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    

500 - 550 A.d Late Roman Empire Gold Tremissis Coin From Anglo Saxon Market SiteNgc Cert. Roma, Mars Driving Horse Chariot Aburia 1 Ancient Silver Denarius CoinZeugitana / Carthage, Tanit, Horse, Ae 26, Bronze, 208-202 B.c.Tiberius - Denarius, Rev. LiviaRoman Coin: Titus Silver DenariusRare Roman Bronze Sestertius Of Emperor VespasianCirca.800 - 950 A.d Byzantine Empire Unresearched Au Gold Solidus Coin.vf GradePersian, Qajar Dynasty Mohammad Shah, Gold Toman, Tabriz Mint Dated 1255 AhRoman Empire Titus Ad 79-81 Ar Denarius ElephantByzantyne 401-450 Ad Gold Solidus Constantinople Mint Theodosius Ii AszzxCorinth Silver Stater Pegasus.athena,cornucopia Very Rare Greek Coin Worth $1200Roman Empire Augustus 27 Bc-ad 14 Ar Denarius Gaius And Lucius CaesaresDenarius Of Julius Caesar (46 - 44bc)C.140 A.d British Found Faustina I Roman Period Imperial Silver Denarius Coin.vf250 - 350 A.d Large Collection Of British Found Roman Period Ae Bronze Coins.vf54 A.d British Found Emperor Nero Roman Period Imperial Ar Silver Denarius CoinAncient Roman Gold Aureus Nero 54-68 A.dAttica, Athens Ar Tetradrachm, 440-404 Bc, Ngc Choice Xf - 5/3John V With Anna Of Savoy Regent 1341-91 Au Hyperpyron1341-1347 3.2g/22mm R-681Scarce Brass Dupondius Of Augustus & Agrippa: Nimes Crocodile. Superb. Vf+Tiberius (divus Augusto) SestertiusMacedonian Kings_alexander Iii "the Great"_336 - 323 Bc_silver TetradrachmMesma Medma Bruttium Stater Didrachm, M Below Neck, Sng Ans 587, Mega Rrr!!!Lot Of 19 Uncleaned Ae1 Roman Coin - Sestertius - As - Dupondius - Large FollisAncient Greek Silver Istros Stater Or Drachm Coin - 400 Bc641-668 Ad Contans Ii Ancient Byzantine Gold Solidus Ngc Choice Au 5/5 3/5Roman Empire Tiberius Ad 14-37 Ae As Winged CaduceusRoman Empire Vespasian Ad 69-79 Ar Denarius "judaea Capta"Corinth Silver Stater Pegasus Athena & Helios Very Rare Greek Coin Worth $ 999Tiberius - As, Rev. Altar Of LugdunumAegina Silver Stater "sea Turtle W/ Pellets" 480-457 Bc - Ngc Choice Vf 3/3Domitianus, Dupondius, Virtus, Spear, Parazonium, Minted Rome, 88-89 A.d.Roman Empire Pertinax Ad 193 Ar Denarius Ops SeatedNero - As, Rev. Temple Of JanusAndronicos Ii And Michail Ix Gold Hyperpyron Monogram/ B-Wow! Beautiful As Of Emp. Nero, Ancient Roman Coin - 28mm; 9,85grRoman Coin Of Mark Antony -leg Viii, Ar Denarius,32 -31 B.c.Byzantine Empire Constans Ii 641-678 Av Lightweight Solidus Of 23 SiliquaMacedon Under Roman Rule (167-148 Bc), Ar "shield" Tetradrachm - Ngc Ch Xf 5/3Roman Coin: Galba Silver Denarius Please Read The DescriptionRoman Empire 6x Ae Sestertius + Ae As Lot (incl Augustus, Nerva, Sabina)Lot Of 100 Uncleaned Byzantine And Roman Coins Perfect R-664Persia, Achaemenid Empire, Ar Siglos, Time Of Darius I To Xerxes I. C 521-465 BcAntoninus Pius - Sestertius, Rev. Octastyle TempleByzantine Empire Justin Ii 565-578 Av Lightweight Solidus Of 20 Siliqua*tater* Roman Imperial Ae Sestertius Coin Of Trajan Temple 10 Ancients (syracuse Cilicia Greece Mysia Sardes Pontus & More) No ReserveOstrogoths Pseudo-imperial Coinage Av Tremissis In Name Of AnastasiusC. Norbanus Denarius 83 Bc, 3.2 Gr., Rrc 357/1b, Very Scarce, Top Top Top !!!Ancient Greek Silver Coin Istros Moesia, Silver Obol Drachm, Superb & Rare Metapontum Diobol 0.77 Gr., Hn Italy 1594 Extreme Rarity & Beauty !!!Himera Hemilitra 4.06 Gr., 420-408 Bc, Gabrici 106 Extra Nice And So Rare Woow!Sasanian Empire, Kavad I, 488-497 Ad, Ar Drachm; Mint Azerbaijan;Roman Empire 16x Ae Sestertius + Ae As Lot (incl Drusus, Germanicus, Titus) Roman Imperatorial Silver Denarius Caesarians. Julius Caesar. March-april 44 BcSilver Stater, Leukas, Akarnania, Greece 420-350 B.c. Griffon Corinthian HelmetRare Roman Silver Denarius Of Emperor HadrianRare 361 - 363 A.d British Found Emperor Julian Roman Bronze As CoinAncient Greek Silver Nomos Coin From Kaulonia Bruttium - 475 BcSilver Stater, Corinthia, Corinth, Corinthian Helmet Pegasus Greek Coin