These coins are Greek silver Tetrabols minted in Euboia, in the third century B.C. The obverse shows the head of the nymph Histiaia, facing right with hair rolled, and the reverse shoe her seated on galley.
This tetrobol, or literally “four obol” coin was minted in the important commercial city of Histiaia, named after the Nymph, who was the local city Goddess. The tetrobols weigh an average of about 2.3 grams and probably traded in the market place as half a drachm. These coins were minted for 170 years and were obviously a very important part of the currency used in Greece during that time.
Histiaia was located on the strategic entrance of the North Euboean Gulf on the Greek island of Euboia. This is the 2nd largest Greek island after Crete, which lies just off the eastern mainland. Over the centuries, because of its prized location and fortifications, Histiaia was fought over by Persia, Athens, Sparta and Macedonia. Historically, Euboia is famous as the island that Agamemnon’s fleet set sail from to Troy. During this period, the explorers of Euboia established important new trade routes for the Greeks in Sicily and Macedonia, while extending the field of western civilization.