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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Greece||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Greece

Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

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The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH91292. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, VF, well centered, bold strike, high relief, light tone, flow lines, light marks, weight 17.196 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 90o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; ex Numismatic Lanz; $1530.00 (€1346.40)


Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece, c. 525 - 485 B.C.

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The turtle coin type is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors because Aegina was probably the first place in Europe to issue coinage.
SH91204. Silver stater, Meadows Aegina group IIb; Asyut group IVb; BMC Attica p. 127, 10; SNG Delepierre 1509; SNG Mün 532; Dewing 1657; HGC 6 429 (S); SNG Cop -, VF, light toning, die wear, a little off center on a crowded flan, banker's marks, scratches, weight 12.018 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, Aigina mint, c. 525 - 485 B.C.; obverse sea turtle, head in profile, straight raised heavy collar, smooth shell with a row of pellets down center, countermark on shell; reverse square divided by wide bands into eight triangular compartments, every other compartment a deep incuse (mill sail pattern); very scarce type; $600.00 (€528.00)


Mopsion, Thessaly, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Mopsion issued only bronze coins, and only c. 350 - 300 B.C. In Nomos 4, BCD notes, "The bronzes of Mopsion are practically impossible to find in nice condition and without flaws or corrosion. They are also very rare and desirable because of the their spectacularly eloquent reverse. The nicest one to come up for auction realized $18,000..."

Mopsion, in the Peneus valley half way between Larissa and Tempe, took its name from the Lapith Mopsos, a son of Ampyx. Mopsos learned augury from Apollo, understood the language of birds, and became an Argonaut seer. As depicted on this coin, he was one of the Lapiths who defeated the Centaurs. This battle was a favorite subject of Greek art. While fleeing across the Libyan desert from angry sisters of the slain Gorgon Medusa, Mopsos died from the bite of a viper that had grown from a drop of Medusa's blood. Medea was unable to save him, even by magical means. The Argonauts buried him with a monument by the sea, and a temple was later erected on the site.
GB87120. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly II 484, BCD Thessaly I 1210, Rogers 412, McClean 4648, HGC 4 537 (R2), SNG Cop -, Pozzi -, BMC Thessaly -, gF, dark garnet and black patina, well centered, a little rough, weight 8.082 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, Mopsion (Bakraina(?), Greece) mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus facing slightly right, vertical thunderbolt to right; reverse MOΨ-EI-ΩN, Lapith Mopsos standing facing, nude, his head turned right, raising club in right hand and extending his left hand, fighting centaur that is rearing left and raising a bolder over its head with both hands preparing to throw it; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "HK ex Thess., April 02, $275.-"; very rare; $450.00 (€396.00)


Macedonian Kingdom, Kassander - Antigonos II Gonatas, 310 - 275 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander the Great

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This coin was struck during a chaotic time when the Greece and Anatolia were the battlegrounds of Alexander's successors. The old men, once comrades in Alexander's army, along with their children, fought each other to death to expand their kingdoms. Cities, such as Lampsacus, in territory that might change hands after the next battle, struck coins in the types and name of Alexander, perhaps as much to maintain neutrality and some continuity, as to honor the deified king.
GS91302. Silver tetradrachm, Price 866, Müller Alexander 914, SNG München 395, Meydancikkale 492 - 495, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, well centered, somewhat crude style, mild die wear, light scratches, weight 17.065 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, Greece or Macedonia, uncertain mint, 310 - 275 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Pegasos forepart left in lower left field, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; $350.00 (€308.00)


Itanos, Crete, c. 320 - 270 B.C.

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The ancient Itanos was one of the strongest cities in Crete in Hellenistic and Roman times. The city flourished due to fishing, and its trade in glass and Tyrian purple die. Koufonissi Island, owned by Itanos, was famous the purple die made from shellfish. The nearby temple of Diktaean Zeus also brought pilgrims and the tourist trade. An earthquake in 795 precipitated a significant decline. An Arab attack in the 9th century destroyed much of the city, but Itanos was not abandoned until the 15th century, when successive Arab raids forced its residents to abandon the coast and move inland.
GB92189. Bronze AE 17, Svoronos Numismatique 42, SNG Cop -, BMC Crete -, F, brown patina, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 2.987 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, Itanos (near Paalekastro, Eastern Crete) mint, c. 320 - 270 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena left; reverse sixteen-pointed star with pellet-in-annulet at center; ex CNG e-auction 246 (15 Dec 2010), lot 84; only two sales of this type (and one is this coin) recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $300.00 (€264.00)


Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece, c. 510 - 490 B.C.

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The turtle coin type is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors because Aegina was probably the first place in Europe to issue coinage.


Click here to read about Greek Turtles.
GA91781. Silver stater, SNG Delepierre 1670, Dewing 1657, SNG Cop 503, SGCV I 1849 (none with this countermark), F, banker's marks, weight 12.170 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, Aigina mint, c. 510 - 490 B.C.; obverse sea turtle, straight raised collar and row of dots down the middle of the shell, countermark: head (female?) right; reverse incuse square of "Union Jack" pattern; $270.00 (€237.60)


Korkyra (Corfu), Island off Epirus, Greece, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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Corfu is a picturesque island near the coasts of Albania and Greece. The advantageous trade position allowed Corcyra to play an important role in Greek history. After the Byzantine Empire gradually collapsed it was ruled by Venice from 1401 to 1797, during which time the Turks laid several sieges against its impregnable Byzantine castle.
GS91474. Silver hemidrachm, BMC Thessaly p. 119, 82; HGC 6 45 (R1); SNG Cop -, VF, well centered, toned, light marks, edge split, weight 2.412 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, Corcyra (Corfu) mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse female head right (Korkyra or Dione), wearing stephane, K behind; reverse star with eight rays and pellet in center, K on right between rays; very rare; $240.00 (€211.20)


Thespiai, Boiotia, Greece, Early 4th Century B.C.

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Thespiae stood on level ground commanded by the low range of hills which run eastward from the foot of Mount Helicon to Thebes, near modern Thespies. During the Hellenistic Period, Thespiae sought the friendship of the Roman Republic in the war against Mithridates VI. It is subsequently mentioned by Strabo as a place of some size, and by Pliny as a free city within the Roman Empire, a reward for its support against Mithridates. Thespiae hosted an important group of Roman negotiatores until the refoundation of Corinth in 44 B.C.
GS92209. Silver obol, BCD Boiotia 599; SNG Lockett 1763; SNG Cop 401; SNG Berry 606; BMC Central p. 90, 4; HGC 4 1402, VF, light toning, weight 0.780 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, Thespiai (near Thespies, Greece) mint, early 4th century B.C.; obverse Boiotian ox-hide shield; reverse ΘEΣ (bottom stroke on Σ missing), ethnic above and within crescent with horns upward and composed of three lines, all within a shallow round incuse; ex Ancient Imports, ex BCD Collection; scarce; $220.00 (€193.60)


Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece, 550 - 456 B.C.

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Aegina was probably the first place in Europe to issue coinage. As the first European coin, the turtle type is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors.
GA91477. Silver obol, Milbank pl. I, 7; HGC 6 450 (S); BMC Attica p. 135, 115; SNG Cop 511; SNG Delepierre 1530; Weber 3616, F, dark old cabinet toning, light marks, tiny edge split, weight 0.692 g, maximum diameter 8.0 mm, Aegina mint, 550 - 456 B.C.; obverse sea turtle with smooth shell and row of dots down the middle; reverse incuse punch, five compartments divided by broad bars into a skew pattern; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $200.00 (€176.00)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.

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BCD Thessaly II notes this obverse die appears to have been altered (reworked).
GS73413. Silver drachm, Lorber-Shahar early group 3 (O25/R6), BCD Thessaly II 197 (same dies), Lorber Early 11.- (same obverse die), F, etched surfaces, die wear, weight 5.793 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly right, partially radiate hair with hornlike locks of hair on crown above ampyx, drop earring, plain necklace; reverse horse grazing right, legs straight, ΛAPI above; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "T/ne ex Thessaly, Sept. 2004, €55.-" ; $180.00 (€158.40)




  






REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Thursday, August 22, 2019.
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