Ancient Greek Boy on the Dolphin Silver Nomos 302 BC Necklace in 14K Gold | Artifact #5226

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The Legendary "Boy on the Dolphin" Ancient Greek Nomos

Please Note: This is an authentic Ancient Greek Treasure Coin, and you will receive the exact pendant in the photographs and description.

The story of the Taras Greek Nomos – the legendary “Boy on the Dolphin” coin of ancient Greek fame starts not at the southern end of the Italian peninsula where it was minted, but in far-away Sparta, the mythic military state only conquered by an alliance of Greek states after centuries of military dominance.

Why? It was refugees being forced from Sparta who founded Taras. Legend tells us that these refuges sought counsel from the Oracle at Delphi before their departure from Greece. They were told to establish a colony at the southern end of the Italian Peninsula, and so they set sail, arriving at the first safe-harbor on the Mediterranean after leaving Greek lands.

But the voyage was not without incident… 
Whether myth, fable or fact, it is recorded that before the leader of the Spartan colonists, Phalanthos, could reach land, his ship was wrecked. Too far from land to swim, Phalanthos would have been lost had it not been for Poseidon, the Greek sea god, who sent a dolphin to save him. Phalanthos rode the dolphin to safe harbor, saving the leader of the new colony.

Your Ancient Greek Nomos Necklace

  • Denomination: Nomos
  • Date: 272 - 240 BC
  • Mint: Tarentum (Taras) in Calabria
  • Obverse (Front): Youth on horseback crowning himself 
  • Reverse (Back): Taras (see below) astride a dolphin swimming left, whip and serpent in his outstretched hand
  • Bezel Metal: 14K Gold
  • Articulating Nautical Shackle Bail Interior Diameter: Will accommodate chain or leather necklace up to 5.8 mm
  • Pendant Size: 1” Across, 1 3/8” Tall - The diameter of a US quarter. Perfect pendant size for a lady or gentleman

April's Notes: Discovering "Boy on the Dolphin" coins with a full image of both Taras (the boy) and the dolphin is difficult! Because these coins were hand-hammered, and the dolphin stretches from left to right, while Taras stretched from top to bottom means most of the time one or the other is missing a body part. This Nomos, however, has a perfect center strike, with good detail on both elements. (Please note: these coins are difficult to photograph and get the depth and detail of the coin in hand... we often hear "wow, it looks so much better in hand!")

The story is reminiscent of the Greek myth of Taras, the son of Poseidon, who was saved from the same fate by a dolphin when his vessel shipwrecked. Thus, Phalanthos’ new colony was named Taras, in honor of Poseidon, his son Taras, and the beloved dolphins – the helpers of the gods.

The patron god of Taras became Apollo, and its symbol, the boy riding the dolpin. Astride the dolphin of Taras is a youth being born above the waves by his faithful companion. Throughout the centuries and millennia and into today, the boy riding a dolphin takes center stage on the city’s Coat of Arms.

Your Ancient Greek Coin Pendant comes with:

  1. Our 100% Authentic Lifetime Guarantee
  2. A Detailed, Multi-Page Certificate of Authenticity Researched and Written by April Knecht
  3. Treasure Hunters Gazette Booklet
  4. A Gift Box
  5. A Treasure Jewelry Care Card