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    Mint State Light Stater

    LYDIAN KINGDOM. Croesus (ca. 561-546 BC). AV stater (16mm, 8.10 gm). NGC MS 4/5 - 5/5. Sardes, "Light" standard, ca. 553-539 BC. Confronted foreparts of lion right and bull left, each with one outstretched leg / Two incuse square punches of unequal size. Carradice 8. BMFA 2073. SNG von Aulock 2875. Well struck with bold striation in fields.

    In numismatic circles, Croesus is most famous for introducing the world's first bimetallic standard, issuing coins of both gold and silver. Prior to this, coins were produced in electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. This situation obviously caused a number of problems, most notably because the proportions of gold to silver were inconsistent. In fact, there is strong evidence to suggest that Croesus' father, Alyattes, artificially manipulated the gold-to-silver ratio in his electrum coins in his favor; the natural occurring electrum in Asia Minor typically has a gold-to-silver ratio of 75%-25%, though his coins were struck with 54% gold and 44% silver.

    The eminent scholar of early coinage, John Kroll, argues that the gold standard of Croesus was introduced in several stages, designed at recalling as many of the circulating electrum staters as possible. The early electrum staters of Asia Minor were typically struck on a weight standard of 14.15 grams. Considering the relative value of gold to silver at the time was 1:13, then one gold stater of the so-called "heavy" series of King Croesus, based on a weight standard of 10.8 grams, would have been equal to the gold and silver content of one electrum stater, which circulated at an assumed ratio of 75% gold and 25% silver. Kroll argues that the Lydian government used this heavy standard to recall the old electrum coins and reissue the new heavy standard gold coins at a 1:1 ratio.

    Once a sufficient number had been recalled, the Lydian government issued the new light stater, which weighed approximately 8.05 grams (this example of 8.10 grams is one of the heaviest light staters we have seen). Kroll continues his argument that this new weight standard was designed to recall as many of the remaining electrum coins as possible, as the 8.05 gram standard is based on the actual gold and silver content of early electrum coins (54% gold and 44% silver). In other words, the heavy standard was used to replace electrum staters at their circulating face value and the light standard was used to recall coins at their actual gold and silver value.

    The conventional wisdom has always been that the light staters of Croesus were much more common than his heavy staters by a factor of three or four. However, in recent years, studies of auction appearances of both types have strongly suggested otherwise. Though the light stater was almost certainly produced for a longer period than the heavy stater, the survival rate for the former may be significantly less than previously thought. As such, new information and studies about the surviving population of each type lead to the conclusion that the light stater is actually the rarer of the two types. 


    呂底亞王國。克洛伊索斯(約公元前561-546年)。標準重斯塔特金幣(16mm, 8.10gm)。 NGC MS 4/5-5/5。 薩迪斯造幣廠"輕標"金幣,約公元前553-539年。雄獅與公牛正面相對,各有一腿外伸。背面有兩方形壓印,大小不一。參Carradice 8. BMFA 2073. SNG von Aulock 2875。條形紋理的底板上打製精美。


    研究早期造幣的傑出學者約翰·克羅爾認為,克洛伊索斯分幾個階段引入黃金標準,旨在盡可能多地召回流通中的琥珀金幣。小亞細亞的早期琥珀金幣通常以14.15克為重量標準。考慮到當時黃金與白銀的相對價值比是1:13,克洛伊索斯國王的"重標"系列的一枚斯塔特金幣便採用10.8克的重量標準,這將等於一枚假定以75 %金和25%銀的比例流通的琥珀金所含的黃金和白銀量。克羅爾認為,呂底亞政府使用這個重型標準來召回舊的琥珀金幣,並以1:1的比例重新發行新的重標金幣。



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    June, 2019
    27th-28th Thursday-Friday
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