Origin: These silver obols were struck by a sub-kingdom of the Parthian Empire known as the Kingdom of Persis. Each features the bust of a king on the obverse, with either Aramaic inscription or a fire altar on the reverse.
The Parthian Empire covered most of the Middle East at it's greatest extent, nearly stretching from the Mediterranean to the Indian subcontinent. It was a major political power for nearly 500 years, acting as a center of trade and commerce along the Silk Road. The influence of Greek culture still existed in the region long after Alexander the Great's Middle Eastern campaign, but Islam still wouldn't arrive in the region for a few more centuries. The Parthians were frequently at war with their western neighbors, such as the Seleucids, the Scythians, and eventually the late Roman Empire. However, much of the empire's history is only known through external sources as few Parthian writings survive—making the study of coins like these all the more useful to understanding the period.
These silver coins of the Kingdom of Persis are obols, which were worth one sixth of a drachm. They are dated 223 BC - 200 AD, and feature the image of various kings from the time period. Each includes a Certificate of Authenticity and is guaranteed genuine.
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A Parthian temple in the ancient city of Uruk in modern day Iraq (via Wikimedia)
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