KINGS OF MACEDON. Alexander III ‘the Great’, 336-323 BC. Half Stater (Gold, 14 mm, 4.30 g, 12 h), Salamis (?), circa 332-323. Head of Athena to right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet decorated with coiled serpent. Rev. AΛΕΞANΔPOY Nike standing front, head to left, with her wings spread, holding laurel wreath in her right hand and stylis in her left; to lower left, eagle standing right; to lower right, O. Price -. cf. 3129 (Stater) and 3130 (without O). Apparently unpublished and of the highest rarity. A coin of great importance and exceptional quality. Lustrous and clear, struck from dies of remarkably fine style. Very light die shift on the reverse and with a very faint scratch, otherwise, good extremely fine.
From a Viennese collection, formed in the 1990s.
The unusual half staters are among the great rarities in Alexander's gold coinage: they were issued in the mints of Lampsakos, Miletos, Sardes and Salamis and are attested in very few examples only. Price cites two examples of his no. 3130, in the collection of Prokesch-Osten, NZ 1 (1869), 63 and Leu 13, 29 October 1975, 122 (same obverse die). Two additional pieces have since turned up in Vinchon, 24 November 1994, 42 = Sincona 10, 27 May 2013, 67 and Roma XIV, 21 September 2017, 101 (both of them from the same obverse die, but heavily battered), yet our coin appears to be the first from the O-series known. Price points out that the style of some of the gold dies attributed to 'Salamis' is very similar to that of Macedonian staters, an observation which is also true for our coin. Its attribution to the mint of Salamis is therefore to be taken with some caution and requires further research. In any case, this is an exceptionally nice coin, comparable in quality to the example sold in Leu 13 for 16'500 CHF in 1975!