An ancient Greek coin has become the most expensive ever sold at an auction for $6 million, ArtNet.com has reported. The coin was sold in Switzerland this week.
The 2000-year-old ancient Greek coin is from the ancient city of Panticapaeum in modern day Crimea. The city minted silver coins from the 5th century BC and gold and bronze coins from the 4th century BC.
The soaring price has been attributed to the coin’s quality, rarity and limited supply.
“I am extremely pleased with the phenomenal result the sale of the Panticapaeum stater achieved at our latest auction in Zurich,” Arturo Russo, co-director at Numismatica Ars Classica, said in a statement.
“This is a sign the whole market for numismatics is flourishing, and is especially strong for ancients at the moment.”
The coin features a satyr, a mischief-maker in Greek mythology, and is believed to reference Satyrus I, son of Spartocus I, who ruled the Greco-Scythian empire in eastern Crimea from 432 to 289 BC. The reverse side of the coin displays a griffin gripping a spear in its beak.
The coin was housed in Russia’s State Hermitage Museum for many years and was sold in 1934 under the leadership of Stalin.