Alexander the Great Conquered Babylon

The Persian Achaemenid Empire ruled Babylon for about two hundred years. They were the first super power of the ancient world. Their vast empire reached from India down to Egypt and all the way up to the northern border of Greece. The Achaemenids were an unstoppable force until Alexander did the unthinkable. Alexander the Great conquered Babylon and defeated the Achaemenids in 331 BCE. Alexander’s actions change the entire ancient world.

Alexander learned to be a great leader and powerful imperialist from his father Philip II. He also learned to be a battle strategist. Moreover, he knew what the odds would be against an outmatched manpower. But, despite the odds Alexander relied on speed and distraction to achieve victory after victory. Subsequently, Alexander the Great conquered Babylon giving his army a huge decisive victory. A success that gave him the confidence and the momentum to continue marching on towards the east.

Babylon was Alexander the Great’s greatest conquest and “to the victor belong the spoils.” Giving proof to the proverb that the winner is entitled to all of the rewards, bonuses, and benefits of success. Consequently, Alexander’s troops and generals needed to share in those spoils. The spoils that included hoards of gold coins minted by the Persians.

Alexander melted down the Persian coins to re-mint gold double darics. He kept the same Persian features of a kneeling king or hero holding a bow and spear on the front of the coin. This was done in homage and respect of the mighty Persians. However, it was also propaganda to prove that the mighty Macedonian army were not only the victors, but also a generous new leader.

Babylonian Gold Double Daric

Alexander the Great’s gold double daric struck in Babylon is one of the true rarities of the Alexander the Great Series. Upon Alexander’s invasion of central Asia, darics and double darics melted down and recoined as coins of Alexander are quite rare today. To clarify, only a handful of them even exist.

Double darics are far more difficult to find than the regular gold darics. To find a double daric today that commemorated Alexander the Great conquered Babylon is a newsworthy occurrence. This is a very important coin dating back over 2,300 years and is a rare find in any condition.

Byzantine Empire Gold Solidus

The Roman Empire began fragmenting in the 5th century AD. However, as the Western Empire fell in c. 376-476, the Eastern Roman Empire began to thrive. The name Byzantine Empire, or Byzantium became more popular than calling it the Eastern Roman Empire. There was also a clear power shift from Rome to the new capital city of Constantinople. In short, it was the beginning of a new era. The age when the Byzantine Empire Gold Solidus became a symbol of this new dynasty. One that would last for over a thousand years. Ultimately, falling to the Ottoman Empire in 1453.

Christianity became the official religion. This caused a major cultural shift. In addition, the official language changed from Latin to Greek. All of this, because the Eastern Orthodox church became the dominant power. Although, many Roman traditions were still continued with ease, there was a monumental change. That is to say, this new cultural shift not only influenced economics and coinage. It also changed the way military forces were used throughout Europe. Just think of the Crusades. 

For 700 hundred years the solid Gold Nomisma was the premier coin of the Byzantine Empire. Also, commonly referred to as the Solidus, its latin name. The Gold Solidus was first introduced in 312 CE by Emperor Constantine I. It was the emperor who dictated that 72 Solidus equaled one pound of gold. It must also measure between 21 and 22 mm in diameter and weigh 4.4 grams of pure gold. The Gold Solidus long run of 700 years ended abruptly when it was discontinued. This was largely due to Pepin the Short’s currency reform. Instead of the Gold Solidus, the silver stavrata and minor copper coins became the coinage of choice.

Gold Solidus – The Dollar of the Middle Ages

The Gold Solidus was the considered the Dollar of the Middle Ages. It was the symbol of imperial power in Byzantium. They were popular and willingly accepted everywhere in the then-known world. This was because they were revered, admired, and copied by many kingdoms. Therefore, the solidus became the true dollar of the Middle Ages throughout Europe and Asia.

Some of the first Byzantine coins featured Christian symbols. Eventually, they included the bust of Christ on the obverse. Emperor Justinian II was the first to adorn the reverse of the Gold Solidus. Subsequently, these coins are highly prized by many collectors today. The artwork is amazing and it is hard to believe that Justinian II Gold Solidus coins were minted 1,300 years ago.

Gold Solidus in mint state condition and perfectly centered are the most desired. The coin below (featured in the video) is a great example! It is one the highest grades. Byzantine coins, like this one, are considered significant “ancient coins” today. This is because they are direct extensions of earlier Roman coinage. These are biblical times that we are talking about. They are pieces of history you can hold in your hand. Above all, you have to wonder who’s hands these coins have been held by throughout history.

Macedonian Empire Gold Stater

Various regions of ancient Greece utilized Staters as coinage. Importantly, in the beginning most of them were made of silver. However, it was ancient Macedonian Empire that first started using Gold Staters. The best known ancient Macedonian Empire Gold Stater was the one from King Philip II of Macedon—340 BC.

It is hard to believe that these coins were struck by hand. Moreover, how could such a beautiful coin be created over 2,400 years ago? Each coin was a hand made example of ancient art. It is no wonder that some of these coins are still considered the most beautiful coins ever made. They were minted in Pella, Macedonia, most importantly known as the birthplace of both King Philip II and his son Alexander the Great.

Philip will always be remembered in history as a brilliant military leader. His victories actually help to shape Greece. They paved the way for his son to conquer the known world. As their armies forged into far away lands they spread influence on other ancient peoples and cultures. Above all, their influence would be felt for hundreds of years.

Philip II Gold Stater

Philip’s famous staters continued to be struck long after his death. Northern European Celts imitated the work of his coins for hundreds of years later. In this way Philip II’s beautiful coins were remembered throughout history. In fact, in addition to the high purity of gold the artwork would be world renown for centuries.

The obverse of the coin features the god Apollo facing right in a very lifelike fashion. It is a youthful portrait of Apollo with wild hair held together with a laurel wreath. Remarkably, the reverse of the coin features Philip’s conquest in a two horse chariot race. More notably, this race occurred during the ancient Olympic Games of 348 BC. This Macedonian Empire Gold Stater captured the action of horses rearing and snarling as Philip grips the reins in his left hand and raises his goad with his right.

Coins like these are oftentimes encountered slightly off-struck. However, the example below is in remarkably pristine condition and full for the assigned grade. A classic coin in all regards.

What is the largest ancient gold coin?

Many customers ask us, “What is the largest ancient gold coin?” We tell them, you’ve come to the right place! Only one ancient gold coin struck holds that title. The Gold Octodrachm was by far the largest gold coin ever struck in the ancient world. These heavy weights were a most common denomination of its day. Importantly, other large denominations like the tetradrachm (four drachms), the pentadrachm (five drachms) were also common. However, the Octodrachm (an eight-drachm coin) was the largest.

Gold Octodrachms were struck over 2,300 years ago. They were produced during the Hellenistic period in Ptolemaic Egypt. No other kingdom or empire in the ancient world comes close to producing such a large gold coin. Above all, Ancient Egypt was known to be a country of remarkable wealth and prosperity. The Ptolemaic Empire displayed their economic clout by drawing thousands of mercenary soldiers into Egypt’s service.

Egyptian Gold Octodrachms were struck in different designs during the many different reigns. In particular, the coins paid homage to their leaders. For instance, a Dynastic Octodrachm, depicts the founders of the dynasty. It features Ptolemy I and his wife Berenice I on the reverse of the coin. The obverse shows portraits of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II.

Ptolemy II Gold Octodrachm

Each Octodrachm contains just under an ounce of pure gold. This represented an enormous amount of wealth for a person who lived in Ancient Egypt. Today, collectors are impressed with the remarkable designs and craftsmanship of these coins. For a 2,300 year old coin they look absolutely stunning. The Ptolemy II Gold Octodrachm example, in the video below, has been graded by NGC Ancients. Furthermore, it is in Choice Very Fine condition. This makes it affordable to some collectors. A mint state example however, would be far too expensive for most coin enthusiast.

So, when someone asks you, what is the largest ancient gold coin is? You can tell them that it is call the Gold Octodrachm. In conclusion, you can say that one in perfect condition would be way out of their reach! Except, maybe in a museum.

Why buy a Coson Gold Stater?

This Beautiful Ancient Coin

If some asks “why buy a Coson Gold Stater” you can answer, because you’re looking for remarkable ancient coins. One that is gold and has tremendous value in the ancient coin market place. You can also tell them to just take a look at this beautiful ancient coin. Then show them the Coson Gold Staters in Mint State 4×4 Condition.

Some Coin Highlightsv

  • These coins have a quarter of an ounce of pure gold and were struck around 2,000 years ago.
  • They are certified by NGC, a branch of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation devoted to ancient coins.
  • They are in mint state condition and for under $2,000.

What is on these coins?

The obverse of this coin depicts 3 soldiers in procession and is very impressive. On the reverse you’ll find an intricate design of an Eagle holding an Olive wreath, so both sides are incredible.

Is this the only one?

These coins are newly acquired and we have 3 available. If you are interested and you have any questions just give us a call. You can also go directly to the website page to purchase one of these.

Some great views of this coin:

Collectors always love to own what other people can’t have.

Quality, rarity, and price are the most important factors to consider before you purchase any beautiful Ancient Coin. Other factors are also important like eye appeal, artistic merit, historical significance, and precise state of preservation, so buyer beware.

The Ancient Coin Market has been hot in the last few years and moving into what we believe is a bull market cycle. At any point in time, certain beautiful Ancient Coins may be performing very well while other areas may be quiet. That’s why it’s important to talk to an Ancient Coin Advisor at Austin Rare Coins.

Some collectors will prefer to focus on the hottest areas of the market while investors may be “value seekers” looking for the best quality coins. So when someone asks you, why buy a Coson Gold Stater? You can say because Austin Rare Coins has some great offers on them. Whatever beautiful Ancient Coin you desire… it should be the best deal and bang for the buck.

For all the facts on the history of the Ancient Rare Coin market, order our free Ancient Coins Buyer’s Guide today!

What is a Gold Aureus?

A gold coin of ancient Rome

What is a Gold Aureus? The Julius Caesar Gold Aureus was a gold coin of ancient Rome originally valued at 25 pure Silver Denarii. From the 1st century BC to the beginning of the 4th century AD the aureus was commonly struck. It later was replaced by the Solidus. This gold Aureus was struck Caesar during the Roman Republican period under Julius Caesar by Praetor A. Hirtius.

The aureus was heavier than the same size denarius because gold is more dense than silver. Before Julius Caesar became emperor of Rome the gold aureus wasn’t very common. It was Caesar’s extravagant spending and trying to gain favor with the social elitist that led to the aureas becoming more popular.

Caesar becomes the first emperor

Instead of gaining favor, Caesar’s populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites. In fact, after Caesar centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic he made sure that he would be proclaimed “dictator for life.” Not the best way to please the social elite and this of course led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.

It also led to Caesar’s demise in 44 BC on the 15th of March, the Ides of March. This day which was was famously dramatized in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. The 15th of March corresponds with the 74th day In the Roman calendar. The day that was notable as a religious observances day for Romans to settle all debts. Ironically, it became notoriously known as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar. It was a major turning point in Roman history.

History in your hands

As you can see holding a Julius Caesar Gold Aureus is like holding a piece of history. On this Gold Aureus the head of Vesta is shown on the obverse. The priestly equipment adorns the reverse. This is a simply remarkable Julius Caesar Gold Aureus in Choice Very Fine Condition. It has also been awarded very high marks of 5 for Strike and 4 for Surfaces from NGC. This coin is hard to find in any condition!

The first Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar, is still known around the world over 2,000 years after his demise. Collecting and owning a gold stater that has seen circulation in the past makes you wonder just whose hands actually have touched it. Who knows, maybe even Julius Caesar himself. Something to ponder when you look at such a beautiful and historical remembrance of Ancient Rome. Now when someone asks, what is a Gold Aureus? You know at least one fine example with a great story!

How much is a Roman Aureus worth?

Ancient coins are beautiful, miniature works of art, and true antiquities. In order to understand how much is a Roman aureus worth, you have to understand that ancient coins are amazingly rare. There is a very limited supply and a growing demand from investors and collectors.

You don’t need a fortune to acquire a truly rare and beautiful ancient coin. There are many different types. But, In order to really understand a Roman Aureus’ worth you have to know how rare it is. You also have to know what the condition it is in. And, you have to know how many people want to own it.

The 3 basic principles the affect cost of ancient coins

The rarity of a coin is basically determined by these three different principles: 1) How many of a particular coin survived and are still in existence. 2) Whether the coin is in perfect condition or not so perfect. The higher the perfection the more rare and desirable the coin will be as a general rule. 3) Last but not least, how many people want to own one. It is the driving force that can make something extremely valuable.

A Roman Gold Aureus issued under Roman Emperor Augustus, as seen in the video below, is worth a lot. An example like this costs around $20,000 if it is genuine and certified by NGC. NGC is the only true Ancient Coin Authentication and Grading Service. NGC developed a specialized grading system for ancient coins. They grade a coin’s state of wear and give a detailed explanation of the coin’s appearance.

Augustus Gold Aureus are rare because they are hard to find. In fact, we have never seen or held one in any condition. They are also rare because of their spectacular quality and how centered they are by a measured strike.

Augustus Gold Aureus

Obverse: CAESAR AVGVSTVS between two laurel trees.
Reverse: CIVIS SERVATOS in three lines within an oak wreath.

What Persian Darics were used for.

An ancient Persian Gold Daric is a high-purity gold piece and weighs approximately 8.4 grams. This weight is based on an ancient weight standard.

The Daric was also referred to as a Babylonian shekel. It was called a shekel because it was equivalent to one month’s pay for a mercenary foot soldier. We know what Persian Darics were used for. Persian Darics were some of the first coins ever used as currency. Currency was a new concept, because in ancient times bartering was the norm.

One daric could be exchanged for 20 silver sigloi. This was a daric’s silver currency counterpart. It was a period in the ancient world that the concept of currency as trade started. Archeologist unearthed hoards of darics and sigloi from Sicily to Afghanistan. This area was all part of the former Persian Empire. It was also proof that the concept of currency spread quickly.

Unique Persian Gold Daric

Our video below shows a unique Persian Gold Daric. It is from the Achaemenid Empire, c.5th Century BC. However, it is slightly different than virtually every other Daric. There have been thousands of typical ones found. Furthermore, only recently were new coins like the one below uncovered in Turkey.

10 Gold Darics were found with a formerly unused symbol. Usually there is a king with bows, arrows, and daggers. For the very first time we see the use of a cross underneath the king.

Some PhD’s suggest it’s a crucifix. Not to symbolize Christ. Jesus Christ didn’t come around for another 400 years. These experts believe it symbolizes the mighty Persian army crucifying those who would not obey them.

Ideas are swirling! Other experts have suggested the symbol is an anchor. In addition, they believe it refers to the Persian naval fleets. In conclusion, we may never know. We do know what Persian Darics were used for. It was the first time coins were used for currency and trade. After that, we are not too sure. Most importantly, why was a cross stamped on only a few examples and only recently found.

Could the cross have been stamped to send a message to the people and was it for propaganda? These questions and discoveries are what makes ancient coins so much more fun to collect!

Are Roman coins worth anything?

When it comes to ancient Roman coins investors always ask, are Roman coins worth anything? Well today, that depends on quality, rarity, and other important factors. For example, eye appeal, artistic merit, historical significance, and precise state of preservation. These are things to consider before you buy any Ancient coin.

A gold aureus was worth 833⅓ denarii in 301. By 324, the same aureus was worth 4,350 denarii. Ancient coins appreciate in time. Mainly, due to the demand of a finite quantity that can be found.

As noted on our Ancient Gold Coins Website:

  1. Ancient coins are beautiful, miniature works of art. In other words, true antiquities.
  2. Overall, ancient coins are amazingly rare.
  3. Ancient coins are portable, private stores of wealth.
  4. Owning ancient coins is a wise decision. Because, they are very limited in supply with a growing demand from investors and collectors.
  5. It is also important to note that Ancient coins are non-reportable and non-confiscatable.
  6. In addition, you don’t need a fortune to acquire truly rare and beautiful ancient coins.

Ancient Tiberius Gold Aureus

However, some very rare coins can cost 5, 6, and sometimes even 7 figures. With this particular coin, are Roman coins worth anything? is a loaded question. This Ancient Tiberius Gold Aureus, Certified by NGC in Choice Extremely Fine 5×4 condition is worth over $11,000. There are certain historical reasons that this coin is so rare and so desired.

Tiberius ruled the Roman Empire from 14-37 AD. His reign was during the life and death of Jesus Christ. Coins bearing his likeness are very desirable. Particularly, when in such a fine state of preservation. This unique coin is well centered and struck with originality and lots of eye appeal. Great coin for the money and a classic rarity from ancient Rome.

If this coin or other Roman Empire coins strike you interest, talk to one of our Ancient Coins Dealers. They can offer great advice and sound knowledge in the Ancient Rare Coins Market.