TURKO-HEPHTHALITE countermarked drachm 7th century AD


TURKO-HEPHTHALITE, Western Pakistan, drachm, no date (circa 600-700 AD), Obverse: Sasanid drachm of Khusru I year 39 RD mint with a bird countermark on the obverse near the edge, silver, 28mm, 3.15g, MA1399v, 2 deep gouges on reverse margin, F

1 in stock


According to Mitchiner the more typical description of these countermarked coins as “Hephthalite” must be incorrect because the dates of the undercoins are too late, therefore they must be what are called “Turko-Hephthalite,” meaning the ruling strata at the time was Turks using the Hephthalites as local muscle.

The Hephthalites were the eastern component of the people who, in Europe, were called “Huns.” They are sometimes referred to as “White Huns.” Some of the Hephthalite coins of Afghanistan-Pakistan region have the word “HONO” on them. On the other hand, there is a faction amongst the historians who claim that we really have no idea who any of those people were, let alone if they were related to each other. There seems to be a general feeling that the Huns, or the Hephthalites, or the people the Chinese called Xiong Nu, and other scholars called “Chionites,” were more Iranic than Turkic.

The earliest ancient Indian coins were the “bent bar” punchmarked silvers of the Achaemenid Persians occupying Gandhara in northwest Pakistan. By the 3rd century BC coins were in general use in most of India and Ceylon, and in subsequent centuries struck round coins in gold, silver, and copper came into use throughout the subcontinent and beyond to Southeast Asia and Pacific islands to Java and beyond.