CIMMERIAN BOSPOROS. Pantikapaion. Circa 340-325 BC. Stater (Gold, 21 mm, 9.09 g, 11 h). Head of Pan with a pointed beard, a goat’s ear and a pug nose to left, wearing ivy wreath. Rev. Π-A-N Griffin advancing to left on a grain ear, his head facing with a spear in his jaws and raising his right forepaw. MacDonald 54. SNG BMC Black Sea 867. SNG Lockett 1095. Triton VII (2004), 151 (same dies). Weber 2690. A coin of great beauty and superb style. Scuffs on the edge and on the reverse, otherwise, extremely fine.
The city of Pantikapaion gained its wealth through the export of large quantities of grain and fish to the rest of the Greek world, especially to Attica, where the growing population of Athens vastly depended on Cimmerian crop imports. Sometime in the early 4th century, Pantikapaion started issuing an impressive series of gold staters of an unusual weight standard, which apparently allowed them to circulate at par to the Kyzikene electrum staters that dominated the Black Sea region. The Pantikapaion staters have long been credited as being among the most impressive gold coins of the antiquity. The wealth acquired through trade obviously allowed the city to hire the best artists of the time, resulting in the production of dies of spectacular power and beauty.