This handcrafted glass jewelry collection, by Michael Michaud, features motifs from an assortment of coins in the Getty Museum’s antiquities collection. Each piece captures the exquisite detail in vibrant cast glass, showcasing the original artistic quality of each ancient coin. Made exclusively for the Getty Museum.
- Dimensions: 1 inch diameter
- Materials: Glass, 24K gold plate, brass
- Made in the USA
- Item#: 102A
This coin is one of ten Athenian tetradrachms found in a hoard of coins, ingots, and jewelry discovered in 1967 on the Jordanian-Syrian border in the region of Hauran (near the ancient city of Bostra). The hoard contained coins from over twenty mints, the majority from four areas: Athens (31), Cyprus (21), southwest Asia Minor (15) and the Thrace-Macedonian area (13). The distribution and style of the Athenian coins date the hoard's burial to around 445 B.C. The Jordan hoard, and other examples of Greek coin hoards, speak to the circulation of Greek coins in the Near East and Egypt to be used as bullion.
On the reverse, an owl stands to the right, its head turned to the front and tilted slightly. Its wing and three tail feathers are clearly delineated in high detail. There is a two-leafed olive sprig in the top left corner and a crescent, possibly a waning moon, just above the owl's wing.
The inscription located in the bottom right, is an abbreviation of ATHENAION, "of the Athenians." The owl is struck in high relief and framed on all four sides by the shape of the die.
Athenian "Owls," as they were called, were minted in Athens for over four hundred years, beginning in the 510s B.C. Although the style evolved, the coins retained the same basic design of Athena on the obverse and her patron owl on the reverse.
Coin (tetradrachm) of Athens
Greek Athens, 475-465 B.C.