Sultan Palace Merv

Parthian Coinage

The Parthian monetary system was based on the silver drachm, weighing about 4 gm. Coins first struck in the reign of Arsaces I, the founder of the state. The main denominations were the tetradrachm – struck in quantity by Western mints and the drachm – typical of the Eastern mints. Small bronze coins were also issued as a change.

The obverse side of the drachm usually carried the bust of the king facing left (or right as per certain period), while the reverse bore Greek lettering around the edge and portrayed a seated figure in nomadic attire with a bow held at arm's length.

The tetradrachms and in particular, the bronze coins were more varied in type. From the reign of Vologases I onwards the drachm also bore Parthian letters. Starting in seventies of the first century B.C the reverse side of coins regularly carried monograms which are abbreviations for the names of mints. Coins struck by the Merv mint were marked with the Greek letter <pi>.

Parthian Coin Parthian Coin Parthian Coin