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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ Lydia ▸ Lydian KingdomView Options:  |  |  | 

Coin of the Ancient Lydian Kingdom

Lydian Kingdom, Uncertain King Before Kroisos, c. 625 - 546 B.C.

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According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to use gold and silver coins and the first to establish retail shops in permanent locations. It is not known, however, whether Herodotus meant that the Lydians were the first to use coins of pure gold and pure silver or the first precious metal coins in general. Despite this ambiguity, this statement of Herodotus is one of the pieces of evidence most often cited on behalf of the argument that Lydians invented coinage, at least in the West, even though the first coins were neither gold nor silver but an alloy of the two called electrum.
SH85431. Electrum trite, Weidauer Series XVI 86, SNGvA 2869, SNG Kayhan 1013, Rosen 655, Boston MFA 1763, gVF, banker's marks on the sides, weight 4.715 g, maximum diameter 11.9 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 625 - 546 B.C; obverse Head of roaring lion right, with knob and rays atop snout; reverse two incuse squares; $3200.00 (€2848.00)
 


Lydian Kingdom, Uncertain King Before Kroisos, c. 625 - 546 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to use gold and silver coins and the first to establish retail shops in permanent locations. It is not known, however, whether Herodotus meant that the Lydians were the first to use coins of pure gold and pure silver or the first precious metal coins in general. Despite this ambiguity, this statement of Herodotus is one of the pieces of evidence most often cited on behalf of the argument that Lydians invented coinage, at least in the West, even though the first coins were neither gold nor silver but an alloy of the two called electrum.
SH85433. Electrum trite, Weidauer Series XVI 86, SNGvA 2869, SNG Kayhan 1013, Rosen 655, Boston MFA 1763, VF, banker's mark, some light scratches, weight 4.683 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 625 - 546 B.C; obverse Head of roaring lion right, with knob and rays atop snout; reverse two incuse squares; $2000.00 (€1780.00)
 


Lydian Kingdom, Uncertain King Before Kroisos, c. 610 - 561 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to use gold and silver coins and the first to establish retail shops in permanent locations. It is not known, however, whether Herodotus meant that the Lydians were the first to use coins of pure gold and pure silver or the first precious metal coins in general. Despite this ambiguity, this statement of Herodotus is one of the pieces of evidence most often cited on behalf of the argument that Lydians invented coinage, at least in the West, even though the first coins were neither gold nor silver but an alloy of the two called electrum.
SH85438. Electrum hemihekte, Weidauer Series XVI 90, SNG Kayhan 1015, SNGvA 2871, Rosen 654, Boston MFA 1770, VF, well centered, scratches, earthen deposits, small edge crack, weight 1.164 g, maximum diameter 7.2 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 610 - 546 B.C.; obverse head of roaring lion right, knob on forehead; reverse square incuse punch; $800.00 (€712.00)
 


Lydian Kingdom, Uncertain King Before Kroisos, c. 610 - 561 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to use gold and silver coins and the first to establish retail shops in permanent locations. It is not known, however, whether Herodotus meant that the Lydians were the first to use coins of pure gold and pure silver or the first precious metal coins in general. Despite this ambiguity, this statement of Herodotus is one of the pieces of evidence most often cited on behalf of the argument that Lydians invented coinage, at least in the West, even though the first coins were neither gold nor silver but an alloy of the two called electrum.
SH85439. Electrum hemihekte, Weidauer Series XVI 90, SNG Kayhan 1015, SNGvA 2871, Rosen 654, Boston MFA 1770, VF, light marks, earthen deposits, tiny edge cracks, weight 1.181 g, maximum diameter 7.5 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 610 - 546 B.C.; obverse head of roaring lion right, knob on forehead; reverse square incuse punch; $600.00 (€534.00)
 


Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.

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King Kroisos minted the first silver and gold coins. He was famous for his extraordinary wealth, but with his defeat by Kyros in 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy.
SH71650. Silver 1/3 stater, Berk 24; Traité I 412; SNG Kayhan -; SNGvA -; SNG Copenhagen -; Boston MFA 2071, VF, toned, bumps and marks, some corrosion, weight 3.421 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 561 - 546 B.C.; obverse confronted foreparts of roaring lion on right and bull on left, pellet over head of lion; reverse double incuse punch, larger punch on the side of the lion; $450.00 (€400.50)
 







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REFERENCES

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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 5: Ionia, Caria, and Lydia. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II. Münzen der Antike. Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (Bern, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
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Walburg, R. "Lydisch oder Persisch?" in SNR 70 (1991).
Weidauer, L. Problemeder frühen Elektronprägung. Typos I. (Fribourg, 1975).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
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Lydian Kingdom