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    Description

    Rare Early Electrum Trite

    IONIA. Uncertain City. Ca. 650-600 BC. EL third-stater or trite (12mm, 4.68 gm). NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5. Milesian standard. Convex surface with cluster of pellets (grape bunch?) / Two incuse punches of equal size. SNG von Aulock 7761. Rosen 253. Boston MFA 1749. Very rare!

    While the sequence of issues for the earliest electrum coinage is still imperfectly understood, recent discoveries have begun to clarify the picture. It is now evident that the first 'coins' were pre-weighed electrum globules of no particular design, but conforming to the weight standard prevalent in Ionia and Lydia, a 'stater' of about 14 grams and its fractions. Next came pieces bearing simple punch patterns on the 'reverse,' but with a blank 'obverse,' followed very quickly by pieces being a series of parallel striations, the first example of something that could be termed an obverse 'type.' In the same period or shortly thereafter came the type seen here, depicting a cluster of pellets on the convex obverse surface, possible representing a bunch of grapes. These issues by an unknown authority were sporadic, the survival rate extremely low, and such coins are rarely encountered today. By about 610 BC the Lydian Kingdom had standardized coin types and initiated widespread production (see lots 30069-30070).


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    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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