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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 1074. Estimate $1000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004. 
Sold For $2200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

POST-SASANIAN. Anonymous Christian Bishops in the Caspian Region. Circa 651-705 AD. Æ Fals (2.68 gm). Uncertain mint. Sasanian style bust right, wearing crown with diadem and central cross; Pahlavi legend lwb'k (= current) / Cross on globe; Pahlavi legend partially legible as 'pskwpws(= episkopoV=bishop). Gyselen type 90; Walker -. MACW -. VF, dark brown patina with earthen highlights. Extremely rare; possibly the second or third known specimen. ($1000)

Christianity made early inroads into Persia, the Caucasus, and central Asia. The kingdoms of Armenia and Georgia converted in the 4th century, and both Christians and Jews were generally welcome in the lands controlled by the Persians. Groups engaged in trade travelled along the Silk Road as far as China and set up their own communities along the way. It can be assumed that this fascinating small copper coin was struck by an isolated eastern Christian bishopric in the aftermath of the Sasanian collapse in the face of Arab invaders. An important document of early Christian history.