Greek Silver & Bronze
ATTICA, Aegina, (500-480 B.C.), silver stater, (11.85 grams), obv. smoothed shell sea turtle without row of dots down dorsal spine, central banker's mark of flower countermark, rev. early small 'skew' design, (S.1851, Asyut Group VII 'small skew' cf.541-547, SNG Delepierre 1732, Millbank countermark 23). Fine, off centred on the reverse, very rare with flower countermark.
One of the earliest European silver coins. Millbank in the 'Coinage of Aegina' (ANS NN&M, 24 pp 18-22) believes these countermarks could be a) marks belonging to prominent bankers or merchants, b) coat of arms of other cities using these trade coins, c) seals of temples where coins were received as offerings d) Aegina mint marks (which today is dismissed). The third possibility is also discounted because of randomness of countermarks. Most scholars accept the first reason as the most likely and most plausible and the design could be linked to the merchant or banker's location who guaranteed the pieces of being good weight and fineness. The countermark of the flower was reported by Millbank.
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ATTICA, Aegina, (500-480 B.C.), silver stater, (11.85 grams), obv. smoothed shell sea turtle without row ...