Mithradates II AR Drachm, EF, HUMONGOUS flan - strange dies, see notes, 123 - 88 B.C.E.

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MITHRADATES II AR DRACHM, 123 - 88 B.C.E.

Sellwood 26, Extremely Fine, slightly porous, 23.6mm !!, 4.01 grams

Obverse: Long bearded, diademed bust of Mithradates to left

Reverse:Beardless archer wearing bashlyk and cloak seated right, holding bow in right hand, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ  around

Sharp example on a HUMONGOUS 23.6mm (at widest) flan!! It seems that this is a strange and not regular die. Typical drachms of this ruler are well centered and fully contained within the typical 19-20mm and sometimes also partially show the border of dots. This flan is atypical and extremely large and yet the portrait is barely contained and one can make out the border of dots at the top only and at the very edge. Apparently this die was cut for a flan of about 25mm +/-, too small for a Tetradrachm and too large for a drachm. Perhaps that is why the mint worker stretched the flan size while keeping the weight consistent. In any case, a very interesting coin!

(During the Tannaic Period Parthia is the country known as Babylon in the Mishna - Talmud)