You are here:

Coin and Paper Money Collecting/Possible ancient coin - need help


QUESTION: Hi. Let me start by saying I know nothing about coins. I acquired this coin in a pendant that was passed down. The coin has four tiny drill holes on the edge where it was held by a coin frame pendant. Once I removed the coin from the jewelry, checked gold content, and did a bit of research, I realized it's possible that I may have an ancient coin here. I'm trying to figure out the next best step to verifying if this is an authentic coin and then the steps to take to get it certified if it is. (or if I can even get it certified with the drill holes along the edge) I have not been able to find anyone in the Saint Louis, Missouri area that seems to be an expert on Ancient coins. If you know of someone in my area that may be able to help me, please send me the contact info. In the meantime, I'll post photos out here and see if you might be able to help.  I'm sure it's much more difficult by photos, though.  You seem to be the only expert out here that has any knowledge on the ancients, so I'm really hoping you may be able to guide me.  

The coin weighs 8.4 grams. Performs an acid test positive of pure gold or very close to pure. Measures approximately 17.65 - 18.03 mm edge to edge.

What do you think I have here and does it look to be authentic? Are there a lot of counterfeit ancients circulating out there?

I'd love to hear your feedback. Thanks for taking the time to help.  I can send more photos if you'd like.  I also have photos of the tiny holes that were drilled into the edge to frame it into the pendant.

ANSWER: Hello Melinda,

Here are the details of a coin similar to the one that you have:

KINGS of MACEDON. Philip II. 359-336 BC.
Gold Stater (8.58 g).
Pella mint. Struck circa 340/36-328 BC. Laureate head of Apollo right / Charioteer driving Biga right; kantharos below horses.
Le Rider 187 (D92/R138); SNG ANS 138-43

The weight and diameter of your coin is correct to this variety. If it tested for high gold purity 90%+ then we can assume that this is genuine.

Because of the damage that this coin has sustained you can expect the value to be between $1500 and $2500.

If you wanted to sell this coin you should first send it to NGC for grading ( Once it is authenticated and graded you can easily sell it to any coin dealer, eBay or venue of your choice.

Congrats on your great find - it is now your job to preserve this historic item.

David Mc

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: David,  thank you so much for your reply.  Your information coincides exactly with what I was guessing based on what I could find in researching it online.  One last question: Are there a multitude of counterfeits made to look like these or is that fairly unheard of?

Thanks again!


(Side note...I am an buff, and have been working on it for years.  There is one "link" in my tree that I am still looking for actual records to prove it, but if my findings are true, my distant great grandfather was the General serving under Phillip II around 350BC.  Very coincidental and exciting that this coin would be the one ancient coin that has crossed my path, isn't it?! )

Hi Melinda,

There are known counterfeits of this coin but the weight and size of yours are good and the gold content seems to match. While I can't say definitively without seeing the coin, at this point it is unlikely that it is a counterfeit. I have attached a photo of a known fake and if you compare yours to it you should see the differences.

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


David McConaghy


I can answer most questions about coin identification, grading and counterfeit detection. I can answer questions about US and Foreign coins & currency, ancient coins too.


30 years experience as a collector and dealer in rare coins ANA Numismatic Scholar Owner of New England Coin Exchange I have been buying and selling coins in RI for over 30 years

Professional Coin Grading Service - PCGS National Guaranty Corporation - NGC American Numismatic Association - ANA

Cityscape Merchant Circle Numismatic News eBay Providence Journal Bulletin All Experts

Numismatic Scholar Certificate - American Numismatic Association BSEE - New England Institute of Electronics

Past/Present Clients

©2016 All rights reserved.