World Coins

Market Analysis: Two coins struck from the same obverse die

Two gorgeous tetradrachms of fine style struck from the same obverse die under Macedonian king Lysimachos, depicting Alexander the Great, realized $11,000 and $15,000.

Images courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group.

The varied tetradrachms depicting Alexander the Great minted in ancient Greece vary tremendously in quality. Classical Numismatic Group writes in its January Triton XXIV sale catalog, “The mint city of Lampsakos on the northwestern coast of Asia Minor possessed at least one die engraver of singular talent, whose dramatic depiction of the deified Alexander the Great is regarded as one of the finest examples of Hellenistic portraiture,” adding, “The up-tilted gaze in particular would prove highly influential well into the Roman period.”

The auction offered two silver tetradrachms struck from the same, superb obverse die circa 297 to 282 B.C. under the Macedonian king Lysimachus.

The first, lot 425, was graded Extremely Fine with a few light marks, a hint of porosity and light scuff on the obverse; it sold for $11,000. The lot that followed was similarly graded, with CNG observing a few light marks and calling it well-centered and of fine style. That example sold for $15,000.

Both share the obverse depiction of a diademed head of the defied Alexander right, with the horn of Ammon, while the reverse shows Athena Nikephoros seated left.

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