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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Cyprus||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Cyprus

Cyprus, Early 5th Century B.C.

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The obverse die was used to strike three different issues, with different reverses. This type is from the third issue, when the obverse die was heavily worn and the ankh was engraved over the ram. The published specimens have no symbol or monogram on the reverse. There are other examples of this variant on Coin Archives.
GS87794. Silver stater, Apparently unpublished variant; cf. Zapiti-Michaelidou pl. VIII, 2; Asyut pl. XXXII, N; Troxell-Waggoner p. 35, 8-9; Tziambazis -; Traité -; BMC -, aVF/VF, struck with the worn obverse die (as are all coins from this issue), slightly off center, light bumps and marks, weight 10.662 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain Cypriot mint, early 5th century B.C.; obverse ram walking left, ankh symbol superimposed on and above the ram's side and back (the ankh symbol was recut on a heavily worn die); reverse laurel branch with two leaves and three fruits, monogram lower left, all in dotted square within incuse square; rare; $540.00 (€475.20)
 


Cyprus, Early 5th Century B.C.

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The obverse die was used to strike three different issues, with different reverses. This type is from the third issue, when the obverse die was heavily worn and the ankh was engraved over the ram. The published specimens have no symbol or monogram on the reverse. There are other examples of this variant on Coin Archives.
GS89724. Silver stater, Apparently unpublished variant; cf. Zapiti-Michaelidou pl. VIII, 2; Asyut pl. XXXII, N; Troxell-Waggoner p. 35, 8-9; Tziambazis -; Traité -; BMC -, F/VF, struck with a worn obverse die, weight 10.805 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Cypriot mint, early 5th century B.C.; obverse ram walking left, ankh symbol superimposed on and above the ram's side and back (the ankh symbol was recut on a heavily worn die); reverse laurel branch with two leaves and three fruits, ankh symbol on left, monogram lower right, all in dotted square within incuse square; rare; $500.00 (€440.00)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy X Alexander, 106 - 88 B.C.

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An older portrait quite similar to that Ptolemy I, ancestor of Ptolemy X Alexander on most family branches. There is quite a bit of variation in portraits during this period. The small pellets below the B and above the date may be intentional control marks.
GP91535. Bronze tetradrachm, Svoronos 1674, SNG Cop 363, Cohen DCA 68, BMC Ptolemies -, SNG Milan -, Weiser -, Noeske -, Hosking -, gVF, attractive old cabinet toning, tight flan, obverse die wear, weight 13.875 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, 101 - 100 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle with wings closed stands half left atop fulmen, LI∆ (year 14) left, ΠA right; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $500.00 (€440.00)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy X Alexander I, 109 - 110 B.C., as King in Cyprus

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This coin was struck at Kition when Ptolemy X ruled in Cyprus and Ptolemy IX and Cleopatra III ruled in Egypt. On the death of Ptolemy VIII, Cleopatra was given the option of which son to declare co-ruler. While she would have preferred Ptolemy X, she was pressured by politics to select Ptolemy IX. Her younger son ruled on Cyprus. Later she would depose Ptolemy IX in favor of her favorite, Ptolemy X.

The attribution to Ptolemy X as King in Cyprus is made mostly by process of elimination. The debased silver eliminates Ptolemy I to VI as possibilities. Ptolemy VIII coins have a very different style for Kition Year 5. Serifs are unique to just a few rare Ptolemaic coin types. Perhaps all are the work of a single engraver. Similar tetradrachms in the Paphos I Hoard shows that these must have been minted before the hoard was lost in ~97 B.C. Also, the heavy-set portrait resembles the marble head of Ptolemy X (Boston Museum of Fine Arts 59.51) and differs from the usual images of Ptolemy I.
GP88097. Silver tetradrachm, unpublished, cf. Svoronos 1767 - 1768, VF, porous rough surfaces, flan cracks, weight 12.913 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Kition mint, 110 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on a thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, date LE (year 5) before, KI (Kition mintmark) behind, year and mintmark letters with serifs; no other specimen known; $310.00 (€272.80)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cyprus, c. Late 2nd - Early 1st Century B.C.

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GP89345. Bronze AE 31, Malter 275; cf. SNG Milan 519 (similar without palm); SNG Cop 674 (same), BMC Ptolemies -, Svoronos -, Paphos II -, RPC -, Noeske -;, aVF, uneven strike, earthen encrustation, scratches, areas of corrosion, beveled obverse edge, weight 11.502 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, uncertain mint, c. late 2nd - early 1st century B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), two eagles standing left on a thunderbolt, heads left, wings closed, palm branch before; from a New England collector; extremely rare; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C., Struck with Ptolemy VI Dies Captured on Cyprus

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This coin was struck with dies captured by Seleukid invaders during Antiochos IV's short lived invasion and occupation of Ptolemaic Egypt and Cyprus, c. 168 B.C. The dies were originally engraved for Ptolemy VI of Egypt. The letters EYΛ are the first letters of Eulaios, a regent during part of the minority of Ptolemy VI. The name of "Ptolemy" was effaced from the reverse die before the coin was struck.
GP93833. Bronze obol, Lorber Lotus Series p. 46, VI.3; Svoronos 1398 & pl. xlvii, 21-24 (Ptolemy VI with Eulaios); Weiser 152 (same); SNG Cop 294; Noeske –, VF, well centered and struck, attractive highlighting red earthen deposits, porous, central depressions, beveled obverse edge, weight 16.144 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus mint, c. 168 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ (ΠTOΛEMAIOY erased from die), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, legs heavily feathered, lotus left, EYΛ between legs; countermark: Seleukid anchor in rectangular punch; ex Timelines Auctions auction 117 (9 Sep 2019), lot 3868; $170.00 (€149.60)
 


Kition, Cyprus, Melekiathon, c. 392 - 361 B.C.

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Kition also known by its Latin name Citium, was a city-kingdom on the southern coast of Cyprus (in present-day Larnaca). It was established in the 13th century B.C. Its most famous, and probably only known, resident was Zeno of Citium, born c. 334 B.C. in Citium and founder of the Stoic school of philosophy which he taught in Athens from about 300 B.C.
GS92809. Silver 1/3 stater, Tziambazis 30; Babelon Perses 707; BMC Cyprus p. xxvi, (i), pl. XIX, 7; Zapiti-Michaelidou -, aVF, struck with worn dies, weight 3.669 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Kition mint, c. 392 - 361 B.C.; obverse Melqart-Herakles in fighting stance right, lion skin on arm, club overhead in right hand, bow extended before him in left hand; reverse lion attacking stag crouching right, MLK-ML[...] (in Aramaic) above, all in dotted square border; ex CNG e-auction 413 (31 Jan 2018), lot 120; rare ruler; $165.00 (€145.20)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy X Alexander I, 110 - 109 B.C. and 107 - 88 B.C.

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Alexander was the son of Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III. In 110 B.C., his mother deposed his brother Ptolemy IX and he became king with his mother as co-regent. In 109 B.C. Ptolemy IX took back the throne but in 107 B.C. Alexander again became king with his mother as co-regent. In 101 B.C. he had his mother killed, and then ruled either alone or with his niece and wife, Berenice III. When he died, Ptolemy IX regained the throne. When Ptolemy IX died, Ptolemy X's wife Berenice III took the throne for six months.
GS89757. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1679 (98 B.C.); SNG Cop 368; BMC Ptolemies p. 113, 35; Cohen DCA 68; Noeske -; SNG Milan -; Hosking -, VF, attractive toning, tight flan, die wear, weight 14.643 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, 96 - 95 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, head left, LIΘ (year 19) left, ΠA right; from a New York collector; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C., Paphos, Cyprus

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Kreuzer, in his book The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII and Augustus in Cyprus, assembles evidence dating this type to Cleopatra VII instead of the reign of Ptolemy IV used in older references.
GP93835. Bronze 1/4 obol, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, VF, dark patina, bumps and marks, reverse off center, edge cracks, irregular flan shape, weight 1.819 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; from a New England collector; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Salamis, Cyprus, c. 322 - 310 B.C.

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Salamis was a maritime town on the east coast of Cyprus, at the end of a fertile plain between two mountains, near the River Pediaeus.
GB86883. Bronze AE 14, Bank of Cyprus 27; Tziambazis 130 (Evagoras II); BMC Cyprus p. 61, 74 (Evagoras II); SNG Cop -, VF, well centered and struck, dark patina, some pitting and corrosion, weight 2.555 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Salamis mint, c. 322 - 310 B.C.; obverse helmeted and draped bust of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet, earring and necklace; reverse prow left, ΣAΛ upward on left; very rare; $140.00 (€123.20)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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Destrooper-Georgiades, A. "Le monnayage de Paphos au IVe siècle, nouvelles perspectives" in XIII Congreso. (Madrid, 2005).
Destrooper-Georgiades, A. & A. Symeonides. "Classical Coin in the Symeonides Collection. The coin circulation in Marion during the 5th and 4th centuries" in RDAC 1998, pp. 111 - 136.
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Catalog current as of Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
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Cyprus