561 BC LYDIA CROESUS AV STATER - WORLDS FIRST GOLD COIN
NGC Ch XF Strike: 5/5 Surface: 5/5The Dawn of Coinage... This Kings of Lydia coin started it all! The origins of coinage began with this rare and valued gold prototype. This extreme rarity is the World's First Major Coinage minted by the order of King Croesus in Lydia, Asia Minor on the coast of what is now current-day Turkey, over 2,500 years ago!
This ancient coin is an archaeological treasure from the past that tells the story of early civilization and its rich rulers. The Lydian civilization was not centrally organized with no dominant power like the New Eastern empires, which provided them individual economic initiatives.
These un-inscribed, hand struck oval lumps were minted from a natural occurring alloy of gold called electrum. This ancient coin features a fierce lion confronting a bull symbolizing strength and virility. The reverse has plain imprints from the tongs to hold them while striking and to help standardize the weight of the coins. These coins undoubtedly were responsible for a boom in trade both between city-states, and in the rapid escalation of local markets. Small forms of portable money was needed to barter as a means for easy, fast paced exchange for these active, ancient entrepreneurs who wanted to be paid in precious metal with payments marked in a way that would authenticate them, which inspired the need for this first form of coinage.