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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1429. Estimate $1000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $2200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

IONIA, Phokaia. Circa 521-478 BC. EL Hekte (2.57 gm). Forepart of a winged griffin left; seal (fokh) behind / Quadripartite incuse square. Bodenstedt 42. Near EF, possibly overstruck. Very rare, only 1 specimen cited by Bodenstedt! ($1000)

Phokaia produced not only one of the earliest electrum coinages, but also one of the most extensive and long lasting. Its wide ranging currency, often employing as a main or subsidiary symbol the badge of the city, a seal (fokh), was the basis for one of the most prevalent weight standards in Asia Minor and the Greek world, carried outward by an expanding trading empire based on colonies founded along all shores of the Mediterranean. By the middle of the sixth century, the voluminous electrum hektai of Phokaia and its minting partner Mytilene were being struck on an annual or semi-annual basis as "contributions" to either the Persian empire or the Delian league, depending on the political climate. The constant changing of types, usually of human form, whether mortal or god, led to refinements in the depiction of portraits that are remarkable for their complex detail in a miniaturized format. The end of this long series came in 326 BC, when the entire coinage of the eastern Greek world was standardized after the coming of Alexander.