Kingdom of Macedon, portrait of Alexander the Great gold stater

  • $38,890.11
Kingdom of Macedon, Philip II Gold Stater NGC Mint State 4/5 Strike 4/5 Surface with Fine Style designation struck at the Colophon Mint. Commissioned by Alexander's half brother, Phillip the III, in his honor. This is the only know portrait of Alexander the Great struck in gold.

Struck under Philip III c322-319 BC after the death of his 1/2 brother Alexander the Great.
Obverse bust likeness of Alexander instead of Apollo. Deifying Alexander.
Struck at the Colophon Mint, identified by the tripod on the reverse, extremely rare.
A splendid Hellenistic portrait of the finest style, a superb specimen that’s well centered with excellent eye appeal. 

The Background 

After Alexander died suddenly at the age of 32, the future of his vast empire was unknown. His generals scrambled to determine who should succeed him as Alexander had no heir.

This remarkable coin was struck using the types of Philip II shortly after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. It is an issue of Philip III Arrhidaios, Alexander’s half-brother, and follows in the coining tradition established by their father Philip II. The important change, however, lies in the depiction of Apollo’s head on the coin’s obverse where the god’s idealized features are altered and rendered in a very expressive life like fashion. Some scholars have seen in these features the portrait of Alexander himself as the profile is very individualistic and shares many similarities with the facial features of the Azara Herm in the Louvre. As such this very limited issue may well be the earliest and only numismatic portrait of Alexander the Great.

The uncanny resemblance of the facial features seen on this type to known portraits of Alexander leave little doubt that an uncommonly talented die engraver did a masterful job evoking the great conqueror with this magnificent depiction. Alexander’s portrait was likely placed on the obverse in an attempt to legitimize the new haphazard regime, associating the image of the well-known ruler to denote his blessing.  

Colophon is the city to which it is tentatively attributed, the tripod symbol linking it to an issue in the name of Philip III. Colophon was an ancient city in Ionia and one of the oldest of the twelve cities of the Ionian League.

This example is considered Condition Rarity and Condition Census and the only one known on the market today.

Call 512-692-0744 to inquire more, DM on instagram or click to email