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Ancient Greece Greco Bactria Demetrios I with Elephant (Fakes are possible)  200BC to 185BC
Ancient Greece Greco Bactria Demetrios I with Elephant (Fakes are possible) 200BC to 185BC

Bactria was a region of the ancient world centered at today's Afghanistan, but much larger than Afghanistan, stretching into Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Iran, and northern India. Demetrios I was king between 200 and 185BC. Many of Demetrios's coins show him wearing an elephant headdress, with a trunk sometimes confused to be a snake. On the back, Hercules stands naked with club and lion skin, crowning himself. This is a very popular pattern and comes on coins of many sizes and compositions.

The coin in our picture is a silver tetradrachm weighing about 17 grams and a whopping 32 mm in diameter. It is such a nice specimen, it sold for 1600 British pounds (about $2600 US dollars) during a 2012 auction by Roma Numismatics. CoinQuest thanks Roma for use of their coin image. It is a beauty.

Smaller coins, copper coins, and coins in worse condition would sell for much less. Typical values:

worn: $100 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $400
well preserved: $1000

These values are tremendously inaccurate. Coins like this stand on their own merits and cannot be cataloged in general. An in-person appraisal by a knowledgeable collector or professional coin dealer is the best way to ascertain value of coins like this.


The main reason for an expert appraisal is not so much value, but authenticity. This coin is heavily counterfeited. Counterfeits are worth zero. In examples above, the real coin is a special commemorative issue worth many thousands of dollars. The fake coin is worth nothing.

Coin: 16259 , Genre: Ancient
Requested by: kaili danuser, Thu, 02-Jan-2014 22:46:09 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sat, 04-Jan-2014 04:22:28 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Wed, 30-Dec-2015 02:44:40 GMT
Requester description: Front of the coin has the side of a man's face wearing a thick collar and a hat with a snake on the front. A line of symbols down the back side of the head and a line of symbols going down in front of the face. On the back side there is a small full figured man looks naked holding a staff flexing a muscle in his arm and wearing a cone shaped head dress. There is symbols in a line down both sides of the man and one line of symbols going straight across underneath his feet.
Tags: ancient greece greco bactria demetrios demetrius elephant fakes counterfeit 200 greek greeks elephants replica forger counterfet fake counterfiet reproductions repro reproduction counterfeits replicas forgery man collar hat snake line symbols symbol head naked staff flexing flex muscle arm shield cone dress one feet male mens mans helmeted hood caps headband hooded helmet bonnet cap helmit helmets headdress lined lines lining bar bars symbles symbal simbol symbels simble nude arms sheild coats shiled crests chevrons shild escucheon insignia coat crested crest chevron creast shields escutcheon ones hercules hercvlis herakles hercule herculane hercvles heracles heraclius herculius serpent asps snakes asp

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Sat, 23-Sep-2017 05:32:09 GMT, unknown: 22198681