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Just won a coin I never dreamed of owning!


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Okay, normally I should wait until I have the coin to post these, but I'm just too excited! I just won a coin I hadn't dreamed of owning. In fact, I had known of the type, but never placed it on my list because I figured even if one came up for auction I wouldn't stand a chance.

However, when I noticed how rough this one was, I thought I may have a chance. I put a lowball bid in that was the most that I could afford. Then I didn't even watch the auction because I was too nervous. After the time I knew it had come up, I logged in and...I won! I'm doing the happy dance now!

Feel free to show off your "happy dance" coins.


This is a very rare imitative tet from Artaxerxes III and Pharaoh of Egypt. ACSearch lists fewer than 30 examples up for sale and mine is the lowest that one on CNG with the inscription has gone for. I'm sure the more well-heeled buyers were put off by the condition, but I rather like it since it shows the coin had some history. The test cuts were placed in the least egregious spots, both sides are well centered, and the details + inscription are still clear.

Now, I'm beyond stunned to realize that my Egyptian portion of my Philip II, Alexander III, and the Age of the DIadochi collection is complete! Soon, the coin above will join its siblings below. Note that Mazakes was a satrap of Egypt, but AFAIK all of his coinage was minted later, in Mesopotamia. The crazy thing is most of these coins I shouldn't even own due to their prices, but each I managed to pick up somehow. Recently I did a DNA test and some of my ancestry comes from Egypt, so maybe some ancestor was pulling for me. Maybe it was just luck, or maybe ignorance is bliss and I in fact paid too much. I'm just happy to have them.

I'm also wondering if this type is the only coin to mention the word "Pharaoh" at a time someone held the position. AFAIK, the Ptolemies only referred to themselves as "King" and not "Pharaoh", at least on their coinage. Nektanebo II did mint gold coinage in his name, but they don't mention "Pharaoh."


EGYPT, Pharaonic Kingdom. Uncertain pharaoh(s)
Late 5th–mid 4th centuries BCE
AR Tetradrachm 24mm, 17.03 g, 8h
Imitating Athens. Helmeted head of Athena right, with frontal eye / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent to left; all within incuse square. Van Alfen, Mechanisms, Group III.A.1, Fig. 2 = Buttrey Type M. Ex
Ex NGC encapsulation 5872733-112, graded XF, Strike: 5/5, Surface: 3/5.
Ex Ponterio 1985
Ex Robert W. Bartlett Bequest Sold for the Benefit of the American Numismatic Society


Egypt, Achaemenid Province. Sabakes, satrap, AR Tetradrachm. Circa 340-333 BC.
16.61g, 25mm, 9h.
Head of Athena to right, wearing earring, necklace, and crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl / Owl standing to right with head facing, olive sprig with berry and crescent in upper left field; uncertain letters to left, "Sabakes symbol" and SWYK (in Aramaic) to right.
Van Alfen Type III, 24-34 var. (O11/R- [unlisted rev. die]); Nicolet-Pierre, Monnaies 18-26 (same obv. die); SNG Copenhagen 4 var. (no letters on left of rev.); BMC 265 var. (same).
Ex Roma


Ptolemy I 311-305 BCE
27.5 mm 14.6g 1h
Sv.162 (37 ex) - Cop.29 - GC.7750 var. - BMC.- - MP.6
Avers : Buste cornu et diadémé d'Alexandre le Grand sous les traits de Zeus-Ammon à droite, coiffé de la dépouille d'éléphant avec l'égide.
Revers : Athéna Promachos ou Alkidemos marchant à droite, brandissant une javeline de la main droite et tenant un bouclier de la gauche ; dans le champ à gauche, un casque corinthien, un monogramme et un aigle sur un foudre tourné à droite.


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos
AR Tetradrachm. Tyre, dated RY 30 = 256/5 BCE
14.01g, 25mm, 12h.
Diademed head of Ptolemy I to right, wearing aegis around neck / ΠΤΟΛEΜΑΙOΥ [BAΣΙΛEΩΣ], eagle standing to left; monogram of Tyre above club to left; Λ (date) above monogram to right; A between legs.
CPE 577; Svoronos 657; SNG Copenhagen 488; DCA 20
Ex collection of R. N. Draskowski;
Ex Ephesus Numismatics, North Carolina, USA

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Incredible score! I didn't even know those existed. Huge CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Here's my Alexanders under the Ptolemys. Haven't leveled up to silver like your showstopper.


Here's dad on a Ptolemy II issue:



And a recent happy dance coin would be this little Drachm. I already had a Tet of the type and wanted a smaller budget drachm. I saw this and thought with that nice of a Alexander portrait it would go into the hundreds. It didn't and I was VERY pleased just how beautiful it is in hand:



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Very nice Lysimachos!

Just a bit of humor - I'm a bit superstitious in that I have this crazy belief that I need to earn every coin.

So, the evening before I ran six miles, then I completed chapter II of Love, Macedonians, and Dinosaurs. This morning I went to the park and photographed a beaver, came home and washed the dishes, then went into work and kept coding (while also attending a meeting) until I knew the item had come up.

Combined with some other items I won at two other auctions, I've decided to not participate in any more auctions this month. This one easily makes up for two losses I recently had at Roma.

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Super coingrats!!  Gotta love that feeling of winning a coveted coin at a bargain price.  I look forward to seeing your own photos!

I had a similar experience recently winning a Walwet hemihekte (similar to one that was in the CNG sale today, estimated at 1K... I can't see the sale price for some reason).  It was listed as an "ordinary" uninscribed Alyattes, but it clearly has some inscription:


and comes from known dies.  I was flabbergasted (and very pleased!) at the low hammer of only 250 USD.  It was definitely a happy dance coin. 😄 

Edited by Severus Alexander
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Congratulations on a key acquisition! 

I don't think I'll ever be able to purchase on of those Artaxerxes III owls.  I do have a Sabakes that I picked up in antediluvian times, at a local coin show that actually had a good representation of dealers selling ancient coins.

 Sabakes, Persian Satrap, circa 333 BC.  Ex CNG.

16.65 grams



And here's a very dark Ptolemy I Soter tetradrachm.

Ptolemy I Soter, 311-305 BC, tetradrachm, Uncertain Cypriot mint (Kition?).

Svoronos 124

14.7 grams



I hope to be able to create a thread in the near future on a group of pharaonic owls that are entering the market from Syria.  Here one example.

16.71 grams




Edited by robinjojo
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I did a re-shoot of my enigmatic Mazakes owl.  I say enigmatic because, while the Aramaic letters on the reverse for Mazakes, MZDK, the style of the coin imitates the classical standardized owls instead of the intermediate owls.  The Mazakes owls that I have seen are in the latter style, but these are only online examples I have located, so this observation is on a limited basis. 

The coin is from Roma E-Sale 60, lot 374.  It is fairly corroded, crude and over cleaned, but the letters for Mazakes are quite bold.

15.89 grams


Edited by robinjojo
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