World Coins

Rare gold stater of Eucratides I features powerful image of ruler

One of fewer than 20 gold coins known from Eucratides I, “the Great,” this circa 171 to 145 B.C. gold stater highlights the Lexington Collection of Jonathan Kern.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The following post is pulled from Coin World’s International page in the Aug. 11 issue.

Coin dealer Jonathan Kern, based in Lexington, Ky., has built a reputation as a dealer for more than four decades, but Kern’s own collection of ancient coins, dubbed the Lexington Collection, featured in Heritage Auctions’ Aug. 8 sale, is now attracting attention.

In the Aug. 8 auction, Heritage’s first-ever world and ancient coins Platinum Night auction, 46 lots, including 39 ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins, are from Kern’s collection. That follows an April 10 Heritage auction that included 33 of Kern’s ancient coins.

Kern is “one of the most astute numismatists in the country,” said David Michaels, director of ancient coins for Heritage Auctions.

Kern remains an active dealer, but is now selling pieces from his personal collection, according to Cris Bierrenbach, Heritage Auctions’ executive vice president of international numismatics.

Many of the highlights of Heritage’s ancient coin offerings in the Aug. 8 Platinum Night sale are from Kern’s collection. Each is graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Here are three lots that offer a snapshot of the collection.

For more information and to bid, visit the auction's page at the Heritage Auctions website, or telephone the auction company at 800-872-6467.

Rare gold stater of Eucratides I

The Greek world extended as far away as the Indian subcontinent, thanks to the conquests of Alexander the Great, who established a Greek presence there that remained for centuries.

What is now Afghanistan and northern India broke from Seleucid rule. Various kings subsequently arose to govern the loosely defined area known as the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom.

The rulers appear on their own coins in a series of portraits “of astonishing power and realism,” according to the auction house. 

One of those is the circa 171 to 145 B.C. gold stater of Eucratides I, “the Great,” whose “vast realm was larger than any other Greek-ruled kingdom of the time,” the auction house said. 

One of fewer than 20 gold coins of the king extant, the coin shows Eucratides as a general wearing a broad-brimmed helmet, resembling a modern explorer in a pith helmet. 

The coin is graded Gem Mint State, Fine Style by NGC, which also ranks the strike and surface as 5/5. 

The coin is estimated at $70,000 to $100,000. 

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