Thrace, Olbia, AE Dolphin

Product no.: 167045

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Thrace, Olbia, 5./4. cent. B.C., AE Dolphin

Numismatic rarity in a set of 3 pieces of so-called dolphin money



Dolphin money originates in particular from Olbia, an ancient Thracian city settlement at the mouth of the river Bug on the coast of the Black Sea (today Ukraine). The city of Olbia is mentioned by Herodotus in connection with a caravan route to Inneraisen as well as an amber road from Samland to Greece.

The so-called dolphin money was minted in the period around the 5th - 4th century BC and represents an interesting transitional form between standardised coinage and bronze ingots within the development of coinage. A dolphin coin weighs between 2.00g and 4.23 grams, which corresponded to the weight unit of the drachms of Athens, and is between approx. 25 - 32mm long. Some of the small dolphins have the inscription - APIXO - on the reverse, which refers to the issuing mint. The inscription thus turns the ingot into a coin.

Dolphins were very well known and popular in ancient Greek culture. There are several stories that emphasise the special nature of these animals that live in the sea, and they even assume a god-like position. Symbolically, they were attributed to the gods Apollo, Dionysus, Aphrodite and especially Poseidon, the god of the sea. For sailors and fishermen in particular, dolphins represented a good omen and, as kings of the sea, were synonymous with wisdom, beauty, intelligence, strength, philanthropy, joie de vivre, harmony, freedom, joy, loyalty, love and music.


Please note:

Each antique coin was individually struck by hand. Therefore, the coins delivered may differ from those shown here.

You are buying the same type of coin in the same condition, not the piece shown.


Additional product information

Origin Greece
Grading VF-EF
Material AE
Material Bronze
Full weight

ca. 3,45g

Literature Sear 1684, SNG Münch.66 ff.


Product Note Status Price
Asia Minor, Bithynia, AR Diobol Asia Minor, Bithynia, AR Diobol
149.00 € *
Asia Minor, Pamphylia, Aspendos, AR Obol Asia Minor, Pamphylia, Aspendos, AR Obol
229.00 € *
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