Ancient Greek - Chersonesos (Medusa) - Presented in an 18K Gold Bezel - Circa 450-400 BCE

Denomination: AR Drachma

Date: 450- 400 BCE

Mint: Apollonia Pontica

Description: Apollonia Pontika, Thrace, AR Drachma.  

   Obverse: Facing head of Medusa or Gorgoneion, hair rolled

   Reverse: Anchor, crayfish to left, A to right  

Mount:  18K Gold

History:  Medusa was the only mortal among the three Gorgon sisters. Daughter of the sea gods Phorcys and Ceto, she was once a beautiful maiden but was turned into a snake-haired monster by Athena for sleeping with (or being ravaged by) Poseidon in Athena's temple. Men who looked at Medusa turned to stone. The hero Perseus later killed Medusa at her home on an island off Libya by cutting off her head with a harpa (sickle), a scene depicted on some coins, finding her by looking at her reflection in a shield given to him by Athena to avoid being turned to stone himself. From Medusa's gaping neck sprang forth the winged horse Pegasus and the giant Chrysaor, her children by Poseidon. Perseus, chased by Medusa's hissing sisters, Stheno and Euryale, escaped with Medusa's disembodied head, giving it to Athena, who placed it in the center of her aegis. The dead head had the same power of turning to stone those who looked at it.