Denomination: AE Half-unit
Mint: Asia Minor
Date: Circa 336-323 BC
Grade: NGC XF (6327319-013)
Mount: Sterling silver with sapphire accents
Description: MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Alexander III the Great. Posthumous issue of an uncertain mint in western Asia Minor. Obverse: Macedonian shield with head of Heracles wearing lion skin headdress, turned slightly right in tondo / B-A. Reverse: Macedonian helmet, grain ear to left.
History: Alexander, King of Macedonia, began ruling immediately after the death of his father, Philip II and brought the Greek Empire to its peak. Through his conquests, he minted these coins in many variations of type and style. Each bears the face of Herakles (Hercules) wearing a headdress of the Nemean Lion. This animal was fierce and virtually indestructible, so using his super-human strength and intelligence, Herakles decided to strangle the lion since he was unable to cut through its skin. After he killed the lion, he used its own razor-sharp claws to remove its hide, and forever after Herakles wore the lion's skin for protection and as a symbol of his victory. Alexander wanted to be like Herakles, and was also known to wear a lion’s skin, invoking his strength and courage. These coins continued to circulate hundreds of years after the death of Alexander the Great.