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    Description

    Bold Ptolemy II Trichryson

    PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285/4-246 BC). AV trichryson or pentadrachm (25mm, 17.83 gm, 12h).  Diademed head of Ptolemy I right, aegis around neck / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings starting to open; Σ in left field. Svoronos 547. SNG Copenhagen 106. BMC 1 (Cyprus). Boldly struck from dies of outstanding style, and fully lustrous. NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style.

    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.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th-14th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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