Wowzers! I sure hope you have a genuine coin, Peter! Genuine silver staters from the Ancient Greek city of Olympia are not just a little, but very valuable. The design is absolutely beautiful, showing the head of a rather mean eagle looking to the left and a poplar or ivy leaf below on one side, and F-A to either side of a winged thunderbolt inside an ivy wreath on the other side.
Not too many of these coins are around, and this helps bring values up.
worn: $800 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $4000
well preserved: $10000
Some coins have the initials of the designer, D.A., visible on the ivy leaf. Owning a coin signed by a person who lived over two thousands years ago is intriguing to many collectors, and such coins are worth twice the values listed above.
The amazing coin in our picture comes from Heritage Auctions where it sold for (are you ready?) $17000 in a 2011 auction. CoinQuest, as always, is indebted to top-notch numismatic firms like Heritage who release copyright to us. Thanks!
If you believe you have a genuine stater, it would be wise to bring it to a local coin shop where a professional numismatist can take an in-hand look at it and determine whether it's authentic. You might hold a treasure in your hand, or it may be a cheap pewter reproduction sold to tourists who visit the historical site of Olympia. If you like, start an e-mail exchange with CoinQuest (click the home page Contact button), send us pictures, and we will give you our opinion on authenticity.