North Africa. Zeugitania, Carthage, but from a Sicilian mint.
Dekadrachm or 5 Shekels, c. 260 BC. (Silver, 37.88g., 39mm). Head of Tanit to left, wearing wreath of grain ears and pendant earring / B’RṢT Pegasos springing to right. Basel 567 (this coin). Jenkins, Punic Sicily, IV, 434 (O1’/R4).
While ostensibly very similar in style to the gold and electrum staters struck in Carthage, as well as to the silver shekel, the way the flan was made (flattened down from a cast ‘bullet’-shape; note the two lugs at the edge) and the fact that the die axis is irregular, makes it likely that this coin was minted in Sicily. This would have been done to help pay Carthage’s army and navy, heavily based in Sicily, during the First Punic War (264-241). In addition, there is no evidence that any of these impressive pieces has ever been found anywhere but on Sicily (the 1958 Palermo Hoard, IGCH 2208, contained 50-80 of them). This is one of the finest known examples.
Grading/Status: An impressive and very rare coin of outstanding quality, toned and very well struck. Good extremely fine.
Numismatica Genevensis SA V, 2 December 2008, 156.
Collection of A. Moretti, Numismatica Ars Classica 13, 8 October 1998, 567.