Alexander the Great coins in Morton & Eden auction
- Published: Nov 1, 2019, 10 AM
Alexander the III of Macedon (the Great) was a historic figure in the early Greek world.
For collectors beginning an exploration of ancient coins, his numismatic legacy is a popular starting point.
“Alexander expanded the Greek world to the edge of China, and his successors ruled his fragmented empire for centuries after his death,” wrote Wayne Sayles in Ancient Coin Collecting.
Though not the marquee lots the auction house might promote, two lots in Morton & Eden’s auction No. 104 on Nov. 14 are illustrative of the types and options available when pursuing coins of this famous ruler, which are common (and generally affordable, depending on budget).
A silver-plated tetradrachm from Miletos, an ancient Greek city on the western coast of modern-day Turkey, was issued circa 336 to 323 B.C.
The coin depicts the head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin, on the obverse. Zeus, seated left, supporting an eagle on his extended right hand and holding scepter in his left, appears on the reverse.
This is common imagery for the tetradrachms of Alexander the Great.
The coin weighs 13.16 grams, slightly heavier than a Franklin silver half dollar.
The coin is cleaned, but in Very Fine condition, according to the firm, and has an estimate of £150 ($193 U.S.).
A gold stater of Alexander the Great, issued circa 328 to 323 B.C., features imagery common to the golden coinage of the ruler.
The coin, issued for Lampsakos (in modern day Anatolia, Turkey), depicts the multi-functional goddess Athena on the obverse and Nike (the goddess of victory) on the reverse.
The coin has “one small edge knock” and is About Extremely Fine. It has an estimate of £2,000 ($2,572 U.S.).
These coins are among many lots of silver and gold coins of Alexander the Great in this auction, and indeed the types are commonly found in ancient coin auctions all over.
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