The earlier issues of Lakon, as noted in Callataÿ, display the head of Herakles with the features of Mithradates VI of Pontos, and appear to progress from a short abbreviation of Lakon’s name to a longer form (La-, Lak-, Lako-). This variety, with Lakon’s name, should follow these chronologically.
The early Macedonian kingdom did not have sufficient access to mines to be able to mass-produce influential coinage. However, when Philip II rose to power in 359 BCE, he recognized the importance of mining and prioritized the acquisition of metals in his early conquests.
After defeating Amphipolis and Crenides, Philip was able to secure a consistent annual supply of nearly 30 metric tonnes of precious metal, striking them into new, iconic coinage. This production volume made Philip’s coins immensely popular throughout the world.
His son, Alexander the Great, continued Philip’s coinage and improved upon it, refocusing the silver mintage on a tetradrachm based on the Athenian weight standard that could be used easily throughout Greece. For more than two hundred years, Alexander the Great Tetradrachms would be minted at a prolific rate, sourced from his father’s mines in Thrace and Macedonia as well as the new bullion Alexander received when he conquered the Persians.
A single coin represented approximately four day’s pay for a common laborer, so Alexander also minted bronze coinage for small transactions in local markets. However, Alexander the Great Tetradrachms were the most famous of his denominations, becoming one of the staple coins of the Greek world through their use in substantial purchases, international trade, and for mercenary payments.
Head of Herakles, with the features of Mithradates VI, right, wearing lion skin
Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ AΛEΞANΔPOY; in left field, ΛΑΚ (Magistrate’s initials); in exergue, OΔH
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.