Trite des Phanes mit einem äsenden Hirschen

Staatliche Münzsammlung München


Obverse: inscription "ΦΑΝΕΟΣ" (Phaneos); feeding stag to the right, above it retrograde (inverse) writing.

Reverse: Two quadrata incusa next to each other.

The origins of coinage date back to the seventh century BC in today’s Turkey. These first coins were round to oval pieces made of electrum, an alloy especially made from gold and silver. The stater, which was also the largest nominal weight, served as the standard weight. This piece is a trite, a coin worth one third of a stater. It was minted in Ionia, i.e. in today’s western Turkey. A mint in the city of Ephesus is considered a very likely place of monetisation. It was part of a great programme of coinage from the stater to the 1/96-stater, with all types showing a deer. The largest denominations were the first coin types to carry a legend. The latter named a Phanes as the master of the mint, but the identity of this gentleman cannot be ascertained. Scholarship has come up with numerous ideas as to the identity of this person, without being able to give clear preference to any of them. Meanwhile some deliberations could be refuted. The pieces bearing the name of Phanes belong to the very rare and sought-after coins made from electrum of from the time of the archaic period in ancient Greek culture.