Gold Coins
Greek Gold Coins
index greek roman
other ancients byzantine medieval angel early modern modern
and
british Indian
royal
and
coronation gold

 

art
nouveau gold

 

art
nouveau silver

coronation

silver

Greek Gold Coins

Coinage was invented in the seventh century BCE in the Black Sea region northeast of Greece, where the alluvial flow of gold and silver mixed together yeilded the metal known as electrum. Gold and Silver had been used by the earliest Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations as a store of wealth, and a medium of trade. But this naturally occuring electrum was first coined by the kings of Lydia, Miletos, Ephesos, Phokia, and then Lesbos and Kyzykos.

These coins undoubtedly were responsible for a boom in trade both between city-states, and in the rapid escalation of local markets. Herodutus famously refered to the Lydians as a nation of shopkeepers.

The largest unit of trade was the "Stater" which was a translation of the semitic "Shekel," a unit of weight used in the semitic East. Weights varied from between 14 and 16 grams according to local standards. These staters were broken down into trites (thirds) hektes (sixths) and various smaller units.

Croesus of Lydia was the first king to separate the electrum to issue gold and silver coins circa 545 BCE. He was conquered by Darios of Persia who issued his own gold and silver coinage. Coinage spread quickly in the early fifth century BCE through the Greek city states. Most of the trade coinage was silver, while gold was most often reserved for emergency issues associated with war.

THE COINS: The Dawn of Coinage: click on the coins to see the image enlarged.

Grading: Ancient coins are works of art; no two are alike, and a grade is just a subjective guideline. At the same time, I credit NGC with developing a nuanced grading system that tends to give a more comprehensive grade than a simple numerical value. Still, it is important to remember that coins of exactly the same grade can differ greatly on account of style and die state.

"Fine Style" coins are often recognized by this notation. In all art, style is at least as important as condition. Ancient celators (die engravers) ranged from journeymen who simply knew how to operate the equipment to world famous artists hired expressly to dignifiy particular issues. For obvious reasons, great works of art are valued differently than pedestrian utilitarian issues.

POR: Price on Request. The reason so many Greek gold coins are marked as POR is that in very high grade Greek gold is excessively rare by the standards of all other coinage. Market conditions are very volatile. At times even a single wealthy buyer can greatly affect prices. It can been difficult to gauge replacement costs. If I can get duplicates in stock I may wish to lower prices. If coins suddenly become the object of collector frenzies I may wish to raise prices. But at all times my pricing is reflective of replacement cost.

ARCHAIC GREEK COINS: LYDIA AND THE INVENTION OF COINAGE. The greatest invention of Western History is undoubtedly Alphbetic writing, without which there would not be western history. It was invented by the Phoencians in about 1000 BCE. By the late eighth century this writing had spread through the entire fertile crescent, up into the Black Sea Region and down into Greece.

In the 7th Century BCE, the Black Sea Region was dominated by the Lydian Empire. The Kings of Lydia, (most probably Ardys) eventually made use of this writing in combination with the image of the Lion, symbol of the Royal House, to invent the first coinage. They used Electrum, a naturally occuring gold and silver alloy found in the River Patroclus, though more recent studies have suggested that they intentionally fabricated the electrum.

My own theory regarding the earliest inscribed coins of Lydia is that they bear Phoenician lettering copied from seals used in trade from the fertile cresecent. These seals bore the inscription LMLK: "Of The King" insribed on exported jugs of wine and olive oil. The inscription served to certify weight and purity along with the issuing authority. Some rare Lydian coins bear this LMLK inscription. It was natural to then use the name of King: YRDYS (ARDYS). That is the inscription on the coins below. Again, this is only my theory. The more common interpretation is to read the inscription as "Walwet" though this interpretation uses a Lydian alphabet which would not have been codified for another 200 years.

The fact is, there is very little extant alphabetic writing from the 10th through the 6th centuries. (the great libraries of the period were all cuneiform) Most examples are fragments residing on shards of clay, (ostraca), or seals, weights, and amulets. The inscribed coins of the 7th - 6th centuries are some of the few extant documents from this period.

KINGS OF LYDIA. ARDYS Circa 650-620 BCE.

EL Trite 1/3 stater (4.77g)Sardes mint. Head of roaring lion right, YRDYS in Phoenician lettering/ Double square incuse punch. Weidauer 91. Le Rider, La naissance de la monnaie, pp. 49-57.

Remarkably complete specimen of history's first inscribed coin - on a large flan, with minimal die rust, and a perfectly full legible inscription. One of very few specimens with the snout of an opposing lion visible rt. An altogether superior example of this extremely rare issue, and of the highest historical significance.

NGC graded CH XF ** Str 5/5,
Surf 5/5..................................POR

KINGS OF LYDIA. ARDYS Circa 650-620 BCE.

EL Trite 1/3 stater (4.77g) Sardes mint. Head of roaring lion right, YRDYS in Phoenician lettering/ Double square incuse punch. Weidauer 91-2. SNG Von Auluck 8204.

Very Sharp strike with clear letters and clean surfaces. An altogether superior example of this extremely rare issue, and of the highest historical significance.

NGC graded AU, Str 5/5 surf 5/5
POR

KINGS OF LYDIA. ARDYS Circa 650-620 BCE.

El Hekte (2.34gm) Head of roaring lion right, YRDYS in Phoenician lettering/ Double square incuse punch.

Decent example of the world's first inscribed coinage, with letters visible, and a clearer image than most often encountered in this denomination.

NGC graded Ch XF strk 5/5 surf 4/5
$2600

KINGS of LYDIA. temp. Alyattes – Kroisos. Circa 610-546 BC.

EL Trite – Third Stater (13mm, 4.72 g). Sardes mint. Head of roaring lion right, sun with multiple rays on forehead / Two incuse square punches. Weidauer Group XVI, 86–9; Traité I 44; SNG Kayhan 1013; SNG von Aulock 2868–9; Rosen 655-6. Toned with a remarkable style and strike and from fresh dies. Certainly amongst the finest extant.

NGC graded CH AU ** strk 5/5 surf 4/5..........................................POR

KINGS of LYDIA. temp. Alyattes – Kroisos. Circa 610-546 BC.

EL Trite – Third Stater (13mm, 4.72 g). Sardes mint. Head of roaring lion right, sun with multiple rays on forehead / Two incuse square punches. Weidauer Group XVI, 69; Rosen 653 var. Another perfectly struck and remarkably well preserved specimen of the first widely circulated coin in history.

NGC graded CH AU ** Strk 5/5 Surf 5/5...................................reserved

KINGS OF LYDIA, Croesus. Circa 561-546 BC. AV Stater (8.05 gm). Time of Croesus. Light Series.

Confronted foreparts of lion facing right and bull facing left, both with straight legs / Two square incuse punches. A magnificent example of the first gold coinage in world history. And certainly amongst the finest extant.

Boston MFA 2073; Dewing 2431; SNG von Aulock 2875.

NGC Graded: CHOICE MINT STATE Strike 5/5, surface 5/5......POR

KINGS OF LYDIA. Croesus, 561-546 BC. AV Stater. (8.09 g) time of Croesus to Kambyses 561-525

Roaring lion confronting bull/ two incuse punches. A magnificent example of the first gold coinage in world history. And certainly amongst the finest extant.

Boston 2073; SNG Berry 1138
.
NGC Graded: CHOICE MINT STATE, strike 5/5, surface 5/5...................POR

Though electrum coinage seems to have been invented in Lydia, the surrounding Black Sea States of Ephesus, Phokaea, Miletos, Lesbos, Erythraea, Samos all produced electrum coinage, though none in comparable quantities to tht of Kyzikos. The celebrated electrum coinage of Kyzikos began in the first half of the sixth century, and from the beginning the coinage was notable for the variety and inventiveness of its designs. These staters and fractions were regarded as gold coins and circulated throughout a large area along with the gold staters of Lydia and then the gold darics of the Persian Empire. On all of the coins of Kyzikos, large or small, was engraved the tunny-fish (θυννος), which constituted an important product in the Kyzikene maritime economy
   

MYSIA, Kyzikos. Circa 550-500 BC.

EL Stater (19mm, 16.16 g). Head of lion left; behind, tunny upward / Quadripartite incuse square. Von Fritze I 39; Boston MFA 1414; SNG von Aulock 7272; SNG France 178. Striking Archaic lion, roughly contemporary to the Lydian Lion, though considerably more serene..

Lightly toned. Among the finest known for this issue.


THE SIVA/SILENOS HEKTE: There is no doubt that the first wave of settlers who conquered Crete and then Greece were Siva-worshipping fertililty cultists from the Indus Valley. Their God, Siva, became Dio-Nysus (the God of Nysus - the birhplace of Shiva). The Dionyisiac religion was later incorporated into the Sky-God religion of the Aryan speaking tribes that flooded into Macedonia and then Greece in waves starting around 1200 BCE.

The Hekte below bears a portrait of Silenos: Dionysus' alter ego, portayed with a clear Third Eye in the middle of his forehead - linking Dionysus direclty to Siva. This very rare archaic masterpiece clearly demonstrates the importance of coinage as documentation of an era from which very little writing has survived.

Ionia, Phokaia Circa 480-450 BC

EL Hekte. (2.52g) Facing bearded head of Silenos, with third eye in the middle of his forehead/ quadripartite incuse square. Bodenstedt 43 Very rare and of great historical interest.

NGC graded AU, strike 4/5 Surf, 5/5
sold

The Aechemenid or Persian Empire was forged by Cyrus the Great (biblical liberator of the Jews of the Babylonian captivity). In about 550 BCE, Cyrus I conquered Croesus of Lydia, and adopted his system of gold and silver coinage. The Persian Empire dominated three continents spanning from Parthia and Bactria (modern day India) through Mesopotamia to the Black Sea Region and down through the Fertile Crescent.

Around 505 BCE the Persian king Darios I decided to inaugurate a gold coinage bearing his own types, rather than continuing to use those of Kroisos of Lydia. These new coins, called Darics (meaning, literally, 'Of the King' - the same LMLK inscription that traveled from the fertile crescent to Lydia) - bore a generalized portrait of the Persian king. The earliest, which employs an image of the King shooting an arrow, is very rare; though a tiny horde has been recently discovered.. This coin financed Darios' war with Greece. Later types must have been produced in enormous numbers, and were surely the reserve currency' of the 5th and 4th centuries BCE.

The last Achemenid King, Darios III, was conquered by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE. With the fall of Persia to Alexander, the vast majority of the then existing darics were surely melted down to supply bullion for Alexander’s own gold staters.

PERSIA. Achaemenid Empire. Darius I - (ca. 505-480 BC).

AV daric (8.34 gm).  Great King in kneeling-running stance right, drawing back bow and preparing to shoot arrow / Rectangular incuse punch with irregular interior surface. CarradiceType II (pl. XI, 11) BMC Arabia -; SNG Copenhagen -.extremely rare, especially in this condition. This is the finest and most detailed die of this very rare series, most desirable with fully realized face and with arrows visible in the quiver, an arrow on the bow, and a full bow on the flan.

NGC graded MS strike 4/5 surf 4/5
POR

Persia, Achaemenid Empire. Time of Ataxerxes to Xerxes II circa 455-420

Daric AV (8.32 g). The Great King advancing r., holding dagger and bow. Rev. Oblong incuse. BMC 109. Carradice 32. Rare issue.

NGC graded MS: Str 4/5 surf 5/5
sold

Persia, Achaemenid Empire. Time of Darius I - Xerxes II (ca. 485-420 BC);

AV-Daric (8,35 g) . Great king running with spear and bow // Incuse. Carradice Type IIIb A/B though the strike is weak on the spear arm, the state of preservation is exceptional.

NGC graded CH AU Strk 5/5 surf 5/5.........................................$5750

PERSIA. Achaemenid Empire.Time of Darius I - Xerxes II (ca. 485-420 BC);

AV-Daric (8,34 g) . Great king running with spear and bow // Incuse. SNG Berry 1447.
Unusually well detailed, complete and clear image, with a very pleasant style.

NGC graded CH AU** Strk 5/5 Surf 5/5
$7750

PERSIA. Achaemenid Empire.Time of Darius I - Xerxes II (ca. 485-420 BC);

AV-Daric (8,32 g) . Great king running with spear and bow // Incuse. SNG Berry 1447.
Ex Auktion Lanz 66, München 1993, Nr. 345. Unusually well detailed, complete and clear image, with a very pleasant style.

NGC graded CH AU** Strk 5/5 Surf 5/5
sold

MACEDONIA: Philip II of Macedon (359-336 BCE) inherited a war torn country from his brother Pedikas III. From his years as hostage of neighboring Thebes he learned the military strategy based on the phalanx whose manoevers were hidden by rows of warriors bearing "sarissas" - immensely long spears. A gifted warrior and statesmen, Philip, by a combination of strategic alliances and dramatic wars, managed to conquer Macedonia, Illyria, Epirus, Thrace, Thessaly and all of Greece save Sparta. He then set his eyes on Persia, but was murdered on the eve of his planned invasion. His Son Alexander, who was tutored by Aristotle, inherited the throne and conquered Persia and then India, extending his Empire throughout most of the known world.

The gold issues of Alexander the Great consist of Athena/Nike Staters, Di (double) staters, halfs, quarters. After his death his generals, who split up his empire, continued for some time to use the same style stater to confer legitimacy on their own rule.

KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander III the Great, 336-323 BC. AV Distater (17.17 g) Aigai/ pella(?) mint.

Lifetime issue, struck circa 332-323 BC. Head of Athena right, / ALEXANDROU, Nike standing left, vertical thunderbolt in left field, LO monogram below left wing. Price 191; Very Rare. struck in high relief, Certainly amongst the finest, if not the finest extant.

NGC graded CHOICE MINT STATE strike 5/5, surface 5/5...............reserved

KINGS OF MACEDON Alexander III the Great, 336-323 BC. AV stater, (8.52 g.) Early Posthumus Issue

Struck ca. 323-311 BC, Eastern mint, (Babylon?) Obv. Head of Athena with a large Corinthian helmet, snake ornament. Rev. ΒΑSΙΛΕOS [ΑΛ]ΕΞΑΝΔΡ[ΟΥ] Nike standing facing looking to left, holding wreath in right hand and stylis over left shoulder, MI in exterior left field, monogram in wreath below left wing. Price 3748 variety (helmet with snake, not sphinx); A magnificent coin, amongst the finest extant, and of unusually fine style, in high sculptural relief.

NGC graded CHOICE MINT STATE, Strk 5/5, Surf 5/5, Fine Style noted
$14000

After Alexander's Death from fever in Babylon, he was succeded by his half brother Philip III, Arrhideus. Alexander's generals, referred to as his "bodyguards," then split up the empire in a series of wars.. Lysimachus got Thrace. He produced a series of gold staters that became a standard of trade coinage that endured for 300 years. Seleukos Nikator (the victor) won the Eastern Empire, making his capital Antioch; and Ptolemy Soter (the savior) took Egypt. The Seleuked dynasty figures prominently in the old testament Books of the Maccabees. Their gold coinage is quite rare.

Little is known of Philip III. He is thought to have been dim witted, but then so was Claudius, and he turned out to be brilliant. It is probable that he was infirm as he took no part in Alexander's conquests though Alexander was said to have been quite fond of him. Whatever the case, Philip produced an astounding Fine Style coinage borrowing stylisitcally from the coinage of his father Philip II. But instead of a stylized head of Apollo, his master artists at the Kolophon, Abydos and Lampsokos mints engraved magnficent portraits. Some of the most brilliant coins bear the likeness of Alexander the Great. Others, are unidentifed, though clearly modelled after real subjects.

The portrait above from the Lampsakos mint on the Alexander-style stater, bears a striking resemblance to the portrait on the Philip style stater from the same Lampsakos mint below. Could this be Philip III?

KINGS of MACEDON Philip III.
323/317 BCE,

AV Stater (8,54 gm) Lampsakos mint; Head of Apollo with the features of Philip III? //Nike in Biga r., Below head of. Helios and AΠ (mintmark).

Another clear portrait stater from the workshops of Philip III. The reasons behind this startling artistic departure from previous engraving is unknown. Certainly there was a premium on establishing dynastic lineage. And certainly there was an artist or group of artists capable of high quality fine style portraiture. Beyond that, we can only speculate.

Extremely Rare, and a portrait of the finest Hellenistic style. Thompson in Studio Paulo Naster Oblata Pl. VII, 31.

NGC graded AU strk 5/5 surf 5/5 fine style noted......................$11,500

KINGS of MACEDON Philip III. 323-317BCE

AV Stater (8.56 g,). Kolophon mint. circa 323-319 BC. Laureate head of Apollo right, with the features of Alexander the Great/ FILIPPOU, charioteer (Pelops - the derivation of the name Philip) driving biga right, tripod below horses.

Early Alexander portrait. Excessively Rare - the finest of a handful known. Superbly realized with realistic features in high relief, in relation and distinction to the idealized Kolophon portrait below - though, quite possibly by the same artist. A coin of great historical and numismatic interest.

NGC graded Choice AU ** strike 5/5, surf 5/5, fine style noted.............POR

KINGS of MACEDON Philip III. 323-317BCE


AV Stater (8.54 g,). Kolophon mint. circa 323-319 BC. Laureate head of Apollo right, with the features of Alexander the Great/ FILIPPOU, charioteer (Pelops - the derivation of the name Philip) driving biga right, tripod below horses. Thompson, Philip 12, Le Rider pl. 93, 26; with a superb portrait of Alexander. Light surface marks on the reverse only visible through a powerful loop, nevertheless a stunning piece, struck from fresh dies with a wonderful tone. Rare, and certainly one of the finest known..

NGC graded MS: strk 5/5, surf 3/5,
fine style noted......................POR

KINGS of THRACE. Lysimachos. 323-281 BC.

AV Lifetime Stater (8,56g). 297/6 - 282/1 BCE. . Alexandria Troas. Vs.: Alexander Head with Diadem and Ammonshorn n. r. Rs.: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛΥΣIMAXOΥ, Athena with Nike enthronend, Monogramm, Thompson, Lysimachus 143; Müller, Lysimachus ­.

A very rare and unusual fine style early lifetime stater. The portrait is so different from other Alexander portrait staters that it is reasonable to assume the features are conflated with those of Lysimachos (as, later, the Romans did regularly with their coinage to emphazise legitimacy of succession.) The Troas mint being very near the Kolophon and Lampsakos mints, it is also reasonable to assume that some of the same remarkable portrait artists could have been employed.

Ex B.C. Prichard Collection, Sotheby's & Co., 21st Febr. 1929, 52; ex Rous Collection Bourgey, 29. Mai 1911, 75.

NGC graded CH AU strk 5/5, surf 4/5
POR

KINGS of THRACE. Lysimachos. 323-281 BC.

AV Stater (8.39 gm). Byzantium mint 225-205 BC. Diademed head of deified Alexander right, wearing horn of Ammon / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛΥΣIMAXOΥ, Athena seated left, holding Nike, with shield, spear behind; SNG COP 1086. Superb portrait of Alexander the Great - clearly from a contemporary marble. Extremely rare.

NGC graded: CH AU, strike 5/5, surf 4/5, fine style noted, rev marks noted.
POR

KINGS of THRACE. Lysimachos. 323-281 BC.

AV Stater (8.34g) Byzantium mint ca 120-100 BC.. Obv: Deified diademed Alexander, Rev BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛΥΣIMAXOΥ, Athena seated left, holding Nike, with shield, spear behind; BY on throne Φ K Monogram in field.

Unlisted in Callatay, and part of a small new horde containing this issue struck under Mithridates VI for his war against Rome. Of far finer styler than most of this typically crude issue.

NGC Graded AU, strk 5/5, surf 3/5
sold

In about 255 BCE, Diodotus, Satrap of the Northern Indian province known as Baktria seceded from the Seleukid Empire ruled by Antiochus II. At first he struck coins in the name of Antiochus II, and later in his own name. There are no contemporary sources for this historical event other than the coins. All the Baktrian gold coins were extremely rare until a horde came to light about 12 years ago. For mysterious reasons, almost all the coins were marked by test cuts, most often right on the head of Diodotus. Most of the horde has long since been assimilated and coins in mint condition without the test cut are extremely rare.

Kingdom of Baktria, Diodotus I 255-235 BC

AV Stater (8.28gm) In the name of Antiochus II. first Diodotic mint in Eastern Asia (Aï Khanoum) circa 250-235, AV 8.29 g. Diademed of Diotus I r. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ − ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ Zeus advancing l., hurling thunderbolt and with aegis draped on extended r. arm; at his feet, eagle l. Bopearachchi serie 1a. Seleucid Coins 629.2. Beautiful style and very rare in this condition and without a test cut.

NGC graded MS ** Strk 5/5 Suf 4/5
Fine Style noted......................POR

PTOLEMAIC EGYPT: After the death of Alexander the Great, his generals (referred to as his bodyguards) split up his empire in a series of wars. Lysimachus got Thrace. He produced a series of gold staters that became a standard of trade coinage that endured for 300 years. Seleukos Nikator (the victor) won the Eastern Empire, making his capital Antioch; and Ptolemy Soter (the savior) took Egypt. The Seleuked dynasty figures prominently in the old testament Books of the Maccabees. Their gold coinage is quite rare.
The Ptolemies presided over a tremendous period of cultural prosperity that included the founding of the college at Alexandria, which hosted the brightest scholars and philosophers of the day, and the famed library which imported and commissioned copies of all the important literature of the era, including the translation of the Old Testament know as the Septuagint. This translation provides us with the earliest extant version of the five Books of Moses (Pentateuch). Ptolemy I himself wrote the difinitve history of Alexander's campaigns.
The Ptolemies produced a prolific gold coinage, as Egypt lay in the center of the trade route that included the gold mines of Guinea West Africa, and Kush (Auxum/Ethiopia). Yet their coinage seems to have been used exclusively within Egypt.

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. 305-282 BC. AV Trichryson – 'Pentadrachm' (17.86 g,). Alexandreia mint. Struck circa 294-285 BC. Diademed head of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis around neck, small Δ behind ear / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, Eagle standing left on thunderbolt; monogram to left. Svoronos 210; SNG Copenhagen –; Noeske –; Boston MFA 2263; Dewing 2740. Of the finest style and rare.

NGC Graded: AU, Strk 5/5, Surf: 4/5
Fine style noted. Artist's signature noted.
...................................POR

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy II Philadelphos, Arsinöe II. 285-246 BC. AV Oktadrachm (27,77 g.) struck after 265, Alexandria mint.

ADELFWN Busts of Ptolemy II, draped and diademed and bust of Arsinoe II, veiled and diademed, jugate to r. Rev. QEWN Draped and diademed bust of Ptolemy I and veiled and diademed bust of Berenice I, jugate to r. Svoronos 603. SNG Cop. 132. Superb style and strike in high sculptural relief. Extremely rare in this state of preservation.

NGC Graded: Mint State, str 5/5, surf 4/5, fine style noted..........Sold

WESTERN GREEK GOLD: As mentioned, western Greek Gold, was often a product of emergency war issues, minted to pay off armies. Carthage, Epirus, Syracuse, and Calabria all minted gold pieces, often in conjunction with wars waged against a new rising power in the region: Rome.

Dionysus I of Syracuse (432-367 BCE) engaged in numerous wars during his long reign. He was reputed to be a bloodthirsty tyrant of literary and artistic pretensions. He invited Plato and Philistus to his court; he wrote his own plays and poetry, and he hired the greatest artists of the day to carve dies for his coinage. Among the most beautiful acheivements of clasical Greek art are some of the dies carved by Euainetos such as the 100 litrae featured below:

SICILY, Syracuse, Dionysus I
405-367 BCE

AV 100 Litrae (5.79g) 405-400 BCE obv: Head of Arethustra with triple pendant, earing, and necklace. Hair ornamented with stars, star behind ear. Rev: Herakles strangling the Nemean lion. Berend 40, SNG ANS 337, Delepierre 687. High relief dies in the finest style of - but not signed by - Euainetos. Extremely rare in MS. One of the most beautiful coins ever minted, in extraordinary condition.

NGC graded Mint State, strike 5/5, surf 3/5, fine style noted............ POR

SICILY, Syracuse. Timoleon and the Third Democracy. (344-335 BC).

AV Hemidrachm / 30 Litrae (2.15 g)
Obv: [ZEY]Σ EΛEY[ΘEPIOΣ]
Laureate head of Zeus left.
Rev: ΣYPAKOΣIΩN.
Pegasos flying right, A in left field. Three dots below. SNG ANS 493.

An artwork of the finest Hellenistic style. As nice as this coin comes, and certainly amongst the finest extant. Remarkably well struck on both sides.

NCG graded AU strk 5/5 surf 5/5,
fine style noted....................POR

SICILY, Syracuse. Agathokles. 317-289 BC.

AV Tetrobol – Dekadrachm (2.83 g,). Struck circa 305-289 BC. Head of Apollo left, wearing laurel wreath / Charioteer, driving galloping biga right; triskeles below horses, monogram in exergue. Bérend, l’or pl. 9, 11; BAR Issue 30; SNG ANS 706 var. (Φ in exergue); SNG Lloyd 1474 var. (T in exergue); Jameson 859 var. (Φ in exergue); Gulbenkian 33.

Ex James A. Ferrendelli Collection Triton VI. Very rare, and certainly amongst the finest extant.

NGC Graded: CH AU **, strike 5/5, surf 4/5, fine style noted ..... $12,500

SICILY. Syracuse. Hiketas. 287-278 B.C.

AV Dekadrachm (60 Litrae) (4.28 gms), Sicily, Hiketas (288-278), ΣYRAKOΣIΩN, head of Persephone l., wearing wreath of grain, earrings and necklace; at r., cornucopiae, Rv. Nike driving fast biga r.; above, O, below Θ, in ex., EΠIKETA. SNG Copenhagen 798; SNG ANS 778 . Of fine style and notably lacking in the die rust, die flaws, and double striking that typically plague this issue.

NGC Graded AU str 5/5, surf 4/5
fine style noted
....................sold

Carthage was founded by Semitic Phoenician (Punic) traders around 700 BCE. About 300 years earlier The Phoenicians had developed the single greatest invention in Western History: the Alpahbetic system of writing. This Alphabet was quickly adopted by both the Aryan speaking tribes of Greece and the Black Sea (from whom we get Greek and then Latin) and the Semitic tribes of the Fertile Crescent (from whom we get Hebrew and the Arabic languages.) In one of the great ironies of history, because the Phoenecians used this language primarily for practical accounting purposes, we know relatively little about this brilliant civilization, whereas their cousins to the South - the Judaeans (whose language, customs, city planning, art and religion were manifestly similar) - adopted the system of writing and created a narrative literature that captured the imagination of people down to this day.

Through a quirk of linguistic fate, the Judaeans called their God 'El,' rather than the Phoenecian 'Baal,' and then the Aramaic speaking Arabs called their God 'Elah' - distinctions that formed the justification for thousands of years of bloody tribal conflict.

By the third century BCE, enriched by control of the gold trade from Senegal, Guinea and Kush, Carthage had become a military powerhouse of the Southern Mediteranean. The Punic goddess Tanit\Astarte (the consort of Baal) and the horse had become the standard types of Carthaginian coinage and remained so for the balance of the city’s existence. Tanit is always depicted on the coinage wearing a wreath of grain just like her Greek counterpart Demeter.

Carthage waged a series of successful wars in Sicily and Italy ( notably under Hannibal - or Hani-baal) until it was destroyed in 146 BCE after the third Punic War by the Romans.

CARTHAGE. Circa 350-320 BC.

AV Stater ( 9.39 g ). Early issue circa 350
Head of Tanit to left, wearing grain wreath, triple-pendant earring and a pearl necklace with eight pendants. Rev. Horse standing to right; before his hooves to right, three pellets. Jenkins & Lewis Group IIIg, 57 (same obverse die, and possibly the same reverse die as well). superbly detailed and well struck on a broad flan, with a beautiful early style that was copied by the artists of the trihemistater . (ex-Nomos AG - graded good EF) - appears to be mint state/ as struck. Very rare.

NGC graded CH AU , strk 5/5, surf 4/5
$ 15,500

Zeugitana. Carthage. c. 350-320 BC.

AV Stater, (9.51g). Head of Tanit to left, wearing grain wreath, triple-pendant earring and a pearl necklace with eight pendants. Rev. Horse standing to right; before his hooves to right, three pellets.

A remarkable example of the finest style - struck from fresh dies and the same dies - and condition - as the cover coin of NGSA 7. Jenkins-Lewis, 82 (groupe IIIh).

NGC graded MS ** strk 5/5, surf 3/5 fine style noted.......................POR

The interesting coin below was first explicated by Erasmus of Rotterdam in 1520. It clearly imitates a silver denarius of Brutus and the "B" in front of the lictor on the obverse reencforces the prevalent view that this was an issue by Brutus' Allies in Scythia to help pay mercenaries in Brutus' army in the Roman Civil Wars that followed the murder of Julius Caesar.

SKYTHIA, Geto-Dacians. Koson. Mid 1st century BC. AV Stater (20mm, 8.37 g, 12h). Roman consul accompanied by two lictors; monogram to left; KOΣΩΝ in exergue / Eagle standing left on scepter, with wings displayed, holding wreath in talon. Iliescu pl. II, 1; RPC I 1701; BMC 1.

very rare with the Ch Ms Star grade

NGC graded: CHOICE MS ** Strk 5/5, surf 5/5 ....................................$3600


For info, comments, purchase requests contact: Jeff Kahn at Jkahn21@nyc.rr.com
Rare Gold Coins | Greek Gold Coins | Medieval Gold Coins | Roman Gold Coins