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My newest but oldest coin. A little Diobol and I ain't lyin'


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Ionia, Miletos Circa 500 BC, Silver Diobol
1.14g, 8mm
Forepart of a lion right, roaring head left.
Stellate pattern within an incuse square.
SNG Kayhan 468-475


I see these coins here and there. There are numerous variations, head of lion facing left, facing right, slightly different reverse details. It would be fun to assemble a collection of these types.

I just had to have one for now. Most of my lion head is on the obverse. Some you see are struck off center but this one isn't bad at all. This is a very tiny coin. I have a gorgon obol and this is supposed to be a tiny bit bigger but to me they look almost the same in size. Very small.

It looks really amazing in hand under a magnifying glass for being one of the worlds earliest coins struck. Photo makes it look more gray than it looks in person.

Here is a link to a site I found showing different varieties.


Why did this come to mind tonight while posting? I dunno?


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Lip money! They are great little coins. 
How many mouths has that been in? And what sort of characters!

Theophrastus - The Ruffian never declines the honor of being a leader of the rabble; and when he has gained followers he lends them money, exacting the enormous usury of a quarter of the principal, which he collects daily at the stalls and shops of his debtors; and as he gathers his pence he lodges them in his mouth. Men of this sort, whose throats are sewers, flowing with scurrility, and who make taverns and markets resound with their brawling, are the most troublesome of all public nuisances.



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..very nice!....i dont own one of does at the moment....haha...yeah, when i 1st started collecting ancient coins, i'd get mad when a small one in (Ae2-3 amd the like) i'd get get mad and gripe at e seller for not sending me a regular sized, like  a denarius   😛

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Perfect example of the type of an ancient coin that is 1. artistic 2. popular 3. affordable. (Although yours is in much better condition than the average for the type. Centering could have been better but it's also above average)

My example is not in the same condition. I wanted a type and I had a classic situation for me - there are many examples in an auction, I bid on all of them but do not fight too much and lose it because "I think the next one is worth it". In the end I lose and lose and lose and only the last remains, usually the worst example, and I win it just for the sake of it. I can't say this is my favorite coin, but I don't dislike worn coins. In the end, they have seen more hands (or lips) and this is part of their history


7 mm, 1,07 g.
Ionia. Miletos. AR diobol or 1/12 stater. Circa 525-475 BC.
Head of roaring lion right / Star-shaped floral ornament within incuse square.
Klein 426-427; SNG Kayhan 468-475; SNG Von Aulock 2082; Sear 3532.

What I like about this coin is that it shows the lion facing right and from what I've seen, these varieties are scarcer. 

A similar design is attributed to Mylasa, but with different reverse ornaments. I recently bought this, very cheaply. What I found interesting is that it is a drachm. I do not study these as a primary point of interest, but I haven't seen drachms too often. 


15,1 mm, 3,76 g.
Greek satraps of Caria, Mylasa. Hekatomnos. AR drachm. Circa 395-377 BC.
Forepart of roaring lion left, [EKA] above / Stellate pattern in incuse circle.
SNG von Aulock 2356; Traité II, 86; SNG Copenhagen 588; SNG Kayhan 863.


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I have looked around and besides post 2 above by @Deinomenid I have never heard of this coin type being called "lip money" or the history behind that. I would like to find some more info about this online. ( I tried without success )

I remember my grandmother would say . . .  Don't put that money in your mouth, you never know where it has been!

Edited by thenickelguy
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