German Auction House Sells Macedonian Coins Allegedly from Amphipolis

coins-660In light of this summer’s excavation of a monumental tomb at Amphipolis in northern Greece, a recent auction of ancient Macedonian coins by the German house Gorny and Μosch has raised eyebrows in the art world. The 15 ancient coins, dating from the era of Alexander the Great and his father Philip II of Macedon, are all said to derive from the area immediately surrounding Amphipolis, Greece.

The coins are set to be auctioned in Munich in October. The estimated asking price is 500 euros, though they could sell for as high as 2,500 euros, or perhaps even more.

Greek journalist and folklore writer Giorgos Lekakis says that the coins depict ancient Greek gods and heroes. Highlight of the collection include:

  • A tetradrachm from 356-355 BC. On the front side it depicts Zeus wearing a laurel wreath and on the back side it bears the name of “PHILIP” and a horseman waving.
  • A tetradrachm from 355-349/8 BC that also depicts the head of Zeus with a laurel wreath. On the back side it shows a man riding a Pegasus, a branch of laurel or palm and a cancer (crab).
  • A tetradrachm from 336-323 BC. On the front there is the head of Hercules and a lion’s head and on the back side it reads “KING ALEXANDER” and depicts Zeus.
  • A stater from 330-320 BC. On the front it depicts the head of Athena wearing a Corinthian helmet. On the back there is the name “ALEXANDER,” a lightning bolt, a bow and a club.



  1. Looking at the detail of the coin and lack of wear of any kind, they appear to be a proofs from the modern era quality and could likely be a forgery. The authorities and certainly certified numismatists of the Hellenist Period should demand they be removed from the auction pending further review.


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