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    

Rare Anciemt Byzantine Empire Gold Coin Av Solidus Phocas Ad 602-610, Anacs Ms60Extremely Rare Brass Dupondius Of Nero: Macellum Magnum. Rome, Ad 64. Ric: 187.Ancient Greece Silver Owl Coins 201 Bc An Attica Drachm Athena In Athens* Greek Very Rare Silver Denarius Of Octavian, Italy, 37 Bc. Priestly Implements. Rsc 91Lysimachos Silver Tetradrachm.alexander The Great's Face.rare Ancient Greek CoinAlexander The Great Silver Tetradrachm Ancient Coin 300s Bc 18k Gold Pendant YqzAncient Greek Silver Tetradrachm: Syria, Demetrios I. Antioch, 162-150 Bc. Vf+Lot Of 20 Roman Denarii #8272Rare Silver Denarius Of Nero: Jupiter. Rome, Ad 67-68. Ric: 69. Superb Portrait!Scarce Silver Denarius Of Nero: Judaea Capta. Rome, Ad 69-70. Ric: 15. Rare CoinSeverus Alexander Sestertius.sol. Exceptional Ancient Roman Coin.extremely RareStunning Billon Quinarius Of Allectus: Galley. Colchester, Ad 294-6. Superb E.f!Beautiful Copper As Of Caracalla: Lion / Thunderbolt. Rome, Ad 217. Rare! Gvf.Gellia With Mars And Nero. Very Rare Gold Tone. Denarius. Ancient Roman Coin.Alexander The Great. Mint State ⭐️.gorgeous Ship Stern. Rare Ancient Greek Coin.Alexander The Great. Mint State ⭐️.gorgeous Ship Stern. Rare Ancient Greek Coin.Rare Republican Silver Denarius Of T. Carisius, 46 Bc. Sibyl / Sphinx. Ef+ TonedScarce Denarius Of Divus Septimius Severus: Consecratio. Rome, Ad 211. E.f.Anglo Saxon Kings Of Mercia. Offa. 757-796 Ad Silver Penny CoinJulius Caesar 100-44 Bc Ar Denarius Ancient Roman Silver Coin *scarce*Gorgeous Denarius From L. Farsuleius Mensor. Warrior And Libertas.roman RepublicByzantine Bronze Coin Justinian I Half Follis Large K 527-565 8.8gr 27.0mm Alexander The Great. Spectacular Tetradrachm. Very Rare. Ancient Greek Coin.Ms⭐️alexander The Great.fleur De Coin.masterpiece Tetradrachm.ancient Greek CoinCato The Elder.enemy Of Julius Caesar! Magnificent Iridescent Patina.roman Coin.Nubian War Elephant.dictator Sulla.famous Battle Of Muthul.roman Silver Coin.Trajan Bronze Sesterius 98-117ad Bridge Over River Danube Viking Kingdom Of York, St. Peter Silver Coin C.905-927 AdByzantine. Phocas. Av Gold Tremissis, Cross, 16mm, 1.43gApollo Sun God.rhodes.masterpiece Silver Drachm With Athena.ancient Greek Coin. Julius Caesar Denarius. War Elephant. Golden And Blue Tone. Roman Republic Coin.Julius Caesar.rare Ancient Roman Coin.silver Denarius.aeneas Of Troy With Venus.Byzantine. Constantine Iv Pogonatus. 668-685. Av Gold SemissisByzantine. Justin Ii. Av Gold Tremissis, Victory Holding Cross, 16mm, 1.45gTrajan Bronze Sesterius 98-117ad Kings Of Thrace Odrysian. Kotys I. Extremely Rare Ancient Greek Coin.masterpieceJulius Caesar As Dictator. Rare Ancient Roman Coin. The Coin That Killed Caesar!Perfect Billon Centenionalis Of Julian Ii (the Apostate) Sirmium, Ad 362-3. E.f!Parthian Empire, Artabanus Iii (c. Ad 80-90) Ar Drachm. Byzantine. Constantine Iv Pogonatus. 668-685. Av Gold SemissisMerovingian Chappes - Aube (cappas Villa) Silver Coin 700-800 AdT Carisius. Silver Denarius. Ancient Roman Coin. Similar Sold For $500.Anglo-saxon Silver Coin Kings Of Northumbria. Aldfrith. 685-705 AdAnglo Saxon, Kings Of Northumbria. Aethelred I Silver Coin 789-796 AdJulia Domna, Struck 201 Ad. Rare Silver Denarius Coin. Rev: Caracalla & Geta Ms⭐️.unpublished.perfectly Centered.alexander The Great. Ancient Greek Coin.Anacs Xf 45. King Azes Tetradrachm. Magnificent Gold Iridescent Tone Very Rare.Mysia. Kyzikos. Bull Widget.gold El Hecte Extremely Rare Ancient Greek Coin. Julius Caesar.rare Ancient Roman Coin.silver Denarius.aeneas Of Troy With Venus.Scarce Roman Empire Silver Denarius Coin Galigula With Augustus 37-41 Ad Baktria Indo-greeks Philoxenos Aniketos 125-110bc Ar Drachm Bopearachchi 6dRoman Coin Silver Denarius Of Emperor Antoninus Pius - Rv Salus - H162Merovingian Bronze Coin Metz (moselle) 700-800 Ad*tater* Roman Republic Ar Silver Denarius L Censorinus 82 Bc VenusByzantine. Isaac Ii Angelus. First Reign, 1185-1195. El (gold) Aspron Trachy Celtic Silver Coin With Boar 100-50 Bc Persian; Safavids. Shah Sultan Husayn I. Rectangular Ar 5 Shahis; TabrizAgrippina Senior Æ Sestertius. Rome Mint, Struck Under CaligulaCeltic Britain. Iceni. Queen Boudicca. Circa Ad 61 Silver CoinLegionary Denarius Of Septimius Severus: Leg Xiiii Gem, Rome, Ad 193. Superb E.f