Friday, 11 February 2022

As rich as Croesus

Lydia was a hugely rich and powerful state when Kroisos became king about 561 BCE. According to Herodotus, Kroisos donated 4.5 tons of gold for construction of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. The Latin form of Kroisos’ name is used today. Kroisos inherited a coinage system based upon the use of electrum. The most common examples of early Lydian coins are electrum trites (one-third staters) that weigh about 4.7 grams. The coins were first struck during the reign of Kroisos’ father, Alyattes (c. 618 – 561 BCE). Kroisos continued to strike them during the early years of his own reign.
Kroisos launched his own coinage about 550 BCE by minting nearly pure gold staters and nearly pure silver staters, each weighing around 10.7 grams. The Prototype stater is extremely rare, with about a dozen known. The example shown sold for $150k against a $50k estimate in January 2012.
Kroisos struck gold coins under two different weight standards after the Prototype issue. His first series were “Heavy Standard” weighing about 10.7 g. Kroisos replaced the Heavy Standard gold coins with a series of Light Standard gold coins, based upon a weight of 8.05 g.
Silver equivalents are known for each denomination of Kroisos’ gold coinage.
Scholars argue that the gold standard of Croesus was introduced in stages, designed to recall the circulating electrum staters. Once a sufficient number had been recalled, the new light stater appeared. Though the light stater was produced for a longer period than the heavy stater, the light stater is actually the rarer coin.
The market seems to be catching on. This NGC Gem MS light stater sold in April 2018 for $180k.
See ----->Gold of Croesus