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    Alexander Distater, Ex NFA I

    MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Alexander III the Great (336-323 BC). AV distater (23mm, 17.20 gm, 9h). Lifetime issue of 'Amphipolis,' ca. 325-323 BC. Head of Athena right, wearing triple crested Corinthian helmet decorated with coiled serpent / ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ, Nike standing left, holding wreath in outstretched right hand and stylis over left shoulder, thunderbolt in left field. Price 163. Müller 1. For the date, see Troxell, p. 128. Boldly struck on a broad flan. A few tiny and unobtrusive pin scratches, otherwise impressive and exemplary! NGC AU 5/5 - 3/5, Fine Style, light graffiti.

    Ex Numismatic Fine Arts I ("Collection of Ancient Coins from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Other Properties," Beverly Hills, 20-21 March 1975), lot 84. 

    To give an idea of the vast loot Alexander's conquest of the Persian Empire amassed, at Susa alone the Macedonians seized and "liberated" 1,400 tons of silver and 1,200 tons 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. This beautiful About Uncirculated example was only lightly circulated and has only a few unobtrusive pin scratches, visible only under magnification, likely deliberately made by a Macedonian soldier to mark the coin as his own. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    3rd-4th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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