Hello Kayla -- Well that's really neat. You have an ancient silver coin from the city of Ephesus, sometimes spelled Ephesos. Many of the coins from this famous city use a 'bee and stag' theme. The value of your coin depends mostly on its condition.
The word to the right of the stag is the Greek name of the magistrate in the city of the time. Think of him as a sort of ancient mayor, who oversaw the town and signed off on important documents. For most of these magistrates, nothing is known about them except through numismatic evidence. Is is pretty exciting to own a coin that is the only evidence left behind by a person who lived over two millennia ago!
Ephesus was a city in Asia Minor (Turkey today) that played a significant role in early civilizations, with ruins dating back to the Bronze Age (3000 BC to 600 BC), and included contributions to ancient Greek and Roman empires, and ending finally in the 1400s AD. The Temple of Greek goddess Artemis (Diana) was there, and it appears several times in the New Testament, including a prominent place in the book of Revelation when Jesus commands an apostle to write a letter to His followers there. 'Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write ...' (Revelation 2:1).
The coin in our picture comes from Holyland Numismatics in West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA. Holyland's coin is a gorgeous specimen, with plenty of detail, little damage, and wonderful surfaces. Couple these attributes with its silver composition and you have a truly valuable coin. It is currently on sale for $1900 US dollars, a good price for such a fine specimen. Serious collectors will invest such amounts to add high-quality coins to their collections.
Another contrasting specimen appears in our secondary picture. This one is made of bronze and its attributes are not at all like the one from Holyland Numismatics. The collector demand for such a coin is much lower, creating a price point in the $50 US dollar range.
To estimate value, first decide if you have a silver drachm or tetradrachm:
then use these catalog values as very approximate indicators of value
BEE AND STAG DRACHM (3.9 to 4.3 grams)
worn: $100 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $500
well preserved: $1250
BEE AND STAG TETRADRACHM
worn: $200 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $750
well preserved: $2500
Consider, Kalya, sending a picture of your coin to CoinQuest. We can give you a much better estimate of value if we see a picture of your specific coin. Use the Contact Us link to start an e-mail exchange with CoinQuest. Then you can send pictures once we know each other's e-mail addresses.
Our two favorite web sites for ancient coins are these:
At the second site you will find a comprehensive listing of counterfeit ancient coins, of which there are many. When buying or selling ancient coins, or any coin for that matter, always do business with a well-respected dealer.
Further, if you have such a coin for sale and want to sell it to a coin dealer, figure that he or she will buy it for about one-half of retail price. Read our Terminology page to understand how buying and selling rare coins works.