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Could it get any smaller/more delicate?


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There is a long-standing topic in a German numismatic forum with this title. I have decided to create a similar topic here to give a proper farewell to some coins of my small collection of Greek fractional coinage. As I am compiling a list of those coins for consignment, I feel some of them deserve to be presented here to get some recognition also from you.

First is a tiny coin from Thurium. Adorable style on very small flan.

LUCANIA. Thourioi. AR triobol (Circa 350-300 BC). 1.20g. Head of Athena right, wearing helmet decorated with Skylla/ ΘOYPIΩN / EYΦA. Bull butting right; in exergue, fish right. HN Italy 1832.


Feel free to add your examples of small Greek fractional gems.




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Beautiful little coin!

Here are some of my favorite little ones.


Caria, Latmos
Circa 400-350 BCE
AR Tetartemorion 6 mm, 0.17 g, 3 h
Bare female head to right.
Rev. Monogram of ΛΑΤΜ.
HN Online 962. Konuk, Latmos, 5 (O4/R5)



Cimmerian Bosporos, Myrmekion
Circa 470-460 BCE
AR Tetartemorion 5 mm, 0.22 g
Ant seen from above.
Rev. Quadripartite incuse square, pellets in two opposing compartments.
HGC 7, 54. MacDonald 6



BOEOTIA. Mykalessos
Circa 400-375 BCE
AR Obol 10 mm, 0.82 g
Boeotian shield
Rev. M – Y Thunderbolt; all within an oval incuse.
BCD Boeotia 178. BMC 1. HGC 4, 1231. SNG Copenhagen 190-191

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Posted (edited)

Here's my smallest and I've yet to see one posted here that is smaller, although someone once posted a coin of the same dimensions...

Taras, Calabria

480-470 BC
AR Hexas (5mm, 0.08g)
O: Scallop shell with 7 teeth, within linear border.
R: Wheel with four spokes.
D'Andrea IV, 78; Vlasto 1118; SNG France 1617; HN Italy 836
Very scarce
From the E.E. Clain-Stephanelli collection. ex Naville Numismatics

This tiny and rare little coin is now the smallest in my collection. Being but 5mm and weighing less than 1/10th of a gram, this coin is about the size the LED 'Power On' light on a small device.


Edited by Phil Anthos
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Posted (edited)

I generally don’t collect Greek coins smaller than a Hemidrachm or Tetrobol. Denominations such as Obol, Diobol, Litra, & Tetartemorian are so tiny, I’m afraid of losing them. 



SIKYONIA, Sikyon. Circa 330/20-280 BC. AR Triobol – Hemidrachm (15.5mm, 2.76 g, 5h). Chimaera standing left; ΣΙ below / Dove flying left. BCD Peloponnesos 283; HGC 5, 213. VF, iridescent tone. From the Johnson Family Collection, purchased from “J.H.,” 27 November 1968.


Thessaly, Lamia. Date: 400-344 B.C. Denomination: AR Hemidrachm. Diameter: 16 mm. Weight: 2.67 grams. Obverse: Head of Dionysos left, wearing ivy wreath. Reverse: Amphora; ivy leaf above; prochous with handle to right. Reference: BCD Thessaly 123; HGC 4, 120; BMC 7.2,3.


Lykian Dynasts. Perikles. Circa 380-360 BC. AR Tetrobol - 1/3 Stater (2.99g, 16.5mm). Obv.: facing lion scalp. Rev.: Π↑Ρ - ΕΚ - Λ↑, around triskeles within incuse circle. Müseler VIII.49-51; SNG von Aulock 4254-5. gVF.

Edited by MrMonkeySwag96
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Posted · Supporter

Same here. I have consigned most of my smaller Greek coins. The old eyesight is getting poor enough that I can't enjoy them in all their glory. 

Ionia, Klazomenai. Circa 499-494 BC. AR Diobol (9mm, 1.36g). Obv: Forepart of winged boar right. Rev: Quadripartite incuse square. Ref: SNG München 451; SNG Kayhan 334; SNG Copenhagen 6. Very Fine, attractive toning. Ex CNG e226, 27 Jan 2010, Lot 249. image.jpeg.63b6c45f9334e1c6618107accfdd3c77.jpeg

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Thanks to all of you for presenting your coins. Keep them coming!

I think that some fractions are so small that you cannot admire them with a naked eye anyway. What I find fascinating is that many of those coins have even more elaborate style than bigger denominations. I would love to see how the ancient engravers were able to cut with such precision and skill. Anyway, I have another coin to show you. A beautiful cabinet toning and nice style of the obverse.

ISLANDS off THRACE, Thasos. Circa 412-404 BC. AR Trihemiobol (12mm, 0.91 g, 12h). Satyr kneeling left, holding kylix / Amphora within incuse square. Le Rider, Thasiennes 27; HGC 6, 351.



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20 hours ago, Phil Anthos said:

although someone once posted a coin of the same dimensions...

Someone is here to the rescue 


5 mm, 0,08 g.
Ionia, Miletos. Possible Caria, Mylasa. AR hemitetartemorion. Circa 525-475 BC.
Head of a roaring lion l. / Quail standing l. within incuse square.
Cf. Rosen 407/8; Klein 430; SNG Tubingen 3001.

Other small gems 


7 mm, 0,19 g.
Caria, uncertain mint. AR tetartemorion. Circa 500-400 BC.
Confronted bull heads / Forepart of bull right, within incuse square.
SNG Kayhan 969.


8 mm, 0,18 g.
Mysia, Kyzikos. AR tetartemorion. Circa 525-475 BC (other sources - 480/450-400 BC). Forepart of boar left, tunny to right / Head of roaring lion left, star to upper left, all within incuse square. Von Fritze II 14; SNG France 375.



6 mm, 0,23 g.
Ionia, Kolophon. AR tetartemorion. Circa 450-410 BC.
Laureate head of Apollo right / TE monogram (mark of value) in incuse square; stork in left field.
Milne, Colophon, 36; SNG Kayhan 360.


5 mm, 0,19 g.
Greek satraps of Caria, Mylasa. Hekatomnos. AR tetartemorion. Circa 395-377 BC.
Forepart of a roaring lion left / laureate head of Marilyn Manson facing slightly left.
SNG Helsinki 848 (as uncertain); Klein 507; SNG Keckman 849.

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A fan of the very small coins might find humor in a thread that starts by calling a triobol as 'very small'.  We each must decide where to draw the lines.  I keep my coins under 10mm separate because my daughter wants them when I'm gone. The oversized stuff will go to someone or some dealer who prefers them big.  

I assume everyone here has seen my old pages on Tiny Treasures but I have a few acquired after those pages were written. 



I'm glad to hear so many people are uninterested in these small coins.  There are more tetradrachms currently listed on sale in major auctions that there are totally in existence coins of this size class.  There are not enough for all of us to collect the little ones. 










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Actually it was @dougsmitthat got me interested in Tets.  I, too, have one of my daughters that want my Tets (someday).

Here are a few of mine:

Achaemenid Empire. Time of Dareios I, circa 510-486 BC. AR 1/32nd Siglos(0.11 gm, 5mm). Obv.: Persian hero-king r., in running-kneeling position.Rev.: Oblong incuse. Klein 758

Ionia AR Tetartemorion 4mm 0.13g 530-500 BCE Rosette - Incuse sq punch 5 pellets SNG von Aulock 1807 ex: @JAZ Numismatics


some of my "Uncertains":

ASIA MINOR Uncertain mint AR Tetartemorion Lion - Incuse 5mm 0.13g

CILICIA Uncertain mint Early-mid 4th C BCE AR Tetartemorion 5mm 0.17g Persian king running dagger and bow - Crowned hd Achaemenid king CNG E239 Troxell Kagan 4

Mylasa in Caria, or Ionia Miletos (uncertain) AR Tetartemorion 5.6mm 0.21g Roaring Lion Hd - Bird Klein 430 SNG Kay 941

Uncert West Asia Minor Karia 5th C BC AR tetartemorion 5mm 0.15g Female - Frprt man-faced bull r Kayhan 968 exc rght


A few more:


Troas Assos 500-450 BCE AR Tetartemorion 6.4mm 0.21g Griffin springing right - Astragalos within incuse square Klein 475 VF R


IONIA Teos AR tetartemorion 0.2g 6mm Hd griffin R mouth open - Quadripartite incuse SNG Turkey 602


Iona Kolophon AR Tetartemorion 530-520 BCE Archaic Apollo Incuse Punch 0.15g 4.5mm- SNG Kayhan 343



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Posted (edited)

One of my favourite topics! I like Doug’s cutoff of under 10mm for “tiny” but a thread including larger fractions too seems entirely justified. The OP coin is marvelous, @Meander! (I’d be happy to hear via pm where your coins will be appearing, when you eventually consign them.)

I recently bought a lot of Greek fractions that included a couple hemiobols that challenge for the title of “best tiny coin detail and style” in my collection:


They’re both in the middle row: the Thasos (dead centre, holed) and the Kierion (on the right). In my opinion it’s amazing the engravers produced such detail and great classical style with only 8mm to work with. Both coins have relatively good metal; as far as I can tell, the Kierion is among the best known. Weird it was grouped… Greek fractions don’t get no respect!

(Reverses, for completeness. The dolphins are decent on the Thasos. Nice boar on the Phokis, bottom right, but that’s getting up to 10mm.)


Edited by Severus Alexander
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In order to reflect the title of the thread a bit more 😀 I will go down with the weight and present this elegant litra with a good pedigree.

SICILY, Leontini. Circa 450-440 BC. AR Litra (0.81 g). Head of roaring lion right; ΛEO-N around / River god, nude, standing left, pouring libation on altar from patera held in his right hand, and cradling olive branch in left arm; barley grain to right. Boehringer, Münzgeschichte 50; HGC 3, 692; SNG ANS 266; Jameson 632.

Gorny & Mosch 297, 9 October 2023, lot 1058, Hirsch Nachf. 120, 1980, lot 33, from the Walter Niggeler collection, Bank Leu/M&M, 3 December 1965, lot 113


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Posted (edited)

The first round of posts on this thread moved me to get a representative example.  (...Fractional hemiobols? Really?!!?  Get outta town!)

Picture 2 of 3

Picture 1 of 3

Mysia Kyzicos, 1/4 obol.  0.18 g, 5-6 mm. 4th c. BCE.  Tunny /incuse.  Keeping in a PVC-free flip, in a paper coin envelope, so it won't fly away and be magnetically attracted to the floor.  

Edited by JeandAcre
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Posted (edited)

I keep my tiniest silver coins in a polybag which then goes inside the flip so they can't fall out. These bags said archival (or 'PVC free', I cant remember which), but I remain less than 100% convinced so I never use them for bronze coins.

~ Peter 

Edited by Phil Anthos
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