Electrum (mixture of gold and silver)
circa 454-427 BC
Head of Apollo, laureate, right
Head of calf, right, within incuse square
10.33mm; 2.57g, 6h
aEF, exquisite style, boldly struck, well centred, toned
ex Solidus Numismatik e.K. Premium Auction 20 (21 Oct 2017), Lot 76
An exquisite example of the famous electrum coinage from Lesbos, Mytilene.
Mytilene is the capital city of Lesbos, a status which it has enjoyed the 7th centruy BC. In the 6th to 4th centuries BC, the city was famous for the production of electrum (gold and silver alloy) coinage. It is considered to be the first city in the world to experiment with the reduction of purity of metals used to produce coins.