Ancient Greece - AR Tetradrachma - Types of Alexander the Great - Circa 260-220 BC

Denomination:  AR Tetradrachm                                                             

Mint: Moesia, Kingdom

Weight: 17.13 grams                                                                             

Date: Circa 260-220 BC

Grade: NGC 6330996-017.  XF

Mount: Sterling Silver with 14K gold prongs and bale

Description: Moesia Kingdom. Posthumous issue. Obverse: Head of Heracles right, wearing lion skin headdress, paws tied before neck / AΛEΞANΔPOY-BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Reverse: Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, feet on stool, eagle in right hand, scepter in left; MI above club downward in left field, HYP monogram in wreath below strut.  

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.