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    

**honorius Gold Solidus 393-423ad**Seleukid Kingdom - Antiochos Hierax TetradrachmRoman Republic Marc Antony Denarius Legion Ii Scarce Silver 16mm Strong DetailsAlexander The Great. Silver Medallion Tetradrachm. Extremely Rare. Second Known.Ancient Greece Silver Tetradrachm Alexander Iii 336 - 323 Bc Hercules & Zeus Calabria / Taras - Ar Nomos, Horseman / DolphinHeraclius Av Gold Solidus___constantinople Mint___byzantine Empire___crossVisigoth Gold Tremissis Of Leovigild 575-586 Rare Coin (1347-)A Masterpiece.ms.*.from Rhodes.didrachm. Helios.rose And Amphora. Worth $12..000**clodius Albinus Silver Denarius 195-197ad** **hadrian Bronze Sestertius 117-138ad ** Antioch, Philip I Ar Tetradrachm (31-37 Bc) Ancient GreekRome Nerva Ar Sestertius 97 A.d. Decent Copper Flan 26.7 GramsAncient Roman Silver Coin Mark Antony Legionary Denarius Very Nice 3.1gr 18.3mmMarcia 18 Silver Denarius__roman Republic__minted With Seized Treasury__scorpionRoman Imperial Marc Antony Denarius 32-31 Bc Leg Vi Ngc Xf Bankers MarkAncient Greek Hemidrachm Silver Coin Thasos Cornelia 19 Silver Denarius___roman Republic___scipio Africanus & Juno, MinervaLot Of 15 Uncleaned Ae2 Late Roman Coin, Follis And Maiorina Roman Silver Denarius Of Julius CaesarMs * Salus.welfare Goddess And.hygieia.personal Healthgoddess.worth $2.500Celtic Gaul - 2 Silver CoinsRhodes 166-88 Bc. Silver Diobol - Head Of Helios / Rose Bud - Almost UncirculateAlexander The Great 336 - 323 Bc Ar Tetradrachm Ancient Rare Greek CoinAemilia 9 Silver Denarius___roman Republic___king Aretas, Camel & Olive BranchLycia / Masikytes - Hemidrachm, Rev. Lyre (c. 168 Bc)Pair Estate 14k Solid Gold Earrings W/ancient Greek Silver Drachm Coin Alexander**septimius Severus Silver Denarius 193-211ad Rare Type** Lycia Dynasts - Obol, Obv. Muzzle Of Lion, Rev. TriskelesConstantine The Great (310-313 Ad). Scarce Roman Follis. Trier. #ue 5287Nice Group Of Roman Coins Found Metal Detecting Includes Silver DenariusSuperb Ch Au Macedon Tetradrachm Of Alexander The Great 336-323 Bc152-145 Bc Seleucid Kingdom, Alexander I Ancient Greek Silver Tetradrachm Ngc VfTrajan - As, Rev. Three StandardsCrispus (323-324 Ad). Roman Ae3 Follis. London Mint. #ra 5312Aegina Silver Stater-land Tortoise(457-431 Bc)Ad 582-602 Maurice Tiberius Ancient Byzantine Gold Tremissis Ngc Ms 4/5 4/5Alexander The Great Iii Ar Drachma 336-323bc Certified Vf ConditionMacedon- Philip Ii TetradrachmThrace-istros Silver StaterRoman Empire Maximinus I, Ad 235-238 Ar Silver Denarius Ngc Ms 5/5 4/5 ProoflikePtolemy Xii Silver Tetradrachm_____alexandria Egypt_____father Of Cleopatra ViiCrispus (321-324 Ad). Rare Roman Follis. Siscia. #ra 5310Ancient Roman Ae-follis Collection - 15 Coins - Claudius Ii To ArcadiusMacedon Roman Rule Silver Tetradrachm First Meris Artemis 167-149 B.c.Caesar Augustus Ar Denarius, 27 Bc-ad 14 (birth Of Jesus), Ngc "vf" 4/5 Strike!Silver Dragon Dollar Pei Yang Province 1908 Emperor Guangxu China 7 Mace 2 CandaBosporos - Kotys Ii Ae24, Rev. VictoryLot Of 35 Uncleaned Ae3 Late Roman CoinUnclean But Vf Ephesos Bee E-Φ / Female Head Left, 300 Bc, Revelation City066. Greek Silver Coin. Thrace. Ar Diobol. Helmet / Wheel. AvfTrajan Silver Bl Tetradrachm_____alexandria Egypt_____nilus !Rare Byzantine Half Siliqua Anastasius Constantinople 491-518 Ad Lot Of 32 Roman Antoninianii. #g5354Gordian Iii 238-244 Ad. Ae Sestertius -felicitas Standing- Ngc Choice Vf Ancient Judea Ae-pruta/lepton/widow's Mite 12-coin Lot: Pontius Pilate, Et AlAttica-athens Silver TetradrachmAlmohad - 2 Square Dirhams - VgcPtolemy Vi - Ae21, Rev. Double EagleLot Of 4 Coins Of Macedonian Kings Alexander The Great, Kassander, Maybe Persius