World of Coins

Ancient coins => Ancient Greece => Topic started by: Matteo on February 17, 2018, 08:16:18 PM

Title: Electrum twelth stater of Miletos
Post by: Matteo on February 17, 2018, 08:16:18 PM
Twelth stater of Miletos is one of the commonest Greek archaic coins. It is a silver coin. Why do exist three coins of this type in electrum?

http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/112-stater-of-miletos-with-forepart-of-lion-2238

We can read something here:

http://rjohara.net/coins/lion-sun/#section-2 (http://rjohara.net/coins/lion-sun/#section-2)
As noted above, this general Milesian twelfth-stater type is known almost exclusively in silver. A few rare electrum specimens have been recorded however; I am aware of the following published examples:

It is interesting the explanation of Konuk, but I'm not sure it was only a revival...What was the reason to back to the electrum in this war period? Is it possible it was an attempt to get an higher profit for the issuer?

Thanks,
Matteo.
Title: Re: Electrum twelth stater of Miletos
Post by: Figleaf on February 18, 2018, 09:53:08 AM
I claim no expertise, this is just on coining.

What was the reason to back to the electrum in this war period?

I think we can dismiss conservatism as a reason. The Ionian revolt was not about change, but about the Persian presence. That is a useful conclusion in the sense that the reason is most likely to have been technical.

Electrum is found in a natural state. It is not absolutely necessary to melt it, which saves time and energy. Since troops need to be paid and merchants and farmers must be convinced to sell supplies to the army, the time to produce coins is an important factor. This explains why a mobile mint could be part of an army train. Saving energy is a less convincing argument, as there would have been plenty of chaff and other agricultural waste to burn.

Note that your source only speculates that the electrum issues are wartime. An alternative explanation would be that one type was for domestic circulation, the other for trade.

Peter