Alexander The Great Coins
Athenian Owl Coin
ALEXANDER THE GREAT COINS
Collected for their beauty and historical significance, Alexander the Great Coins boast the perfect combination of art and scarcity.
Alexander the Great Coins depicted some very powerful symbols, with Herakles (Hercules), Zeus and Nike being among the most notable. Many different coins were minted for Alexander III of Macedon during his reign; however, the majority of these coins were struck after his death in June 323 BC. Pretty much all Alexander the Great Coins are rare and some issues are harder to find than others, such as the scarce Gold Stater Coin.
Even though he was only 20 years old when he became the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon, Alexander the Great issued coins that went on to influence the future of coinage on three continents. They were used primarily in the international trade, and gained popularity in the ancient Greek world and beyond.
Today, Ancient Alexander the Great Coins are extremely sought after by investors and collectors from every corner of the globe. These coins are not only beautiful works of art but also important historical pieces that were once approved by history’s most successful military commander.
The Greatest Conqueror of All Time
Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander the Great was proclaimed king at the age of 20 after the assassination of his father, Philip II. Alexander spent many of his ruling years campaigning through Asia and northeast Africa and established one of the largest empires in the ancient world. He is said to have killed his rivals before they got the chance to challenge his supremacy and destroyed rebellions for independence in northern Greece.
After conquering most of the known world of his day, Alexander was referred to as “the Great.” He died in June 323 BC in the palace of NebuchadnezzarII in Babylon (now Iraq) at age 32. After Alexander died, his empire collapsed as a result of various generals battling for power. They started a war among themselves and fought hard for the regions conquered by Alexander. However, there were no real successors after the undefeated military commander’s death.
Alexander’s legacy extended beyond the various regions he conquered. He exposed many areas to Greek influence and civilization and founded cities that became important cultural centers. Alexander was also responsible for the production of a large number of coins which were used to fund his campaigns, pay for supplies and compensate his loyal soldiers. His coins were also minted long after his death and became standard currency for centuries.
The Most Commonly Minted Alexander the Great Coins
As mentioned earlier, a variety of different coins were struck when Alexander the Great was king, with the three main denominations being the Silver Tetradrachm, Silver Drachm and Gold Stater. These coins were also regularly struck after his death by other historical figures who had built close relationships with Alexander III.
The most common Alexander the Great Coin is the Silver Tetradrachm, minted during Alexander’s life and for two centuries after his death. It was the generals responsible for splitting up Alexander’s empire who first minted the coin following his demise, and they carried on doing so for around 20 years. However, Silver Tetradrachms continued to be minted as international coinage for another two centuries by various independent cities. According to experts, tens of millions of these coins were struck over the years.
Silver Tetradrachms have a value of 4 Drachms and, while there are different varieties, most feature the same designs. The best known Silver Tetradrachms of Alexander the Great have an obverse design of a right-facing Hercules wearing a lion skin headdress, with the lion’s open mouth covering most of his head. On the reverse of the coin is Zeus seated left, with an eagle in his outstretched right hand and a scepter in his left. There is also an inscription on the reverse which translates to Of King Alexander.
These coins were struck to the Attic weight standard, a standard established by the Athenians. Many people believe that the image of Hercules is meant to represent Alexander because they were both known as fighting heroes.
Although fairly common, Silver Drachms were not as heavily produced as the Silver Tetradrachms back in ancient times. Research shows that majority of Alexander the Great Silver Drachms were minted after his death, most of which were struck in Asia Minor.
These coins feature the exact same obverse and reverse designs as the Silver Tetradrachm. Like the Silver Tetradrachms, different varieties of the Silver Drachm were produced over time, but not as many because fewer cities minted them. They were also made to the Attic weight standard.
There is a very rare Silver Drachm to look out for with a reverse that displays the image of a left-facing eagle perched on a branch, rather than the seated Zeus. This coin is also known as the Alexander Eagle Drachm and is incredibly scarce, especially as the eagle coin was much less commonly minted that the Zeus coinage.
The Gold Stater is an almost pure gold coin composed of .997 fine gold. It was one of the highest denomination coins of its day weighing in at roughly 8.67 grams. Alexander the Great approved the production of these coins using gold from mines in Macedonia and Thrace, as well as gold from Persia. There aren’t as many examples of Gold Staters as there are Silver Tetradrachms and Silver Drachms today, even though a large number were struck during Alexander’s reign.
On the obverse side of the Gold Stater is Athena, the iconic goddess of Greece. Facing right, Athena is wearing a Corinthian helmet with her hair flowing around her neck. The reverse shows a winged Nike, the goddess of victory. Nike is standing facing left and holding a wreath in one hand and a stylus in the other. The engraving Alexander is also inscribed in Greek on the coin’s reverse.
It is believed that Alexander wanted Athena to be depicted wearing a Corinthian helmet because he characterized the goddess as the patron of Corinth. Plus, Alexander and his father had been appointed commander by the members of the home of the League of Corinth.
Add Alexander the Great Coins to Your Collection of Ancients
Minted throughout the ancient world during Alexander III’s lifetime and long after, Alexander the Great Coins incorporated symbols that influenced the design of coins for a staggering number of years. It’s clear that the former King of Macedonia played an important part in the history of coinage and, thankfully, we’re still finding examples of his artistic creations in the world today.
Issued during Alexander’s reign and produced by his Diadochi after his death, Alexander the Great Coins in exceptional condition are high in demand. The coins that were struck whilst Alexander occupied the throne are called lifetime issues and, unsurprisingly, command substantial premiums. Having said that, condition plays a big role in the pricing and value of authentic Alexander the Great Coins, regardless of when they were minted.
If you’d like to acquire an Alexander the Great Coin, look no further than Capital Gold Group. As one of the most trusted online dealers in the United States, you can count on us to provide you with genuine Ancient Coins, from the Silver Tetradrachm and Silver Drachm to the Gold Stater. We also accept special order requests, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’re looking to purchase any other Alexander the Great Coin or Ancient Greek Coin.
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