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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Reverse Die for a Tetradrachm of Demetrios I

CNG 91, Lot: 423. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $9000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Demetrios I Aniketos. Circa 200-185 BC. Hardened Æ die for AR Tetradrachm Reverse. Dimensions of reverse die: die face 34 mm in diameter; die shank 39 mm at the face, tapering to 30 mm in diameter at mid point and widening to 40 mm at the base. Weight: 292.70 grams. Coin face is reverse of tetradrachm of Demetrios I with Bopearachchi 1F monogram. O. Bopearachchi, “Deux documents exceptionels en numismatique indo-grecque,” Cahiers Numismatiques 48.189 (September 2011), no. II and figs. 2-4 (this die). VF for type, die face well-preserved with brown and earthen patina, broken shank and stress cracks from striking, 1 mm drill hole in shank for metallurgical analysis. Extremely rare.

This reverse die is the only known Greco-Baktrian die. Owing to the condition of the die with its broken striking face and stress cracks, Bopearachchi suggests that this die may have struck only a handful of coins before it broke, since to date no link with any actual coins has been found. In the near future, Bopearachchi and Maryse Blet-Lemarquand will publish a detailed metallurgical analysis of this die.