Greek coin dating
Precisely in this capacity he accompanies the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena.
The owl is not only represented on coins of Antique Greece or the euro area, the animal can also be found on many other European and non-European coins: amongst others the Greek 10 lepta (1912) and 2 drachma (1973), the Finnish 100 markka (1990), the Polish 500 zloty (1986), the Belarusian 1 rouble (2005), the Mongolian 1000 and 500 tugrik (2005), the 50 dollar coin of the Cook Islands (1993) and the New-Zealand 5 dollar coin (1999).
The Museum of the NBB shows in its showcases in room 4 two marvellous Athenean tetradrachms (equal 4 drachms) of the 5th century BC as well as the Greek 1 euro coin, issued for the first time in 2002.
Let us have a look at the historical context which led to the introduction of the Athenian (tetra)drachma.
As a nocturnal animal the owl can see things others don’t.
Shortly afterwards coins also appeared on mainland Greece.In subsequent centuries this coin gradually developed into an ‘international’ means of payment in the whole Mediterranean basin.It was the first time in monetary history that a coin enjoyed such a large area of distribution and hence also this aura of ‘internationally accepted’ coin.The success of the (tetra)drachma however, also refers to the aesthetic sense and ability of the Greeks and to the already well-established money economy in their daily lives.Let us have a closer look now at the significance and symbolic meaning of the owl and the olive branch and their relationship with the goddess Athena.