World Coins

Aegean Turtle silver stater a world trade coin

The ancient coin market remains robust, despite some concerns about cultural patrimony laws that may impact the ability of American collectors to buy and sell some ancient coins. Numismatic Guaranty Corp.’s NGC Ancients program, led by David Vagi, continues to help make buyers comfortable with ancient coin collecting by taking much of the guesswork out of grading, authenticating and attributing of ancient coins.

In this week's Market Analysis we're highlighting three ancient Greek silver coins that sold at Heritage’s April 14 to 19 auctions held at the Chicago International Coin Fair in Rosemont, Ill. Here is one of them:

The coin:

Aegina Turtle silver stater, circa 480 to 457 B.C., Choice Fine

The Price:


The Story:

Like the Athenian silver tetradrachm, the Turtle silver coins from the Greek island of Aegina were “branded” as a world trade coin because of a consistent design that developed over centuries. The silver staters of Aegina generally have a depiction of a sea turtle on one side with a reverse punch mark.

Among the first trade coins that enjoyed wide circulation throughout the ancient world, examples today are available in large quantities due to hoards.

The design was first used around 650 B.C. and continued largely unchanged (although the turtle would have more details as time went on) for 300 years. At Heritage’s CICF auction, a classic Aegina turtle stater dating from circa 480 to 457 B.C. and graded Choice Fine by NGC with a 4/5 for strike and a 4/5 for surface sold for $376, providing a solid entry point into collecting this classic ancient type.

Keep reading this Market Analysis: 

Athenian Owl tetradrachm highlights Heritage CICF auction

Sicilian silver stater from Syracuse in Fine Style brings $1,997.50

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