The greatest conqueror of his time. Toppler of the Persian Empire. Ruler of lands from Greece to Afghanistan. One of the greatest generals of all time.
According to his mother, Alexander was a virgin birth, having been miraculously fathered by Zeus. On the night Alexander was born, a bright star shined over Macedonia, and an arsonist destroyed the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. (Artemis was, according to Plutarch, too busy assisting with Alexander’s birth to stop the burning of her temple.) The burning of the temple was taken by Eastern soothsayers to be a sign that on that day, something had come forth that would destroy all of Asia …
Alexander assumed the throne 20 years later, and he quickly set forth on the campaign that his father had long planned: the conquest of the Persian Empire. Only a few years later, Alexander had conquered Persia, Syria, and Egypt.
His sudden death at only 32 years old marked the end of a 12-year period that profoundly shaped the Western world. He spread Hellenistic culture throughout the (then) Western world, and his military campaigns are exemplars to this day.
A Coin for a Conquerer
As befits the ruler of an empire, Alexander had coins minted to serve as international currency. His coins hold a place in numismatics equal to Alexander’s in history.
In particular, his silver Tetradrachms are among the most recognizable and famous of all ancient coins. Renowned for their beauty, these coins were struck with silver from Macedonian and Persian mines.
The obverse features a young, beardless Alexander in the guise of Herakles and wearing a lion skin. The reverse shows a bearded Zeus, seated on a throne and holding an eagle and scepter. Each coin weighs roughly 17 grams and is between a U.S. quarter and half dollar in diameter.
Each of these coins is in remarkable condition, and is a highly sought-after “lifetime issue,” meaning that it was minted during Alexander’s lifetime.
When you hold this coin, you’ll be holding history in your hands.
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