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    Magnificent Ptolemy II Pentadrachm

    PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285/4-24 BC). AV trichryson or pentadrachm (25mm, 17.75 gm, 1h).  Alexandria, RY 10 (276/7 BC). Diademed head of Ptolemy I right, aegis around neck / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings starting to open; Σ over shield in left field, regnal year I (10) between eagle's legs. Svoronos 573 and pl. XIII, 3. SNG Copenhagen --, cf. 106 (year 5). Very rare variety-- only two other examples having been offered at auction in the last decade. Perfectly struck from dies of outstanding style, with full, brilliant luster. NGC Choice AU? 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style

    From The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern. Ex Gorny & Mosch 146 (6 March 2006), lot 300. 

    The gold trichryson, a gold piece of about 24mm and 17.8 grams (the approximate size and weight of an Attic silver tetradrachm), was first introduced by Ptolemy I shortly after he assumed the title of Basileus (king) in 305 BC. The weight was equivalent to five Ptolemaic silver drachms on the reduced Phoenician standard adopted by Ptolemy I (hence the modern term "pentadrachm" usually applied to this denomination) but under the Ptolemaic system the value would have been 12 times as great, or 60 silver drachms, a huge sum in the ancient world and equivalent to perhaps $2,500 in modern U.S. currency. It was the largest gold coin the world had yet seen, testament to the vast wealth of Egypt. The Alexandria mint employed the best engravers in the production of its gold coinage and the quality of portraiture is typically outstanding. The production of gold trichrysons continued under Ptolemy II Philadelphus, with the added feature of a regnal date added between the eagle's legs. Circa 270 BC it was replaced by an even larger gold coin, the mnaieion, worth 100 silver drachms. 


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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