Hormizd (Ohrmazd) II, Sasanian King AD 303-309
Sunrise # 820, SNS Type Ia/3b, Gobl Type I/1a, Extremely Fine
Mint: “MA?” abbreviated for Marv? or “TA” (Unknown mint possibly Tabaristan at the southern coast of Caspian sea in present day Iran). The letters were double struck or came from a cut in to an existing die at the time thus making them hard to recognize. In addition the Pahlavi letters become ambigious when appeare on the coins depending on the skill and literacy of the die cutter at the time.
This is a spectacular example of the Sasanian drachm. The details on both obverse and reverse are magnificently preserved. More than likely, it is one of the first drachms from the dies, given the sharpness of details. One of the most interesting aspects of early Sasanian coins is the rare appearance of the name of the mint. We have examples of Shapur I, Bahram I and Narseh with mint abbreviations for several important centers such as ST for Istakhr and MRWN for Marv, which was the administrative capital of the Sasanian Empire in the East. This coin has an abbreviation which may be read as “MA” (a variant for Marv) or “TA” (undetermined, possibly Tabaristan).