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Gorgeous Bactrian Tetradrachm

By Chris Chatigny, Numismatist & Cataloger

Author: Chris Chatigny / Wednesday, April 12, 2017 / Categories: World Coin of the Week

The next highlight for our upcoming May Collectors Choice Online Auction is a wonderful Ancient coin from one of the farthest corners of the Hellenistic world. In the wake of Alexander the Great’s death his generals warred over the right to rule his empire. Though no individual would claim total dominion over the Hellenistic empire, successor states would arise and last for centuries. One of these was the Seleucid Dynasty founded by Seleucos I in the present day Middle East and Central Asia. The far eastern portion of the Seleucid Kingdom changed hands multiple times and was eventually taken from the Euthydemid Dynasty by Eucratides (the Great). Like the Diadochi and Alexander, Eucratides set off on a series of conquests of neighboring kingdoms, specifically the Indo-Greeks. The vast issue of coinage for Eucratides is a testament to his influence.

The obverse features a prominent visage of the Bactrian ruler, Eucratides. Sporting an impressive helmet (adorned with bull’s horn and ear), the king of Bactria looks ready to ride into battle. The reverse displays the twins Castor and Pollux, known collectively as the Dioscuri and commonly pictured on horseback. The Greek legend found above and below translates to: “Of Great King Eucratides.” This example presents a great strike from fine-style dies and displays exceptional luster. It is sure to hold a place of prominence in the next collection it enters.

We are still accepting consignments for our May 2017 Collectors Choice Online Auction through mid-April. We are also accepting consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our August 2017 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. In addition to this, we are taking consignments of world and ancient coins as well as world paper money for our August 2017 ANA Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.