A few ancients to start with as I am starting to become enamored with some of the designs and the history behind them, for the ancients I am using the catalog description from the auction house when available. I do tend to buy ancients only NGC certified or from very well known dealers/auction houses. Due to the large percentage of fakes I would never dream of buying an ancient coin off ebay or similar site that was not already slabbed.
For the time being I am listing the coins more or less by date, if the collection grows large enough I may have to rethink that decision.
Ionia, Unknown City. C. 625-550 BC. EL (electrum) 1/24th Stater (7mm, .69 gm.). Raised Swastika/Incuse Swastika. Rosen 365. SNG Kayhan 702-3, Rare. NGC AU 4/5 - 4/5. This tiny little coin is not slabbed but is an NGC photo cert so I have shown the image of the complete cert.
LESBOS. Mytilene. Ca. 521-478 BC. EL Hecte (10mm, 2.52 gm, 5h). Head of roaring lion right / Incuse head of cow right; rectangular punch behind. HGC 6, 938. Bodenstedt 13. NGC Choice XF 4/5 - 4/5.
Mytilene was the ancient capital of Lesbos, founded around 1154 BC and was home to the poet Sappho.
LESBOS. Mytilene. Ca. 454-427 BC. EL hekte (2.52 gm). Forepart of boar right / Head of roaring lion right, within frame set in square incuse. Bodenstedt 41. HGC 6, 967. NGC XF 5/5 - 4/5.
LESBOS, Mytilene. Circa 454-428/7 BC. EL Hekte – Sixth Stater (10.5mm, 2.51 g, 7h). Bearded head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath / Confronted calf heads; palmette above; all within incuse square. Bodenstedt Em. 50; HGC 6, 976 corr. (palmette not always present). Good VF, slightly soft strike. The coins of Bodenstedt emission 50 are of two varieties, with or without the palmette on reverse. Both types are rare, each being struck from only one reverse die. This coin is one of 2-3 known of the palmette variety that were struck before a significant die break developed on the reverse at 6 o’clock.
LESBOS. Mytilene. Ca. 377-326 BC. EL sixth stater or hecte (11mm, 2.55 gm, 12h). Head of Athena facing slightly right, wearing triple-crested Attic helmet / Head of Hermes right, wearing kausia behind his draped neck, within linear square. Bodenstedt Em. 86 (dies d/Γ). HGC 6, 1012. SNG Copenhagen 319. Struck from dies of pleasing style. NGC AU 4/5 - 4/5.
BRUTTIUM. Caulonia. Ca. 475-425 BC. AR stater (8.01 gm). Apollo advancing right, holding branch, small daimon running right on arm, stag standing right before, head reverted / Stag standing right, tall laurel branch before. HN Italy 2046. Noe 84. Toned with iridescence. NGC XF 5/5 - 3/5.
Bruttium was taken by the Greeks in the 6th C. BC, now known as Calabria, it was also the first area called Italy. The famed Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras resided in Bruttium for many years.
THESSALY. Pharcadon. C. 450-375 BC. AR Hemiobol (0.48 gm). Head of Bull right in dotted circle/Ram standing left within incuse square. HGC 4, 304. BCD Thessaly II 610, very rare.
THESSALY. Trikka. Ca. 440-400 BC. AR hemidrachm (2.52 gm). Bull wrestler grabbing horns of bull to right, petasos and cape fluttering behind / Forepart of bridled horse right in square incuse. HGC 4, 311. NGC XF 5/5 - 3/5.
Also known in ancient times as Aeolia it rejoined the modern Greek state in 1881 after having been under Ottoman rule for 450 years.
Corcyra (Corfu) Ca. 433-360 BC. AR stater (22mm, 10.72m, 9h). Cow standing right, head reverted, suckling calf standing left / Double stellate pattern within square border; K to right; all within incuse square with rounded edges. HGC 6, 34. Very rare. NGC Choice VF 4/5 - 3/5.
According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, daughter of Asopus and river nymph Metope, and abducted her.Poseidon brought Korkyra to the hitherto unnamed island and, in marital bliss, offered her name to the place: Korkyra.
THRACE. Abdera. Ca. 411-385 BC. AR tetrobol (2.87 gm). By Protes. Griffin reclining left / Three grain ears standing within linear square in square incuse. SNG Copenhagen 341. May 356-357. Lightly toned. NGC Choice XF 4/5 - 4/5. I'll admit it, I bought this because of the Gryphon (and I prefer that spelling).
Located in the northeast of Greece Abdera was supposedly founded by Heracles around 654 BC.
Thrace, Apollonia , late 5th - early 4th C. BC. AR Drachm (2.87 gm). Gorgon Head Facing/ Anchor, A in left field, Crayfish in right field. SNG BM Black Sea 160-1.
Now known as Sozopol, the original name of the city was Antheia but was soon renamed to Apollonia. At various times, Apollonia was known as Apollonia Pontica (that is, "Apollonia on the Black Sea", the ancient Pontus Euxinus) and Apollonia Magna ("Great Apollonia"). By the first century AD, the name Sozopolis began to appear in written records.
Thrace, Maroneia, c. 400-350 BC. AR Triobol (Drachm) (2.83 gm). Forepart of horse left/grape cluster on vine.
THRACE. Chersonesus. Ca, 386-338 BC. AR Hemidrachm. 12mm, 2.4gr. Obv: Forepart of lion right., head reverted. Rev: Quadripartite incuse square with alternating raised and sunken quarters; pellet and wreath in opposite quarters. McClean 4076; SNG Copenhagen 843. NGC AU 5/5, 4/5
MYSIA. Parium. Ca. 4th century BC. AR hemidrachm (2.45 gm). Facing gorgonian head / Cow standing left, head right; ΠAPI around. SNG von Aulock 1319. NGC AU? 5/5 - 5/5.
Located in what is now Turkey Parium was a Greek city founded in 709 BC.
MOESIA. Istrus. Ca. 4th Century BC. AR drachm (5.65 gm). Facing male heads, one inverted / Sea-eagle left, grasping dolphin with talons, I below tail feathers. AMNG I 429. NGC AU 4/5 - 5/5.
BITHYNIA. Chalcedon. Ca. 340-320 BC. AR siglos (5.35 gm). Bull standing left on grain ear / Quadripartite mill sail incuse pattern. HGC 7, 517. SNG Copenhagen 348. NGC AU 5/5 - 4/5.
Chalcedon was founded by colonists from Megara in 685 BC. However excavations in the region show inhabitation beginning around 5500 BC.
Ionia, Miletus. C. 200-220 BC. AR Decadrachm (16.51 gm). Type of Alexander III (the great), Heracles/Zeus seated, fine style. NGC AU, 5/5, 4/5 fine style.
Settled by Greek colonists in the 11th C. BC Miletus had been a city in the Hittite Empire from at least the 18th C. BC (possibly named Arzawa).
Rhodes C. 175-150 BC, head of Helios 3/4 right / rose in incuse square with grapes. Currently raw and grading EF, small flan crack but with wonderful light toning. NGC Choice AU.
Pindar and other ancient writers are very detailed in the description of Rhodes in their manuscripts. The origins of Rhodes are connected to a divine myth about Zeus (leader of the ancient Greek gods) and Helios (god of the Sun).
According to this myth, after Zeus's victory against the Giants, he decided to divide the earth among the Olympian gods, the only god who received nothing was Helios.
He, according to the myth, was absent and "No one remembered to include him in the draw"! When he came back he demanded his share, but Zeus told him that he was not able to make the cast again because the rest of the gods would not agree. Helios was disappointed but asked Zeus and the other gods to promise that the land that was to rise out of the sea could be his.
As he spoke, a beautiful island slowly emerged from the bottom of the blue sea, Rhodes. Helios bathed Rhodes with his own radiance and made it the most beautiful island in the Aegean Sea.
AEOLIS. Myrina. Ca. 155-145 BC. AR tetradrachm (30mm, 15.91 gm, 12h). Stephanophoric issue. Laureate head of Apollo right / MYPINAIΩN, Apollo standing right, holding phiale and branch; at feet to right, omphalos and amphora; monogram in left field. Sacks Issue 24. SNG Copenhagen -. NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 5/5.