10mm Ancient Coin with Bee


Greek cities often used animals as identifying symbols on their coins. For this purpose Ephesus used both the bee and the deer. The deer is an animal sacred to Artemis, and Artemis was Ephesus’ patron goddess just as Athena held this role in Athens. The popular Greek image of Artemis was as a huntress, seen riding a deer, in a chariot drawn by deer, subduing a stag with her bare hands, or with a little deer at her feet. The bee was associated Ephesus for many reasons. According to the writer Philostratos, the Athenians who came to colonize Ionia, where Ephesus is located, were led by the Muses, who took the shape of beers. Artemis’ priestesses were called Melissia or “bees” of the goddess, and were directed by “king bees”, priests who served a year-long term under strict rules of purity. The ancient Greeks and Romans didn’t realize that the leader of a beehive is a queen, not a king. Alternately, according to the historians Strabo and Pausanias, the city was named after an amazon queen called Apasas that meant “bee” in native Anatolian spoken language of Hittites. The two Greek letters, epsilon and phi, on either side of the bee are an abbreviation for Ephesus.

  • Set in 18k yellow gold, hand made in Bali
  • 18inch 18k yellow gold German made 1.5mm ball chain
  • 10mm, 3.1gram authenticated coin
  • From Ionia, Ephesos
  • 500-420 BC, AR Drachm
  • Certificate of authenticity & appraisal provided

While in some instances these items can be special ordered, they will vary in patina, size, texture, and rarity. Each coin in our collection is one of a kind.