|One of the oldest coins known was discovered in Efesos, an ancient Hellenic city and prosperous trading center. The 1/6 stater was made from electrum, a natural occurring alloy of gold and silver. It originated in Lydia.|
The ancient stater was hand struck. A die with a design for the obverse (front) of the coin was placed on an anvil. A blank of metal was placed on top of the die, and a punch hammered onto the reverse. The result was a coin with an image on one side and a punch mark on the other.
|Electrum Stater Of Miletos. Several Greek cities as well as the Lydian kings began minting the first coins by stamping the badge of their city into one side of a standard weight lump of electrum and various punches into the other. These were used to facilitate trade by certifying that the intrinsic value and weight of the metal was guaranteed by the issuing authority.|
Of these early coins, those of Miletos (600-550 BC), are probably the finest.