IONIA. Ephesus. Ca. (20mm, 8.43 gm, 12h). First series, circa 133-100 BC. Draped bust of Artemis to right, hair drawn into knot at back of head, wearing stephane and drop earrings, bow and quiver over her shoulder / Cult statue of the Artemis Ephesia facing, fillet hanging from each hand, Ε-Φ to either side of head, lighted torch (or thymiaterion) in inner right field between statue and fillet. Jenkins, Hellenistic, pl. B, 6 (dated 123-119 BC). Head p. 69, 4 var. (different control mark). Extremely RARE!Head of Artemis in unusually fine style. Attractive matte gold surfaces. Extremely RARE
The rare Hellenistic gold staters of Ephesus have been the subject of long-running debate over when they were struck. In the 1880s, the eminent Barklay V. Head assigned them to the period of the Mithradatic Wars, circa 88-86 BC, when Ephesus briefly came under the control of the Pontic King Mithradates VI Eupator. However, as more varieties were discovered over the next century, it became clear they were struck over a much longer period of time. G.K. Jenkins, in a 1987 article, placed them in two groups starting in the later second century BC, after the Roman takeover of Asia Province in 133 BC, and linked the reverse symbols present on several varieties to similar symbols found on the common cistophoric tetradrachm coinage of the Roman era. Staters with a simpler two-letter ethnic, including the present example, belong to the earlier period, prior to 100 BC, while coins with a longer form come later in the series.
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 IONIA. Miletus. Ca. 600-530 BC. EL stater. NGC AU 4/5 - 3/5 sold at auction on January 9, 2018 for $40,800.