285-BC PTOLEMY II AU TETRA
NGC AU5/4This beautiful AV Tetradrachm was struck at the Alexandria Mint between 285-246 BC. (13.86 Grams of Gold, size 20 mm). This gold coin from ancient Egypt has ties to Alexander the Great, the first Pharaohs of Egypt's Ptolemaic Kingdom, and Cleopatra. Coinage of the Ptolemaic dynasty was impressive and beautifully struck in solid gold. The Ptolemaic Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom based in Egypt. It was ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty which started with Ptolemy I Soter's accession after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, where Egypt enjoyed extraordinary prosperity, until the death of Cleopatra VII and the Roman conquest in 30 BC.
The Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt started with Ptolemy I. Ptolemy was a former Macedonian general under Alexander the Great, and most beloved generals of Alexander. After Alexander?s death in 323 B.C., his empire was divided, Ptolemy was appointed satrap (governor) of Egypt. On 305 BC, he declared himself King Ptolemy and became ruler and self-declared pharaoh of Egypt.
This is spectacular commemorative coinage, bears the portraits of Ptolemy I and Berenike, his wife, on one side and Ptolemy II and Arsinöe II, his wife and sister, on the other side. This coinage is commonly referred to as the 'Theon Adelphon' series, a name derived from the inscription found on the coins. The 'Theon Adelphon' coinage includes these tetradrachms, which were minted from earlier circulated gold coinage that was melted to strike the epic historical gold pieces commemorating the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt.
OBVERSE: Conjoined busts of Ptolemy II and Arsinöe II, with the inscription ''ADELFWN'' above, and a small Gallic shield behind their heads, all within dotted border. Ptolemy?s son Ptolemy II was born in B.C. 309, and began his sole reign of Egypt from 283 to 246 BC. He was the second king of the Ptolemaic dynasty and made his kingdom the leading center of the arts and sciences. Arsinöe II was the wife of her younger brother, Ptolemy II, and became Ptolemaic Greek Princess of Ancient Egypt.
REVERSE: Conjoined busts of Ptolemy I and Berenike I, with the inscription ''QEWN'' above left. all within dotted border. Ptolemy I was a successor to the empire of Alexander, who was the king of Egypt and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Berenice I was a Greek Macedonian noblewoman, who married Ptolemy I, and became the second queen of Egypt.
NGC Graded AU Strike; 5/5. Surface; 4/5