Lydia Croesus Gold “Heavy Stater” NGC CHVF* Lion & Bull

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LYDIAN KINGDOM. Croesus (561-546 BC). AV stater (16mm, 10.68g . NGC CHVF* 5/5 - 5/5. Sardes, 'Heavy standard, ca. 553-539 BC. Confronted foreparts of lion right and bull left, both with outstretched foreleg / Two incuse square punches of unequal size, side by side,


Roaring Lion forepart to the right, facing a bull forepart to the left.


Two incuse square punches.


Sardis Lydia- modern day Turkey


This series can justifiably be termed the "world's first major pure Gold  coinage." While the Lydian kingdom and several Greek city states of Asia Minor had previously struck coins in electrum, a natural alloy of gold and silver, the accession of Croesus to the Lydian throne circa 561 BC ushered in a revolution in the world economy. The most important reform attributed to Croesus was the introduction of a bimetallic coinage in gold and silver, first augmenting and then replacing the previous electrum issues. The lion had previously been used by Alyattes, and one theory is that this is a dynastic type, with the lion representing Alyattes, and the bull representing his son and successor. The creation of separate gold and silver denominations ranging from a full heavy stater down to 1/96th of a stater was a visionary move that had a major impact on the ancient economy. Silver staters were initially minted by Croesus on a "heavy" standard of about 10.7 grams, the same weight as the new silver stater denomination, although, since silver is a lighter metal, the gold issues were smaller in size and much more valuable.