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KINGDOM of LYDIA, Croesus, AR 1/3 stater, 561-546 BC
Reference No: CA613
KINGDOM of LYDIA, Croesus, AR 1/3 stater, 561-546 BC
Price : $ 2,500
EUR 2,333.25 GBP 1,972.50 AUD 3,781.50

KINGDOM of LYDIA, Croesus, AR 1/3 stater, minted at Sardis, by Croesus, King of Lydia, 561-546 BC On the obverse are the confronting heads of a roaring lion and a bull, while the reverse is simply two incuse punches.

References: S3421, SNG von Aulock 2874; Boston MFA 2070.

The expression "as rich as Croesus" comes from the legendary wealth of the king who reigned from 560 to 546 BC over Lydia in western Asia Minor. Gold from the mines and from the sands of the River Pactolus filled his coffers to overflowing. The Lydians in the time of Croesus, it is believed, were the first people to mint coins as money. This particular denomination is quite scarce, perhaps being minted only in small quantities for circulation within Lydia, rather than for use as a trade coin. Although most of the Lydian denominations with the confronting lion and bull design continued to be issued under later Persian rule, the Persians did not issue 1/3 staters like this one. Thus it is considered to be the earliest silver coin type, because it definitely dates to the reign of Croesus himself.