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Section: Daily Dispatches

Diver Finds 2,750-year-old Gold Coin in Bulgaria

From the Sofia Globe
Sofia, Bulgaria
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A diver has found what is believed to be the oldest gold coin ever discovered in Bulgaria, Bulgarian news agency BTA reported on September 9. The coin was found in shallow waters near the resort town of Sozopol on Bulgarias Black Sea coast.

The diver saw the gleaming coin by accident, the report said, and passed it on to Bozhidar Dimitrov, a native of Sozopol and former diver himself who is now head of the National History Museum in Sofia.

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BTA quoted numismatist Vladimir Penchev from the National History Museum saying that the coin is not solid gold but made of electrum -- the naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver used to mint some of the earliest metal coins in history.

This particular coin appears to have been minted in the kingdom of Lydia in western Anatolya in the second half of the seventh century BCE, which puts the coin's age at more than 2,750 years, he said.

Sozopol was founded as a colony of the Greek city-state of Miletus in western Anatolia about 611 BCE -- first named Antheia but changing its name to Apollonia. Since Miletus was a neighbor of the kingdom of Lydia, it is no surprise that a Lydian coin has been found in the town's environs, but it is the first of its kind found in Bulgaria, according to Penchev.

The coin weighs 0.63 grams and has a denomination of 1/24 of a stater.


A photograph of the coin is posted here:

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