Lesbos, also known as Emerald Island, counts 320 kilometers of coastline. It is quite forested, has 2 mountain peaks and 2 large gulfs. Separated by the Mytilini Strait, Turkey is less than 10 miles away. Modern tourism in Greece only started to take off in the 1950s. The Lesbos Tourism Company, T.E.L., was incorporated in 1956 with its head office in Mytilene. The Greek coins in the design of the shares, suggests the company wanted to promote the rich ancient inheritance of the island. Having collected coins as a child, this share certificate immediately drew my attention. Were these ancient Greek coins genuine or not ?
Mytilene, the capital of the island since the Greek classical period, was famous for its production of electrum coins struck from the late 6th through mid 4th centuries BC. Electrum is a natural alloy of gold, silver and other metals (a good conductor of electricity), but it was also produced artificially. For coinage electrum was preferred above gold because it was harder and more durable, and because techniques for refining gold were not known every where in the ancient world. The city of Mytilene used electrum with a gold composition of about 43%.
Further research on the depicted coins did not yield a quick result. So, I asked the help of some numismatic experts. Mrs Dane Kurth, http://www.wildwinds.com/, and Mr Doug Smith, http://dougsmith.ancients.info/.