World Coins

Apparently unique hexadrachm brings six figures

A circa 303 to 293 B.C. silver hexadrachm, in EF, realized more than twice its estimate in the Nomos sale.

Images courtesy of Nomos

The market for premium ancient Greek and Roman coins continues to thrive, based on recent auction results in sales in Europe.

Recent offerings of major collections, as well as scattered highlights of iconic coins, provide proof that the top end of the market is, for the most part, cruising right along. Some weakness is evident when material isn’t superb quality, but top items bring top prices.

A handful of lots sold at auction in late September to mid-October reveal market dynamics for these popular areas of coin collecting.

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Silver hexadrachm of Pantikapaion

The issues of Pantikapaion are famous for their depiction of a bearded Pan, the god associated with the wild.

It’s also a play on the town’s name.

A circa 303 to 293 B.C. silver hexadrachm, in EF, realized more than twice its estimate in an Oct. 7 Nomos auction in Zurich.

Pantikapaion is a city in the Cimmerian Bosporus, an area that today is part of Russia and Ukraine. The denomination is rarely encountered (and was worth six drachms) and features a design in quality matching other known coins of Pantikapaion; “the same engraver must have been responsible for all of them,” the Nomos lot description said.

The coin in the Nomos auction is “apparently unique and of the highest interest,” according to the firm.

The coin realized a hammer price of 150,000 Swiss francs ($153,483 U.S.), double its estimate. Buyer’s fees in the Nomos sale varied, depending on bidding method and buyer location.

Keep reading about recently sold ancient rarities:

/news/world-coins/2016/10/artistic-very-fine-silver-decadrachm-dazzles-zurich-sale.htmlAncient coin’s six-figure price rooted in its standard-bearing design: Ancient Greek coins, in many ways, the standard bearers for classical beauty in coin design. Among the well known and respected practitioners of this art is the sculptor known to us today as Kimon.

‘Eid Mar’ denarius of Brutus‘Eid Mar’ denarius of Brutus brings in over $300,000 in auctio: Perhaps no coin of antiquity is as familiar, or as important, as the ‘Eid Mar’ denarius of Brutus.


A.D. 71 gold aureus of VespasianHow much would you pay for this gold aureus from A.D. 71? (Tip: It would need to be a lot): The design is more readily available as a silver denarius, but less so in gold on the aureus.


460 B.C. silver tetradrachms of NaxosWhy this 460 B.C. silver tetradrachm brought a whopping $613,999: The coin is "Very rare and among the finest specimens known of this prestigious and fascinating issue."

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