Description of coins
The coins of the Sassanid dynasty were rather big, thin and silver plates. The obverse featured the portrait of the Sassanid ruler, while the reverse showed two warriors, the keepers of the fire. The inscriptions were in Pahlavi language.
Obverses of silver Sasanian drachmae
Thus, Sassanid drachmas had come into circulation in Armenia, simultaneously with Roman coins, while the Parthian coins became obsolete. The coins of Artashesian dynasty could also be found, especially those of Tigran the Great, who was remembered even after his death. Some sources say that Sassanids had gold and copper coins as well, however such were not found in the territory of Armenia, unlike numerous silver drachmas.
In the 7th century, the Sassanid Empire fell under the pressure from the Arab Caliphate, which conquered Transcaucasia as well. Coinage was started by theUmayyad dynasty rulers, who did not drastically change the appearance of the coins, only adding some inscriptions to them. These coins were called Arab-Sassanid and Arab-Byzantine coins, which became a transitional link to the coins of the Arab Caliphate.
After the Arab Caliphate conquered Transcaucasia, an area called Arminia was formed, mostly occupying the territory of the historical Armenia. Dvin was the administrative center, where coins were minted.
Description of coins The gold coins of the Caliphate, dinars, were minted in a limited number and were not used in Armenia, while silver dirhams and copper fels (folles) were in circulation not only in the Caliphate but also in the territory of neighboring states. The coin featured the date and the name of the city where it was minted.
The Central Bank of Armenia possesses a unique Umayyad gold dinar.
Gold Umayyad denarius
As to the Byzantine period, there were gold, silver and copper coins.
Description of coins The Byzantine coins had the image of Jesus Christ, emperors and members of the imperial family, Christian symbols in the form of crosses, as well as inscriptions in Greek.
Byzantine Emperor Constantine VIII gold coin
The material was prepared in cooperation with Gevorg Mughalyan, the numismatist of the Central Bank of Armenia.