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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

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

Kings, Reigns, and General Rarity 

Ardashir I, 224 - 241, common
Shapur I, 241 - 272, very common
Hormazd I (Ohrmazd I), 272 - 273, very rare
Varhran I,  273 - 276, scarce
Varhran II, 276 - 293, scarce
Varhran III, 293 AD, scarce
Narseh, 293 - 303 AD, scarce
Hormazd II (Ohrmazd II), 303 - 309, scarce
Shapur II, 309 - 379, very common
Ardashir II, 379 - 383, rare
Shapur III, 383 - 388, common
Varhran IV, 388 - 399, common
Yazdgard I, 399 - 420, common
Varhran V, 420 - 438, common
Yazdgard II, 438 - 457, common
Hormazd III (Ohrmazd III), 457 - 459, scarce
Peroz I, 457/459 - 484, common
Valkash, 484 - 488, common
Kavad I, 488 - 531, very common
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. & T. Goodwin, Sylloge of Islamic Coins In the Ashmolean, Volume 1: The Pre-Reform Coinage of the Early Islamic Period Ashmolean Museum. (Oxford, 2002).
Gariboldi, A. Sasanian Coinage and History: The Civic Numismatic Collection of Milan. Sasanika Series 3. Mazda. (Costa Mesa, 2010).
Göbl, R. Sasanian Numismatics. (Braunschweig, 1971).
Malek, H. "A Survey of Research on Sasanian Numismatics" in NC 153. (London, 1993).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins: the Ancient and Classical World. (London, 1978).
Paruck. F. Sasanian Coins. (New Delhi, 1924; 1976 reprint).
Potter, H. Le monnayage de la Syrie sous l'occupation perse (610-630). Cahiers Ernst-Babelon 9. CNRS Editions. (Paris, 2004).
Gyselen, R. ed. New Evidence for Sasanian Numismatics: The Collection of Ahmad Saeedi. (Leuven, Belgium, 2004)
Gyselen, R. Sasanian Seals and Sealings in the A. Saeedi Collection (Acta Iranica). (Leuven, Belgium, 2004). Saeedi Seals
Schindel, N. "Sasanian Mint Abbreviations: The Evidence of Style." NC 165 (2005), pp. 287 - 299.
Sears, S. A Monetary History of Iraq and Iran, CA. CE 500 to 750. (Chicago, 1997).
Sellwood, D., et al. An Introduction to Sasanian Coins. (London, 1985).

Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum
SNS IAlbum, S. & R. Gyselen. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Paris - Berlin - Wien, Band I: Ardashir I - Shapur I. (Wien, 2003).
SNS IIAlram, M & R. Gyselen. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum. Paris-Berlin-Wien, Band II: Ohrmazd I - Ohrmazd II. (forthcoming).
SNS III.  Schindel, N. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Paris - Berlin - Wien, Band III: Shapur II - Kawad I. (Wien, 2004).
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 Orumiyeh. Schindel, N. & D. Akbarzadeh. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Iran – A Late Sasanian Hoard from Orumiyeh. Österreichischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften. (Vienna, 2017).
SNS IsraelSchindel, N. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Israel: The Sasanian and Sasanian-Type Coins in the Collections of the Hebrew University. 2 vols. (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 by Tracy Aiello


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