Its circumference is estimated by Strabo as 550 stades, and by Pliny as 100 Koinan miles. The island falls naturally into three divisions. First, there is the eastern district, bounded on the south by the high range of mountains which run sheer down into the southern sea upon these mountains are the healing springs, still renowned for their efficacy. It is possible that beneath these springs, on one of the spurs of the range, stood the temple of Asklepios (see my post). Secondly, there is the district from Antimachia to the Isthmus, a plateau of a different geological formation, deeply furrowed by watercourses, and for the most part desolate and barren, though comprising the more fertile plain of Halasarna on its south-east. Lastly, there is the mountainous western district (Kephalos), with a distinct range of its own, but with no plain. The first coinage of Kos started in 625 B.C. and consisted of 1/6th, 1/48th and 1/96th Electrum stater fractions. On the obverse a crab is visible, on the reverse the usual incuse square characteristic for this time. The first silver fractions that appeared ca. 500 B.C. also bears the the same design, and even centuries later the crab was still used on the coinage of Kos. The precise signification of the crab as emblem of Kos is doubtful, but the symbol may have been connected with the cult of Herakles, as the later coinage of Kos always has the symbol of the crab constantly accompanied by the Heraklean club. The myth, according to Hyginus and Apollodorus, tells how a crab bit the foot of Herakles while he was struggling with the Lernaean Hydra. Islands off Caria, Kos. EL Forty-eighth Stater, Phokaic standard. Circa 625-600 B.C. Obverse: Crab. Reverse: Incuse square. Reference: Stefanaki Series I, unlisted denomination; HN Online –; cf. HGC 6, 1295 (1/96th stater). 0.34g Especially the smaller denominations, such as my above 1/48th EL stater are extremely rare. The EL staters were struck using the Phokaic standard of circa 16 grams, which was also used in Ionia and Mysia. The intrinsic value of the early electrum, even down to the 1/96th stater, was too high for use in everyday commerce, and early coinage must have been used only for the transfer of large sums of money, such as mercantile transactions, payment of government expenses (mercenaries, tribute and such), and donatives, either for services rendered to individuals or the state, or to religious foundations. This is my first Greek coin with gold, this one was relatively expensive though compared to other EL staters this size, but since it is extremely rare and it fits perfectly in my Greek islands collection I just had to have it. No expensive coins in this price range for a while anymore (or I'll make the wife mad ). Post your coins of Kos and crab coins!