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450 BC GOLD PERSIA LYDIA DARIC NGC AU BIBLE MONEY SARDIS

450 BC GOLD PERSIA LYDIA DARIC NGC AU BIBLE MONEY SARDIS
450 BC GOLD PERSIA LYDIA DARIC NGC AU BIBLE MONEY SARDIS
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ACHAEMENID EMPIRE (550-330 BCE) - ANCIENT PERSIAN EMPIRE

OFFICIAL IMPERIAL ISSUE GOLD PERSIAN DARIC (C. 450 BC)

CERTIFIED BY NGC ABOUT UNCIRCULATED

OBV: PERSIAN KING OR HERO IN KNEELING/RUNNING STANCE HOLDING BOW AND SPEAR RIGHT.

REV: INCUSE PUNCH.

PERSIAN IMPERIAL COINS WERE ISSUED FROM 522-330 BCE. ALL COINS ARE THOUGHT BY MANY TO HAVE ORIGINATED IN LYDIA, IN ANCIENT ASIA MINOR (MODERN TURKEY) AROUND 610 BC. THIS COIN WAS MINTED IN SARDIS (SARDES), CAPITAL OF LYDIA AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CITIES IN THE ACHAEMENID EMPIRE. DARICS AND SILVER SIGLOI WERE STRUCK IN THE MANNER AND IN CONTINUATION OF THE LYDIAN TRADITION OF COINAGE.

THE DARIC WAS INTRODUCED DURING THE REIGN OF DARIUS I "THE GREAT" (FIRST PERSIAN INVADER OF GREECE) BETWEEN 522 AND 486 BC. UNTIL THAT TIME, LOCAL SATRAPS HAD BEGUN TO MINT THEIR OWN COINS, BUT DARIUS CONSIDERED THIS AN AFFRONT TO HIS PERSONAL PRIVILEGE AND AN OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY DEATH. DARICS WERE OFFICIAL IMPERIAL ISSUES WITH A HIGH QUALITY STANDARD FINENESS OF 95.83 PERCENT GOLD WITH A RELATIVE 8.4 GRAM WEIGHT, AND SPORTED ONLY THE PORTRAIT OF THE EMPEROR, AN EXPRESSION OF ROYAL POWER.

THEY WERE MINTED UP TO THE INVASION OF ALEXANDER III "THE GREAT" IN 330 BC. AFTER THE CONQUEST OF PERSIA BY THE MACEDONIANS AND THEIR ALLIES, GOLD DARICS WERE MELTED DOWN AND RECOINED WITH ALEXANDER'S IMAGE WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR THEIR RARITY TODAY.

THE DARIC WAS NICKNAMED "THE ARCHER" BY THE ANCIENT GREEKS DUE TO THE OBVERSE DEPICTION. THIS DARIC IS POSSIBLY FROM THE REIGN OF ARTAXERXES I (REIGNED 465-424 BC) AND FIGURES IN THE BIBLICAL BOOKS OF EZRA AND NEHEMIAH.

ALSO IN THE BIBLE, THE DARIC IS FIRST MENTIONED WHEN THE BABYLONIANS THAT HAD CONQUERED ISRAEL WERE IN TURN CONQUERED BY THE PERSIANS. IT IS WRITTEN IN THE FIRST BOOK OF CHRONICLES, THAT PART OF THE DONATIONS ASKED FOR BY KING DAVID TO HELP BUILD THE TEMPLE WERE 10,000 DARICS (PERHAPS THE NAME WAS USED BY THE WRITER FAMILIAR WITH CONTEMPORARY MEASURES, SINCE KING DAVID REIGNED FROM 1048-1007 BC, MUCH EARLIER THAN THE PERSIANS).

THERE IS ALSO CONFUSION ABOUT THE NAME, SINCE THE GREEKS BELIEVED IT CAME FROM DARIUS, BUT MORE PROBABLY THE SOURCE IS THE PERSIAN WORD FOR GOLD, "ZARIG".

WHATEVER THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME, THE GOLD DARIC IS A RARE AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT COIN THAT WAS THE PREMIER STANDARD DURING ITS TIME OF CIRCULATION. 

CONTAINS APPROXIMATELY 8.4 GRAMS OF .9583 GOLD (AROUND .2588 OZ AGW)

15 MM IN DIAMETER

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