In less than two weeks' time, coin collectors and lovers of ancient and modern Mediterranean culture can be party to one of the most exciting numismatic auctions in years. Featuring coins that go all the way back to the days of Alexander the Great, along with pieces from the Roman, Parthian, Sasanian and Byzantine empires, to name just a few, the Stephen Album Rare Coins Auction, which will be held online at iCollector.com, is an antiquity lover's dream.
Pocket change of the kings
Who hasn't at some point wanted to jangle a few of the same coins Alexander the Great or Caesar may have carried with them as they set off to conquer the known world? Well, on Sept. 19 you'll have your chance.
A Macedonian Tetradrachm from the late 4th century B.C.E, with the head of Herakles on one side and Zeus sitting with a bird resting on his hand on the other, is just one of many coins from the era that will be available.
The Romans are well-represented too, with a coin up for grabs from the mid-1st century C.E. that has a profile image of the Emperor Claudius, along with a later example from the turn of the 3rd century C.E. featuring the infamous Emperor Caracalla on one side and the god Jupiter holding a staff on the other.
Other emperors both renowned and notorious grace the heads of several other coins that will be available, including a mid-4th century AV solidus specimen with the visage of Valentinian I, known as Valentinian the Great, on it, and another AV solidus from a few decades farther down the road featuring Honorius, who ruled the Western Roman Empire for nearly 30 years, from 395 to 423 C.E.
Building empires out of coin
If you've had your fill of Greek and Roman antiquities, there are world coins from eastern empires like the Persian Sasanians, the Istanbul-, or rather, Constantinople-centered Byzantine empire, the early Muslim Umayyad empire and dozens of gorgeous examples of its successor caliphate, the Abbasid Dynasty, which ruled its kingdom from its capital in Baghdad for more than 700 years.
Although ancient coins may be the biggest draw, they make up a small portion of the thousands that will be available come Sept. 19. Coin collecting is never more fun than when you find that rare specimen you've spent years searching for, and with so many eras, regions and kingdoms being represented, the Stephen Album auction might very well offer the one piece for which you've been searching.
iCollector.com is the internet destination for coin auctions of all types, whether you're looking to commune with the spirits of history's greatest conquerors or delve into the culture of your own heritage through the money your ancestors used.