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Research Coins: The Coin Shop

 
503625
503625. Sold For $1975

KINGS of ELYMAIS. Kamnaskires V. Circa 54/3-33/2 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30mm, 14.61 g, 12h). Seleukeia on the Hedyphon mint. Dated SE 265 (48/7 BC). Diademed bust of Kamnaskires left; to right, star above anchor / BACIΛEΩC above, KAΠNACKIPOY to right, TOY BACIΛEΩC to left, KAΠNACKIPOY below, diademed male bust left; (retrograde Σ)ΞE (date) in exergue. van’t Haaff Type 9.1.1-3 (date unlisted); cf. Alram 463 (for type); Sunrise 479 var. (date). Superb EF, slightly double struck . Great metal.


The Kingdom of Elymais flourished along the upper portion of the Persian Gulf in present-day Susiana (Iran) from circa 188 BC to the third century AD, at various times subject to the Seleukid and Parthian Empires. The ancient name for the region, Elam, is often referenced in the Bible; its people apparently spoke a variation of ancient Elamite, using Aramaic letters in their inscriptions. Its ruling dynasty, the Kamnaskirids, produced attractive coins on the Hellenistic model, eventually including Parthian elements. Next to nothing is known about the rulers, save what can be gleaned from the coinage; even the identity and numbering of the kings is disputed. This impressive tetradrachm depicts Kamnaskires somewhat differently than contemporary Parthian kings, with a broader diadem and more elaborate clothing, including an unusual raised ring around his upper shoulder. The anchor behind the royal bust originated as a Seleukid symbol.