(Rosemont, Illinois, United States) – Sales of Ancient Greek coins at the Chicago International Coin Fair held in Rosemont, Illinois, show that there is a market for coins originating in Ancient Greece. Among those coins sold include the Athenian Owl Silver Tetradachm from the Athens city-state, which commanded a price of $4,935, the Aegean Silver Turtle Stater, which was sold for $376 and came from the Greek island of Aegina, the Sicilian Silver Stater, which was sold for $1,997.50 and came from the Ancient Greek colony of Sicily. These sales show that sales of Ancient Greek coins remains strong despite fears that sales to American collectors would drop off due to several patrimony laws that were enacted recently.
The coins sold at this auction were authenticated by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporations’ NGC Ancients Program, which gives collectors the confidence that they are purchasing real coins, not imposters. By authenticating these coins, collectors can not only breathe easy knowing that they are purchasing authentic coins, but they can also gain an understanding of the history of some of these coins. David Vagi, who heads up the authentication program, is devoted to helping buyers make informed choices while also taking the guesswork out of grading, authenticating, and attributing these coins.
By far, the Athenian Owl Silver Tetradrachm was the highlight of the auction. The coin, which came from the Athenian City-State, is in mint state and is dated somewhere in between 440 to 404 B.C. At the time that the coin was made, Athens was one of the wealthiest and most popular of all the city-states. In ancient Greece, the country wasn’t unified. Rather, individual city-states were found all over the Greek-speaking world and each had their own system of government. There were also several Greek colonies, such as Sicily, which is now located in modern day Italy. Authentic coins from Ancient Greece remain popular with collectors, particularly if they are in good condition. The Athenian Silver Tetradrachm coins are amongst the most popular because of the history. They are also fairly striking because they depict the goddess Athena on one side, and her animal representation, the owl, on the other. Athena is the patron goddess of Athens and her influence is still celebrated in modern day Athens.