PHILISTIA, GAZA AR DRACHM
HGC 10, 542var, Fine, 15.7mm, 4.04 grams, struck circa. 4th Century B.C.E.
Obverse: Helmeted head of Athena to right
Reverse: Owl facing, head to right, AΘE downward on right, olive spray behind
Interesting coin with a heavy original hoard patina, which also obscures the face of Athena or what's left of it. It appears that this coin was cut in ancient times. Cut coins are not uncommon, as it was a method sometimes employed to make change. What is unusual about this coin is that the weight is correct AFTER it was cut! It appears that about 1/4 or 1/3 of the coin was cut off, indicating that the original production weight was 5 - 6 grams, certainly too heavy for a drachm and too light of a didrachm, which were not really made of this variety in any case. Quite an unusual coin and cannot recall seeing anything like it.