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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 78, Lot: 444. Estimate $200. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2008. 
Sold For $325. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of MACEDON. Perseus. 179-168 BC. AR Drachm (2.82 g, 7h). Third Macedonian War issue. Mint on Crete; Gorgos, magistrate. Stuck circa 171/0 BC. Head of Helios facing slightly left / Rose with bud to right; ΓOPΓOΣ above, caduceus to lower left. Ashton, Clubs p. 78, 1-3 var. (unlisted dies); SNG Keckman -; SNG Copenhagen 781. EF, toned, minor die rust on obverse. Rare.

From Collection C.P.A.

In his 1988 article on Rhodian imitations, R. Ashton has argued persuasively that this coinage was struck by Perseus to pay Cretan mercenaries serving in his army (see “A Series of Pseudo-Rhodian Drachms from Mainland Greece,” NC 1988, pp. 29-30). Rhodian coinage circulated on Crete, where it was a familiar and trusted currency for the locals, and it is likely that they would have required payment in that form (see also Ashton, SM 146 (May 1987), p. 34).