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Choice Gold Stater of Alexander the Great

By Chris Chatigny, Cataloger

Author: Chris Chatigny / Wednesday, April 02, 2014 / Categories: iAuctions

The weekly iAuctions here at Stack’s Bowers are a great source for collectible coins within a reasonable budget! Every month (closing on the first Sunday of the month) these iAuctions will contain World and/or Ancient coins, including some very notable highlights such as this piece. This week we have a coin from the reign of one of the most famous ancient rulers, Alexander the Great. Widely regarded as one of history’s most successful military commanders, in just a decade he conquered much of the known world and his empire included Greece, Egypt, and Persia all the way to modern day Pakistan. He had plans to continue his conquests into Arabia, but died due to illness at the age of 32. Despite his relatively short life, Alexander managed to spread Greek culture and influence beyond the Mediterranean world, which would later be termed “Hellenization”.  As a battle commander he is remembered as an undefeated and brilliant tactician, and his methods are still taught in some form in modern military academies.

This gold stater reflects the strategy and military might that were essential to Alexander’s victories. The goddess Athena graces the obverse design, who was the patron of just warfare, wisdom and strategy. Athena’s head appears facing right, wearing a Corinthian styled helmet with an image of a snake along the side and a high ornamental crest. The reverse design is equally indicative of the importance of military might to Alexander’s reign. The image of Nike (who personifies Victory) adorns the design and stands facing left, holding a wreath and stylis. These are symbols of victory as well, and it stands to reason that Nike is shown in the process of crowning Alexander for his many victorious campaigns. Along the right hand side of the design, behind Nike’s wing Alexander’s name in Greek is shown. The monogram just below Nike’s right wing is an indicator of the minting location. Price attributes this mark and its location to the city of Byblos, in modern day Lebanon. This attractive coin resides in an NGC holder, with a strong grade of Choice Extremely Fine. NGC ancient coin holders also indicate the level of strike and surface quality, with this piece receiving a three out of five for the strike but a five out of five for the surface. Look for this incredible ancient along with the rest of our world, ancient and U.S. coins when iAuction 3475 starts on March 31st.

Our iAuctions are held every Monday to Sunday, with world numismatic items being included in the sales that end on the first Sunday of every month. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our iAuction items by clicking the Browse Auctions tab on StacksBowers.com. If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency for our iAuctions — whether it be a whole collection or a single rarity — be sure to contact one of our consignment directors by calling 800.458.4646.