Athens - glittering jewel of the Greek city states is one of the world's oldest cities, with a fabled history spanning 3,400 years. The most influential center of trade, arts and philosophy of the ancient world, both Plato and Aristotle based their academies in Athens, which is now revered as the birthplace of Western civilization and democracy.
Minted for over 500 years, "Owls," as they were called in the Ancient world just like they are today, were the world's first widely known and accepted trade currency. Soon followed by Alexander the Great's drachms and tetra drachms, then the Roman Empire's Denarii, the concept of a world trade coin stretched into the age of exploration with the Spanish Reales, or "Pieces of Eight" and the dollar of today.
Robert's Notes: This is one of the most amazing, high quality coins I have ever had the chance to work with. Virtually uncirculated. Athenian Tetradrachms of this era are quite substantial - this coin is almost 1/4" thick adding to the depth of detail and beauty.
One of the most coveted of any coin ever minted, Athenian Owl Tetradrachms were minted in the classic Greek style of a thick, deeply struck coin – giving Athena and the Owl an almost three dimensional depth, and the coin a subtle dome. They were also some of the first coins ever minted, and are still regarded as one of the most beautiful and symbolic coins ever struck.
Fun Facts about Athenian Owls:
Athena, the goddess of both wisdom and war, was the patron goddess of Athens, and while most Owls were minted in this city state, both Athena and the Owl appear on the coins of other Greek city states throughout the ancient western world.
Heads or Tails? We often say that everything we do every day has a history. Did you know when you grab a coin for a coin flip and shout “Heads or Tails” you are referencing the Athenian Owl? It is this coin that started the tradition – with the “Head” of Athena, and the “Tail” of the Owl.
A Presidential Pocket Piece: U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt kept an Athenian Owl in his pocket for luck and protection.
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