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Syracuse


Ian
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In the real world, this coin is not exactly `museum quality', however, its likely to be the only one I will ever be able to afford and otherwise have the priviledge of owning...besides, there isn't another one in this `virtual' museum....yet. :)

 

circa 476bc struck during the reign of Hieron I, tyrant of Syracuse

 

988437.jpg

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From collecting experience, Syracusian coins are the epitome of beauty in ancients, but they are exponentially priced as you note. I myself have ventured into only one silver coin, and an 8 Litrai at that. Bronze is very very attractive, and much more attainable for collectors. It is rather like bronze is a bit overlooked, not that I mind though.

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In the real world, this coin is not exactly `museum quality', however ...

 

Still a nice addition. You must be very happy with it. The wear attests to the history. No telling what this coin saw in its day.

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Very nice Ian, happy new year.

 

The date is circa 476BC, I know it is just a typo.

Obv. slow quadriga, horses crowned by Nike

Rev. head Arethusa, 4 dolphins

 

Thanks for that. I've corrected the typo. still waiting here for the new year to arrive with us, but I take this opportunity to wish you and all of our fellow numismates avery good one when it comes.

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From collecting experience, Syracusian coins are the epitome of beauty in ancients, but they are exponentially priced as you note. I myself have ventured into only one silver coin, and an 8 Litrai at that. Bronze is very very attractive, and much more attainable for collectors. It is rather like bronze is a bit overlooked, not that I mind though.

 

what you say about bronze is soooo true. the problem is getting specimens that are more than just examples of the many and various different colours of verdigris. I've seen some very decent bronzes of Hieron and other later Syracusan leaders but they too come with a price to match. The `balance' of affordability is all relative to the size of your pocketbook, no matter the type of metal. Personally I'd be too tempted to 'curate' a not too perfect bronze, so I tend to stick clear of buying ancient bronzes that are within my price range :).

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Still a nice addition. You must be very happy with it. The wear attests to the history. No telling what this coin saw in its day.

 

This was a chance purchase on my part. Was browsing a Belgian auction catalogue last month and decided to venture the minimum bid........Well, in short I was more than delighted to pay the bill.

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From collecting experience, Syracusian coins are the epitome of beauty in ancients, but they are exponentially priced as you note.

 

It makes me glad to see others appreciate coins not in mint state. As far as Syracuse goes my favorite is an ugly silver hexas (1/6 of a litra or 1/120 of your coin) which weighs a bit under .01g (partly due to the peeling surface) and is 8mm in diameter. I've never seen a nice one in person but suspect I could not afford it.

108291602.jpg

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what you say about bronze is soooo true. the problem is getting specimens that are more than just examples of the many and various different colours of verdigris. I've seen some very decent bronzes of Hieron and other later Syracusan leaders but they too come with a price to match. The `balance' of affordability is all relative to the size of your pocketbook, no matter the type of metal. Personally I'd be too tempted to 'curate' a not too perfect bronze, so I tend to stick clear of buying ancient bronzes that are within my price range :).

 

 

Ah, yes, nice bronzes are rather the exception, in fact they are decidedly quite scarcer in practice than the silver brethren. However interests in them by collectors are commensurately lower, thus they command lower premium. Somehow the soils of Sicily must not have been very conducive to preservation of bronze as most coins are particularly rough. Of course it is possible to set back five figures on a nice AE, but nice examples can be found in the mid three figures also.

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Ah, yes, nice bronzes are rather the exception, in fact they are decidedly quite scarcer in practice than the silver brethren.

 

Also consider that large silver coins were circulated much less than small silver and bronzes simply because they were a lot of money. It is like $100 bills last longer than $1 bills. Most big denominations were used in banking and to pay large debts like land deals. That means they were stored in bulk in pots and cared for like the big things they were. Bronzes made daily transactions and could be spent a dozen times in a day. I'd be shocked to find a large pot full of Hexas denominations while it would be reasonable to find a pot with a thousand tetradrachms - all in mint state. Big silver will always be expensive but the combination of all these factors will make perfect bronzes a lot harder to find.

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  • 1 year later...

This is a silver obol from Syracuse circa 485 bc during the time of Gelon and Hieron. Detail is quite remarkable for a coin that's only 9mm diameter but clearly the worse for wear.

 

obverse is Arethusa. The reverse is a four spoked wheel. this one seems to have cuds at the centre which suggests the die was.... erm...dying :)

 

1013636.jpg

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