This coin represent King Eukratides I of Bactria, a land in central Asia (Afghanistan) that was conquered by Alexander. The adoption of the title 'Great King', implying imperial rather than merely royal status, followed some years after Eukratides' consolidation of control over Bactria. He established himself as king of "the thousand cities of Bactria" and set out to enlarge his kingdom in all directions. While returning from one of his campaigns, he was killed by one of his sons, who seized the throne. Bactrian coins were made to the Greek Standard, and this is one of the most beautiful coins of the late Hellenistic period. Known for their strongly realistic portraits, this tetradrachm of Eukratides is no exception. He is depicted as a formidable warrior, wearing a cuirass and a bronze helmet over his diadem. His features are individualized, his expression stern. On the reverse, his parents, Heliocles and Laodice, have been memorialized.
How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or your purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after us. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and place, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of long forgotten empires. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. This coin is a memorial an ancient king and his kingdom passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation that still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck. - (LC.073)