The Athenian owl tetradrachm, a silver coin minted in ancient Athens from the late 6th to the early 4th centuries BC, was not only one of the most widely used and influential coins in the ancient world, but also a miniature work of art.

Discover all the information about this coin: history, value, design and much more. Read on!

A Historical Legacy

The history of the tetradrachm is intrinsically linked to that of Athens itself.

Its introduction around 545 BC marked a turning point in the Athenian economy, consolidating its position as a commercial power. The meticulous attention to its weight and purity in silver guaranteed its reliability as a currency, making it a trusted reference throughout the Greek world.

In the following video he explains all about Athenian owl tetradrachm:

The Significance of the Owl on the Athenian Owl Tetradrachm

In Greek mythology, the owl became a sacred bird to Athena due to its association with foresight, keen perception, and wisdom.

The choice of the owl as a symbol on the coin wasn’t merely decorative but carried a deeper significance, reflecting the values and attributes that the Athenians held dear.

The owl’s prominence on the coin aligns with the city’s deep-seated connection to Athena, who was considered the city’s patron deity. As the goddess of wisdom, Athena was revered for her strategic counsel and intellectual prowess, attributes that were highly esteemed in the Athenian society.

On the Athenian Owl Tetradrachm, the owl is depicted with a stoic and watchful demeanor, its gaze unwavering. This portrayal not only pays homage to Athena but also serves as a constant reminder of the importance of wisdom and vigilance in the affairs of the city.

athenian owl coin

A Timeless Design

Athena on the obverse and an owl, a symbol of wisdom, on the reverse, has fascinated people for centuries:

  • The obverse of the tetradrachm features a profile of the goddess Athena with her characteristic helmet and tunic.
  • On the reverse, a majestic owl stands on an olive branch, a symbol of peace and prosperity, flanked by a crescent moon and stars. The simplicity and harmony of this design have made it a timeless icon.

Past value of the currency

The tetradrachm was not only a medium of exchange, but also a symbol of power and prestige.

  • Its value was equivalent to four drachmas, allowing it to be used in important transactions such as the purchase of land or slaves.

Current value of the coin for collectors

Today, the Athenian owl tetradrachm is a coveted piece for collectors and numismatists. Its value can vary considerably depending on its condition and rarity, in some cases reaching hundreds of thousands of euros.

The value of this coin varies greatly depending on a number of factors such as condition, type of coin, etc.

  • We can extract from the main buying and selling platforms that its value can be between $120 and $1,000.

The Athenian owl tetradrachm is more than just a coin. It is a gateway to ancient Athens, a testament to its economic and cultural power, and a work of art that continues to inspire generations of artists and history lovers.

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