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    Description

    Rare Prototype Stater

    LYDIAN KINGDOM. Croesus (ca. 561-546 BC). AV stater (16mm, 10.74 gm). NGC XF 5/5 - 3/5. Sardes, "heavy" standard, prototype issue. Confronted foreparts of lion right and bull left, both with outstretched foreleg, the lion's paw approaching the muzzle of the bull / Two conjoined incuse square punches of unequal size, side by side, with irregular interior surfaces. Berk "100 Greatest Ancient Coins", 9.1. McClean 8635. Well centered on frosty matte surfaces with underlying luster.

    If one were to own only a single gold stater, this would be the type - justifiably termed the "world's first gold coinage." While the Lydian kingdom and several Greek city states of Asia Minor had previously struck coins in electrum, a natural alloy of gold and silver, the accession of Croesus to the Lydian throne circa 561 BC ushered in a revolution in the world economy. The most important reform attributed to Croesus was the introduction of a bimetallic coinage in gold and silver, first augmenting and then replacing the previous electrum issues. The design chosen by Croesus, confronting foreparts of a lion and bull, are thought by Harlan J. Berk to be symbolic of "strength and power" (lion) and "fertility" (bull). The lion had previously been used by Alyattes, and so an alternative hypothesis might be that this is a dynastic type, with the lion representing Alyattes and the bull representing his son and successor. This fits nicely with the imagery of the lion appearing to bless the bull kneeling before him. The creation of separate gold and silver denominations ranging from a full stater down to 1/96th of a stater was a visionary move that had a major impact on the ancient economy. Gold staters were initially issued by Croesus on a "heavy" standard of about 10.7 grams, the same weight as the new silver stater denomination (although, since silver is a lighter metal, the gold issues were smaller in size and far more valuable).


    Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    January
    21st Thursday 5:50 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    January
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    5 Days 23h 40m 57s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: 43
    Page Views: 375

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    This lot is in: 2 - Signature® Floor Session Platinum Night (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 31001-31326) - 6:00 PM Central Time, Thursday, January 21, 2021.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 7 days before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

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    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261



    Current Bid:
    $10,500
    Bid Protection
    w/ Buyer's Premium (BP) : $12,600.00 Minimum Next Bid: $11,000 ($13,200.00 w/ BP)
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