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Electrum



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 28th 05, 02:25 AM
Mike Marotta
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Electrum

A few years back (late 2002, early 2003), I published an article in THE
CELATOR about electrum. My motivation for writing it was the erroneous
claim on rec.collecting.coins by Reid Goldsborough that Croesus of
Lydia put the world on a bimetallic standard.

Reid Goldsborough's webpages are all very interesting, loaded with
pictures and citations and heavily larded with words. The best analogy
I can offer is the difference between someone with an MBA who takes
care of other people's money and an entrepreneur like Bill Gates who
dropped out of Harvard but spent a lot of time playing poker. So, too,
with Reid Goldborough's websites. They have a patina of authority, but
they lack an ineffable quality of insight.

ELECTRUM
For about 300 years, most "gold" coins were struck in this sometimes
natural alloy of gold and silver. Electrum continues to be a modern
coinage metal.

All of the 93 oldest known coins uncovered at the Temple of Artemis at
Ephesos are electrum. Electrum is an alloy of gold with silver and
traces of other metals. Natural and artificial electrum served as the
most common form of "gold" coinage until about 330 BC when
nominally pure gold coins from Philip II of Macedon, and his son
Alexander, flooded the Greek world.

Even after Alexander, electrum money continued. Carthage issued
electrum coins. So did the Roman emperor Severus Alexander as did the
Romaion ("Byzantine") emperors of Constantinople. A thousand years
later, in America, the United States Mint considered a "goloid"
electrum coinage. New electrum coins still appear on the market today.

Metallurgical Context

The definition of what is electrum is somewhat arbitrary. All
geologists agree that electrum is a naturally occurring alloy of gold
and silver, usually with measurable copper and trace residues of other
metals. Some geologists define electrum narrowly as being 35% silver
to 45% silver. For others electrum ranges in composition from 1% to
99% silver.

Gold-rich electrum occurs in sulfide-poor deposits. In such cases, the
range of gold is narrow. Copper (along with bismuth and tellurium)
occurs generally in gold-rich electrum. Silver-rich electrum occurs in
sulfide-rich deposits. The range of silver varies widely. Lead (along
with tin, zinc, and selenium) occurs in silver-rich electrum.

major snippage

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baldwin, Agnes. The Electrum Coinage of Lampsacus, (New York: The
American Numismatic Society, 1914).

Baldwin, Agnes. The Electrum and Silver Coins of Chios Issued During
the 6th, 5th, and 4th Centuries B.C. (New York, The American Numismatic
Society, 1914).

Bodenstedt, Friedrich, Die Elektronmuenzen von Phokaia und Mytlene,
(Tuebingen: Verlag Ernst Wasmuth, 1981).

Davies, Roy P. ),
Subject: The Invention of Coins, Newsgroups: rec.collecting.coins,
sci.econ, alt.politics.economics, Date: 2000/07/13

Figueira, Thomas. The Power of Money: Coinage and Politics in the
Athenian Empire, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,
1998).

Greenwell, William. The Electrum Coinage of Cyzicus, (London: Rollin
and Feuerabent, 1887).

Harl, Kenneth W. Coinage in the Roman Economy 300 B.C. to A.D. 700,
(Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

Jenkins, G. K., and Lewis, R. B. Carthaginian Gold and Electrum Coins,
(London: Royal Numismatic Society, 1963).

Jones, John R. Melville. Testimonia Numaria: Greek and Latin Texts
Concerning Ancient Greek Coinage (London: Spink, 1993).

Marotta, Michael E., "Electrum Sixths and the Treaty of Mytilene,"
Classical Numismatic Review (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) Vol. 20-2, Summer
1995.

Nimchuk, Cindy L, "Andrew Ramage, Paul Craddock, King Croesus' Gold:
Excavations at Sardis and the History of Gold Refining, Archaeological
Exploration of Sardis, 11," in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2001.08.10

Robinson, E.S.J, "The Coins from the Ephesian Artemesion
Reconsidered," Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1951.

Shikazono, Naotatsu and Shimizu, Masaaki, Electrum: Chemical
Composition, Mode of Occurrence, and Depositional Environment (Tokyo:
University of Tokyo Press, 1988).

Taxay, Don. The U.S. Mint and Coinage, (New York: Arco Press, 1966).

www. Harvard University Press/King Croesus' Gold

Young, William J. "The Fabulous Gold of the Pactolus Valley,"
Bulletin: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Vol. LXX No. 359, 1972.

Ads
  #2  
Old May 28th 05, 02:46 AM
James Higby
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Mike Marotta" wrote in message
oups.com...

ELECTRUM
For about 300 years, most "gold" coins were struck in this sometimes
natural alloy of gold and silver. Electrum continues to be a modern
coinage metal.

All of the 93 oldest known coins uncovered at the Temple of Artemis at
Ephesos are electrum. Electrum is an alloy of gold with silver and
traces of other metals. Natural and artificial electrum served as the
most common form of "gold" coinage until about 330 BC when
nominally pure gold coins from Philip II of Macedon, and his son
Alexander, flooded the Greek world.

Even after Alexander, electrum money continued. Carthage issued
electrum coins. So did the Roman emperor Severus Alexander as did the
Romaion ("Byzantine") emperors of Constantinople. A thousand years
later, in America, the United States Mint considered a "goloid"
electrum coinage. New electrum coins still appear on the market today.

Metallurgical Context

The definition of what is electrum is somewhat arbitrary. All
geologists agree that electrum is a naturally occurring alloy of gold
and silver, usually with measurable copper and trace residues of other
metals. Some geologists define electrum narrowly as being 35% silver
to 45% silver. For others electrum ranges in composition from 1% to
99% silver.

Gold-rich electrum occurs in sulfide-poor deposits. In such cases, the
range of gold is narrow. Copper (along with bismuth and tellurium)
occurs generally in gold-rich electrum. Silver-rich electrum occurs in
sulfide-rich deposits. The range of silver varies widely. Lead (along
with tin, zinc, and selenium) occurs in silver-rich electrum.

major snippage

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baldwin, Agnes. The Electrum Coinage of Lampsacus, (New York: The
American Numismatic Society, 1914).

Baldwin, Agnes. The Electrum and Silver Coins of Chios Issued During
the 6th, 5th, and 4th Centuries B.C. (New York, The American Numismatic
Society, 1914).

Bodenstedt, Friedrich, Die Elektronmuenzen von Phokaia und Mytlene,
(Tuebingen: Verlag Ernst Wasmuth, 1981).

Davies, Roy P. ),
Subject: The Invention of Coins, Newsgroups: rec.collecting.coins,
sci.econ, alt.politics.economics, Date: 2000/07/13

Figueira, Thomas. The Power of Money: Coinage and Politics in the
Athenian Empire, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,
1998).

Greenwell, William. The Electrum Coinage of Cyzicus, (London: Rollin
and Feuerabent, 1887).

Harl, Kenneth W. Coinage in the Roman Economy 300 B.C. to A.D. 700,
(Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

Jenkins, G. K., and Lewis, R. B. Carthaginian Gold and Electrum Coins,
(London: Royal Numismatic Society, 1963).

Jones, John R. Melville. Testimonia Numaria: Greek and Latin Texts
Concerning Ancient Greek Coinage (London: Spink, 1993).

Marotta, Michael E., "Electrum Sixths and the Treaty of Mytilene,"
Classical Numismatic Review (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) Vol. 20-2, Summer
1995.

Nimchuk, Cindy L, "Andrew Ramage, Paul Craddock, King Croesus' Gold:
Excavations at Sardis and the History of Gold Refining, Archaeological
Exploration of Sardis, 11," in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2001.08.10

Robinson, E.S.J, "The Coins from the Ephesian Artemesion
Reconsidered," Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1951.

Shikazono, Naotatsu and Shimizu, Masaaki, Electrum: Chemical
Composition, Mode of Occurrence, and Depositional Environment (Tokyo:
University of Tokyo Press, 1988).

Taxay, Don. The U.S. Mint and Coinage, (New York: Arco Press, 1966).

www. Harvard University Press/King Croesus' Gold

Young, William J. "The Fabulous Gold of the Pactolus Valley,"
Bulletin: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Vol. LXX No. 359, 1972.


This part of the posting is very well-done. I wasn't aware of how much the
definition of Electrum could slosh around.

Thanks, Mike.

James


  #3  
Old May 28th 05, 04:04 AM
Reid Goldsborough
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 27 May 2005 18:25:10 -0700, "Mike Marotta"
wrote:

A few years back (late 2002, early 2003), I published an article in THE
CELATOR about electrum. My motivation for writing it was the erroneous
claim on rec.collecting.coins by Reid Goldsborough that Croesus of
Lydia put the world on a bimetallic standard.

Reid Goldsborough's webpages are all very interesting, loaded with
pictures and citations and heavily larded with words. The best analogy


I don't know exactly what the currently state of your mental condition
is, but I can guess. You're again, as you have in the past, posting a
fury of messages, here and elsewhere, that appear to have as their
primary purpose trying to contradict something I've written. You
should see somebody about this. Not healthy. In the past couple of
days you've posted here, on Moneta-L, and on CoinPeople material that
has this purpose. You get yourself in trouble not only because your
intentions are nakedly obvious, but because you say ludicrous things.

Here, in this loony thread, you criticize me, then post content from
your article that has nothing to do with your criticism, nothing to do
with what I've written in my articles or at my sites. I never wrote
what you said I wrote. I never wrote that "Croesus of Lydia put the
world on a bimetallic standard." I did write, in this newsgroup, this:
"In most parts of the Greek world, after Kroisos (Croesus) established
the bimetallic standard, minting authorities in the Greek world issued
coins of relatively pure gold and silver rather than electrum." Which
is true. I never said all minting authorities did this. I probably
should have said that electrum coinage did continue, isolated though
it was compared with other coinage.

Kroisos did in fact mint the first coins of pure silver and gold,
according to the evidence and beliefs of most (not all) scholars.
After silver coins came into existence, they were used as the standard
currency in most parts of the Greek world. Electrum was still used,
but because of its uncertain intrinsic value, because of the
uncertainty of its gold/silver ratio, it never achieved widespread use
as silver and gold did. Electrum coins are rare, and pricey, today,
for this reason, just as they were rare, comparatively speaking, in
the ancient world.

--

Email: (delete "remove this")

Consumer:
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