From WikiSpaces: Beginning with the Achaemenian Dynasty and the leadership of King Darius I, the Persian Empire was able to demonstrate an impressive and unique artistic style and technique. During the Sasanian period (from which this coin comes), Persians were able to improve artwork. Coins and glass objects provide evidence for this transition and reveal the changes that the Persian Empire went through after the collapse of the Sasanian dynasty. Sasanian coins can be described as original works of art, unique and distinctive to the Persian Empire. Coinage at the end of the Sasanian period was mainly characterized by the royal portrait, inscription in Pahlavi around the king’s face, and the Zoroastrian fire-altar on the reverse. All of these visual aspects were soon impacted by the transition to Islam.
These coins come from ancient Iran before Islam took hold there. They show a king on the front and a 'fire altar' with attendants on the back. Several varieties exist. This page gives general guidance for all varieties that look like our picture.
There are two primary denominations, determined by weight, not by diameter and thickness:
DRACM: 3.5 to 4.5 grams
HEMIDRACHM (i.e., one-half drachm): 1.8 to 2.2 grams
The actual denomination (drachm or hemidrachm) does not affect value very much. The primary factors are eye appeal and lack of damage. Damage includes stains, scratches, cleanings, spots, nicks, and gouges. Very approximatey:
worn: $50 US dollar approximate catalog value
average circulated: $150
well preserved: $500
Requester Anita's coin is shown in the secondary picture to the right. The fire altar is attractive and clearly seen and there appears to be no damage. Our guess is that Anita's coin would sell to a collector at about $100 and to a coin dealer for about $50.
If you have a Sasanian drachm, be sure to contact a knowledgeable collector or professional coin dealer for an in-person appraisal.