This is the first gold Double Daric certified by NGC with a unique club symbol on the obverse. These large gold Persian coins are rare to begin with, but to find one unlike others we have sold is amazing.
Here’s the background:
In 331 BC, as Alexander marched into the heart of the Persian Empire, Mazaios- Satrap of Babylon, obstructed his way with a small cavalry contingent and forced Alexander to take a route leading to Gaugamela, where the massive Persian army had assembled in wait for Alexander on the Persians’ chosen battleground. In the battle itself, Mazaios and his Babylonian cavalry nearly broke Alexander’s left wing, but the flight of the Persian king led to the collapse of the Persian army. Mazaios took refuge in Babylon. Alexander, upon his approach to the great metropolis, he announced that Babylon would not be plundered, and Mazaios thereupon surrendered the city to him. Alexander rewarded Mazaios by retaining him as governor, a position he held until his death sometime in 328 BC. Babylon was one of the wealthiest provinces of the empire, but its military power was insignificant. Because of this, it was important to put a Satrap in place that could influence the local people, and not rule with a military hand.
Alexander made Babylon his royal seat, and there established one of his most important mints, where a large quantity of regular ‘imperial’ coinage was struck. In addition to the imperial coinages, Babylon also produced a substantial group of local coinages to keep commercial businesses moving.
The gold within this local coinage was struck in the form of Alexandrine darics, modeled after the familiar darics of the pre-Alexandrine Persian world. The obverse was borrowed directly from the old Persian darics, with the King or Hero running into battle with a Bow and Spear/dagger. The reverse retained the general form of an oblong incuse, but was decorated with geometric patterns generally in the form of wavy stripes. All were well designed, with a nice High Relief type strike from highly skilled Babylonian Mint artists.