General information

Sophytes' kingdom or Seleucid Empire


1 stater


c. 315305 BC (ND)

Measurements and composition

~8.58 g


~19 mm






coin (6h die axis)




Caduceus, title

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The 1 stater coin is a non-dated coin that was issued by Sophytes, a historical figure whose origins are disputed. The piece is either believed to be attributable to a Bactrian kingdom ruled by Sophytes or to the Bactrian satrapy of the Seleucid Empire, with Sophytes as the territory's regional satrap. It is also thought to be the first Hellenistic gold coin ever produced.

The coin weighs approximately 8.58 grams and measures 19 millimeters in diameter. It is composed of gold and is round in shape. The coin has a die axis of 6 o' clock, alternatively designated as coin alignment. Featured on the obverse is what is described as either a likeness of Sophytes or Seleucid Emperor Seleucus I, facing towards the right and wearing a crested Attic helmet decorated with a laurel wreath and bearing an intricate design on the cheek guard and crest. The depiction is surrounded by a dotted border. An "MNA", likely the initials of the engraver or designer, is engraved into the likeness at the bust truncation. Featured at the top of the reverse is a caduceus with two serpents tied together, albeit lacking the wings at the top. The word "ΣΩΦΥΤΟΥ" (Sophytou), which translates to English as "Sophytes", is inscribed below the caduceus, at the very bottom of the coin. Like most ancient coins, the stater of Sophytes has a smooth edge.

One example of the coin is currently known to exist. It was displayed at the Archaeological Museum of Henri-Prades in Lattes, France before being put up for auction by Roma Numismatics Limited on October 2, 2011. It had an estimated price of 200,000 pounds sterling.


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Coins of Sophytes

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