Athena's Owl Coin Pendant - Sterling on Afghani Turquoise
Athena is the Greek Goddess of war, wisdom, courage, justice, strength, strategy, and the arts. She is often symbolized by the owl. While one side of these ancient coins showed Athena, I wanted to replicate the Owl side.
The reverse of the coin depicts the owl of Athena with the inscription AΘE, an abbreviation of AΘΗNAΙΩΝ (the Athenians). In daily use Athenian drachmas were called glaukes (owls). The owl has traditionally been associated with wisdom because of its ability to see in the dark, where others may not be able to see.
Athens was a great military power in ancient Greece and is considered one of the birthplaces of Western civilization and democracy. After defeating the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE, Athens entered into a golden age.
During this period of prosperity, Athens expanded its political and economic influence throughout the Greek world, allowing artistic and intellectual progress to flourish at a rate that has never been matched. Their military and naval strength was aided significantly by their influx of funds from the mining of silver.
The quantity of silver controlled by the Athenians allowed them to mint the authoritative coinage of ancient Greece, the thick and heavy Athenian owl tetradrachm, which remains the most recognizable ancient coin today. This coin was the largest silver coin of its time, and it popularized the use of a coin’s obverse as the “head” and the reverse as the animal’s “tail”.
Oxidized Sterling Pendant is 7/8" wide x 3/4" tall and is suspended on a 16" Afghani turquoise strand.