The most important factor in determining the price of a coin is eye appeal. One coin of the exact same type as another can be priced ten times higher or more. So, what is this eye appeal?
It is beauty. . . It is classical fine art. . . It is a masterpiece portrait. . . It is sculptural high relief. . . It is a choice strike. . . It is a gem patina. . . It is Celtic abstraction. . .
It is . . . on this page!
Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 334 - 330 B.C.
Sikyon was located in the northern Peloponnesus between Corinth and Achaea. Sicyon was known in antiquity for its industries including wood sculpture, bronze work, and pottery. Its central location meant it was frequently involved in the wars of its neighbors, Thebes, Corinth, Athens and Sparta.
SH64029. Silver stater, BCD Peloponnesos 218 (same obverse die); Traité 776; BMC Peloponnesus p. 40, 57, aEF, weight 11.740 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 225o, Sikyon mint, c. late 330s B.C.; obverse chimera advancing left, paw raised, wreath above, SE below; reverse dove flying left, N left, all within olive wreath; ex Helios Numismatik auction 7 (12 Dec 2011), lot 374; $1950.00 (€1501.50)
Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, 449 - 413 B.C.
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.
During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH64149. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., SGCV I 2526, gVF, weight 17.136 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, 449 - 413 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverseAQE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; $900.00 (€693.00)
Myrina, Aeolis, Mid 2nd Century B.C.
At the time this coin was issued, Myrina was a thriving town popular with tourists and known for its terracotta, glassware and oysters. Today it is perhaps best known for these beautiful tetradrachms!
SH58667. Silver tetradrachm, Sacks 25; SNG Fitzwilliam 4329; BMC Troas p. 136, 10, VF, weight 16.737 g, maximum diameter 34.1 mm, die axis 0o, Myrina mint, mid 2nd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair braided, ribbons flowing behind; reverseMURINAIWN, Apollo Grynios advancing right holding patera and laurel branch with fillets; omphalos and amphora at feet; monogram left, all within laurel wreath; $850.00 (€654.50)
Athens, Greece, "New Style" Tetradrachm, c. 109 - 108 B.C.
The "New Style" tetradrachms were issued by Athens as a semi-autonomous city under Roman rule. The new-style Owls are markedly different from the Owls of Periclean Athens or the "eye in profile" Athena head of the Fourth Century. They were struck on thinner, broad flans, typical of the Hellenistic period, with a portrait of Athena that reflected the heroic portraiture of the period. The owl now stands on an amphora, surrounded by magistrates' names and symbols, all within an olive wreath. The amphora is marked with a letter that may indicate the month of production. Letters below the amphora may indicate the source of the silver used in production.
SH62483. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson Athens 728f var (ME under amphora); Svoronos pl. 59, 11 var (same), VF, weight 16.643 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, c. 109 - 108 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena Parthenos right, triple-crested helmet decorated with curvilinear ornament on the shell, Pegasos right above the raised earpiece, and protomes of horses above the visor; reverseA-QE / DA-MWN / SWS/IKRA/THS KLEI/DAMO, owl standing right on amphora on its side, bow and quiver on right, I on amphora, PE below, all within olive wreath; magistrates Damon, Sosikrates, and Kleidamo; $750.00 (€577.50)
Velia, Lucania, 440 - 400 B.C.
According to Herodotus, in 545 B.C. Ionian Greeks fled Phocaea, in modern Turkey, which was being besieged by the Persians. After wandering 8 to 10 years at sea, they stopped in Reggio Calabria, where they were probably joined by the philosopher Xenophanes and then moved north along the coast and founded the town of Hyele, later renamed Ele, then Elea, and eventually Velia.
SH63518. Silver didrachm, Williams Velia 163 (O108/R125); SNG ANS 1259 (same dies), SNG Lockett 543 (same dies); HN Italy 1270, aVF, weak centers, weight 7.298 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 45o, Velia mint, 440 - 400 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet, decorated with griffin and wreath, neck-guard decorated with palmette and scroll; reverseUELHTWN, lion attacking a stag right; $575.00 (€442.75)
Aelia Flaccilla, Augusta 19 January 379 - 386 A.D., wife of Theodosius I
The Christogram, a ligature of Chi and Rho, the first two letters of Christ in Greek, was an early symbol for Christianity. The crucifix was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because most people then had personally witnessed its gruesome use for public execution.
SH62376. Bronze AE 2, RIC IX 13, SRCV 4192, gVF, weight 5.849 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, Heraclea mint, 378 - 383 A.D.; obverse AEL FLACCILLA AVG, diademed draped bust right; reverseSALVS REIPVBLICAE, Victory seated right, inscribing Christogram on shield set on column, SMHB in exergue; $500.00 (€385.00)
Leukas, Akarnania, c. 350 - 320 B.C.
There should be L behind the goddesses head but it is missing on this coin. Perhaps it was, in error, not engraved on the die, or perhaps it was unstruck because the letter on the die was filled with dirt. Although we have seen coins of this type struck from nearly a dozen different reverse dies, we have not found a die match to help determine why the L is missing.
SH63533. Silver stater, Pegasi II 413, 84 (same obverse die); BMC Corinth p. 129, 51 ff.; BCD Akarnania 221 var (types right); SNG Cop -, VF, toned, weight 8.163 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Leukas mint, c. 350 - 320 B.C.; obversePegasus flying left, L below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, L (unstruck) and kerykeion behind; $485.00 (€373.45)
Akragas, Sicily, c. 425 - 406 B.C.
Calciati 77 is the type with two fish left but does not include a die match to our coin. Calciati 74 appears to have the same reverse die. It is described as having one fish left under the crab but there appears to be a second fish left on the edge of the flan.
SH56023. Bronze hexas, Calciati 74 cor. (same rev die) & 77; SNG München 145; SNG ANS 1047 ff. var (top fish right), SNG Cop 79 ff. var (same); BMC Sicily 110 var (same), gVF, weight 6.907 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 45o, Akragas mint, obverseAKRA, eagle standing right, wings open, head lowered, fish in talons; reverse crab, two pellets flanking claws, one or two left fish below; nice green patina; scarce variant; $405.00 (€311.85)
Velia, Lucania, Italy, c. 334 - 300 B.C.
Signed! The KE obversemonogram is the signature of Kleudoros, the artist or mint master of Velia.
SH63418. Silver nomos, Williams Velia 339 (O176/R248); HN Italy 1296, F, nicely toned, weight 7.263 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 135o, Velia mint, c. 334 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Phrygian helmet decorated with centauress, KE monogram behind neck; reverselion left, devouring prey, A above, UELHTWNin ex; ex Barry Murphy; $390.00 (€300.30)
Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.
In 603, the senate acclaimed the statues of emperor Phocas and empress Leontia. This trivial event was the last ever mention of the Roman Senate in the Gregorian Register.
SH37473. Bronze half follis, DOC IIpart 1, 63a: SBCV 663, EF, weight 6.657 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Nicomedia mint, 603 - 604 A.D.; obverse d N FOCA PER AVG, crowned bust facing, wearing consular robes, mappa in right, cross in left; reverse large XX, cross above, II (year 2) right, NIKOA in exergue; $360.00 (€277.20)