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    Mint State 'Star' Ptolemaic Dynastic Gold Half-Mnaieion

    PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 BC), with Arsinoe II, Ptolemy I, and Berenice I. AV half-mnaieion or tetradrachm (20mm, 13.89 gm, 12h). NGC MS ★ 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style.  Alexandria, ca. 270/65-261/0 BC. AΔEΛΦΩN, jugate busts right of Ptolemy II, draped and diademed, and Arsinoe II, diademed and veiled; Gallic shield behind / ΘEΩN, jugate busts right of Ptolemy I, diademed and draped, and Berenice, diademed and veiled. Svoronos 604. SNG Copenhagen 133. Superbly struck with dies of fine style and fully deserving of the star rating.

    Ptolemy II (282-246 BC), second king of the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty, was a brilliant ruler who built the famous Library of Alexandria and towering Pharos lighthouse. In 279 BC, he married his sister, the beautiful and ambitious Arsinoe, in the manner of the old Egyptian pharaohs. While the marriage scandalized the Greeks, Ptolemy declared that he and his sister were gods, and not subject to the taboos of mere mortals. To mark the occasion, he introduced gold coins portraying himself and Arsinoe together on the obverse, while the reverse depicts their parents, Ptolemy I and Berenice I, founders of the dynasty, for a total of four royal portraits. The Greek legend ΘΕΟΝ ΑΔΕΛΦΟΝ translates as "To the Sibling Gods." These types came in several denominations, including the huge mnaieion, weighing nearly an ounce of gold, and its half, a coin of just under 14 grams.

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