Athenian Owl Tetradrachm Mint State

We do business the old fashioned way, we speak with you.
(800) 257-3253 | Monday - Friday | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM CST

* Pricing updates every five minutes. Actual price locked during recorded telephone call. ** Pricing is per item and is based on quantities equal to or greater than 300oz | Silver or 15oz | Gold. *** Pricing is based on payment either via ACH or Bank Wire and includes delivery.
First time customers ask your trader for introductory incentive.


The Athenian Owl tetradrachm is arguably the most popular and recognized ancient coin. It represented about a week’s pay for ancient Greek soldiers. It is said that President Teddy Roosevelt carried an Athenian Owl as a lucky piece and that it inspired him to redesign US coinage.

Owls were produced in the Archaic style beginning late in the sixth century BCE (Before the Common Era) and were minted in some form or fashion for most of the next 450 years. The key features are a depiction of Athena (patron goddess of the city-state of Athens) on the obverse and an owl (the species of which is sometimes identified as a Little Owl or Minerva Owl) on the reverse. The wise yet warlike Athena sports an Attic helmet with horsehair plume; the owl is joined by an olive branch and the legend “alpha, theta, epsilon” (AΘE, a Greek abbreviation meaning “of the Athenians”). Legend says Athena brought the olive tree as her gift to Athens, in order to best Poseidon in winning Zeus’ favor.



So-called “Classical” pieces were minted in large quantities beginning around 465 BCE, with embellishments to Athena’s Attic helmet and the addition of a crescent moon on the reverse.

After Athens’ defeat by Sparta in 404 BCE, Owl tetradrachms (sometimes referred to as Late Classical) were minted on a smaller planchet and are less sought after by collectors.

Beginning around 165 BCE, the “New Style” tetradrachms appeared with a wider, thinner planchet and changes on the reverse. The exact dating of all the styles (except some new-style Owls) remains a subject of debate. Dating by dealers and auction houses is frequently inconsistent.