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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 113. Estimate CHF8000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF10000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of LYDIA. Kroisos. Circa 560-546 BC. Stater (Gold, 8.09 g), light standard, Sardes, circa 550-546 and later. Foreparts of lion, on the left, and bull, on the right, facing each other. Rev. Two incuse squares of unequal size. BMFA 2073. Dewing 2431. SNG von Aulock 2875. SNG Berry 1138. An exceptional piece, lustrous and unusually sharp. Virtually as struck.

This superb coin was probably struck after the conquest of Lydia by Kyros the Persian: the lion and bull protomes on this coin are larger and more prominent than those ascribed to the reign of Kroisos himself. The reason why the issues of Kroisos continued to be struck under Persian rule is simply their popularity: they were trusted by users over a wide area and were only replaced by the familiar darics, bearing a figure of the Persian king, about a generation later, in c. 520. Originally enormous numbers of the lion/bull staters must have been struck, but the vast majority of them were all surely melted down and reminted as Darics in antiquity; thus they are now rather rare, especially when they are in nearly perfect condition, as this one.