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My Only Win From CNG Triton XXVI

Al Kowsky

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My only win from CNG Triton XXVI finally arrived yesterday 😄. I was thrilled to win this coin despite it not being a type I actively collect, it will be an excellent memento from this landmark auction.


SELEUKID EMPIRE. Alexander I Balas, 152-145 BC (dated SE 166, 147/6 BC). Tyre Mint. AR Tetradrachm: 14.23 gm, 27 mm, 12 h. Obverse: Diademed & draped bust of Alexander facing right. Reverse: Eagle standing left on ship's prow, palm branch behind; club with Tyre monogram in left field, & date with monogram below in right field. The inscription translates "Of King Alexander". Newell, Tyre 72; SC 1835.5A; DCA 123. Ex CNG Triton XXVI, lot 361; Ex Father & Son Collection; Ex CNG Group 87, lot 636, May 18, 2011. Photo courtesy of CNG.

This coin was struck on the Ptolemaic weight standard that was about 3 grams lighter than the Attic weight standard. Alexander immerged from obscurity & acceded to the throne by claiming to be son of King Antiochus IV Epiphanes. With support from mercenaries, he landed in Phoenicia in 152 BC & began a civil war with the Seleukid King Demetrius I Soter. He also received support from Seleukid insiders who were unhappy with Demetrius, & he was victorious in defeating the king. Alexander was a decadent ruler & his reign was marked by upheavals & serious losses of Seleukid territories in the East. He was finally assassinated & his head was brought to Ptolemy VI of Egypt. I won this coin for less than it sold for in 2011 😊.

I was "steamrolled" on the two coins that were on my wish list, a tetradrachm of Caracalla, & a tetradrachm of his father Septimius Severus ☹️. The Caracalla Tet, lot 563, had an estimate of $2,000 & I confidently bid $3,000 for it 😉; it sold for $15,925 including the buyers premium 😮! The Tet of Severus had an estimate of $1,000 & I bid $2,750 for it & was quickly outbid; it sold for $6,125 including the buyers premium 😦. The Severus Tet would have been a nice fit in my collection since I had a Tet that was struck with the same obverse die, but it wasn't to be 😢.


SYRIA, Antioch. Caracalla, AD 198-217 



SYRIA, Laodicea ad Mare. Septimius Severus, AD 193-211.


Pictured below is my coin struck with the same obverse die.



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2 hours ago, Ancient Coin Hunter said:

That's a beautiful pick-up. I am afraid we are still seeing bull market prices for top coins without a correction yet. If there is a recession things may quiet down a bit, but possibly "the flight to quality" will continue. 

A.C.H., There is certainly evidence for a looming recession with many companies making massive layoffs lately 😟. The Covid pandemic contributed to this situation along with many people unable to sustain a normal lifestyle while working for minimum wages. Employers are also demanding better productivity from workers on the lowest pay scale instead of trimming fat from management & corporate CEOs. Our elected politicians have created a 31 trillion deficit that we can no longer pay the interest on 😲! Other than that everything is hunky-dory. 

I also agree with you on "the flight to quality", & it's not just slabbed coins bringing these shocking prices it's raw coins too, as the two Severan Tets I posted prove this point 😉. I could see this "flight to quality" with high grade coins taking off 15 years ago & the last 5 years it's been accelerating. A recession will definitely have a downward impact on these crazy prices & many collectors who a paying these crazy prices will be sucker-punched when they decide to sell. 

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