Silver decradrachm of Acragas smashes record by 150%



2015-06-26 13:01:34

Silver decradrachm of Acragas smashes record by 150%

A silver decradrachm of Acragas is now the world's most valuable Greek silver coin

One of the legendary silver decradrachms of Acragas has once again become the most valuable Greek silver coin ever sold at auction, following an October 17 sale in Zurich.

Silver Decradrachm of Acragas Acragas was destroyed by the Carthaginians shortly after the coin was struck

The coin was expected to bring an already impressive $1.8m, but its reputation among collectors boosted the sale to $2.5m, showing a 31.4% increase in value.

The price achieved destroys the previous $994,500 record sum for a silver Greek coin by 150%. The former mark was achieved in January 2012 by a silver tetradrachm of Naxos from the Prospero Collection.

The decradrachm has actually reclaimedthe title, havingpreviously held itfor over 10 years after selling for $572,000 at Sotheby's in 1990. The October 17sale represents a 6.53% pa return for the former owner.

One of just 12 recorded examples, the coin is widely recognised as the most important and beautiful Greek coin in existence. With six of these examples held in museums, this particular coin originates from the illustrious Hunt Collection.

Struck circa 409-406 BC, the coin is believed to have been created to commemorate the victory of Exainetos, a citizen of Acragas who won the chariot race at Olympia in 412 BC. Its obverse is decorated with a chariot driven by Helios galloping towards to sky, while the reverse shows the "classic badge of the city", two eagles perched on a dead hare.

The magnificent engraving has been attributed to Myron, while the reverse is thought to be the work of Polykrates -both of who were among the finest engravers of their time.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic selection of rare coins currently available. For more of the latest from across the numismatic community, visit our dedicated Coins & Banknotes news section.

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