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Question On Lydian Lion Coins

 
 
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 Posted 01/11/2019  8:02 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add MikeF to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've been looking to acquire one of these since learning that it the first known coin to exist. So I've been trolling major auction sites for the last month trying to find one. It appears their are different types with different approximate date estimates.

So which type is considered as the first and oldest?

Edit: to give you an example, I'm finding descriptions like these at auction sites that I generally understand but nothing in descriptions definitively called them the worlds first coin: LYDIAN KINGDOM. Alyattes or Croesus (ca. 610-546 BC). EL 1/12 stater or hemihecte (7mm, 1.17 gm)

Hi, my name is MikeF and I'm a degenerate coin collector. I also like adventure, big trucks, long walks on the beach and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Edited by MikeF
01/11/2019 8:10 pm
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 Posted 01/12/2019  1:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
According to Wayne Sayles and others, the Lydian lion types were not the first. They were preceded by the striations type with no representational imagery. CNG's blurb, at the links below, suggest an even earlier version, prior to the striations - essentially a lump of electrum that imitated natural ore nuggets. Of course none of this is certain - it seems murky.

Sayles, in Ancient Coin Collecting, writes: "at some point in the late 7th century BC, electrum pellets were acquired by traders or rulers and stamped with the intention of using them for exchange...The earliest specimens that we are aware of do not exhibit designs of any distinguishable type. They simply have striations on their surfaces and incuse marks from being struck by a crude punch. Before long, however, designs began to appear with some regularity."

So, if Sayles is correct, the striations type preceded the lion or any other representational imagery. If CNG is correct (you can read their passage at the links), there was a version that preceded even the striations.

https://cNGCoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=53423
https://cNGCoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=70041
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 Posted 01/13/2019  01:58 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MikeF to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is awesome! Thanks for the info, Bob! They are really pricey as would be expected. Looks like the google searches for the world's first coin are inaccurate.
I think I would prefer the first coin with a portrait. That and because I have yet to win the lotto, though I feel it's going to happen real soon.

I've been following these two coming up for auction:

https://coins.ha.com/itm/ancients/g...dLots-101116
https://coins.ha.com/itm/ancients/g...dLots-101116
Is it fair to assume that what the internet is referring to is second coin based on the date estimates?
Hi, my name is MikeF and I'm a degenerate coin collector. I also like adventure, big trucks, long walks on the beach and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Edited by MikeF
01/13/2019 01:59 am
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 Posted 01/13/2019  10:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Is it fair to assume that what the internet is referring to is second coin based on the date estimates?


Well, it would certainly seem that before the appearance of coinage with representational imagery (lions), there were "unmarked lumps of electrum of uniform weight" (Sayles), and some others with simple punches and striations.

The sequence of rulers of the Lydian Mermnad Dynasy, as per Sayles in his Numismatic Art of the Greek World volume, was:

Gyges (founder of the dynasty, during whose rule coinage may have begun), 685-652 BC rule.

Alyattes (WALWET in Lydian script), ruled 615-560 BC.

Croesus (son of Alywattes/Walwet), rule started 560 BC.

Sayles points out that it was Gyges who originally "adopted...the image of the lion" as the royal arms of the Mermnad Dynasty. I infer from that that the transition from non-pictorial early coin types (the "lumps" and striations) to the pictorial types, with lion depicted, occurred in the latter part of the reign of Gyges rather than with the ascension of Alyattes.

Again, this is all pretty murky.

You may find this old thread interesting, Mike, in which we discussed the earliest portraiture on coins:

http://goccf.com/t/263059


Edited by Bob L
01/13/2019 10:06 am
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