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HOME : Greek Coins : Archive : Anatolian Electrum Stater
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Anatolian Electrum Stater - C.580
Origin: City of Lydia
Circa: 650 BC to 561 BC

Collection: Numismatics
Medium: Electrum

Additional Information: Sold
Location: United States
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Obverse: The Head of a Lion Facing Right

Reverse: Oblong Punch Divided into Two Squares

Lydia, a territory in the western part of Asia Minor, contained much natural wealth including large deposits of gold and electrum. It was a powerful land ruled by kings, the last of whom was Croesus, who mounted the throne in 560 B.C. and quickly subjugated all the Greek colonies of Asia Minor under his rule. Lydia was also an important commercial center for trade. The famous historian Herodotus claimed that the Lydians were the first people to strike coins of gold and silver. This electrum stater bears the head of a lion, traditionally a symbol of royalty in the ancient world.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine- made currencies. This ancient coin is a memorial to the city of Lydia passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation that still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck.
- (C.580)


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