Cretan cities had a preference for scenes from the legend of Zeus and Europe as motifs for their coins. This was also the case in Gortyna, where this coin was made. The obverse features Zeus. Europe, sitting on the back of the bull, is only vaguely recognizable on the reverse. Additionally both of the coin's faces were counterstamped with a smaller pair of dies, depicting a little bull and the head of Apollo.
Crete had a long tradition in striking over existing coins. As flans for their own coins Cretan moneyers often used foreign money that had been brought home by Cretan mercenaries. These coins were then simply overstamped with Cretan dies.