Most of my top ten coins are from my two main focuses: Seleukid Empire and the Greek islands, but other Greek and Byzantine coins interest me as well. #10 Lesbos, Mytilene. AR Hemidrachm, Circa 450-350 B.C. Obverse: Laureate head of Apollo right. Reverse: MYTI. Lyre. Reference: SNG Copenhagen 376-7; HGC 6, 1044. 2,81g; 15mm Let's start with the first coin. Not much to say about this one, it is a nice hemidrachm of Classical style from Lesbos island that fits nicely in my collection. Most coins of Lesbos come from the Archaic times and are quite abundant at auctions. Coins from the Classical time are a bit more scarce and mostly consist of AR fractions and AE coins such as diobols and this hemidrachm. In the Hellenic times issues from Lesbos are mainly in the types of Alexander or Lysimachos, with here and there some exceptions (such as the magnificant tetradrachms with a cult image of Dionysos on the reverse). #9 Philip I Philadelphos (circa 95/4-76/5 B.C.) AR Tetradrachm. Antioch mint or uncertain mint in Cilicia (Tarsos?), lifetime issue, circa 94/3-88/7 B.C. Obverse: Diademed head of Philip I to right. Reverse: BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΦIΛIΠΠΟΥ - EΠIΦΑΝΟΥΣ / ΦIΛAΔEΛΦΟΥ Zeus seated left, holding Nike in his right hand and long scepter in his left; to inner left, M. Reference: SC 2460c 15.81g; 27mm This coin is an upgrade and it is a tetradrachm from the last Seleukid king who had such a significant output of coinage. The tetradrachms of Philip I were minted abundantly during his 20 years reign, with even more output after his death, the so called 'posthumous' issues (which I actually think are from his son Philip II since the portrait style is so much different) and the issues struck during the Roman times. The Romans would have chosen this type not for political reasons but purely economical, this type was the only type dominating the streets of Syria! When Philip I Philadelphos came to rule Antioch, he started to recycle the tetradrachms of his predecessors and reissued them with his own types, so there were barely any tetradrachms of his competitors circulating. #8 Crete, Knossos. AE. 40/30 B.C. Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus to right; to right, vertical thunderbolt. Counterstamp: eagle right. Reverse: K-Y/ Δ-A/ Σ. Eagle with spread wings standing to right. Reference: RPC 934; Slg. Traeger 193; Svoronos 142, Pl. VII, 19. 11.06g Crete almost has a history of his own and coins from Crete are very different depending on the city state. Mostly Zeus dominates Crete, but also Europa and myths around the Minotaur are regularly seen on coins from Crete. The above coin is my first coin from Knossos, which was ofcourse a magnificent city state during the Minoan and Classical times, but when this coin got minted in ca. 40/30 B.C., very late in the Hellenic times, the city was a shadow of it's former self, struck just before or just after the city becoming a Roman colony in 36 B.C. with it's long rival city Gortyn being the capital of the province Creta et Cyrenaica. #7 Demetrios I Soter (162-150 B.C.) AE Denomination A. uncertain mint "83", possibly in Cilicia or somewhere in northern Syria. Struck ca. 155-150 B.C. Obverse: Head of a lion with open jaws to left. Reverse: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΥ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ Head of a boar to right; behind, monogram. Reference: CSE 2, 415. HGC 9, 823. SC 1660.a. 14.79g; 25mm The above coin is not in great condition but an absolute rarity and unique in the Seleukid world. They often go for a high prices and this condition was the highest I could afford. Not often only animals with totally no Seleukid icongraphy are seen on Seleukid coinage. Demetrios I Soter made an exception, because apparently he was such a fan of hunting wildlife that he had to reflect that on his coins. I will stop talking now before I make @David@PCC a bit jealous of me having the coin . #6 Pontos, Amisos. AE. Time of Mithradates VI Eupator, circa 85-65 B.C. Obverse: Head of Athena right, wearing Attic helmet. Reverse: Perseus standing facing, holding harpa and Medusa’s head; Medusa’s body at his feet, monograms to left and right. Reference: HGC 7, 357. 17.30g; 31mm Being at #6 is this big Amisos coin struck under one of my favorite generals Mithradates VI. This type is really popular among Greek collector's for the reverse. Who doesn't want to see Perseus holding a decapitated head of medusa with her body at his feet? This example in particular is very clear with the whole body of Medusa clearly visible, I am sure I will never upgrade this coin. #5 Antiochos VII Euergetes (138-129 B.C.). AR Drachm, Soloi mint. Obverse: Diademed head of Antiochos VII right. Reverse: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ / ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ. Tyche seated left on throne, holding sceptre and cornucopia. Controls: Two monograms in exergue. Reference: SC 2051; HGC 9, 1079. 3.81g; 19mm This is a drachm from Antiochos VII struck in Tarsos, I think it is among one of the sharpest and in best condition that is known. The type is obviously extremely rare and not that many examples are sold. On the reverse the goddess Tyche is visible, a goddess not often seen on Seleukid coinage, except by his father Demetrios I. The city Tarsos however was always a case on it's own as it is an important city in Cilicia and the local types are often represented on the coins. In the reign of him and his brother Demetrios II Nikator the city got a bit more important as the 'Royal Workshop' was stationed there. #4 Andronicus II Palaeologus, 1282-1328. AV Hyperpyron Nomisma. Constantinople mint, 1282-1294. Obverse: Bust of the Virgin orans within the city walls furnished with six groups of towers; in lower field, CZ-ZC sigla. Reverse: ANΔPO/NIKOC E/ XΩ T C/IΛIΠ/TICO IC/XC Andronicus on left, nimbate and kneeling right blessed by Christ standing facing on right, with decorated nimbus, holding Book of Gospels; between them fleur-de-lis; to right, C/N. Reference: DOC 225 var (sigla). PCPC 91B Sigla 77 var. SB 2326. 25mm, 4.28g Lately I am getting a bit more into Byzantine coinage, especially from the Komnenoi. TThis is my first gold coin and very affordable compared to the Greek gold coins. This one is not entirely into the Komnenoi focus but I really like the reverse with the emperor kneeling to Christ and the obverse is quite fine as well for this issue as well. #3 Thrace, Maroneia. AR Tetradrachm, struck circa 189/8-49/5 B.C. Obverse: Head of youthful Dionysos to right, wearing ivy wreath. Reverse: ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΥ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΜΑΡΩΝΙΤΩΝ Dionysos, nude but for chlamys draped over his left arm, standing left, holding grape bunch in his right hand, two narthex stalks in his left; flanking his feet, two monograms. Reference: HGC 3.2, 1556. Cf. Schönert-Geiss 1347-9 (dies not recorded). 13,55g; 31.5mm From the Vineyard Collection, ex I. Vecchi FPL 7, October 1997, 260. I really like the style of this tetradrachm, it is late Hellenic and kind of 'barbaric'. Schönert-Geiss notes that this style is one of the last of the series, placing the mintage of this coin definitely in the early to mid 1st century BC. The same type minted in the 2nd century BC has a more artistic style compared to this coin. This type is similar to the late tetradrachms of Thasos island but this coin celebrates Dionysos as saviour rather than Herakles. Dionysos is widely visible on the coinage of Maroneia and is definitely an important, if not, the most important deity of the city. #2 Islands of Caria, Rhodos. Rhodes. Circa 250-229 BC. AR Didrachm. Mnasimachos, magistrate Obverse: Radiate head of Helios facing slightly right. Reverse: Rose with bud to right; MNAΣIMAXOΣ above, P-O flanking stem; to left, Athena Nikephoros standing left. Reference: Ashton 208; HN Online 395; HGC 6, 1439. 6.70g I always wanted a bigger coin from a Greek island, but often they are quite expensive. I haven't come across a tetradrachm yet that was in my budget but was also the condition I liked. I therefore had to downscale a bit, but I think a didrachm is still a nice size. For the coinage of Rhodos I think the most important is Helios and how he looks. This coin checked my list, a clear face of nice style without a worn nose, and besides that a nice reverse as well, I had to have it in my collection! #1 Antiochos III Megas (223 - 187 B.C.). AR Tetradrachm. Antioch mint. Series 3, circa 204–197 B.C. Obverse: Diademed head of Antiochos III to right. Reverse: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ANTIOXOY. Apollo seated left on omphalos, holding arrow in his right hand and resting his left on grounded bow; to outer left, bow in bowcase. Reference: SC 1044.5a; Le Rider series 3-4, obv. A12; BMC 27; HGC 9, 447u. 17.07g Choosing my number one was a bit difficult and even now I am doubting since the other coins are also very nice! This coin is not as artistic as some other coins, but the portrait definitely shows authority and him being a 'Megas' with a lot of power. Too often he is remembered only as the man who lost to the Romans at the battle of Magnesia, Antiochos however, was one of the most powerful and capable rulers at the time and when he died in 187 BC the empire was still one of the most powerful states in the world. In my opinion, a great example and it looks and feels very 'powerful 'in my hand. Thank you for reading and I hope 2021 will be a better year for everybody!