Croesus Heavy Stater

Croesus Heavy Stater

Kroisos Heavy Stater

Period: Ancient Greece

Country: Greece

Ruler: Croesus

Denomination: Heavy stater

Mint: Lydia

Weight: 10.73 g

Quality: VF

Auction house: Classical Numismatic Group

Date: May 17, 2017

Starting price: $10.000

Historical context

It is very well known that the first coins were minted in Lydia. These first coins were made of electrum, a natural alloy of gold and silver. The development of new refinement techniques allowed Croesus to separate silver from gold and introduce the first ever bimetallic currency system. In an early phase, gold and silver coins had the same weight (10,89 g.). However, at that time the gold was 13,3 times more expensive than silver so it was not easy to convert gold coins into silver ones. For this reason, they soon changed the weight of the gold coins to 8,17 g. Thus, one gold coin equalled 10 silver coins. The short period where these early-phase gold coins were minted and the fact that they were later on melted to create lighter coins, make the “heavy stater” to be very rare.

Description from the seller

It is a clear example of a rare coin that is not especially beautiful (although I personally like it) but whose demand is very high: who would not like to have one of the first gold coins ever minted?
The price of these coins ranges from more than ten thousand euros in low quality to more than a hundred thousand in high quality (one example and another). Taking into account this hammer price (12.500 CHF in 2008) and this other one ($26.000 in 2017), I consider that between $22.000 and $28.000 would be reasonable hammer prices for the coin in the auction.

Market

KINGS of LYDIA. Kroisos. Circa 564/53-550/39 BC. AV Stater (17mm, 10.73 g). Heavy series. Sardes mint. Regular issue. Confronted foreparts of lion and bull / Two incuse squares. Berk 2; Le Rider, Naissance, pl. V, 2; Traité I 396; BMC 30; Boston MFA 2068–9; Gulbenkian 756. VF, scattered tiny marks.

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