Kings of Macedon, Alexander III, the Great. 336-323 BC. Damascus, c. 330-320 BC

Kings of Macedon, Alexander III, the Great. 336-323 BC. Damascus, c. 330-320 BC

2,000.00

AR Tetradrachm, 17.10g (25mm, 12h). Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress / AΛEΞANΔΡOΥ Zeus seated on backless throne, his left leg and torso facing front, his head, right arm and right to left; holding eagle in his right hand and long scepter in his left; monograms in left field and under throne.

Pedigree: Ex CNG 87, 18 May 2011, lot 340

References: Price 3197

Grade:  Wonderful centering with nice details. aEF (gk1175)

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The coinage of Alexander was one of the most far reaching types across the known Greek world. The only other comparable example is Athens, whose coinage was found frequently in lands far from its origin. This coin is termed a “lifetime issue” by some numismatists. The theory was that when the legs of Zeus are uncrossed it denotes an issue that was produced during Alexander’s lifetime. The theory was actually challenged some years later and it has generally been agreed that it is uncertain whether these coins are lifetime or not. Realistically there is a good chance that this particular coin was made while Alexander was still living as he conquered Damascus sometime in 331 BC. Shortly afterward he would have set up a working mint in the area. Obvious posthumous issues have a stylistically divergent Herakles than ones that are earlier.