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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ IoniaView Options:  |  |  |   

Ionia

Ionia lies in central Western Anatolia (Asia Minor) on the shores of the Aegean Sea. The region is rather small and mountainous unsuited for agriculture but excellent for seafaring. Greek settlement took place in the 11th to 10th Centuries B.C. despite hostilities with the native Luwians (Indo-European people related to the Hittites and Lycians). After resisting fairly well to the Cimmerian invasion, the Ionians were gradually conquered by the Lycian Kingdom, and later by the Persian Empire. Ionia was freed by Alexander but became a contested prize for the Hellenistic kings, until the last king of Pergamum bequeathed his land to Rome. Ionia offered the world countless philosophers and men of science, and a fabulous school of art.


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 550 - 450 B.C.

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Kyzikos, purportedly the first Milesian colony, was located on the southwest shore of the Propontis in ancient Mysia next to the river Aisepos. Its prosperity was due principally to its two fine harbors, which made the city a convenient stopping point for merchant ships trading between the Aegean and Black Seas. Its principal export was the tunny, of which its waters had abundant stock. The prevalence of winged beings in Kyzikene coinage is a reflection of archaic mythological convention that assigned wings to most divine or sacred entities as an immediately visible and understandable symbol of their nature, and in the case of gods, of their power to move at will across great distances. In the case of the winged animals, we should probably understand these to be attributes of or animals sacred to a particular Olympian god.
SH86217. Electrum stater, Von Fritze I (Nomisma VII) 104 & pl. 3, 23; Boston MFA 1433; SNG BnF 245; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; BMC Mysia -, VF, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 16.091 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos mint, c. 550 - 450 B.C.; obverse winged dog seated left, head turned back right, curved archaic wing, wearing collar, tunny fish below to left; reverse quadripartite incuse square; extremely rare; $6500.00 SALE PRICE $5850.00


Ionia, c. 650 - 600 B.C., Striated Type

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Mankind's first coin type with an obverse and reverse! Rare and important. The earliest dated coin hoard was deposited in the foundation of the Artemision, the temple of Artemis at Ephesos, as an offering during construction, c. 600 B.C. These earliest coins, which included this type, were struck from electrum, a natural alloy of gold and silver found as nuggets in the rivers and streams of Lydia and Ionia. This striated type is the first type to have an obverse design in addition to the reverse punch. Because of its simple obverse design, it is described by some authorities as the first true coin.
SH87928. Electrum hekte, 1/6 stater, Milesian standard; Weidauer 6, Traité I 12, SNGvA 1769, SNG Kayhan 680, Karwiese Artemision I.6, SNG Fitzwilliam -, Rosen -, Zhuyuetang -, VF, light marks, earthen deposits, weight 2.293 g, maximum diameter 10.2 mm, Ionia, uncertain mint, c. 650 - 600 B.C.; obverse flattened striated surface; reverse two rough approximately square incuse punches; rare and important; $6000.00 SALE PRICE $5400.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

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See this type online:
RPC Online VI
Asia Minor Coins
ANS Mantis (No photo on ANS, but photo of this specimen is available on RPC Online.)
SH87621. Bronze AE 36, Karwiese MvE 5.2 p. 164, 750b (O3/R3, only 1 spec. of this variety); RPC Online VI T4956 (5 spec.); ANS Mantis 1972.185.5, Choice EF, excellent centering, olive green patina, some legend weak, small flaw/punch on reverse, porous, weight 25.344 g, maximum diameter 36.3 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, obverse AYT K M AYP CEB AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse M-ONΩN - ΠPΩTΩN - ACIAC, on left: cult statue of Artemis standing facing, wearing ornate kalathos, flanked on each side by a stag, arms with supports; on right: Demeter enthroned left, wreathed in grain, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical in left hand; EΦECIΩN in exergue; only the second known of this variety with stags flanking Artemis, fantastic HUGE 36mm provincial bronze!; $3300.00 SALE PRICE $2970.00


Western Anatolia, c. 620 - 600 B.C., Plain Globular Type

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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

Unpublished! The majority of the earliest electrum issues were struck on the lighter Milesian weight standard, with hectes weighing approximately 2.35 grams. This example, however is on the heavier Phocaic standard that was used at mints such as Cyzicus, Mysia and Phocaea, Ionia.
SH85577. Electrum hekte, Phokaic standard 1/6 stater; unpublished, EF, flan cracks, weight 2.721 g, maximum diameter 8.96 mm, uncertain western Anatolia mint, c. 620 - 600 B.C.; obverse plain globular surface; reverse one small incuse square punch; extremely rare; $2850.00 SALE PRICE $2565.00


Mark Antony and Octavia, 39 B.C., Ephesos, Ionia

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The obverse legend abbreviates Consul Designatus, Iterum et Tertium, meaning Consul Elect for the second and third time. The reverse legend abbreviates Triumvir Reipublicae Constituendae, the title adopted in November of 43 B.C. by the three Caesarian leaders (Mark Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus) when they formed the Second Triumvirate to oppose the tyrannicides Brutus and Cassius.
SH86609. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RPC I 2202, Sydenham 1198, Crawford 263, RSC Octavia and M. Antony 3, Sear CRI 263, BMCRR East 135, SRCV I 1513, Choice gVF, toned, well centered, some die wear and rust, scratches, weight 11.723 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, summer - autumn 39 B.C.; obverse M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT (Consul Elect for the 2nd and 3rd time), conjoined head of Antony and bust of Octavia right, Antony nearer and wreathed in ivy, Octavia draped; reverse Dionysus standing half left on cista mystica, in his right hand, thyrsus in his left hand, flanked by two interlaced snakes with heads erect, III VIR (triumvir) downward on left, R P C (Reipublicae Constituendae) upward on right; $2700.00 SALE PRICE $2430.00


Kyzikos, Mysia, 600 - 550 B.C.

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Kyzikos was founded around 675 by Milesian colonists on the south coast of the Propontis (now Marmara Sea), halfway between the Dardanelles and the Bosporus. The location was ideal for tuna fishing. Schools of tuna passed every spring to enter the Marmara Sea to spawn; schools passed in the fall going back to the Mediterranean. In the archaic period, the tuna catch was the main source of income for the city. In the 5th and 4th centuries, Kyzikos had an important role in trade between the Black Sea and Greece, especially in grain trade from the southern Russian region, which supplied the growing needs of Athens.
SH89445. Electrum hemihekte, Hurter-Liewald III 5.2; SNGvA 7255 (fish above off flan); cf. BMC Mysia p. 18, 2 (hekte); SNG Cop -; SNG BnF -, gVF, well centered and struck, scratches, light earthen deposits, many small edge cracks, weight 1.299 g, maximum diameter 8.7 mm, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 600 - 550 B.C.; obverse head of tuna fish left, two pellets right, smaller tuna fish right above; reverse irregular quadripartite incuse square; extremely rare; $700.00 SALE PRICE $630.00


Ionia, c. 650 - 600 B.C., Plain Globular Type

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Mankind's first coin type! Rare and important. This is an example of the very earliest form of coinage; a type-less (blank) electrum globule, weighed to a specific standard, with a simple square punch mark on one side (two or three punch marks on larger denominations). Nine similar electrum pieces were within the famous "Artemision Find" at Ephesus in 1904. This is an example of the very earliest form of coinage; a type-less (blank) electrum globule, weighed to a specific standard, with a simple square punch mark on one side (two or three punch marks on larger denominations). Nine similar electrum pieces were within the famous "Artemision Find" at Ephesus in 1904.
SH89746. Electrum hemihekte, 1/12 stater, SNG Kayhan 676, SNGvA 7763, Rosen 324, Traité II -, Weidauer -, VF, bumps and marks, closed edge cracks, weight 1.167 g, maximum diameter 7.7 mm, uncertain Ionian mint, period of the Artemision Find, c. 650 - 600 B.C.; obverse plain globular surface; reverse incuse roughly square pyramidal punch; $700.00 SALE PRICE $630.00


Ephesos(?), Ionia, c. 610 - 575 B.C.

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This type is among the earliest of coins. The location of the mint is not certain but examples have been found at and near Ephesos.
SH89744. Electrum 1/24 stater, Rosen 284 (Asia Minor uncertain), SNG Kayhan 724 (Myletos?), Mitchiner ATEC 105 (Ephesos), Karwiese 68 ff. (same), Weidauer -, aVF, bumps and marks, weight 0.556 g, maximum diameter 5.8 mm, Ephesos(?) mint, c. 610- 575 B.C.; obverse crude lion's paw seen from above; reverse deep incuse square; very rare; $400.00 SALE PRICE $360.00


Ephesos(?), Ionia, c. 245 - 202 B.C.

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Unpublished but there are seven examples, including this coin, on Coin Archives. The attribution to Ephesus and the date are less than certain. Lacking a legend, this rare issue has been attributed to Ephesos, likely because similar Artemis and stag types are typical of Ephesos. We feel this coin is from the most attractive die pair of all the examples on Coin Archives.
GS85902. Silver obol, SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Kayhan -; SNG Mun -; Klein -; BMC Ionia -; cf. CNG 161, lot 64 and Mail Bid Sale 75, lot 374, VF, attractive style, well centered, toned, lightly etched surfaces, weight 0.390 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos(?) mint, c. 245 - 202 B.C.; obverse bust of Artemis right, bow and quiver over shoulder; reverse forepart of stag left, head reverted; ex Savoca Numismatik, auction 14 (23 Apr 2017), lot 190; very rare; $205.00 SALE PRICE $185.00


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.

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Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and the Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
SH88882. Silver drachm, Thompson 127, Price L27, Müller Alexander L21, HGC 3 1752e (R1), Choice VF, well centered, attractive toning, weight 3.377 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, 299 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, eagle in right hand, scepter in left hand, right leg drawn back, lion-forepart left over Φ (control symbols) in left field, pentagram (control symbol) under throne, ΛYΛIMAXOY downward on left, BAΣIΛIΩΣ below; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Sunday, May 26, 2019.
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Ionia