Apollonia AR Tetrobol

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by gsimonel, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    I've recently received this coin, part of a small lot from a recent Roma auction. It was unsold in the Roma eAuction 72 (Lot #301), but in that auction it was listed as a tetrobol. The size is 13 mm, weight is 2.66 g.

    I noticed there is a lot of overlap in the size and weights of the drachms, tetrobols and diobols of this common type of AR coin from Apollonia. Many share the same type of obverse, reverse, and reverse control marks. Seems like that would have created a lot of confusion in the marketplace back then. Is there a reliable way to distinguish drachms, tetrobols, and diobols of this coin type, or is it just a best guess based on size and weight? Thanks for your expertise.
    THRACE, Apollonia Pontika, ca.425-375 B.C..
    AR tetrobol, Attic standard.
    Obv: Facing Gorgoneion, with tongue protruding.
    Rev: Upright anchor; A under left fluke, crayfish under right.
    SNG Bulgaria 306 (same rev. die).
    13mm, 2.66 g.
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I can't answer your question, but it appears to be a good example especially the reverse. Too bad the obverse is so off center that the mouth is off the flange.

    I've been offered a coin from Apollonia Pontika that I am considering. I've sent you a PM asking your opinion.
  4. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty much a newbie with Greek silver, but I just saw your PM and responded. Have you considered posting it to the group?
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    After some research, I've decided to pass on this one. I know too little about this issue, and like another CT member stated, these coins are often faked. Best not to take a chance. Thanks for looking though.
    Alegandron likes this.
  6. Pavlos

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

    Nice coin! The denominations are purely based on the weight. The coins were struck on the Thraco-Macedonian standard.
    Size is an indicator but does not determine the denomination. I saw an Alexander drachm minted by a hemidrachm die. The size was the same as an hemidrachm, but double the thickness of the silver, since it is a drachm. This was extremely rarely done but does show it is purely the weight that determines the denomination. For Greek bronze coins the story is different, scholars argue that sometimes the the size determined the denomination, not the weight!

    Somehow the people were in able to distinguish between denominations of the same type. For larger denominations like drachm, tetrobol, diobol, it is a big difference and easier to distinguish. What about an tetartemorion, a hemiobol and an obol, would be a lot harder in my opinion.
    Ed Snible likes this.
  7. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    That being the case, then I assume that several of the ones I found while researching this coin were misidentified. Thank you for the clarification.
  8. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    SNG Black Sea calls them drachms and "reduced drachms".

    I've never been able to find a die link between the heavier and lighter specimens, so I don't believe they were two concurrent denominations.
    Orielensis likes this.
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