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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |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."

Knidos, Caria, c. 411 - 394 B.C.

|Kindos|, |Knidos,| |Caria,| |c.| |411| |-| |394| |B.C.||drachm|
The ancient Carian city of Knidos was described by Strabo as "built for the most beautiful of goddesses, Aphrodite, on the most beautiful of peninsulas." The legendary Aphrodite of Praxiteles, one of the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity, once graced her temple at Knidos. It has perished, but late copies exist, of which the most faithful is in the Vatican Museums. The sanctuary of the Triopian Apollo, a sun-god whose symbol was the lion, was the meeting-place of the members of the Dorian Hexapolis. A colossal figure of a lion found at Knidos is in the British Museum.
SH95997. Silver drachm, Cahn 94 (V46/R63 with A added); SNG Keckman 139, SNG Cop 252, De Luÿnes 2704, SNGvA 2598, BMC Caria - (all with same rev. die), VF, toned, light deposits, light marks, die wear, reverse die crack, weight 6.113 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Knidos (near Tekir, Turkey) mint, series VI, c. 411 - 394 B.C.; obverse forepart of roaring lion right; reverse head of Aphrodite right, hair bound in sphendone decorated with leaves or flowers, A (control) left, all within incuse square; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $600.00 (€552.00)
 


Central Italy, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C., Aes Rude Fragments

|Italy|, |Central| |Italy,| |c.| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.,| |Aes| |Rude| |Fragments||Lot|NEW
Aes rude is the earliest type of money used by the population of central Italy. They are just irregular pieces of bronze with no marks or designs. More advanced types of currency were used later: Aes Signatum and Aes Grave, and in the end, normal struck coins.
LT96143. Bronze Lot, Lot of 20 aes rude fragments, 13.908g - 65.836g, no tags or flips, actual pieces in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $500.00 (€460.00)
 


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; $490.00 (€450.80)
 


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, $230.00 (€211.60)
 


Roman Republic and Central Italy, Middle 5th - 4th Century B.C.

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic| |and| |Central| |Italy,| |Middle| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||Aes| |Formatum|
In the middle of the 5th century B.C., bronze replaced cattle as the primary measure of value in the Roman Republic and central Italy. Axe heads, rings, cast bronze shells, domed discs, rods, bars, ingots and bricks, traded alongside aes rude. All bronze objects were suitable for trade by their weight and were frequently broken to adjust their weight and to make change.
RR95747. Bronze Aes Formatum, cf. BMCRR I p. 1, Haeberlin pl. 1, Vecchi ICC pl. 1, Thurlow-Vecchi pl. 2, Bertol-Farac pl. 1, SRCV I 505; maximum length 63.5mm, weight 215.456g, Italian mint, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C.; $220.00 (€202.40)
 


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, $220.00 (€202.40)
 


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)
 


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, $130.00 (€119.60)
 


Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

|Italy|, |Osco-Latin,| |Central| |Italy,| |Late| |4th| |-| |Early| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.||Aes| |Formatum|
 
GA96094. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. Fallai IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2c; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -, weight 22.906 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, uncertain Osco-Latin mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; similar bronze Aes formatum were cast in molds made from seashells, but this specimen was not cast from a mold made with a shell - the shape and lines are the work of a human hand; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


Cilicia, Tarsos, c. 425 - 400 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia,| |Tarsos,| |c.| |425| |-| |400| |B.C.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||obol|
Tarsus is a historic city in south-central Turkey, 20 km inland from the Mediterranean. With a history going back over 6,000 years, Tarsus has long been an important stop for traders and a focal point of many civilizations. During the Roman Empire, Tarsus was the capital of the province of Cilicia, the scene of the first meeting between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and the birthplace of Paul the Apostle.
GS90992. Fouree silver plated obol, cf. SNG France 207, Traité II 530bis (official civic issue, silver, square dot border within rev. incuse), VF, minor plating breaks, scratches, weight 0.726 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, c. 425 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of a winged animal (griffin?) left; reverse ankh-like Persian dynastic symbol, within incuse square; very rare; $125.00 (€115.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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