Various regions of ancient Greece utilized Staters as coinage. Importantly, in the beginning most of them were made of silver. However, it was ancient Macedonian Empire that first started using Gold Staters. The best known ancient Macedonian Empire Gold Stater was the one from King Philip II of Macedon—340 BC.
It is hard to believe that these coins were struck by hand. Moreover, how could such a beautiful coin be created over 2,400 years ago? Each coin was a hand made example of ancient art. It is no wonder that some of these coins are still considered the most beautiful coins ever made. They were minted in Pella, Macedonia, most importantly known as the birthplace of both King Philip II and his son Alexander the Great.
Philip will always be remembered in history as a brilliant military leader. His victories actually help to shape Greece. They paved the way for his son to conquer the known world. As their armies forged into far away lands they spread influence on other ancient peoples and cultures. Above all, their influence would be felt for hundreds of years.
Philip II Gold Stater
Philip’s famous staters continued to be struck long after his death. Northern European Celts imitated the work of his coins for hundreds of years later. In this way Philip II’s beautiful coins were remembered throughout history. In fact, in addition to the high purity of gold the artwork would be world renown for centuries.
The obverse of the coin features the god Apollo facing right in a very lifelike fashion. It is a youthful portrait of Apollo with wild hair held together with a laurel wreath. Remarkably, the reverse of the coin features Philip’s conquest in a two horse chariot race. More notably, this race occurred during the ancient Olympic Games of 348 BC. This Macedonian Empire Gold Stater captured the action of horses rearing and snarling as Philip grips the reins in his left hand and raises his goad with his right.
Coins like these are oftentimes encountered slightly off-struck. However, the example below is in remarkably pristine condition and full for the assigned grade. A classic coin in all regards.