Carthage was capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of what is now Tunisia in North Africa. The city developed from a Phoenician colony and ultimately dominated the Mediterranean during the first millennium BC.
Two Carthaginian symbols were the horse and the palm tree. You see the horse on many of the staters, and the palm tree appears with the horse on half staters.
STATER: approx 18 mm diameter, approx 7.5 grams
HALF STATER: approx 14 mm diameter, approx 3.7 grams
Tanit (or Tinnit, Tannou or Tangou) was the chief goddess of Carthage. She appears on the front of the coin.
These old staters and half staters are (usually) made of electrum, a naturally occuring alloy of gold and silver. Some electrum is almost pure gold (90%), but more common alloys contain 40% to 70% gold. To the eye, coins made of electrum appear as gold or goldish silver.
Some of these (and similar) coins are made of pure gold and pure silver. Most of the time, you see staters and half staters in electrum. If you have a nice-looking example, consult a knowledgeable collector or professional coin dealer for an in-person inspection. There are also nice-looking replicas of these wonderful coins. The one shown here is from CoinReplicas.com
The amazing example of a genuine coin in our main picture (upper left) is a stater from Roma Numismatics in London. It sold for $2200 US dollars during a 2016 auction. The high selling price is due to the outstanding condition and eye appeal of the Roma piece. CoinQuest thanks Roma for use of their coin photo. What a beautiful coin!
Assigning catalog values to ancient coins is very misleading. In fact, each coin stands on its own merits, and 'price guides' are pretty much meaningless. Nevertheless, here is our approximate estimate:
worn: $100 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $800
well preserved: $2000
The numismatic values of staters and half staters are about the same, although there seem to be far fewer half staters than staters. The Greek denomination drachm is equivalent to half stater.