Lydia King Croesus 561-546 BC Gold 1/12th stater NGC CH AU A Must Buy Rarity

  • $8,188.39

Lydia King Croesus 561-546 BC Gold 1/12th stater NGC CH AU 5x4 First Pure Gold Coin in the World. Very Rare to find a coin of this caliber. Museum Quality for the finest collections.


King Croesus and his ground breaking invention

THE HISTORY: Over 2,500 years ago, King Croesus of the Lydian Empire was responsible for pushing the evolution of coinage into a new era. Until this point in history, electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver, was used for currency. Croesus’ genius came in the creation of “a complex interrelated, bimetallic economic monetary system” using the first ever pure gold and pure silver coins. King Croesus became the Richest Man in the World. His banking system established a silver to gold ratio of 13:1 meaning that thirteen Silver Staters was worth one Gold Stater. All of his new money was guaranteed by his kingdom. The large Staters were complimented by fractional denominations as small as a 1/48 Stater – an expansive, but popular project for set-builders. One that normally takes years to complete.

Unfortunately, the Lydians did not have the strength to fend off the Persians who defeated them in 546 B.C. However, the Persians respected King Croesus and kept him around in an advisory role mentoring the Persian on the coin making process. Up until this point, the Persian Empire did not have coinage of their own.

THE DESIGN: It appears King Croesus was a rare specimen in the Ancient World – a king with humility – illustrated by his coins featuring neither his name nor his likeness. On both his gold and silver coinage, the reverse bears the early version of “incuse” designs where the features are struck into the coin instead of raised out from the coin. This was created by the tool holding the planchette as the obverse was struck. The stunning obverse design features a attacking lion, symbolizing strength and power, facing a bull which represents fertility. The irregular, oblong planchettes of Croesus’ coinage have become a distinct feature very popular with today’s buyers.

The legacy of Croesus’ advancement in coinage is so revered as to land the #9 spot in the Top 100 Greatest Ancient Coins book on page 12.

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