Greek gold stater to star in ancient coin sale

One of two known gold staters from the ancient Greek city of Magnesia ad Meandrum is offered in a sale of ancient coins at Heritage Auctions.

The city produced some of the most stunning coins in all of ancient Greece.

Magnesia gold stater

The Nike and chariot design is not found in other Magnesia coinage

This example (dating to circa 155-145 BC) depicts a detailed bust of Artemis on the obverse, with a beautifully struck Nike and chariot on the reverse.

This reverse design is a one-off. No other depiction has been recorded on any of the surviving coins produced in the city, indicating it may have been produced to mark a military victory.

The lot is valued at $30,000-40,000.

Magnesia was founded by a tribe known as the Magnetes in Ionia (a region in modern Anatolia, Turkey) circa 700 BC.

By the way, if you’re wondering where the Magnetes got their name, it's because the area of Thessaly the tribe originated from was known for being rich in magnetic ore.

There’s also a gold starter minted in the kingdom of Pontus under the reign of Persian ruler Mithradates VI.

The piece was minted around 89 BC and is one of a series of staters issued by Mithradates that feature his portrait in the Hellenistic (Greek influenced) style.

Less than half a century later, the Romans would become the dominant empire in Europe and Asia – making this one of the last Hellenistic coins produced.

It’s expected to make $20,000-30,000.

The auction will take place over September 7-12 in Long Beach.

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