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Kirispupis top 10 ugly coins of the year


Favorite coin  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Which one do you like (or hate) the most?

    • Philotas
    • Eresos
    • Pasikrates of Kourion
    • Larissa Kremaste
    • Koinon of Kea
    • Nikagoras of Zeleia
    • Tyra
    • Same (Kephallenia)
    • Seuthes II
    • Nikaia, Bithynia

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Recently, I posted my top 10, but it just didn't feel right. I heavily skewed it towards the coins that looked nice, but not necessarily to those that filled major holes in my collection. I did this because most of my major additions are quite ugly and I wanted more likes for my post.

Therefore, without further ado, here are my top 10 that I'm proudest of this year and didn't include in the other post.

1. Philotas

I didn't even know who Philotas was when this coin showed up. Philotas was the father of Parmenion, who was Alexander the Great's chief general. Parmenion was eventually killed under Alexander's orders after his son Philotas (confusing enough?) was convicted of treason. Although Parmenion was not suspected of any complicity, it was far too dangerous to leave Alexander's rear guard under the leadership of someone whose son was executed. From this coin, Philotas (the senior) clearly had some independence before the time of Philip II.


Macedon, Local Dynasts. Philotas
Circa 400-380 BCE
Æ 2.76g, 13mm, 10h
Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion-skin headdress
Eagle standing to right, head reverted on thunderbolt; ΦIΛΩ to right.
Wartenberg, Philotas 1 (O1/R1). 


2. Eresos

Eresos isn't that rare of a city, but this was a huge pickup for me because it completed my Lesbos collection. I was actually so desperate to add this city - after losing out a few times - that I bid on different issues at two simultaneous auctions. My (stupid) plan was to not increase my bid on the other after winning one, but I wound up with both (the two came up within minutes of each other). This was the bigger addition, though, since the coin is unpublished and may be unique. It is the only Eresos coin I'm aware of that has a bust on both sides.


Lesbos. Eresos
circa 300-200 BCE
Æ 9 mm, 0,74 g
Head of Hermes to left, wearing petasos
Head of female right EPEΣI to left

3. Pasikrates of Kourion

My top priority collection is People of Philip II, Alexander III, and the Age of the Diadochi, but I've built it to where there are only a handful missing and each is tough. This was one of only a few coins I managed to add to the collection this year, and is one of two that I knew about before the year started. Pasikrates of Kourion (there was one of Soloi too who was a contemporary) joined Alexander the Great in the Siege of Tyre and may have lost his life during a Tyrian counterattack. His coins are incredibly rare and this may be the best of type.


Cyprus, Kourion, Pasikrates
circa 325 BCE
Æ 17mm 5.12g, 2h.
In the name and types of Alexander III of Macedon. Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress /
Bow-in-bowcase and club; laurel branch below, ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ between.
Price 3113; Cox Curium, 8; ANS 1944.100.26537


4. Larissa Kremaste

I absolutely fell in love with this rare 4th century bronze from Larissa Kremaste depicting Thetis delivering Achilles' armor on a hippogriff. I bought it immediately and the scene is slotted to reappear in a major turn in my upcoming novel All the Wonderful People. This coin also changed my focus to start paying attention to some of these wonderful reverses.


Larissa Kremaste, Thessaly
302 - 286 BCE
Ae 17.6mm 5.1g
Obv: Head of Achilles left
Rev: Thetis riding left on hippocamp holding shield of Achilles with XA monogram; LAPI below
SNG Cop. 151


5. Koinon of Kea

Okay, of all the coins I added this year, this one is where I clearly paid too much. However, it is extremely nice for the type and was the first of a number of Cyclades additions this year. So, perhaps it was a "good luck" coin. It is one of my favorite designs and is one of the few coins that inspired me to buy the book about Kea's coinage so I can correctly attribute them.


Cyclades, Kea
Keia Koinon Circa 4th-3rd Century BCE
16mm 4.81g
Obverse: Laureate head of Aristaios right
Reverse: Forepart of dog Sirius left, within rays of star
SNG Copenhagen 623-4, Papageorgiadou-Banis Series II, Issue 6


6. Nikagoras of Zeleia

Fine. I accept that everyone probably thinks that I'm smoking something when I say this was minted by Nikagoras of Zeleia, who insisted he was Hermes and dressed like him. (see my argument here) However, I still believe. At any rate, this is an extremely rare variant from Zeleia and I was thrilled to snag it.


Mysia, Zeleia
Nikagoras of Zeleia(?)
4th century BCE
Æ 12mm, 1.65 gm, 5h
Obv: Head of Artemis (Hermes?) left, wearing stephane decorated with pellets.
Rev: Z-Ε/Λ-Ε, stag standing left.
BMC__; SNG Copenhagen__;SNG France__; SNG Ashmolean__
Unrecorded in the major references with bust and stag left


7. Tyra

Coins from Tyra in the Bosporos/Scythia are not common. I've actually been meaning to do a write up on it, but I just love the design here. Sometimes a horse is more than a horse, of course of course.


Scythia. Tyra
circa 310-300 BCE
Æ 17 mm, 2,86 g
Head of Tyras right, wearing laurel wreath /
TYPA, head of horse right, wearing bridle.
SNG Stancomb 333; SNG BM Black Sea 342–3.


8. Same

Don't worry, I won't post all my photos of Kephallenia again. However, one of the greatest joys I had during our trip to Greece this year was touring the ruins of ancient Same with a guide and no one else. We had the entire city to ourselves. Therefore, a representative coin was a major target and I'm extremely happy to add one.


Islands off Elis, Same
circa 370-189 BCE
Æ 15 mm, 2,69 g
Filletedbull's head facing / ΣΑ.
HGC 6, 204


9. Seuthes II

The attribution to Seuthes II is not certain, but the alternative is Seuthes I - who is just as rare. I wrote my analysis here. This coin fill several major holes - first the city of Bizye, Thrace and second Seuthes II - who was a foe/friend of Xenophon's 10,000. The coin is extremely rare.


Kings of Thrace. Seuthes I or II
Bizye, Thrace
405-387 BCE
Æ 12 mm, 1,13 g
Obv: Horse prancing right; crescent above.
Rev: ΣΕ/Β/Ι around cotyle; all within square incuse.
Peter ---; Topalov (2005) p.13 No 10; Youroukova ---


10. Nikaia

For a solid week I cried and screamed across this forum while I tried to attribute this coin. My gut told me it was from Nikaia in Bithynia and thanks to some significant help from this forum it was identified. We still don't know the age. It could be anywhere from the 4th century BCE to an early Roman provincial. Based on the style, my bets are on an earlier attribution. This is one of only two examples known and is the better example.


Nikaia, Bithynia
300-100 BCE
AE 12mm 1,8g
Obv: Head of Dionysos with crown of ivy
Rev: bull butting. NIKAIEΩN above. Monogram(s)(?) below, mostly off flan
Waddington: Nikaia 1 var


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I don't think these coins are ugly, especially since are a part of the puzzle you are trying to achieve. 

I understand your point of view - I also acquired many coins, some of them even in 2023, that are not the most beautiful ones, but for me they are very important. I already prepared my Top Ten ideas (there will be 2) but I was tempted to add a Low Grade Top 10 with coins that are not in the best condition but they are historically important. Also most likely they would be out of my reach in decent conditions. 

Regarding the coins in this topic, I personally liked the most the 5. Koinon of Kea and 7. Tyra - mainly because I am a big fan of coins with animals. The last winner would be 10, Nikaia - mainly for the same reason, but I remember the struggle from the identification topic and I was sincerely glad when it was clarified. Especially since it is a major rarity. 

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Those are all nice coins in their own rights. 

I really like the reverse of the Philotas coin, with the nicely centered high relief eagle, no mean feat with such a small flan!  The obverse of the Tyra coin is also very nice.

Edited by robinjojo
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