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Later Parthian Drachms with "Rounded Beards"

Identifying Look-alike Parthian Drachms

There are two main groups of "rounded beard" drachms which can be immediately separated based on diadem pendant count of the obverse portrait. The drachms of Vardanes II are identified by five pendants from the diadem, while Vardanes I and Vologases III have only three pendants. The number of pendants can be clearly discerned on these example photos:

Five pendants Three pendants
PDC 72 PDC 2381

Group I: Five pendants
Group II: Three pendants


Group I: The Drachms of
Vardanes II (c. A.D. 55 - 58)

The drachms of Vardanes II (type 69) always have five pendants attached to the diadem of the obverse portrait. The beard is semicircular or quadrant shaped.


Group II: Differentiating the Drachms of
Vardanes I (c. A.D. 40 - 47) and Vologases III (c. A.D. 105 - 147)

These drachms always have three pendants attached to the diadem of the obverse portrait. All Vardanes I (type 64) and one subtype of Vologases III (type 78.1) drachms have a short and somewhat rounded or quadrant-shaped beard. To differentiate them:


This page last updated 13 Apr 2008

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Online since 28 March 1998
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