Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Monumental Alexander Decadrachm

    MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Alexander III the Great (336-323 BC). AR decadrachm (35mm, 39.61 gm, 10h). NGC XF 5/5 - 2/5, Fine Style. Ecbatana or Babylon, 325-323 BC. Head of Heracles right, wearing lion skin headdress, the forepaws knotted below chin / AΛEΞANΔPOY, Zeus enthroned left on throne with high back, himation draped around waist and legs, holding eagle in outstretched right hand and vertical dotted scepter in left, bee in left field; below throne, monogram in form of trident-head with superimposed Θ, M below. Price 3618A. HGC 3.1, 909. Müller --. Mnemata: Papers in Memory of Nancy M. Waggoner (1989), p. 69, 8 and pl. 15. Extremely rare, one of four recorded specimens with the bee mintmark. Areas of corrosion and porosity, obverse delamination, still a truly monumental piece, struck in high relief on an immense flan.

    Alexander's conquests "liberated" tons of gold and silver that had been locked away for centuries in the Great King's treasuries in Sardes, Susa, Persepolis and Babylon. Mint masters soon set to work turning this huge haul into coins, which were paid out to Alexander's soldiers and high officials in staggering quantities. However, the silver decadrachm denomination, worth 10 Attic drachms and 2.5 tetradrachms, was struck in limited numbers, indicating they were presentation pieces intended for only the top tier of Macedonian officers.  Only three decadrachm reverse varieties are known. Their extreme rarity -- today perhaps 25-30 examples are known to have survived -- makes it highly likely that these pieces were handed out by Alexander himself at a special ceremony, perhaps the one recorded at Susa in 324 BC where the great conqueror assembled his army and distributed up to 20,000 talents to his Macedonian veterans. The bidder on this piece thus has an opportunity to acquire a coin that, with a high degree of likelihood, could have passed through the hands of Alexander the Great.


    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  | NGC Coin Grading Guarantee  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    World and Ancient Coin Bibliography

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,028

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 3 days left to consign to the 2019 January 30 - February 4 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The sale of some of my collection was an easy process, especially with your help. Heritage Auctions provides collectors a reliable service and is a useful way to manage their collections.
    David J. ,
    New Bern, NC
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 November 8 - 11 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 November 8 - 11 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $6,735,105
    2018 December 6 - 7 HKINF World Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2018 December 6 - 7 HKINF World Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $3,312,394
    2018 December 5 - 7 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2018 December 5 - 7 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,814,223