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Coins of the Sasanian Empire

With the overthrow of the Parthians in 224, Ardashir I founded the Sasanian Empire which was for over four centuries, alongside the Roman-Byzantine Empire, one of the main powers in Western and Central Asia. At its greatest extent, the Sassanid Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Iraq, the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Israel), the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan), Egypt, parts of Turkey, much of Central Asia (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan), the Persian Gulf countries, Yemen, Oman and Pakistan. It was overthrown by the Rashidun Caliphate in 651. Much of what later became known as Islamic culture in architecture, poetry, etc. was conveyed to the Muslim world by the Sasanids.

Sasanian Empire coins for sale in Forum's Shop

Also see:
Sasanian Dates
Sasanian Mints
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

Kings, Reigns, General Rarity, and SNS Volume

Ardashir I, 224 - 241, common, SNS I
Shapur I, 241 - 272, very common, SNS I
Hormazd I (Ohrmazd I), 272 - 273, very rare, SNS II
Varhran I,  273 - 276, scarce, SNS II
Varhran II, 276 - 293, scarce, SNS II
Varhran III, 293 AD, scarce, SNS II
Narseh, 293 - 303 AD, scarce, SNS II
Hormazd II (Ohrmazd II), 303 - 309, scarce, SNS II
Shapur II, 309 - 379, very common, SNS III
Ardashir II, 379 - 383, rare, SNS III
Shapur III, 383 - 388, common, SNS III
Varhran IV, 388 - 399, common, SNS III
Yazdgard I, 399 - 420, common, SNS III
Varhran V, 420 - 438, common, SNS III
Yazdgard II, 438 - 457, common, SNS III
Hormazd III (Ohrmazd III), 457 - 459, scarce, SNS III
Peroz I, 457/459 - 484, common, SNS III
Valkash, 484 - 488, common, SNS III
Kavad I, 488 - 531, very common, SNS III
Zamasp, 518 - 520, rare
Khusro I (Xusro I), 531 - 579, very common
Hormazd IV (Ohrmazd IV), 579 - 590, very common
Varhran  VI, 590 - 591, rare
Vistahm, 591 - 597, very rare
Hormazd V (Ohrmazd V), 591 - 597, scarce
Khusro II (Xusro II), 590/591, 590/591 - 600/601, and 627/628, very common
Kavad II, spring - September 628, very rare
Ardashir III, fall 628 - summer 629, rare
Khusro III (Xusro III), 629 - 631(?), scarce
Buran, 629 - 631, very rare
Azarmidukht, 631, extremely rare. Per Stephen Album Rare Coins Auction 32, between 25 and 35 pieces are now known.
Hormazd VI (Ohrmazd VI), 631 - 632, rare 
Khusro V, 631 - 637(?), very rare
Yazdgard III, 632 - 651, rare


Album, S. A Checklist of Islamic Coins. (Santa Rosa, CA, 1998).
Album, S., R. Gyselen, et al. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Paris - Berlin - Wien. (Wien, 2003 - 2012).
Alram, M. Iranisches Personennamenbuch: Nomina Propria Iranica In Nummis. (Wien, 1986).
Cribb, J. "Numismatic Evidence for Kushano-Sasanian Chronology" in Studia Iranica 19, Issue 2 (1990), p. 151 - 193.
De Morgan, J. Monnaies orientales: numismatique de la Perse antique. (Paris, 1927-1933).
Göbl, R. Münzprägung des Kusanreiches. (Wien, 1984).
Göbl, R. Sasanian Numismatics. (Braunschweig, 1971).
Grierson, P. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection: Vol. 2. (Washington, D.C., 1968).
Gyselen, R. ed. New Evidence for Sasanian Numismatics: The Collection of Ahmad Saeedi. (Leuven, Belgium, 2004).
Malek, H. "A Survey of Research on Sasanian Numismatics" in NC 153 (London, 1993).
Malek, H. "History and coinage of the Sasanian Queen Boran (AD 629-631)" in NC 158 (1998), pp. 113 - 129.
Malek, H. "The coinage of the Sasanian king Kavad II (AD 628)" in NC 155 (1995), pp. 119 - 129.
Malek, H. "The Sasanian King Khusrau II (AD 590/1-628) and Anahita." in Name-ye Iran-e Bastan 2.1 (2002): pp. 23 - 40.
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values: The Ancient and Classical World. (London, 1978).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values: The World of Islam. (London, 1977).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values: Non-Islamic States & Western Colonies. (London, 1979).
Mochiri, M. Etude de Numismatique Iranienne sous les Sassanides et Arabe-Sassanides. Vol. II. (Tehran, 1983).
Paruck, F. Sasanian Coins. (Bombay, 1924).
Pottier, H. Le monnayage de la syrie sous l'occupation perse (610-630). Cahiers Ernst-Babelon 9. (Paris, 2004).
Tsotsella, M. History and Coin Finds in Georgia: Sasanian coin finds and hoards. Moneta 30. (Wetteren, 2003).
Walker, J. A Catalogue of the Muhammadan Coins in The British Museum, Vol. 1: A Catalogue of the Arab-Sassanian coins (Umaiyad governors in the East, Arab-Ephthalites, 'Ablasid governors in Tabaristan and Bukhara). (London, 1941).

Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum
SNS I. Album, S. & R. Gyselen. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Paris - Berlin - Wien, Band I: Ardashir I - Shapur I. (Vienna, 2003).
SNS II. Alram, M & R. Gyselen. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum. Paris-Berlin-Wien, Band II: Ohrmazd I - Ohrmazd II. (Vienna, 2012).
SNS III. Schindel, N. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Paris - Berlin - Wien, Band III: Shapur II - Kawad I. (Vienna, 2004).
SNS IV. Schindel, Nickolaus. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum. ParisBerlin ‒ Wien. Band IV Teil 1 und 2: Khusro I. (Vienna, 2022).
SNS Iran I. Curtis, V.S. et al. A Sylloge of the Sasanian Coins in the National Museum of Iran (Muzeh Melli Iran), Tehran. Vol. 1: Ardashir I - Hormizd IV. (London, 2010).
SNS Iran II. Curtis, V.S. et al.  A Sylloge of the Sasanian Coins in the National Museum of Iran (Muzeh Melli Iran), Tehran. Vol. 2: Khusrau II – Yazdgard III. (London, 2012).
SNS Iran Orumiyeh. Schindel, N. & D. Akbarzadeh. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Iran – A Late Sasanian Hoard from Orumiyeh. Österreichischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften. (Vienna, 2017).
SNS Israel. Schindel, N. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Israel: The Sasanian and Sasanian-Type Coins in the Collections of the Hebrew University. (Jerusalem, 2009).
SNS Schaaf. Schindel, N., M. Alram, R. Gyselen, & R. Schaaf. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum - The Schaaf Collection. Österreichischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften. (Vienna, 2014).
SNS Uzbekistan. Baratova, L., N. Schindel, & E. Rtveladze. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Usbekistan: Sasanidische Münzen und ihre Imitationen aus Bukhara, Termes und Chaganian. (Vienna, 2012).

Also see Sasanian References by T. K. Mallon

Also see Sasanian references 2


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