Easily one of the finest classic Athenian owl tetradrachms I have ever seen. A superb strike and the sumptuous luster of the surface both help to deliver a deserved Mint State grade.
But what truly gives this coin its even more spectacular aura from the age of wonder and awakening to a wider world is the very rare, complete feather crest adorning the top of Athena's helmet. For all the excellence Athenian mid-mass coinage represents the tetradracm at which you are looking stands atop all but a tiny percentage of the world's first reserve currency. The Owl of Athens and Greek Coinage.The Classical period saw Greek coinage reach a high level of technical and aesthetic quality. Larger cities now produced a range of fine silver and gold coins, most bearing a portrait of their patron god or goddess or a legendary hero on one side, and a symbol of the city on the other. Some coins employed a visual pun: some coins from Rhodes featured a rose, since the Greek word for rose is rhodon. The use of inscriptions on coins also began, usually the name of the issuing city. The wealthy cities of Sicily produced some especially fine coins. The large silver decadrachm (10-drachm) coin from Syracuse is regarded by many collectors as the finest coin produced in the ancient world, perhaps ever. Syracusan issues were rather standard in their imprints, one side bearing the head of the nymph Arethusa and the other usually a victorious quadriga. The tyrants of Syracuse were fabulously rich, and part of their public relations policy was to fund quadrigas for the Olympic chariot race, a very expensive undertaking. As they were often able to finance more than one quadriga at a time, they were frequent victors in this highly prestigious event.
Syracuse was one of the epicenters of numismatic art during the classical period. Led by the engravers Kimon and Euainetos, Syracuse produced some of the finest coin designs of antiquity. Amongst the first centers to produce coins during the Greek colonization of mainland Southern Italy (Magna Graecia) were Paestum, Crotone, Sybaris, Caulonia, Metapontum, and Taranto. These ancient cities started producing coins from 550 BC to 510 BC.Circa 440-404 BC Attica Athens AR Tetradrachm / Athenian Owl Coin / Head of Athena / AE Owl. The item "440-04BC Attica Athens AR tetradrachm NGC MS 4/5 4/5 RARE FULL CREST AND LUSTER" is in sale since Thursday, November 26, 2020. This item is in the category "Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Greek (450 BC-100 AD)". The seller is "redoubt_numismatics" and is located in San Antonio, Texas. This item can be shipped worldwide.