Reproduction Athens Silver Didrachm
Obverse: Head of Athena right, wearing earring and crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over the visor and spiral palmette on the helmet bowl.
Reverse: Owl standing right with wings closed and head facing. In upper left field an olive sprig comprising two leaves, one within the incuse square and the other overlapping the frame. "AOE" to front, within the incuse square.
History: Athena was the patron goddess of Athens and was depicted on most Athenian coins with the owl and olive sprig depicted on the coin reverse. The owl, named the Glaucus, was Athena's sacred bird represented wisdom, and the olive tree was Athena's sacred plant and was a symbol of peace and prosperity. The inscription AOE on this Didrachm coin means 'Of the Athenians'.
The owl didrachms of Athens are now generally attributed to c.475-465 B.C., a period that found Athens under the influence of Cimon, son of Miltiades, the hero of Marathon. Though he had to battle opponents such as Themistocles and Pericles, Cimon was central to the rise of Athenian power in the 470s and 460s.
Originals of the Athenian didrachms are extremely rare with only around 25 known examples.
Minted: C.475 - 465 BC