Currency, in one form or another, has been around for centuries and has been called by a number of names. The most well-known form and the indeed the most commonly used throughout the ages is the coin. Historically, the coin has been constructed of a plethora of various metals and alloys; the most widely used and sought after however, is the gold coin and in these instances, the older the coin, the better.
While some might believe the Romans were the first to produce gold coins, they may be a bit shocked to find that the history of the gold coin goes further back to 6th century Turkey.
Lydia, Turkey, is considered to be the first civilization known to use a natural gold and silver alloy known as electrum. The metal alloy was abundantly available in the regions’ rivers, making it the perfect material to create the world’s first coin.
When first “issued” by King Croesus, coins were not commonly seen or used amongst the “common folk” or lower classes. Upon the new currency’s release, King Croesus introduced, intentionally or by accident, a “denominations” system, as the coins had various weights, which helped to determine their worth.
The 6th-century gold coins depicted a lion or bull on the obverse, and either a “punchmark” or empirical seal featured on the reverse. Weight, or denomination, ranged from 17.2 grams to .2 grams. New designs were created and introduced as improvements were made throughout the years.
Today, the coins are considered to be scarce and held in high regard for not only their rich history but also because of the mystery each coin contains. Any collector looking to add an ancient Lydian coin to their collection can expect to pay between $1000-$2000 depending on the coins’ condition.
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