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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Ptolemaic Egypt||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt

After Alexander the Great's death, Egypt was administered by Ptolemy, one of his friends and generals. In 305 B.C. Ptolemy crowned himself king, establishing one of the most important and flourishing Hellenistic monarchies. The culture was a complex mixture of Egyptian and Greek traditions, best represented by the famous city of Alexandria. As all other Hellenistic kingdoms, Egypt suffered a slow decline in parallel with the mighty rising of Rome, and it's end witnessed the great story of Queen Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and Marc Antony.


Arsinoe II, Wife of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

David Sear notes, "a handsome example of this remarkable coinage." Following Arsinoe's death in 268 B.C., Ptolemy II minted a massive issue of outstanding gold and silver medallic coins honoring his departed wife.

Arsinoe II is portrayed in the guise of Isis. Her worship was widespread during this period, and for generations following it.
SH24847. Gold oktodrachm, Svoronos 475; BMC Ptolemies p. 43, 10 and pl. VIII, 4; SGCV II 7768, gVF, weight 27.702 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 253 - 246 B.C.; obverse diademed and veiled head or Arsinoe II right, K behind; reverse APΣINOHΣ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY, double cornucopia bound with fillet; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

On the certificate, David Sear conservatively grades this coin, "almost EF, a superb example of this interesting dynastic coinage."
SH24848. Gold tetradrachm, Svoronos 604; BMC Ptolemies p. 40, 4 - 5; SNG Cop 133; SGCV II 7790, superb aEF, weight 13.813 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 265 - 260 B.C.; obverse A∆EΛΦΩN, jugate busts of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, diademed and draped, and Arsinoe II, diademed and veiled, shield behind; reverse ΘEΩN, jugate busts of Ptolemy I Soter, diademed and wearing aegis, and Berenike I, diademed and veiled; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Ptolemy I, Satrap of Egypt, 323 - 305 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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In 332 B.C., Alexander the Great marched into Egypt, where he was regarded as a liberator and crowned pharaoh in the Temple of Ptah at Memphis. On either 10 or 11 June 323 B.C., Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, in Babylon, at age 32. While Alexander's funeral cortege was on its way to Macedonia, Ptolemy I stole Alexander's body and carried it to the heart of the Temple of Ptah, where he had him embalmed by the priests. Alexander's body was laid in a gold anthropoid sarcophagus that was filled with honey, which was in turn placed in a gold casket. Ptolemy claimed that the king himself had officially expressed a desire to be buried in Egypt. More likely, he was motivated by the custom that kings in Macedon asserted their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Ptolemy II later transferred Alexander's sarcophagus to Alexandria, where a royal tomb was constructed. Ptolemy X Alexander replaced Alexander's gold sarcophagus and casket with glass and stuck coins with the gold. The exact location of Alexander's tomb has been lost.
SH68257. Gold stater, Svoronos 11, Price 3975, Müller Alexander 6, SNG Cop 643, EF, weight 8.554 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Egypt, Memphis mint, reign of Philip III, c. 323 - 316 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake, hair in ringlets; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Nike standing left, wreath in right hand, stylus in left, thunderbolt left, small ∆I at feet on left; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 215, lot 775; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII & Alexander Helios, c. 38 B.C.

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Alexander Helios (b. 40 B.C., d. between 29 and 25 B.C.) was the son of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony. Helios (the Sun) had a twin sister, Cleopatra Selene (the Moon). He was made king of Armenia and king of king of Media and Parthia at about age six. After his mother's death, Egypt and his kingdoms were annexed by Rome; Alexander Helios was placed under the guardianship of Octavia and faded from history.
The exact denominations of this type and the other bronze units issued during Cleopatra's reign are unknown. Based on the bronze Egyptian denominations of Augustus used not long after this coin was struck, this coin was a diobol.
SH16527. Bronze diobol, SGCV II 7957, BMC Ptolemies 2-3, RPC I 3091, Vagi 76, aVF, among the finest known, weight 13.127 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, c. 38 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Cleopatra VII right, as Aphrodite, holding scepter and infant; reverse KΛEOΠATPAΣ BAΣIΛIΣΣHΣ, double cornucopia, joined at the bottom and bound with fillet, KYΠP monogram in lower right field; nice brown patina, among the finest known of this rare issue; rare; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Nikokreon, King of Salamis, c. 331 - 310 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Struck posthumously in the name of Alexander the Great, by Nikokreon, King of Salamis. Nikokreon succeeded his father, Pnytagoras, who had submitted to Alexander and personally participated in the siege of Tyre. After Alexander's death Nikokreon allied with Ptolemy against Antigonus and was rewarded by being placed in control of all Cyprus.
SH59888. Gold stater, Price 3149, Müller Alexander 632, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 8.554 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Salamis mint, struck c. 323 - 315 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake, hair in ringlets; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Nike standing left, wreath in right hand, stylus in left, rudder in left field; ex Ancient Art LTD; SOLD


Arsinoe II, Wife of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

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Following Arsinoe's death in 268 B.C., Ptolemy II minted a massive issue of outstanding gold and silver medallic coins honoring his departed wife.
In an important analysis of this type, Hyla Troxell demonstrates that the many obverse dies of this type are sequentially numbered, A through Omega, AA through double Omega, and AAA through triple gamma, but not annual. There are too many dekadrachm obverse dies for the obverse symbols to be dates. In addition, the style runs parallel with the gold octadrachms, which share dies with the silver tetradrachms. This coin is Svor. 461 from Troxell's Group II. Troxell provides a date range for the type. Since the obverse dies are sequential, it is possible to read into Troxell's dates and assign this coin a date of c. 262 BC.
Arsinoe II is portrayed in the guise of Isis. Her worship was widespread during this period, and for generations following it.
SH17799. Silver dekadrachm, Svoronos 461, BMC Ptolemies -, VF, weight 33.539 g, maximum diameter 36.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 262 B.C.; obverse diademed and veiled head or Arsinoe II right, lotus-tipped scepter over shoulder, Θ behind; reverse APΣINOHΣ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY, double cornucopia bound with fillet; SOLD


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

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Cleopatra VII originally shared power with her father Ptolemy XII and later with her brother-husbands Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. Her relationship with Julius Caesar led to sole rule. After Caesar's assassination, she aligned with Mark Antony. Her reign marks the end of the Hellenistic Era and the beginning of the Roman Era. She was the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.
SH91436. Bronze diobol, Svoronos 1871; Weiser 183; Noeske 380; SNG Cop 419; SNG Milan 428; BMC Ptolemies p. 123, 4; Hosking 166 (obol); Malter 284; SGCV II 7955, Choice VF, well centered, attractive red-brown toning, a little weakness in strike, weight 19.907 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 50 - 31 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra right, with characteristic melon coif hairstyle; reverse KΛEOΠATPAΣ BACIΛICCHC (Queen Cleopatra), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, cornucopia left, Π (80 drachms) right; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.

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An apparently unique tetradrachm with the Akko mintmark and the two letters perhaps associated with Sosibius, advisor to Ptolemy IV.

Ptolemy IV's surname Philopator means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.
SH64462. Silver tetradrachm, unpublished, cf. Svoronos 786 (Ptolemy II, different monogram), SNG Milan -, SNG Cop -; BMC Ptolemies -, Noeske -, Hosking -, VF, weight 13.792 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Galilee, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 205 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, ΠTο monogram at left, retrograde ΣΩ right; perhaps unique; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

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Use of the title "King" suggests a date before 261 B.C. The style of the portrait is that of mid-reign of Ptolemy II, and unlike and finer than those of the Phoenician mints. The portrait style and compact lettering are similar to those on the rare ΘE mintmark coins, probably struck at Thera, an Aegean base for the Ptolemaic Navy. A dolphin mintmark was used on Alexander tetradrachms from an unknown Greek or Macedonian mint. Perhaps this coin was struck in the same uncertain Greek city.
SH66538. Silver tetradrachm, unpublished(?), not in references held by Forum and no examples found online, VF, reverse graffiti, weight 14.083 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Greek(?) mint, c. 265 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy I right with aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, dolphin left before; ex Pegasi, unpublished, puzzling and possibly unique; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy VI, 204 - 181 B.C.

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Masterpiece portrait.
SH26895. Silver tetradrachm, BMC Ptolemies -, SNG Cop -, gVF, weight 13.890 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Salamis mint, 177 - 176 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, owl in left field, LE (regnal year 5) over ΣA (Salamis mint, Cyprus) in right field; superb portrait, fantastic style, extremely rare, possibly unique; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

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Noeske, H-C. Die Münzen der Ptolemäer. (Frankfurt, 2000).
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Catalog current as of Thursday, October 17, 2019.
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Ptolemaic Egypt