Octadrachm of Queen Arsinoe II - 253 BC

A superb example of the heaviest and most valuable gold coin from antiquity. A gold octadrachm issued under Ptolemy II Philadelphus 'sibling lover', in honour of Queen Arsinoe II. Struck at the Alexandria mint, circa 253 - 246 BC.

The obverse with the bust of the deified Arsinoe II. The Queen is shown veiled and wearing a decorated diadem, the horn of Ammon curled around her ear.

The reverse with the emblem of Arsinoe, a large double cornucopia, overflowing with the produce of Egypt; pomegranates, grains and bunches of grapes, bound with tasselled ribbons. The legend reading:

ΑΡΣIΝΟΗΣ ΦΙΛΑΔΕΛΦΟΥ

"Of Arsinoe Philadelphus"

 

The early ancestor of the American Double Eagle, the gold octadrachms minted by the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt are some of the most astonishing coins minted in ancient times. These medallic pieces were struck from nearly an ounce of pure gold and were valued at the equivalent to 100 silver drachmas. Octadrachms would have been used by the elite of Ptolemaic society, to buy the most extravagant foreign goods and to pay the wages of their mercenaries.

The majority of octadrachms that survive today are later issues, struck from dies of inferior style. This piece boasts a refined portrait of Arsinoe and has survived in superb condition.

 

Svoronos 460. SNG Copenhagen 134.

Octadrachm of Queen Arsinoe II - 253 BC. A superb example of the heaviest and most valuable gold coin from antiquity. A gold octadrachm issued under Ptolemy II Philadelphus 'sibling lover', in honour of Queen Arsinoe II. Struck at the Alexandria mint, circa 253 - 246 BC. The obverse with the bust of the deified Arsinoe II. The Queen is shown veiled and wearing a decorated diadem, the horn of Ammon curled around her ear. The reverse with the emblem of Arsinoe, a large double cornucopia, overflowing with the produce of Egypt; pomegranates, grains and bunches of grapes, bound with tasselled ribbons. The legend reading: ΑΡΣIΝΟΗΣ ΦΙΛΑΔΕΛΦΟΥ "Of Arsinoe Philadelphus"   The early ancestor of the American Double Eagle, the gold octadrachms minted by the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt are some of the most astonishing coins minted in ancient times. These medallic pieces were struck from nearly an ounce of pure gold and were valued at the equivalent to 100 silver drachmas. Octadrachms would have been used by the elite of Ptolemaic society, to buy the most extravagant foreign goods and to pay the wages of their mercenaries. The majority of octadrachms that survive today are later issues, struck from dies of inferior style. This piece boasts a refined portrait of Arsinoe and has survived in superb condition.   Svoronos 460. SNG Copenhagen 134.

  • Price: $30,000.00 - In stock
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