Thracian Lysimachus Silver Tetradrachm in a Crystal Pendant

£ 1,500.00

An ancient Greek, Thracian, silver tetradrachm, struck for Lysimachus, encased in a crystal bezel. On the obverse of the coin is the depiction of the deified Alexander the Great as Zeus Ammon. He is portrayed in profile wearing a thin diadem. The ridged, ram’s horns of the god can be seen through the locks of hair, famous characteristics. The reverse displays the seated Greek goddess Athena Nikephorus, the ‘Victory Bearer’, holding a miniature Nike in her right hand. Athena appears in a crested helmet with a round shield to her side. To the right of the goddess is the legend ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ (BASILEUS), translating as ‘King’. To the left of Athena, in the field, is a mintmark; HP. It flanks the other legend, naming our coin; ΛΥΣΙΜΑΧΟΥ (LYSIMACHOU). The ‘o-u’ ending of the successor’s name signifies the genitive form and denotes possession, and can thus be translated as ‘[coinage] of Lysimachus’. The final mark to the left of the legend is an aphlaston; the upward curving stern of an ancient warship.

The coin is encased in a custom-made stainless steel bezel to the obverse, decorated with high quality faceted crystal. On the reverse there is a silver mount, hallmarked at the top, to stabilise the coin within its frame. The steel suspension loop is also branded with a recessed TP, in collaboration with Tresor Paris, the Hatton Garden jewellers. The pendant is hung from a silver chain, included with the piece.

Dimension listed below measure from closed clasp to the end of the pendant.

Date: Coin circa 297/6-282/1 BC. Pendant casing and chain modern.
Condition: Very fine coin, with clear and raised detailing. Legends clearly visible to the reverse.
Product Code: GS-116
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The Greek tetradrachm (τετράδραχμον) was the name given to the currency of Ancient Greece, equivalent to four drachmae, the ancient unit of measurement used in many Greek city-states and in many Middle Eastern kingdoms of the Hellenistic period. This particular tetradrachm was minted in the Kingdom of Thrace, specifically Lampsacus, which was ruled by the ‘diadochos’ Lysimachus. Upon the death of Alexander the Great, his vast empire was divided amongst his generals and chief counsellors; notably Ptolemy, Antigonas, Cassander and Seleucus.  As a governor of Thrace, Lysimachus didn’t consolidate his power until 306/305 BC, when he assumed the title of ‘Basileus’. The next 15 years were spent fighting the Wars of the Diadochi, as Alexander’s generals all vied for power. By 287 BC Lysimachus had siezed control of Macedonia as well, cementing his position as successor to Alexander the Great. Lysimachus died in 281 BC at the Battle of Corupedium, the last battle between the ‘Diadochoi’, fought between Lysimachus and Seleucus I Nicator. 

In the effort to cement their legitimacy as Alexander’s successor, the coins of the ‘Diadochoi’ served an important function. Imagery and it’s propaganda were vitally important. This particular coin features the profiled head of the deified Alexander the Great, styled as Zeus Ammon. The prominent ridged horns  proudly curve and protrude from the locks of hair. A diadem also sits proudly on the profile head. The imagery is perfectly clear; Lysimachus’ right to rule is secured through his connection to Alexander. Just as Alexander included the images of his deified ancestors Herakles and Zeus, on the obverse and reverse respectively, so too is Lysimachus. The supremacy and legitimacy were set in stone, or silver as the case was.

To learn more about the coins of Alexander The Great, please visit our relevant blog post: An Introduction to the Coins of Alexander The Great.

Weight 46.4 g
Dimensions L 29 cm
Greek & Hellenistic Rulers

Alexander the Great, Lysimachus

Greek Mythology

Athena, Nike, Zeus




Southern Europe

Semi-Precious Stone


Reference: For similar coin: The British Museum, London, item RPK,p86B.17.Lys

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