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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Thrace & Moesia| ▸ |Istros||View Options:  |  |  |   

Istros, Thrace

Istros was probably the first Greek colony on the Black Sea, and was founded in 657 - 656 B.C. or sometime between 630 and 620 B.C. by Milesian settlers in a strategic position near the Danube Delta. The first monetary emissions consisted of cast arrow-heads, later marked with a wheel or inscribed IST. Proper coins were minted from the 5th century: attic standard didrachms with an incuse square reverse and cast small bronzes marked with a wheel. Later the staters suffered several weight reductions, and the incuse technique was discontinued. In parallel, Istros minted silver fractions, and after the silver issues were halted in the Lysimachos era, the city struck gold staters. Later, the city issued autonomous bronze coinage and Roman Provincial coinage.


Istros, Thrace, c. 340 - 313 B.C.

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The obverse type has been variously interpreted as representing the Dioscuri, the rising and setting sun, and the two branches of the river Danube. - Greek Coins and Their Values by David Sear
SH27175. Silver drachm, Dima subgroup II, 7, pl. V, 3 - 4 (R); SNG Stancomb 138 var. (right head inverted); AMNG I -; SNG BM -, gVF, weight 4.854 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, c. 340/330 - 313 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, left head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle grasping a dolphin with talons; rare without control letters or monograms on reverse; SOLD


Istros, Thrace, c. 280 - 255 B.C.

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The A below dolphin control symbol was also used on Dima subgroup VIII, 2. The later style is quite different. On this earlier issue, the left head is always inverted. On the later issue, the right head is usually inverted.
SH75321. Silver drachm, Dima subgroup V, 3, pl. VIII, 5; SNG BM 240; AMNG I 416 var. (right head inverted); BMC Thrace p. 25, 2 var. (same), EF, well centered and struck, weight 5.450 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 90o, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, c. 280 - 256/255 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, left head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle left grasping a dolphin left with talons, A (control) below dolphin; SOLD


Istros, Thrace, c. 340 - 313 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
The obverse type has been variously interpreted as representing the Dioscuri, the rising and setting sun, and the two branches of the river Danube. - Greek Coins and Their Values by David Sear
SH34244. Silver drachm, Dima subgroup III, 15, pl. VII, 4 (R4, this coin); AMNG I -; SNG BM -; SNG Stancomb -; SNG Cop -; BMC Thrace -, nice VF, nice style, some flatness to high points, weight 5.612 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 90o, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, c. 340/330 - 313 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, left head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle grasping a dolphin with talons, Θ (control) under tail, ∆I (control) below dolphin; the Dima plate coin (pl. VII, 4); very rare; SOLD


Istros, Thrace, c. 280 - 255 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
The A below dolphin control symbol was also used on Dima subgroup VIII, 2. The later style is quite different. On this earlier issue, the left head is always inverted. On the later issue, the right head is usually inverted.
GS38104. Silver drachm, Dima subgroup V, 3, pl. XVIII, 5 (this coin); SNG BM 240; AMNG I 416 var. (right head inverted); BMC Thrace p. 25, 2 var. (same), EF, weight 5.668 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, c. 280 - 256/255 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, left head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle left grasping a dolphin left with talons, A (control) below dolphin; this is the Dima plate coin (pl. XVIII, 5); SOLD


Istros, Moesia, c. 350 - 275 B.C.

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A beautiful coin, fine style, well struck, with an attractive turquoise-green patina, and with a control letter that is unpublished primary references!
SH54194. Bronze AE 17, SNG Stancomb 150 ff. var. (control letter), AMNG I/I 458 ff. var. (same), SNG BM 259 var. (same), SNG Bar 371 var. (same), SNG Cop -, gem EF, weight 3.797 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse IΣTPIH, eagle left grasping dolphin in talons, E below the eagle's tail; extremely rare variety; SOLD


Istros, Thrace, c. 340 - 313 B.C.

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The obverse type has been variously interpreted as representing the Dioscuri, the rising and setting sun, and the two branches of the river Danube. - Greek Coins and Their Values by David Sear.
GS86515. Silver stater, Dima subgroup II, 1, pl. IV, 1; AMNG I 429; SNG BM -; SNG Stancomb -; SNG Cop -; BMC Thrace -, gVF, centered on a tight flan, nice style, some die wear,, weight 5.748 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, c. 340/330 - 313 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, left head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle grasping a dolphin with talons, Z (appearing as H on its side) right below tail; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; SOLD


Istros, Thrace, c. 280 - 255 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
The obverse type has been variously interpreted as representing the Dioscuri, the rising and setting sun, and the two branches of the river Danube. - Greek Coins and Their Values by David Sear
GS86905. Silver drachm, Dima subgroup VI, 1, pl. XIX, 5 (same obv. die); SNG BM 256; AMNG I/I 425 var. (l. head inverted); SNG Stancomb 148 var. (same); SNG Cop -; BMC -, VF, obverse die wear, bumps and marks, edge crack, weight 5.744 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 90o, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, c. 280 - 256/255 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, right head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle grasping a dolphin with talons, ΦY (control) below; SOLD


Istros, Thrace, c. 256 - 240 B.C.

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The A below dolphin control symbol was also used on Dima subgroup V, 3. The earlier style is quite different and on the earlier coins the left head is always inverted. On this later issue, the right head is usually inverted.
SH13514. Silver drachm, Dima subgroup VIII, 2, pl. XXII, 3 ff.; AMNG I/I 416; SNG BM 237; SNG Stancomb 144; SNG Cop 192; BMC Thrace p. 25, 2, EF, weight 5.545 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, c. 256/255 - 240 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, right head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle left grasping a dolphin left with talons, A (control) below dolphin; SOLD


Istros, Thrace, c. 280 - 255 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
The obverse type has been variously interpreted as representing the Dioscuri, the rising and setting sun, and the two branches of the river Danube. - Greek Coins and Their Values by David Sear.
SH21601. Silver drachm, Dima subgroup VII, 3, pl. XX, 8 (R); AMNG I/I 440; SNG BM 251; SNG Cop 198; SNG Stancomb -; BMC Thrace -, VF, die wear, bumps and marks, weight 4.715 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, c. 280 - 256/255 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, left head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle right grasping a dolphin right with talons, ∆I (control) below dolphin; rare; SOLD


Istros, Thrace, c. 340 - 313 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
The obverse type has been variously interpreted as representing the Dioscuri, the rising and setting sun, and the two branches of the river Danube. - Greek Coins and Their Values by David Sear.
GS76336. Silver drachm, Dima subgroup I, 4, pl. III, 4; AMNG I 427; SNG BM 230 - 231, SNG Stancomb -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, gVF, areas of light corrosion, some light marks, tight flan, weight 5.561 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, c. 340/330 - 313 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, right head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle left grasping dolphin left with talons, Γ (control) under eagle's tail; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
Lindgren, H. C. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins from the Lindgren Collection. (1993).
Mildenberg, L. & S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
Moushmov, N. Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula. (1912).
Pick, B. Die antiken Mnzen von Dacien und Moesien, Die antiken Mnzen Nord-Griechenlands Vol. I/I. (Berlin, 1898).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Belgium, Bibliothque Royale de Belgique, La Collection de Bronzes Grecs de Marc Bar. (Brussels, 2007).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 2: Macedonia and Thrace. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain VII, Manchester University Museum. (London, 1986).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IX, British Museum, Part 1: The Black Sea. (London, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XI, The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Oxford, 2000).
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Vol. II: Thrace (Abdera to Pautalia). (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2005).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
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Istros Greek Coins