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    Description

    Rare Striated Hecte

    IONIA. Uncertain city. Ca. 650-600 BC. EL sixth stater or hecte (10mm, 2.34 gm). NGC XF 5/5 - 5/5. Field of striated lines, resembling ripples on water / Two incuse square punches, side-by side, with rough interior surfaces. Weidauer Group II, 6-8. SNG Kayhan 680. SNG von Aulock 1769. Cf. Linzalone, "Electrum" 1024 (hemistater). An extremely rare example of one of the first true coins ever struck!

    In "Electrum and the Invention of Coinage" (2011), author Joe Linzalone presents a convincing case that the 'striated' Ionian issues of circa 670-660 BC should be considered the first true coin types ever struck. Pre-weighed lumps of electrum, some marked with a rough punch, had been employed as a medium of exchange for some years before this issue, but they lacked anything that could be called an obverse "type" or design. The field of striated lines seen here, Linzalone theorizes, could evoke the ripples of water in the stream beds where natural electrum was found in Lydia and Ionia, where coinage originated; alternatively it could simply be an abstract design engraved into the anvil striking surface intended to hold the blank in position. 


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2017
    7th-10th Friday-Monday
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