Friday, 10 July 2020

Unique ancients

Sicily, Aitna (Catania) Silver tetradrachm c. 465 BCE obverse: bearded Silenus right AITNA ION, “of the people of Aitna.”, beetle below, reverse Zeus enthroned.The value of ancient coins is determined by three factors: historical interest, eye appeal, and rarity. Any unique coin of Alexander the Great or Cleopatra would be important (read expensive) no matter how battered. But a unique provincial copper of an obscure ruler would likely carry a modest price tag.Alexander III of Macedon, double daric, Mobile mint moving with Alexander’s Army in India, after 326 BCE 16.75 grams.
In 1922 workmen in northern France unearthed a hoard of gold and silver buried c. 315 CE. Buried was a unique 10-aureus (52.88 gram) gold medallion of Constantius I, father of Constantine the Great. It commemorates his defeat of the British usurper Allectus in 296 CE.
A gold stater of Abydos, issued around 330 BCE. Abydos was located at the narrow crossing point of the Hellespont. Alexander the Great established a mint at Abydos that struck a very few gold staters c. 330 BCE.