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Egyptian Treasures to Debut at ANA Show

Published June 4, 2024 | 2 min read

By Caleb Noel

The latest Tyrant Collection exhibit—Tyrants of the Nile—will debut at the ANA’s 2024 World’s Fair of Money® in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont (August 6-10). Valued at $5 million, this impressive display presents a comprehensive timeline of Egyptian history that dates back millennia. 

“Typical numismatic displays will teach about the politics and culture of a specific group and time period. Luckily for show attendees, the Tyrants of the Nile—which spans multiple civilizations and thousands of years of history—is anything but ordinary,” says ANA Curator/Museum Director Doug Mudd. From the earliest coin struck in ancient Egypt to a 1938 King Farouk gold proof “Royal Wedding” 500 piastres, this exhibit is packed with show-stopping treasures from a dynamic and revered civilization.

Display Highlights

The biggest draw is a c. 361-342 B.C. gold stater struck under the only Egyptian pharaoh who issued a coin, Nectanebo II (Figure 1). The obverse displays a galloping horse, while the reverse shows the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol of a human heart. This is the finest known example of this rare coin.

The exhibit then explores the Ptolemaic dynasty (305-30 B.C.) and the Roman Republic period (509-27 B.C.). A Cleopatra tetradrachm issued in 41/40 B.C. Askalon is of particular note. Only four are known to exist (Figure 2). Another major draw is this c. 202-200 B.C. octodrachm of Ptolemy IV. The most expensive and eye-catching piece in the exhibit, this coin is regarded as one of the most spectacular Greek specimens ever struck (Figure 3).

 In Alexandria, Roman emperors struck gorgeous large bronze coins with eclectic reverses. This practice continued well into the Byzantine era (A.D. 395-1453). Recently, however,  a gold solidus struck under Justinian I in A.D. 527-65 was discovered—the first of its kind to be struck in this precious metal. 

Modern-era collectibles will also take center stage. Rare coins from the Ottoman Empire (1300-1922) along with the Islamic issues and distinctive Egyptian coins issued during the Napoleonic Era (c. 1799-1815) round out the display. These are followed by issues struck under independent Egyptian sultans and kings through World War I (1914-18) and World War II (1939-45).

Convention attendees will have access to a detailed catalog for $10 and a free brochure highlighting featured coins from the collection. To learn more about the Tyrants of the Nile and the World’s Fair of Money, visit in the weeks leading up to the show.

A version of this article appears in the July 2024 issue of The Numismatist (