The First Bimetallic Denomination System

Lydia. Croesus, 561-546 BC. AV stater (heavy standard), Sardes. From Künker Auction 280 (September 26, 2016), No. 253.
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Electrum coins ring in the monetary system as we know it. However, the composition ratio of gold and silver in electrum varied all the time, which resulted in the value of coins being almost impossible to determine. Croesus, the last king of Lydia, is said to have been the one who introduced the first bimetallic denomination system of coins made of pure gold and pure silver.

Lydia. Croesus, 561-546 BC. AR stater, Sardes. From Künker Auction 226 (March 11, 2013), No. 504.

Within this first bimetallic monetary system, there was a fixed value distribution for each of the different denominations. We do not know exactly how it worked and whether or not it changed from time to time. In any case, this was the beginning of a currency that used different materials to represent different values. Even though we use fiat currencies today and pay with coins and banknotes, the system itself is pretty much the same.

As experts, Ute Wartenberg and François de Callatay were asked to verify this record on March 28, 2019.

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