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Tetradrachm

Features

Country Minaean Kingdom
(Southern Arabia)
Type Standard circulation coin
Years 250 BC - 150 BC
Value Tetradrachm = 4 Drachm (4)
Composition Silver
Weight 17.08 g
Diameter 24 mm
Shape Round (irregular)
Orientation Variable alignment ↺
Demonetized Yes

Obverse

Helmeted head of Athena right, of 'barbarous' style.

Reverse

Owl standing right, head facing; 'fused' olive spray and crescent to left, AΘE to right; all within circular incuse.

Lettering: AΘE

Comments

Cf. Huth 152 (for similar).

As can be seen from the style of both its images and inscription, as well as from the strangely 'fused' olive-spray and crescent, this coin clearly belongs to the same series as the curious 'folded flan' tetradrachms (CCK 152 ff.). These coins were probably minted in the Minaean kingdom (composed of several city-states) that was situated in the area of Wadi Al-Jawf northeast of Sana'a, and bordering the Sabaean kingdom to the south. As discussed by M. Huth ("Monetary Circulation" in CCK, pp. 86ff.), the folded-flan coins were probably produced by hammering imported coins (in all likeliness, Athenian tetradrachms) into a flat round that was subsequently folded once or twice, and then struck. Obviously, overstriking imported coins would have been a much easier way of producing new coins from existing ones, and one has to ask why the Minaeans chose such a cumbersome method of production. The present coin, however, proves that overstriking was indeed used concurrently with the folding technique. As a consequence, the folded flan technique becomes even more enigmatic. It would be most interesting to identify the undertype of the present coin. (source: Classical Numismatic Group, Auction 99 catalog, lot 376)

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Date VG F VF XF AU UNC
ND (250 BC - 150 BC) 

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Coins Minaean Kingdom Tetradrachm