Silver Hemidrachm of Tabaristan AD 780 – 793
This silver Hemidrachm of Tabaristan comes from the Kingdom of Tabaristan. This Kingdom was located along the southern shore of the Caspian Sea, which is currently Northern Iran. The 7,000 miles long Silk Road linked Constantinople with the heart of China. This route was used by merchants to transport luxury goods, precious metals, art objects, and ideas between China, the West and Middle East. The Silk Road ran directly through the Kingdom of Tabaristan and many of these Hemidrachm were used in trade all along the road.
Tarbaristan at the time was under Muslim occupation, however the coin continued to be modeled after coins from the preceding Sassanian Empire. The obverse shows a right facing bust wearing a winged crown in the style of the Sassanian King Khusru II. The reverse depicts attendants flanking a Sassanian style fire altar, with a border of three concentric circles.
The Silk Road Hoard includes coins minted in Tabaristan and may have been struck under the rule of Haroun al-Rashid, AD 786-809. Al-Rashid’s name is mentioned in several stories from the collection of tales commonly referred to as Tales of the Arabian Nights. This example is graded Mint State by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). This silver Hemidrachm from Tabaristan will be a treasured part of your ancient coins collection. Purchase yours today from MCM!