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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

353, Lot: 233. Estimate $100.
Sold for $110. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

HUNNIC TRIBES, Nezak Huns. Shahi Tegin (Sri Shahi). 680-738. AR Drachm (32mm, 3.36 g, 12h). Crowned bust right; c/m: tamgha / Fire altar flanked by attendants; star and crescent flanking flames. Göbl, Dokumente Em. 244; MACW 1562; for c/m: Göbl, Dokumente KM 103. VF, pale gold plug on neck.

This type is remarkable for being trilingual – carrying legends in Greco-Baktrian, Pahlavi, and Brahmi – and speaks to the growing influence of the issuing body. Even more unusual, however, is the modification that so many of these coins later received. In addition to being countermarked, and presumably at the same time as the application of the countermark, the majority of these coins were holed and filled with either a debased gold, or less often, a copper plug. The reason for the unprecedented procedure is unclear. It was perhaps undertaken in an effort to raise the value of the coins.