An oversized replica of an ancient Greek silver coin called a tetradrachm. The replica measures 10cm by 8cm and features a small hole on the reverse for wall display.
This tetradrachm belongs to a large group of issues from around 460- 404 BC. Many Greek cities issued coins with images punning on the city’s name, or depicting the patron god. This was to demonstrate clearly where the coin had come from.
The Athenians (from Athens) did both. One one side they used the image of Athena, their patron goddess, after whom the city was named. On the other side was Athena's faithful companion, the owl (this replica is one-sided and features the owl image only).
The coin was made at a time when Athens was the richest and most powerful city- state in the ancient Greek world - when many of the great buildings on the Acropolis were built and Athens’ navy was increased. The rich silver mine at Laurion, just outside Athens, contributed to this wealth and so did Athens’ empire. The alliance of Greek city states known as the ‘Delian League’ was transformed into Athens’ own empire at this time and in 454 BC the League’s treasury at Delos was transferred to Athens.