Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Pavlos, Jul 12, 2018.
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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)
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?
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.
If you haven't used it the PELLA website, http://numismatics.org/pella/ , 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.
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.
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.
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 http://numismatics.org/pella/id/price.3389
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??
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!
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
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.
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.
GHOST of Alexander III Makedon:
Makedon Alexander III 336-323 BC AR Drachm 2
Makedon Alexander III AR Drachm Suse
Makedon Alexander III AR Drachm 1
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
Price 1823 (I think), 4,1g, 17mm. Struck under Antigonus I in Kolophon.
Struck under Menander or Kleitos, circa 322-319 BC.
Separate names with a comma.