Croesus Heavy Gold StaterLYDIAN KINGDOM. Croesus (ca. 561-546 BC). AV stater (19mm, 10.76 gm). NGC AU 4/5 - 4/5. Sardes, "heavy" standard, ca. 550 BC. Confronted foreparts of roaring lion, on left, and bull / Two incuse squares, side-by-side. Berk 2. BMC Lydia 30. Boston MFA 2068. Gulbenkian 756. Struck on a large, oblong flan, with main aspects of the design in sharp detail, the fields displaying considerable mint luster.
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 much more valuable). The switch to a lighter standard of about 8.6 grams for gold seems to have occurred shortly before the Persians defeated Croesus and absorbed the Lydian Kingdom circa 546 BC. The Persians retained the Lydian coinage with only minor changes for some time before introducing their own coin designs, the daric and siglos, on a similar weight standard and exchange ratio. Since they were only struck during the reign of Croesus, heavy issues are about 3-4 times rarer than the later lightweight issues, and are much more difficult to find in high grade.
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