393-294 BC Attica Athens Silver Tetradrachm w/Athena Obverse & Owl Reverse NGC Ch F

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Item #
320783

These Owls Proved to Be Very Wise

  • ANCIENT HISTORY YOU CAN HOLD IN YOUR HANDS – Each coin is between 2,300 and 2,400 years old from a time when Athens was a cultural center of the world and the heart of ancient Greece. Athens was a key city-state that laid the foundations for Western civilization. Now you can hold an actual piece of that history in your hands!
  • HISTORIC SYMBOLIC DESIGNS – Athena was the goddess of wisdom and warfare and the patron goddess of Athens. In Greek mythology, she was the daughter of Zeus. The owl is Athena’s familiar and, according to legend, she sometimes took the form of her owl.
  • EACH COIN STRUCK BY HAND – Your Athenian Owl Silver Tetradrachm was carefully struck by ancient artisans more than two millennia ago. Because of this, no two coins are exactly alike!
  • NICE COLLECTOR GRADE CONDITION – Each coin has been certified and graded by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) as being in Choice Fine (Ch F) condition and will show wear and flattening on its high points and field areas, with some detail remaining in the recessed areas of the coin.
  • SEALED IN A PROTECTIVE HOLDER – Your coin has been sonically sealed in an acrylic holder with a white display core – giving you the best in protection while granting clear sightlines into every beautiful detail.

Struck sometime between 393 and 294 BC, this Greek Silver Tetradrachm was minted in Athens, the capital city of Attica, a region of the Greek empire. It features perhaps the most iconic and instantly recognizable designs found on ancient coinage: the Athenian Owl, flanked by the crescent moon, olive branch, and monogram of its city of origin. The obverse features the goddess Athena, protected by her beautifully designed helmet.

Part of what makes these coins so historically important is that they are the first mass-circulated coins ever produced! In fact, the Athenian Silver Tetradrachm was so widely circulated and universally accepted that even cities politically unfriendly to Athens accepted the coin as payment in everyday transactions. Minted from the vast amounts of silver extracted from silver mints that were owned and controlled by the city if Athens, the coin’s design remained unchanged for more than two centuries.

The original Athenian Owl Silver Tetradrachm was introduced in the 5th century BC during the Golden Age of Athens partially to fund construction of the Parthenon. Athenian culture flourished until the Peloponnesian War in 431-404 BC when Sparta defeated the Athenians. The period that followed was a time of rehabilitation for Athens. These classic Silver Tetradrachms with the iconic designs of Athena and her Owl were minted to support the rebuilding efforts. The idea of coins used as payment was a new concept at this time. In fact, many of the skilled laborers and soldiers who were paid with these coins simply had no idea what a coin even was, resulting in many coins being marked with knives or other instruments used to cut into their surface and confirm their contents!

The first coins to feature a “head” and “Tails” design, the coin’s obverse features the goddess Athena while the reverse shows an Owl with the inscription AOE which means “of the Athenians.” Athena was the goddess of wisdom and warfare and the patron goddess of Athens. In Greek mythology, she was the daughter of Zeus. The owl is Athena’s familiar and, according to legend, she sometimes took the form of her owl. President Teddy Roosevelt was said to have carried an Athenian Owl coin in his pocket, which in turn inspired him to order the redesign of U.S. coins in the early 1900s.

These Athenian Owl Tetradrachms were individually struck by hand using hand carved dies with Athena and the Owl. Each coin is between 2,300 and 2,400 years old from a time when Athens was a cultural center of the world and the heart of ancient Greece. Athens was a key city-state that laid the foundations for Western civilization. When one thinks of ancient Athens, images of the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Temple of Zeus come to mind. Now you can hold an actual piece of that history in your hands! Click one to your cart today!

Composition Silver
Condition Graded
Grade Choice-F
Currency Type Tetradrachm