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Greek Islands Ancient Coins

"Chios Coin-Silver Stater"

Chios is separated from the coast of Ionia opposite by a strait that is about five miles wide at its narrowest point. The ancient city from which the island derives its name lies on the east coast opposite Erythrai. Like the other Ionian cities, Chios issued electrum staters on the Milesian weight standard and silver didrachms from the 6th c. BC.

The expansionist policy pursued by Athens in the 5th century led to an interruption in the coinages of many Ionian cities, Chios and Samos being the exceptions.

The predominant numismatic type of Chios is the sphinx, the emblem of the city. The pointed amphora with a bunch of grapes on it, depicted on the later issues in front of the sphinx, is an indication of the major export of the island, the famous Chian wine. The type of the sphinx and the amphora recurs from the 6th to the 3rd c. BC, when the coinage of Chios ceases.

ancient greek coins - silver stater
Silver stater 478-431 BC. O. Sphinx seated with an amphora in the field.

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