Ionia, Miletus, Stater

The earliest coins were of very high value. The standard coin, the stater struck from electrum (a natural alloy from gold and silver), was worth approximately a soldier's monthly pay. The early coinage could thus only be used for large payments.

This stater from electrum is such an early coin. It was minted in Miletus around 560 BC. The obverse shows a recumbent lion, its head turned back and its mouth wide open. The upper incusum on the reverse depicts a little stag's head.