The Alexander the Great Silver Tetradrachms are some of the most well-known ancient coins in the world. During the reign of Alexander III, these large silver coins formed the backbone of Macedonian currency. When they were first minted, only metal obtained from Macedonian mines were used. Later on, they used captured Persian silver as well. The coins were created to pay Alexander III's vast army and to circulate abroad as international currency. It is speculated that tens of millions of these coins were struck.
Most of the Alexander the Great Silver Tetradrachms coins have an obverse of a lion-skin-clad head of Heracles and the reverse features Zeus seated. The designs honor the Greek Gods.
The Tetradrachms were minted in accordance with the Attic weight standard established by the City-State of Athens centuries earlier. The weight fluctuated but they weighed roughly 17.2g. The diameter and thickness of the coins depended on how the planchet was prepared but its typically between a U.S. quarter and a half dollar.