The Alexandrine Era, Graeco-Persian Empire, Gold Double Daric (16.71g, 17mm, Persian Imperial Standard), struck circa 328/323-311 BC under the Satraps of Babylon, likely Seleukos’ reign (later Seleukos I Nikator). Obverse: The Great King or Hero of Persia facing right and assuming a ‘kneeling-running’ stance, draped in royal kidaris and kandys with quiver over shoulder, holding spear in right hand and bow in left; to left, “Φ” above “Λ” as separate letters. Reverse: Oblong incuse, bilaterally striated punch. Nicolet-Pierre-7; Dewing-2676. Although the head of the Persian king is struck slightly off flan, this is certainly minor setback that pales before the history and significance of the type, Good Very Fine and Very Rare.
The Great Persian King portrayed by the kneeling Archer design of the Gold Double Daric is a distinct nod to the iconic design of the Gold Daric (Type III) of the Archaemenid Empire circa 5th-4th century BC. The Double Daric’s true purpose for being struck has been widely debated, although ongoing investigations confidently attribute them to Babylon from 328 or 323 to 311 BC. They follow Persian coinage standards which corroborates with Alexander the Great’s conservative policy on the territories he conquered – they were likely coined in separate mints under the directive of the Satrap. Whatever its true purpose, a stylistically Persian type that features Greek letters and monograms creates a coin that visually represents the marriage of Eastern and Western influences in Alexander the Great’s empire.