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Medallic Greek Athenian "New Style" Silver Tetradrachm

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1261031

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Medallic Greek Athenian "New Style" Silver Tetradrachm

This beautiful coin is a large Athenian silver tetradrachm that dates circa 136-80 B.C. The grade is superb to mint state, with some metal loss on the obverse, is approximately 15.5 grams, and is approximately 1.4 inches wide. The standing owl seen within the overall design on the reverse is approximately .75 inches high. Both sides are very well centered and the reverse is extremely detailed. This coin is very large and has a wide flan, is slightly larger than most examples, and resembles a medallion. This coin type is known as a "New Style" Athenian tetradrachm, which was minted in ancient Athens, and recalled the grandeur of the earlier golden age of Athens. Athens lost the Peloponnesian War to Sparta circa 404 B.C., was later defeated by Macedonia at Chaeronea circa 338 B.C., and her coinage was severely curtailed until circa 190 B.C., when she was finally able to start minting this coin series which is known as the "New Style" series. This coin type was also known to the ancient Greeks as "stephanephoroi", meaning "wreath bearers". This coin is nearly pure silver and was an international currency from the second century B.C. until the time of Augustus. These new Athenian coins, recalling an older more familiar design with the helmeted Athena's head on the obverse and the standing owl on the reverse, quickly became the dominant coin in the region. While their basic design remained unchanged with the goddess Athena and her owl, the obverse on this coin shows the goddess wearing a very stylized helmet, and the reverse shows a wreath encircling an extremely detailed owl balanced on an amphora. The letters on the reverse: A-OE, represent A-THENS, along with the civic symbol of Athens which is the standing owl. There is also a cornucopia symbol to the right of the amphora, and both of these symbols represented the commercial trading bounty of Athens. This coin would also make a great pendant, as it is large and has a great deal of eye appeal. In addition, this coin has a flat flan which is not concave, and this is also a positive feature for a pendant. Sear no. 2555. BMC 11., no. 503. Ex: Harlan Berk collection, circa 1990's. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:

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