Alexander the Great drachm types

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Pavlos, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Hello, I have a question about the Alexander the Great drachms. There are literately tons of different mints both lifetime and posthumous, by Philip III, Antigonus I, Demetrius I etc and i'm actually wondering if there is a difference in value and attractiveness among collectors? I think the lifetime issued coins are the most wanted by collectors? What about the posthumous ones, is older more valuable (for example one by Antigonus over one from Demetrius) or does location of mint also play a role?
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    From my observations lifetime issues are more in demand and may command a higher price. Can't really help you with price for posthumous issues. For me, I would be most interested in condition.
    ancient coin hunter and TIF like this.
  4. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I agree with JWT. Lifetime issues of AlexIII command a premium. Beyond that, condition probably dictates cost and desirability, although many of his successors are noteworthy and certainly collection-worthy :).
  5. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    I don't have any Alexander III drachms or "in the style of" but I have a couple tetradrachms:

    Here's a lifetime, single most expensive coin in my collection:
    Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III
    AR tetradrachm, 17.18g; Amphipolis mint, lifetime issue, struck under Antipater, c. 325-323 BC.
    Obv.: Head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck.
    Rev.: AΛEΞANΔΡOY Zeus enshrined left, throne without back and two leg struts,bright leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, TE monogram lower left, concave field

    Here is one "in the style of":

    Kings of Macedon, temp. Kassander – Alexander (son of Kassander). Circa 310-294 BC.
    AR Tetradrachm, 26mm, 16.8 g, 6h, Amphipolis mint, in the name and types of Alexander III.
    Obv.:Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin.
    Rev.: Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; in left field, Λ above torch; ΔI monogram below throne.

    Ok, my last one here is not really in the style of but the reverse is so I thought that it would include it anyway.

    Philip I Philadelphos, semi-autonomous city issue of Antioch
    AR, tetradrachm, 26mm, 12h; Antioch mint 46/5 BC or later
    Obv.: Diademed head left
    Rev.: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΦΙΑΠΠΟV ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟVΣ ΦΙΛΑΔΕΑΦΟV; Zeus Nikephoros seated left holding spear in left hand holding victory presenting laurel wreath in right; AYT monogram to inner left, date in exergue (off flan)
  6. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Thank you for the replies. Amazing coins Jwt708!
    What are actually these imitation of Alexander III drachms from Eastern Europe? Are that "illegally" made drachms or were they actually recognized as real drachms?
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    While I agree with TIF and JWT, I'll add that this is a question with different answers depending on the whims of the day and who is buying at any sale. There are few people who are specializing to the point that they are collecting by Price number but there are rarities in the bunch that have added demand for reasons the rest of us may not understand. There are coins of better style. There are less desirable coins but there more people looking for high grade than for any specific variation.

    I believe a lot of this is the high price of the standard reference by Martin Price:
    The price of admission to being a 'real' collector of these coins is steep. Those of us (like me) who have not bought the book, generally are satisfied with a very few coins but still may prefer one thought to be a 'lifetime' issue.
  8. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    If you haven't used it the PELLA website, , can be used as a replacement for most of Price. Use the toolbar at the top of the page to get started. The interactive map is especially nice. You can tell it you are only interested in gold, or only interested in obols, and it will show you where they were produced.
  9. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Drachms are a smaller denomination. Those are tetradrachms and were used as currency in the ancient world. They are not fakes. The coins of Alexander spread all over where he he conquered and beyond. This is the book that made me want to buy a lifetime tetradrachm, "The Hellenistic World: Using Coins as Sources" by Peter Thonemann.
  10. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I was not aware of Pella. As a test, I tried to find my only obol and failed. There often is a learning curve to using such a reference.
  11. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Click Search, in the left combo box select Denomination, in the right select Obl. Click Search.

    58 obols pop up, from Price 3A (Amphipolis) to 4011 (uncertain mint).

    If you have the standard Zeus reverse you can select Zeus as a deity and click Refine Search to see examples of 50 types.

    Nearly all have pictures. At this point just scroll through them looking for one with symbols similar to yours. Often they have a lot of examples.

    The PELLA site often has more examples than Price. I have a Price 3389 tetradrachm of Arados. If I type 3389 in the search box in the upper right corner I get a list containing only Price 3389. If I click on that number it takes me to a page with two examples. This is how I learned my coin is an obverse die match to “British Museum: 1857,1218.8.” That was important to me because my this coin is in an odd, fat face style instead of the usual heroic style.

    Mine. cf. BM example at
    randygeki, Bing, zumbly and 1 other person like this.
  12. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Lmao! Alexander the Ate...a ham n cheese sandwich!! I've never seen one of these before so pardon my ignorance. Is this considered a lifetime issue? And furthermore, is this like when they let us choose if we wanted young handsome Elvis on stamps or older hubba chubba El??
  13. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Definitely not lifetime. Fat Alexander comes from the Arados mint, and is dated dated city year 59 (201/0 BC).

    Arados is now called Arwad and home to 3000 people. It is a tiny island, apparently just a rock 740m long by 400m wide; 0.2 square kilometers. New York’s Central Park is 3.4 square kilometers – 17 times larger!
    Ryro likes this.
  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Help me understand the use and value of this site. Every so often, I feel the need to show the coin below and warn there is a nicer die duplicate specimen with less core exposure in the marketpace or at least was back in the 1990's the last time I saw it. Twice, I notified different sellers that both coins are fourree and the coin was pulled from a sale. I assume the consignor took it elsewhere and sold it as solid. I am not sure it is in Price or if it should be. My coin is centered low losing the date in exergue but the other one is a die duplicate and shows OE (year 65) as I remember (I wish I had saved the image) which would make my coin fall between 3402 and 3403. If I was wrong and it did not read OE, it was OϚ (year 66) which was at the time boxy looking like an E missing the center bar.
    The authors of the Pella page hid from my eyes any indication of what made the coins dated OϚ different from the preceding several numbers each with diferent dates in exergue. They describe all the obvious details like the eagle and tree but make you look at the photos to see the dates??? Where on your coin's page
    do they tell you that those two letters in exergue are the date?

    A lot of work went into Pella. There is a lot of good to be found there but the term user friendly does not come to mind. There are several Price numbers without photos. How is the user to know what that coin might look like when the description stops with the copying of the description that fits them all?
    • Type: Zeus seated on stool-throne left, eagle on outstretched right hand, sceptre in left hand
    • Deity: Zeus
    • Legend: ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ
    • Symbol: palm-tree (Left Field)
    • Symbol: monogram (Beneath Throne)
    All this is part of the hobby. It is part of why we suggest buying from people you know and trust.
  15. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I found this to be true as well. There are probably some good uses for the site but helping an amateur collector search for a certain coin's catalog number and browsing for die matches with an unknown type are not among those uses.
  16. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    I have a few worn / circulated AlexIII Drachmae that depict Alexanders GHOST!

    GHOST of Alexander III Makedon:

    Makedon Alexander III 336-323 BC AR Drachm 2.jpg
    Makedon Alexander III 336-323 BC AR Drachm 2

    Makedon Alexander III AR Drachm Suse.jpg
    Makedon Alexander III AR Drachm Suse

    Makedon Alexander III AR Drachm 1.jpg
    Makedon Alexander III AR Drachm 1
  17. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Gotta show my Alexander's Ragtime Band...

  18. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    One of my few drachm:
    Alexander III.jpg
    AR Drachm
    OBVERSE: Head of Herakles right in lionskin headdress
    REVERSE: ALEXANDROU, Zeus Aetophoros seated left, holding eagle and sceptre. Forepart of Pegasos left in left field, X on W monogram beneath throne
    Struck at Abydos 325-323 BC
    4.2g, 17mm
    Price 1505
    Kentucky, Curtisimo, Orfew and 3 others like this.
  19. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    I got this drachm yesterday, desperately in love with the Alexander coins, just had to get this one (placed it in my other topic as well).

    Price 1823 (I think), 4,1g, 17mm. Struck under Antigonus I in Kolophon.
    Kentucky, Curtisimo, Orfew and 4 others like this.
  20. arashpour

    arashpour Well-Known Member

    My only drachm of alexander the great with a rare javelin on reverse and beautiful tone/hoard patina on reverse. Also portrait type is less than common.

    Alex_drachm1.jpg ale_drachm3.jpg
    Curtisimo, TheRed, Pavlos and 3 others like this.
  21. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Very nice Price 1750 :)
    Struck under Menander or Kleitos, circa 322-319 BC.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page