Extremely Rare 7th Century BC Coin

An electrum hemihecte minted in Ephesos, Ionia in Asia Minor c. 650 BC. On the obverse is an archaic bee and on the reverse is a quatrefoil flower.

Only 12 examples of this coin are known.

Ephesos (Ephesus) used the bee for a very long time on their coins. The bee was associated with Ephesus for a couple of reasons. In mythology, 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 bees. Ephesus was also a producer of honey and the bee advertised their most famous product.