In Heritage Auction’s August 13 sale, the spotlight is on Greek Silver Fractions, featuring elusive types that span nearly the entirety of the ancient Greek world. This thematic showcase is the perfect place for new and experienced collectors alike to acquire ancient silver all in one electric venue.
Bidding is already open on these coins, culminating in the live session scheduled for Sunday, August 13 at 7 PM CT (8 PM ET).
This auction features a nice selection of silver coinage from the Lydian Kingdom under Croesus (561-546 BCE). While the Lydian kingdom and several Greek city states of Asia Minor had previously struck coins in electrum, a “natural” alloy of gold and silver, the accession of Croesus to the Lydian throne ushered in a revolution in the world economy. The most important reform attributed to Croesus was the introduction of a bimetallic coinage in gold and silver, first augmenting and then replacing the previous electrum issues. The design chosen by Croesus, confronting foreparts of a lion and bull, are thought by numismatist and dealer Harlan J. Berk to be symbolic of “strength and power” (lion) and “fertility” (bull). The creation of separate gold and silver denominations ranging from a full stater down to 1/96th of a stater was a visionary move that had a major impact on the ancient economy.
The denominations represented here range from a half-stater all the way down to a 1/48 stater – with perhaps the most notable example in this auction being lot 22131, a half-stater graded by NGC as Choice XF 5/5 – 3/5. As always, these coins are irregularly shaped, roughly ovals, with two square punches on the reverse to compliment the lion and bull devices on the obverse.
A few of the other intriguing issues offered here are:
- MACEDON. Neapolis. Ca. 425-350 BC. AR hemidrachm or triobol (13mm, 1.91 gm, 3h). NGC Choice VFstar 5/5 – 5/5, Fine Style
- THRACE. Chersonesus. Ca. 4th century BC. AR hemidrachm (13mm, 2.41 gm). NGC MS 5/5 – 4/5
- THESSALY. Larissa. Ca. 400-365 BC. AR drachm (19mm, 5.90 gm, 7h). NGC AU 4/5 – 3/5, graffito
- PAPHLAGONIA. Sinope. Ca. late 4th century BC. AR drachm (18mm, 6.05 gm, 5h). NGC Choice AU 4/5 – 4/5
- IONIAN ISLANDS. Chios. Ca. early 3rd century BC. AR drachm (19mm, 4.20 gm, 1h). NGC MS 5/5 – 5/5
- LYDIAN KINGDOM. Croesus (561-546 BC). AR sixth-stater (11mm, 1.68 gm). NGC XF 5/5 – 4/5
- BACTRIA. Early Hellenistic era. Sophytes (ca. 325/305-294 BC). AR drachm (14mm, 3.57 gm, 5h). NGC Choice AU 4/5 – 5/5
Bid on these historical coins through August 13, exclusively at Coins.HA.com.