120-63BC Mithradates VI AV Stater NGC MS 3/5 - 5/5

PONTIC KINGDOM. Time of Mithradates VI (120-63 BC). AV stater (19mm, 8.35 gm, 12h). NGC MS 3/5 - 5/5. In name and type of Lysimachus of Thrace, Tomis, ca. 120-100 BC. Head of the deified Alexander the Great right wearing diadem and horn of Ammon / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena seated left, elbow resting on shield, holding Nike, monogram below arm, TO below throne; ornamented trident and pellet in exergue. De Callataÿ p. 141, dies D4/R2. AMNG I 2480. Obverse die a bit rusty, otherwise a sharp, lustrous and very scarce specimen.

Mithridates VI, from Old Persian Miθradāta, "gift of Mithra"; 135–63 BC, also known as Mithradates the Great (Megas) and Eupator Dionysius, was king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia (now Turkey) from about 120–63 BC. Mithridates is remembered as one of the Roman Republic’s most formidable and successful enemies, who engaged three of the prominent generals from the late Roman Republic in the Mithridatic Wars: Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Lucius Licinius Lucullus and Gnaeus Pompey Magnus. He is often considered the greatest ruler of the Kingdom of Pontus.

The ancient practice for minting coins consisted of using an oven for heating blanks or "flans," tongs for handling hot flans, a table or bench on which an anvil was mounted, and a pair of dies struck with a heavy hammer to impress the design into the flan.

Additional Rarity:  A Mithradates VI (120-63 BC). AV stater MS 5/5-4/5 sold at auction on April 7, 2017 for $32,250.

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