An ancient coin: Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III AR tetradrachm, 17.18 grams; Amphipolis mint, lifetime issue, struck under Antipater, ca. 325 to 323 BCE. Obverse: Head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck. Reverse: Zeus enthroned left, throne without back and two leg struts, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, TE monogram lower left, concave field. This coin is set into a modern 18 karat gold border studded with 16 diamonds (8 on each side, amounting to .81 karats). A modern 18 karat gold loop with clasp and 20 inlaid diamonds allows this pendant to be worn. Size: 1.25" W x 1.8" H (3.2 cm x 4.6 cm); gold setting is 18 karat; total weight of coin and setting: 36.8 grams
Alexander the Great needs no introduction, and his coinage had subsequent international fame - although they began to be minted during his lifetime, coins of this style were also issued for two decades after his death by the generals who had divided up his empire, and similar coins were minted by cities for over two centuries to be issued as international coinage. During his lifetime, the production of these coins also speaks to the vast international reach that his empire (and his fame) had: twenty-five mints produced these tetradrachms, of which two were in his home kingdom of Macedonia, one was in his conquered territory of Egypt, and the other twenty-three were in various parts of Alexander-conquered or -influenced Asia.
Provenance: ex-private Rochester, Michigan, USA collection
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