GREEK COINS Attica Athens, c. 455-449 BC. c. 430s BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 23mm, 17.16g 5). Head of Athena to right, wearing disc earring, pearl necklace and a crested Attic helmet adorned with three olive leaves and a spiral palmette. Rev. ΑΘΕ Owl standing to right, head facing the viewer; to left, olive sprig and crescent moon; all within incuse square. Agora 8b. Svoronos, Trésor pls. 12-13 passim. An attractive, clearly struck piece. Nearly extremely fine. From a European collection. The Athenian tetradrachm coinage struck from c. 449 until no later than 404 was one of the most immense series of silver coins ever struck. These coins were used all over the Mediterranean area for trade purposes: they were struck as a way of using the silver from the rich mines of Laurion and were reused for local coinages all over the Greek world. It was such an abundant coinage that the so-called “untouchable” reserve that was kept in the Parthenon in 430 BC consisted of 6000 talents of coined silver: i.e. 36 million drachms or 9 million tetradrachms (this was only a very small percentage of the coins originally struck!). Needless to say, the vast majority of the silver coins struck by Athens have long since been melted down and turned into other coins or objects.
|Starting price||2'000 CHF|