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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     74000289
Type:     Greek
Region:     IONIA
City:     Ephesus
Metal:     Electrum
Denomination:     EL Hemistater
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC Circa 575-550
Weight:     6.35 g
Obverse Description:     Bee
Reverse Description:     Two parallel narrow rectangular incuse punches
Primary Reference:     Unpublished
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Near VF, scattered light marks
Notes:     Sale: Triton X, Lot: 289 Unique. The early coinage of Ephesos was most recently studied by S. Karwiese (Die MÜnzprÄgung von Ephesos [Vienna, 1995]), though the chronology of his series have been modified by K. Konuk (see, e.g., SNG Kayhan). This interesting hemistater introduces a new series into this early coinage. The first coinage attributable to Ephesos is the electrum series struck under the enigmatic Phanes (see lots above), circa 625-600 BC, comprising a host of denominations from stater to 1/96 stater. Phanes’ series was followed by another series of electrum that were the first coins to depict the Ephesian bee (Karwiese series II.2), circa 600-550 BC. Known almost exclusively in trites (1/3 staters), Karwiese also recorded a single stater and hekte. The bee on these electrum coins have a very primitive appearance, and the punches on the reverse closely resemble those used for the Phanes coinage. This series was followed by the first silver issue of Ephesos (Karwiese series V), circa 550-500 BC, featuring a more realistic bee on the obverse, and a simple rough square incuse on the reverse. The present stater has a bee that is consistent with the later form found on the silver, and the punches on the reverse are distinctly different from those of the other two electrum series. As such, this coin appears to belong to an issue after the earlier bee electrum, while the form of the punches and the fabric of the coin suggest that it is earlier than the first silver.