Tyre Obol +/- 400 BC

Obv: Dolphin. Rev: Owl standing right head facing, carrying a crook and flail. This coin is an ancient fake called a fouree the bronze center is clearly visible where the silver coating has flacked off. Metal: Bronze center with silver plating .43 grams, 8 mm diameter. Condition: VF.

<Alexander the Great building a causway to Tyre being attacked
By Tyre's Navy>
History of Tyre 

Tyre was one of the principle cities of the Phoenician coast. They were most famous for their purple dye made from the murex shell. This dye was very costly. To produce the dye, the murex was lured into baited traps. The captured murex were than sorted, since the dye could only be produced by a few species. The murex were than removed from their shells and mashed into large lead containers. Iron or copper ore was added and the temperature of the vessel was raised using steam. The higher the temperature the darker the dye. The steaming lasted for about 10 days while stirring to help the oxidation of the ores. The resultant sediments and filtrates went through several refining processes to produce a very small amount of liquid dye. As the murex catch dwindled, the Tyrians sent their merchant navy searching for new sources to the edges of the known world. Although unsuccessful in finding a new source of murex, they did find a tree that produced a deep red dye and a plant that produced a purple dye. With all their efforts, the Tyrians in the end could not profit from these discoveries, as they could not keep their sources secret (easy to follow a ship) and Carthage before its destruction in 146 BC was producing more and better dyes than Tyre.