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260-250 BC Perinthus Silver Tetradrachm of Lysimachos NGC AU
The Lysimachus Silver Tetradrachm of Perinthus -- a Unique Variant of an Extremely Rare Coin!
- Minted -- Perinthus, circa 260-250 BC
- Grade -- NGC About Uncirculated (AU), Strike 5/5, Surface 3/5, "Fine Style"
- Obverse -- Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, with horn of Ammon
- Reverse -- Athena enthroned left, holding a Nike crowning Lysimachos' name M monogram above double horse protome in left field, ΣΩ in exergue
- Legend -- ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΛΥΣΙΜΑΧΟΥ (Of King Lysimachus)
- Diameter -- 29 mm
From the desk of GovMint.com's resident ancient coin expert, David Levine:
- This is a unique variant of an extremely rare coin -- one of only five coins with these mint marks and monograms. However, this coin is in much better condition than the other coin and also has the monogram in a different position.
- An absolutely beautiful coin with great definition and detail on both the obverse and reverse.
- The issues of Perinthus, struck during Lysimachus' lifetime and after his death, are currently being studied, although no formal publication has yet appeared.
- The coinage must have been quite small as shown by the limited number of dies extant, as well as by the population of Lysimachi from Perinthus that are recorded in the market in the last 15 years. Of all tetradrachm varieties, there are only some 25 pieces recorded.
- The present emission marked by a complex M monogram in the left field and the letters ΣΩ in exergue has been documented in only two specimens -- the present one, as well as a lower grade piece struck with a different reverse die (where the monogram appears BELOW the double horse protome).
- Whether Lysimachus wanted to honor Alexander or just needed a boost in support by connecting himself with the 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' coinage 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.