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Replica of silver tetradrachm, Athens

Replica of silver tetradrachm, Athens
Two sides of the coin. On the obverse Athena’s head in profile, on the reverse owl and the letters ATHE.

The Athenian silver tetradrachm was dubbed “glaux” (Ancient Greek for “owl”) from the type on the reverse. It was the strongest currency for 2 consecutive centuries in antiquity, across the then-known world. The national side of the 1-euro coin is the reverse of the Athenian silver tetradrachm.

Learn more about the coin

  • Issuing authority: Athens
  • Place: Attica
  • Nominal value: Tetradrachm
  • Dating: 430-420 BCE
  • Metal: Silver
  • Diameter: 24 mm
  • Weight: 13.69 g
  • Observe: Head of Athena wearing round earrings and Attic-style helmet with a floral and olive leaf decoration. The right-side view of the goddess’ head includes a depiction of the entire almond-shaped eye. Her lips are curved into the half-smile that is typical of Archaic Greek art.
  • Reverse: Owl with its body facing right, head turned to face the front and wings folded. On the top left, an olive branch and a crescent. On the right, the first letters of the city’s name ΑΘΕ (ATHE) are struck vertically to the bottom of the type. The entire type is enclosed in an incuse square.
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