Historically, coins have been a way for governments to exert their political authority over their subjects, which is why the world’s earliest coins tend to be associated with the world’s oldest civilizations.

For example, the Greeks struck coins beginning 680 BCE. Coins from that civilization’s first few hundred years were often irregularly shaped rather than round and initially featured little more than a punched geometric mark on one side and an animal on the other. Within a few hundred years, though, ancient Greek coins began to feature figures on both sides, and the coins blossomed artistically between 415 and 336 BCE. Some of the most beautiful bronze coins from this period were struck on the island of Sicily by an engraver named Kimon.

Denominations for ancient Greek coins were based on the drachm, pronounced ‘dram’. Fractional denominations for the drachm included the obol, which was worth one-sixth of a drachm, while the stater, which was often produced out of gold, could have equal or even greater value than a drachm, depending on its size.

Coins of ancient Rome generally fall into two categories—those struck during the Roman Republic, which lasted from 509 until 27 BCE, and coins minted during the Roman Empire, which ruled the West until the end of the 5th century. Like the earliest Greek coins, the earliest Roman coins were cast in irregular bronze shapes and were exchanged based on their weight. By the 3rd century BCE, Romans were producing aes signatum coins, which were also weight-based coins but featured animals and symbols on their faces.

By the time of the Roman Empire, coins were being struck in gold and silver, as well as copper and brass. Probably the most common Empire coin was the denarius, although the aureus may be the best known since it featured an image of Caesar. Other common coins bore the likenesses of emperors Trajan, under whose rule Rome reached its greatest extent, and Hadrian.

Coinage in China also goes back some 2,500 years. Like ancient Greek and Roman coins, the first Chinese coins were cast in bronze, but Chinese coin makers eventually went in a different design direction than their Western counterparts. For example, by the time ancient Chinese coins were circulating along the Silk Road in the 1st century BCE, the round coins were made of copper and had square voids at their centers. In some cases, the coins bore inscriptions in both Han and Quici languages.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Historia

Historia

PeterD’s Historia goes deep on ancient Roman coins (there are about 400 of them), but he also gives Greek coins t… [read review or visit site]

Ancient Coins: In Praise of the Celators!

Ancient Coins: In Praise of the Celators!

Dr. Tom Buggey’s Ancient Coins: In Praise of the Celators! focuses mainly on coins from Greek and Roman antiquity… [read review or visit site]

Beast Coins

Beast Coins

Yes, Zach Beasley’s Beast Coins website features numerous pages devoted to coins with bears and other beasts on t… [read review or visit site]

Worldwide Bi-Metallic Collectors Club

Worldwide Bi-Metallic Collectors Club

Bi-metallic coins have been around since the 17th century, when a copper wedge was added to the English farthing to… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Ionia: Phocaea The Best Coin Ever Gold El Hecte Nymph As Goddess Of Beauty AuThracian Or Scythian; Coson, After 54 Bc Stater 8.54 Gr. Gold Ngc Ms! Must See!Alexander Iii "the Great" (lifetime) Drachm 336-323 Bc Ngc Ch XfAugustus Caesar Silver Denarius___gaius & Lucius Caesar___sons Of AgrippaAncient Roman Silver Elephant Denarius Coin Of Julius Caesar - 49 BcClaudius Pulcher And Urbinus Roman Republic Silver Ar Denarius Superb And RareIonia Phocaea Very Rare Greek Gold El Coin. Superb Condition 2.511g Hermes Ef 1068-1071 Ad Ngc Ch Vf Ancient Roman Gold Coin Romanus Iv Nomisha 4.35g Persephone & Dionysos Lesbos Mytilene Are Greek Gold Coin El Worth Over $2.000Byzantine Gold Tremissis Heraclius Constantinople Mint [610-641] Hammered CoinAncient Greek Silver Pamphilya Aspendos Olympic Stater Coin - 420 Bc602-610 A.d. ~ Gold Solidus Of Phocas ~ Byzantine, Constantinople ~ Gold CoinByzantine Gold Solious Constantinople Mint [616-625] Hammered Coin GvfMetapontum Nomos Didrachm 430-400 Bc, 7.29 Gr. So Rare, Wooow !!! Uncleaned!222 A.d British Found Severus Alexander Roman Period Ae Bronze Sestertius CoinScarce C.400 B.c Ancient Greece Istros - Moesia Silver Stater Coin.vfOctavian Augustus Denarius Of Great Rarity, 3.48 Gr., Rome 31-30 Bc, Mega Rare !Hadrian - Denarius, Rev. Crescent And Seven StarsAkarnia Argos Amphilochicum, 350-270 Bc, 7.57 Gr., Stater, Pegasi Ii, P. 531!r!Akarnia Anaktorion? 350 Bc, Silver Stater Nomos, 7.98 Gr, V. Rare, Wooow!Ancient Greek Byzantine Constantinople Copper Coin In 14k Gold Pendant FrameKings Of Armenia. Tigranes Ii €Augustus Caesar Silver Ar Denarius Rare Spanish Mint 19mm 3.552grams Roman CoinScarce C.300 B.c Ancient Greece Thrace - Mesembria Ar Silver Diobol Coin.vfAncient Gold Byzantine Solidus Coin Of Emperor Focas / Phocas - 602 AdAncient Roman Silver Denarius Or Tribute Penny Coin Of Emperor Tiberius - 15 AdAlexander Iii The Great Silver Tetradrachm____military Genius___head Of HeraklesRoman Imperial Coin - Galba - Bronze As - Rare ****Lot Of 100 Uncleaned Roman Bronze Coins Junk #1Roman Coin: Vetranio Ae2 Scarce EmperorSextus Pompey 42-40 Bc Roman Silver DenariusAlexander Iii. The Great 336-323 Bc. Gold Stater Brutus 42-bc Roman Silver DenariusPtolemaic Kings Of Egypt ,ptolemy Vi Philometor 180 - 145 B.c ,ae 41 Mm ,71.0 GmParthian Kingdom , Mithradates Ii , Ar Drachm , Rhagae MintScarce Sicily, Syracuse. Time Of Dion Ae Hemidrachm (982u)Hunnic Tribes - Dirham, C. 7th Century, VgcSemis Anio Vero ,annius Veros , Very Rare , Scarce3 Aurelian Antoninianus CoinsC.300 B.c Ancient Greece - Cheronesos Ar Silver Hemmi-drachma Coin.vf317 A.d British Found Emperor Crispus Roman Period Ae 3 Bronze Coin.london MintPergamon Mysia Silver Tetradrachm____serpents___cult Of Bacchus____lucius AntonyGens Antestia Silver Denarius,146bc Roman Republic, 3.38 Gr, V.v.v. Rare !!!!!L. Flaminius Chilco 109-108 Bc, 3.72 Gr., Denarius, Rrc 302/1, Crr 540, R!!!!Ancient Greek Silver Coin Unresearched Good Condition1288 Unknown Coin Star Of David Jewish Isreal Greek Roman Antique Old Ancient Republican Rome M. Caecilius Metellus Q.f. Silver Denarius Macedonian Shield RrrSilver Tetradrachm Athena Owl Ca. 450 BcEarly Anonymous Silver Denarius__roman Republic___one Days Pay For Roman SoldierGreek Coins , Unidentified!,,,,,love!!Parthian Kingdom Mithradates Ii 183-88 B.c. Silver Drachm Shore 95 Very Fine Ancient Greek Silver Drachm Coin Of King Ariobarzanes - 129 BcC.400 - 300 B.c Archaic Ancient Greece Unresearched Ar Silver Obol Coin.vfRepublican Roman Coin Silver Denarius C Vibius Cf PansaTarentum Nomos Stater Didrachm 400-390 Bc, 6.11 Gr., Hni 849, V V.v. Scarce !!! Lot Of 100 Uncleaned Roman Bronze Coins Junk #8Abbasid Dirham, Al-kufa Mint, Ah145Greek Silver Drachm Moesia Istros Coin 400 Bc Vf+++Quinarius Anonymus 211-206 Bc, 2.3 Gr., Rrc 44/6, Roma In Relief, V. Scarce!!!Ancient Roman Silver Elephant Denarius Coin Of Julius Caesar - 49 Bc