120-63BC Mithradates VI AV Stater

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PONTIC KINGDOM. Mithradates VI the Great (120-63 BC). AV stater (21mm, 8.41 gm, 11h). NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5. Dated Pontic year 209 (89/8 BC). Diademed head of Mithradates right, with wind-blown hair / BAΣIΛEΩΣ MIΘPAΔATOY EYΠATOPOΣ, stag grazing left; star and crescent to left, ΘΣ (date) over AX monogram to right; all within ivy wreath. De Callataÿ pg. 4 (D5/R8). SNG BM Black Sea 1028. Cf. SNG Copenhagen 233 (date). Extremely Rare. A stunning example of late Hellenistic portraiture. The finest we have ever handled. Extremely RARE! 

Mithradates VI "the Great" was the last Hellenistic ruler to challenge the might of Rome. His long and eventful career spanned a nearly 60-year- reign in which he was a constant thorn in the side of the Romans as they sought to consolidate their conquests. His gold coinage falls into two groups: A mass mintage of gold staters imitating the types of Lysimachus of Thrace from more than two centuries earlier, and a much smaller and more carefully produced issue of dated gold staters with his name and portrait. The imagery deliberately evokes the memory of Alexander the Great, depicting himself as a semi-divine conqueror with flowing, windswept hair. These rare and very desirable coins represent the last great example of Hellenistic portraiture in gold, and as such are highly prized. 

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