See below for coin details, description and metrics.

A poem about this coin’s beauty:
“In ancient Athens, A silver owl with branch bright, Rare coin of delight.”

In Latin:
“Nummus AtheniensisStrigam argenteam habet, olivaeRamos et legendas.“

1 in stock

SKU: mgc67anc220703 Categories: , Tags: , , , , ,


Ruler: Greek, Athens Period: to
  • Denomination:
  • Grade:
  • Exergue/Mint:
  • Material: silver
  • Weight (g):
  • Diameter (mm): 24
  • Obverse: Wreathed Athena facing right
  • Reverse: Owl with sprig of olive branch right and 'ATHE' legend
  • The Greeks considered themselves as composed of 4 tribes including Aeolians, Achaeans, Dorians and Ionians and there are varying references to the earliest coinage being produced either by the Lydians or Aeolians at Kyme and their king Midas. Ancient Greek coinage consisted of Staters, Drachms (and multiples thereof) as well as the smallest denominations of Obols and Hemiobols. The earliest coinage were Obols some of which have been found dating earlier than 800BC. Given that Greek culture was made up of many city-states there was great variety of production, though the economic strength of Athens came to predominate in coinage types and standards. As Greek coinage was among the first it was also highly influential on later and surrounding cultures, partly due to the many colonies they settled across the Mediterranean as well as due to Alexander the Great's conquests. The Greek military tendency to use foreign mercenaries, particularly from north European Celtic tribes also meant that Greek coinage came to influence Celtic production and it is interesting to observe the similarities and progressions from Greek types of Philip or Alexander across to Celtic equivalents.
  • A drachm or drachma was a small silver coin used in ancient Greece from around the 6th century BC. It was worth about six obols or a handful of arrows although different city states minted it with varying weights. The pre-emnence of Athens brought the Athenian type to be a benchmark and the conquests of Alexander the Great extended its use across the empire although inflationary pressures over time brought it to be gradually debased with increasing quantities of copper. The last Greek drachma was minted in AD 267.

Additional information

Dimensions 2.4 × 2.4 × 0.5 cm