250-230 BC Ancient Chalcedon Lysimachus Tetradrachm NGC VF

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A Rare Major Variant Lysimachus Portrait of Alexander Tetradrachm Minted in Chalcedon!

  • Minted -- Chalcedon, circa 250-230 BC
  • Grade -- NGC Very Fine (VF), Strike 5/5, Surface 3/5  
  • Obverse -- Head of deified Alexander the Great right, with the horn of Ammon
  • Reverse -- Athena enthroned left, holding a Nike crowning city name in left field, spiral ornament on throne and a grain ear in exergue
  • Legend -- KAΛXA-ΔΟΝΙΩΝ (Of Chalcedon)
  • Diameter -- 30 mm

From the desk of GovMint.com’s resident ancient coin expert, David Levine:

  • A very rare coin -- about 15 are currently known to exist.
  • Of those, a number are in museums, including the British Museum and the American Numismatic Society collection. Another that was minted from the same dies as this coin is in the Silifke Museum in Turkey.
  • This is a Rare Major Variant in the Lysimachus series -- the only one to combine the classic Lysimachus coin type with a city name legend.   
  • In addition, this coin has a very large portrait of Alexander the Great.
  • Experts catalogue ancient coins by their dies -- this coin has an unlisted reverse die.
  •  Lysimachus was a Macedonian officer and diadochus (successor) of Alexander the Great who became a king in 306 BC, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia.
  • Whether Lysimachus wanted to honor Alexander or just that he needed to boost his support by connecting himself with the great revered leader, he was the first to put a Greek king (posthumously) on his coins.
  • On the coins, Alexander wears a Horn of Ammon (ram's horn, symbolic of the Greco-Egyptian composite god Zeus-Ammon) and diadem (headband of cloth and ivy leaves worn as a sign of royalty).
  • This and similar renditions of Alexander on Lysimachus' coins are widely regarded as among the most gripping portraits of Alexander on coinage.
  • Later kings continued to mint coins in the style of Lysimachus, both to connect themselves with Lysimachus and Alexander, and to have their coins accepted since this coin design became a standard form of currency.
Condition Circulated
Grade VF
Currency Type Tetradrachm
Dimensions 30mm
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