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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 628. Estimate $150.
Sold for $1800. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Pharsalos. Mid 5th century BC. AR Hemidrachm (17mm, 2.88 g, 12h). Head of Athena r., wearing earring and a crested Athenian helmet adorned with three coiled serpents / Φ-AP r. down, horse’s head and neck r., all in an incuse square. Lavva 6 (V4/R4). VF, toned, a little unevenly; surfaces very slightly granulated; light scrape on helmet, edge filing(?) at obv. 2 o’clock and an edge scrape on rev. at 3 o’clock.

In the early 60’s, when this collector was a beginner, collector friends of his would speak with awe and reverence for the earliest Pharsalos hemidrachms; they were considered great rarities. Not any more! They are easily found in the market in all states of preservation, from the best to the worst. One of the few coins with a rarity index that changed dramatically during the last 50 years.