Ancient Greece - AR Drachm - Istros - Circa 470-420 BC - Mount: 18K gold leaf design

Denomination:  AR Drachma                                                    

Date:  Circa: 470-420 BC

Mint:  Northern Greece at Istros                                           

Mount: 18K gold leaf design

Grade: NGC – 6330726-017 – VF Details – Strick 5/4, surface 4/5  

Description: Moesia, Istros. NGC Choice VF 5/5 - 4/5. Obverse: Two male heads side-by-side, the left inverted. Reverse: Greek (IΣTPIH), sea eagle standing left on dolphin left; I between eagle's wings and tail, A below.   

History: The faces on this coin have been variously interpreted as the Dioscuri, representing many dualities such as the rising and setting sun, positive and negative, and tragedy and comedy.  It may also signify a geographical significance of the Danube Delta where the two branches of the river Danube meet, and as the reverse shows, where the wind meets the sea.  The polarities expressed on this coin seem to suggest a unified balance within nature’s extremes.   The coin was minted in Northern Greece at Istros (also known as Histria) of Thrace, on the coastline of the Black Sea. Istros was the first Greek settlement in present day Romania. There was a large amount of silver coinage issued in the first half of the 4th century BC, suggesting that it was a place of commercial importance.