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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Numismatics| ▸ |Archaic Origins||View Options:  |  |  |   

Archaic Origins - The First Coins of Mankind

The coins below are among the first struck by mankind. Coins struck in the later classical and Hellenistic periods, but in archaic or archaized style are also included here. Click here to read "From the Origin of Coins to Croesus."

Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 280 - 276 B.C., Heavy Series

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Anonymous,| |c.| |280| |-| |276| |B.C.,| |Heavy| |Series||triens|
All the references only describe the pellets as below the dolphin. None of the references include a variation with pellets above, but Crawford and HN Italy note the dolphin is sometimes left, which may actually be describing pellets above. There are a few examples with the pellets above on Coin Archives.
RR93746. Aes grave triens, cf. Crawford 14/3; HN Italy 270; Haeberlin pp. 95- 97, pl. 39, 6 ff.; Thurlow-Vecchi 3; Sydenham 10; Vecchi ICC 27 (all with pellets below), VF, dark green patina, earthen deposits, casting flaw, weight 96.948 g, maximum diameter 53.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 280 - 276 B.C.; obverse dolphin swimming right •••• (mark of value) above; reverse fulmen (thunderbolt) •••• (mark of value) perpendicular to the fulmen in center; from the Errett Bishop Collection, very rare with the pellets above the dolphin, huge AE53!; $1500.00 (€1380.00)
 


Iberia, Hackgold and Hacksilver, c. 300 - 150 B.C.

|Iberia|, |Iberia,| |Hackgold| |and| |Hacksilver,| |c.| |300| |-| |150| |B.C.||Lot|
 
CE96076. Mixed Lot, See Maria Paz Garcia-Bellido (2011), "Hackgold and Hacksilber in protomonetary Iberia", one piece of gold hackgold (2.28g) and two pieces of hacksilver (2.27 and 1.23g), all found in Spain, three pieces in lot; $550.00 (€506.00)
 


Thebes, Boeotia, Greece, c. 368 - 364 B.C.

|Boiotia|, |Thebes,| |Boeotia,| |Greece,| |c.| |368| |-| |364| |B.C.||stater|NEW
The largest city in Boeotia, leader of the Boeotian confederacy, and rival of Athens, Thebes sided with Persia during Xerxes' invasion in 480 B.C. Thebes ended Sparta's power at the Battle of Leuctra in 371. The Sacred Band of Thebes famously fell to Philip II at Chaeronea in 338. After a revolt in 335, Alexander the Great destroyed the city, except, according to tradition, the house of the poet Pindar.
SH96816. Silver stater, BCD Boiotia 539; BMC Central p. 83, 150; SNG Cop 339; Hepworth 61; Head Boeotia p. 65; HGC 4 1332 (S), VF, tight flan, slightly off center, light marks and scratches, magistrate's name weakly struck, weight 12.062 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, Thebes mint, magistrate Kabi -, c. 368 - 364 B.C.; obverse Boiotian shield; reverse amphora, KA-BI across fields, within shallow round incuse; ex Edward J. Waddell; scarce; $450.00 (€414.00)
 


Cilicia (Uncertain City, possibly Tarsos), 4th Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia| |(Uncertain| |City,| |possibly| |Tarsos),| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||obol|
SNG Levante describes the obverse type as a Pegasos forepart, however, both their coin and ours clearly depict a griffin.
GS92951. Silver obol, SNG Levante 208 corr. (Pegasos vice Griffin in error), SNG BnF -, aVF, toned, light deposits, tight flan, worn dies, edge split, weight 0.680 g, maximum diameter 8.3 mm, die axis 90o, 4th century B.C.; obverse forepart of griffin left; reverse owl standing left, head facing, crescent and olive spray behind; only one sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades - Nomos AG, obolos 5 (26 Jun 2016), lot 437 (similar condition, realized 550 CHF plus 18.5% fees = $660); extremely rare; $360.00 (€331.20)
 


Iberia, Hacksilver Cube and Three Cut Bronze Bar Ingots, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

|Iberia|, |Iberia,| |Hacksilver| |Cube| |and| |Three| |Cut| |Bronze| |Bar| |Ingots,| |2nd| |-| |1st| |Century| |B.C.|
 
LT96804. silver: see Garcia-Bellido, 24.99g, 15.2mm; bronze: cf. Alvarez-Burgos P35, (1) 20.66g, 16.2mm; silver (2) 22.81, 17.5mm, (3) 30.4g, 17.8mm, bronze cut from larger pieces; all four pieces found in Spain, $260.00 (€239.20)
 


Iberian Celts, Hacksilver, c. 300 - 150 B.C.

|Celtic| |&| |Tribal|, |Iberian| |Celts,| |Hacksilver,| |c.| |300| |-| |150| |B.C.||fragment|
 
CE96111. Hacksilver fragment, perhaps from a disk ingot; cf. Kim and Kroll 59; Van Alfen Hacksilber 53 ff., 20.883g, 21.1mm long, c. 300 - 150 B.C.; $220.00 (€202.40)
 


Dikaia, Macedonia, 5th Century B.C.

|Other| |Macedonia|, |Dikaia,| |Macedonia,| |5th| |Century| |B.C.||hemiobol|
The referenced Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann coin is very similar, but from different dies. The referenced VAuctions coin, presumably a later issue, is also very similar but with ∆IKAI and a dotted square border around the grapes within a shallower square incuse. Dikaia was located between the rivers Nestos and Hebros.
GS92899. Silver hemiobol, Apparently unpublished in the standard references; Gitbud & Naumann auction 11 (29 Dec 2013), lot 89; cf. VAuctions 270, lot 112 (see notes), VF, well centered on an irregularly shaped flan, toned, earthen deposits, reverse flatly struck, weight 0.295 g, maximum diameter 7.5 mm, die axis 180o, Dikaia mint, 5th century B.C.; obverse head of lion right; reverse bunch of grapes on stem within incuse square; extremely rare; $180.00 (€165.60)
 


Iberian Celts, Silver Ingot, c. 300 - 150 B.C.

|Iberia|, |Iberian| |Celts,| |Silver| |Ingot,| |c.| |300| |-| |150| |B.C.||ingot|
 
AS86897. Silver ingot, Alvarez-Burgos P.9, Kim and Kroll -, Van Alfen Hacksilber-, Garcia-Bellido -, dark toning, earthen encrustations, weight 15.636 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, obverse convex, flattened dome form; reverse flat plain; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


Iberia, Hacksilver, Solid Lunate Earring, c. 650 - 150 B.C.

|Iberia|, |Iberia,| |Hacksilver,| |Solid| |Lunate| |Earring,| |c.| |650| |-| |150| |B.C.||Ring| |Money|
The lunate earring type, characterized by a solid crescentric body in a tapered bent over hoop, is the most basic and popular form of earring found in Bronze and Iron Age contexts. The earliest know were found at Ur and date to the third millennium B.C. They are very often found in hacksilver hoards, indicating that they were a bullion medium of exchange. The referenced examples and others known to Forum are all from the East and are under 2 grams. This much larger and heavier example was found in Iberia. Perhaps it was produced locally or perhaps it was brought to the region by Phoenician trade.
CE96102. Silver Ring Money, cf. Gitler Hacksilber 24 ff. (Samaria, late 4th c. B.C.); Golani-Sass Fig. 10, 1 - 2 (Tel Miqne-Ekron, Canaan, 7th c. B.C.) , weight 7.044 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, solid silver, crescentric body in a tapered bent over hoop; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; photos are of both sides, ONE earring; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


Iberian Celts, Hacksilver, c. 300 - 150 B.C.

|Iberia|, |Iberian| |Celts,| |Hacksilver,| |c.| |300| |-| |150| |B.C.||fragment|
 
CE95745. Hacksilver fragment, cf. Kim and Kroll 70; Van Alfen Hacksilber 50, cut on three sides from an ingot; 11.75g, 24.1mm long, weight 11.752 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, $150.00 (€138.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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