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    Description

    Alexander's Golden Haul

    MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Alexander III the Great (336-323 BC). AV distater (23mm, 17.06 gm, 9h). NGC Choice XF 4/5 - 3/5, marks. Lifetime issue of Amphipolis, 325-323 BC. Head of Athena right, wearing triple crested Corinthian helmet pushed back on head, the bowl decorated with coiled serpent right / ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ, Nike standing left, wreath upward in right hand, stylis cradled on left arm; vertical thunderbolt in outer left field, AO monogram under wing in inner left field. Price 191. Müller 1. Troxell Studies, Group B. Gulbenkian 843. Boldly struck on a broad, round flan with deep incuse reverse.

    At the beginning of his reign in 336 BC, the Macedonian Kingdom was reportedly in debt to the tune of 500 silver talents (a talent being 6,000 silver drachms and a "king's ransom" in earliest Greek times). To give an idea of the vast loot his conquests amassed, at Susa alone Alexander seized 50,000 talents of silver and 40,000 of gold. This huge intake of bullion resulted in hitherto unseen denominations such as the gold distater, tariffed at two staters and ten silver tetradrachms, about 20 day's wages for a Macedonian soldier during wartime. The distater was likely employed to pay off many of Alexander's veteran soldiers, who were rewarded for their labors with the equivalent of a silver talent. With the new denomination, a talent could be paid out as 120 gold distaters. Despite their size and enormous buying power, gold distaters evidently circulated heavily, for most specimens found today display considerable wear and numerous contact marks.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    15th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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