Kingdom of Lydia, Alyattes (c. 610-546 BC)
Electrum Trite, mint of Sardes.
Obverse: Lion’s head with open jaws, facing right; sun and rays on forehead.
Reverse: Two incuse squares, one slightly larger than the other.
(SNG von Aulock 2869; Weidauer 88-89).
The earliest coins emerged from Ionia and Lydia around the middle of the 7th Century BC. In the following decades the Kingdom of Lydia was issuing what are commonly known as ‘Lydian Lions’; iconic, chunky electrum trites, or 1/3 staters, depicting the symbolic roaring lion’s head.