWH

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
AYat or near Eran-khvarrah-ShapurKhuzistanMitchiner's AI or AB; Gobl's AB

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
AYLunknownCentral Iraq or Northwestern IranMitchiner's AIR (Airan Khurra Shapuhr)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
AYLAunknownunknownMitchiner's AIRA (Airan Khurra Shapuhr)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
AYLANat or near Eran-asan-kar-Kavad (Hulwan)Media/Western DistrictMitchiner's AIRAN (Airan Khurra Shapuhr)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
BBACourt Mint[itinerant]Mitchiner's BKhA (Balkh); Mochiri's BLX (Balkh)
KWN BBA

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
BHLBalkhKhurasanMochiri's BXL (Balkh); Schindel's GHL

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
BNuncertainKirmanSears' Veh-Ardashir; Mochiri's and Mitchiner's GN (Gondishapur)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
BSTBustSistanPeus 363, 5313

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
BShHP------SNS 3
BShHPW

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
BWB------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
BYN (?)unknownnot in Kirman, Khurasan or Sistan

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
BYShBishapurFars/Bishapur District

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
BYShHPW------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
BYST------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
CACWChach (?)Khurasan (?)From a unique coin of Hormazd IV, year 6, in Mochiri; who knows...

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
DADarabgirdFars/Darabgird District
DALPeus 363, 5341 (Khusro II, year 25); this may be engraver error for NAL

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
DALAPKR------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
DLunknownunknownMitchiner's Darabgird; Mochiri's KR

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
DYNAWuncertain/Dinavar (?)Media (?)Gobl has this mint marked as Rayy
DYNAS
DYNAT
DYN

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
GDGay (Jayy)Media/Southern DistrictA district of Isfahan; Mitchiner's GI; Mochiri's GY

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
GLMunlocatedKirmanSears says possibly Bamm

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
GNCKLGanjak-Chez (?)Northern ProvincesPeus 363, 5311
GNC

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
GWat or near Goyman (?)MediaMitchiner's GU; Mochiri's GO (Gorgan)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
GWDuncertainuncertain

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
GWL------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
GWLCANuncertainKhurasan (?)Mochiri's GORZAN (Gorzevan)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
GYGiruftKirman

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
Hunknownunknown; not Herat

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
HGL------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
HLHeratKhurasan
HLY
HLYDW
HLYDY

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
HLMXolm (?)KhurasanMochiri's XLM (Xolm)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
HWCGunde-Shapur (?)Khuzistan

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
KAKarzi (?)Fars/Ardashir-Khurra District (?).

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
KAL------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
KALCYDY------SNS 3


 

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
LAMRam-HormizdKhuzistan


 

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
LDRay (Rayy)Media/Northern DistrictMochiri's RY
LDY

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
LHWRoxvadh (?)Khurasan (?)Mochiri's RXW

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
LY------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
LYWRev-ArdashirKhuzistan
KWN LYW

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
LYWARTHShT------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
MAMay (Masabadan)Media

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
MLMervKhurasan
MLW
MLWY

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
MLWVALTMerv al-Rudh (?)Khurasan (?)TRUKVART; Peus 363, 5329

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
MYMeshanSouthern Iraq/Northern District

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
NAHuncertainuncertain

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
NALNarmashir (?)Kirman

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
NATuncertain siteKirman

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
NYat or near NemavandMedia/Central DistrictMitchiner's NB (uncertain)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
PLFurat-i-Meshan (?)Southern Iraq/Southern District (?)Album says probably not Furat-i-Meshan

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
PW------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
PWLGY------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
Suncertain siteMedia

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
SKZarangSistan
SKSTN

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
SML
Samarkand (?)Khurasan (?)From Mochiri; uncertain, Album says probably not Samarkand

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
STIstakhr (Persepolis)Fars/Istakhr District

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
STHL
------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
STL
------Dinar of Vistahm; Res Orientales XVI, AV93

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ShLK (?)------SNS 3; Varhran IV

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ShYShirazFarsSellwood attributes ShY to Shiz in the Northwest

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ShYLAC
------SNS 3

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
TWSTus (?)KhurasanThis may only be a blundered spelling of MLWY and ML, respectively
TW

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
WAC (?)uncertain siteAl-Jazira

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
WHVeh-Ardashir (Seleucia)Central Iraq/Northern DistrictMochiri's VH (Veh Ardashir), Mitchiner's VH (Veh Andew Shapur); Gobl's NH (Nahr-Tire)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
WLCIRAN/Fars
Peus 363, 5317 (as VLCh)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
WYHVeh-KavadCentral Iraq/Southern DistrictMochiri's NEH; Mitchiner's NIH (Nehavend)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
WYHCuncertain siteFars or Central IraqSears' Veh-az-Amid-Kavad (Arrajan) in Fars [based on Arab-Sasanian coins marked WYHC, struck between AH 67-73, which were almost certainly struck in Fars, and hoard data]; Mochiri's VSP (Visp Shad Xosrow); Mitchiner's NYHCh (near Ctesiphon)

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
YZYazdFars/Yazd DistrictGobl's ZR (Zarang)
YZDPeus 363, 5314

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ZLZarang (?)SistanKavad I examples in Mochiri's Arab-Sasanian Civil War Coinage (1987)
ZLN
ZLNG

SIGNATUREPAHLAVICITY/DISTRICTPROVINCENOTES
ZWZNuncertain site(s)Northern ProvincesMochiri's ZOZNU (Zozan), also written GWGWN; according to Nikitin, this may mean "silver coin" and not be a mint signature. Known only for Hormazd IV.
ZWZWN
ZWZWNW

Map of Mint Locations

References

SICA I = Stephen Album and Tony Goodwin, Sylloge of Islamic Coins In the Ashmolean, Volume 1: The Pre-Reform Coinage of the Early Islamic Period Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (2002)
Gbl SN = Robert Gobl, Sasanian Numismatics, Klinkhardt and Biermann, Braunschweig (1971)
Gyselen 2004 = Rika Gyselen, New Evidence For Sasanian Numismatics, Res Orientales XVI, Bures-sur-Yvette (2004)
Kolesnikov = A. I. Kolesnikov, Deneshnoe Chozaystvo v Irane v VII Veke, Moscow (1998)
Mitchiner ACW = Michael Mitchiner, Oriental Coins, the Ancient and Classical World, Hawkins Publications, London (1978)
Mochiri = Malek Iradj Mochiri, Etude De Numismatique Iranienne sous les Sassanides Et Arabe-Sassanides, Tome II, Teheran (1983)
Paruck = F. D. J. Paruck, Sasanian Coins, Bombay (1924)
Sears MHI = Stuart D. Sears, A Monetary History of Iraq and Iran, CA. CE 500 to 750, University of Chicago, Chicago (1997)
SNS III = Nikolaus Schindel, Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum: Volume 3, Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien (2004)