Achaemenid Empire. Time of Darius I-Xerxes II. c. 5th century BC

Achaemenid Empire. Time of Darius I-Xerxes II. c. 5th century BC


AV Daric, 8.34g (16mm). Lydo-Milesian standard. Sardes mint. Persian king or hero, wearing cidaris and candys, quiver over shoulder, in kneeling-running stance right, transverse spear in right hand, bow forward in left / Rectangular irregular incuse punch.

References: Carradice Type IIIb, Group A/B

Grade: Overall minor wear but very complete and pleasantly struck. aEF (gk1296)

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The Achaemenid Empire had enormous power until its ultimate downfall with the conquest of Alexander the Great. Geographically, Achaemenid rule extended from Macedonia in the west to Pakistan in the east, and from the river Syr Dar'ya and the Caucasus mountains in the north to the Libyan desert and the Persian Gulf in the south. Gold darics showing the Persian king on the obverse and silver siglos coins with the identical imagery was the bi-metallic coinage of the Persians. Cyrus the Great first introduced coinage after his conquest of Lydia and King Croesus. He even temporarily copied the lion/bull imagery that was started under Croesus.

Darius (521-486 BC) introduced the daric during is reign. The daric has a high purity of gold (close to 96% approximately) and was heavily utilized in the empire until the rise of Alexander the Great. It is suggested that Alexander took large supplies of darics and melted them down in order to create a supply for his own gold coinage.