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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."

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

|Italy|, |Roman| |Republic| |and| |Central| |Italy,| |c.| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.,| |Aes| |Rude| |Fragments||Lot|
In Italy, as with other nations, early trade used a system of barter. Aes rude (Latin: "rough bronze"), used perhaps as early as the early 8th century B.C., was the earliest metal proto-currency in central Italy. In the 5th century B.C., bronze replaced cattle as the primary measure of value in trade. Aes rude are rough lumpy bronze ingots with no marks or design, some are flat and oblong, others are square, while many are irregular and shapeless. The metal is mostly copper with roughly 5% tin. Weight varies considerably with some exceeding twelve pounds and others under an ounce. Many smaller examples are fragments of broken larger specimens. A balance was necessary to measure value for commercial transactions.
LT96143. Bronze Lot, Lot of 20 aes rude fragments, cf. BMCRR I p. 1, Haeberlin pl. 1, Vecchi ICC pl. 1, Thurlow-Vecchi pl. 2, SRCV I 505, 13.908g - 65.836g, no tags or flips, actual pieces in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $500.00 (€410.00)
 


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 (€401.80)
 


Aspendos, Pamphylia, c. 465 - 430 B.C.

|Aspendos|, |Aspendos,| |Pamphylia,| |c.| |465| |-| |430| |B.C.||stater|NEW
In 467 B.C. the Athenian statesman and military commander Cimon, and his fleet of 200 ships, destroyed the Persian navy based at the mouth of the river Eurymedon in a surprise attack. In order to crush to Persian land forces, he tricked the Persians by sending his best fighters ashore wearing the garments of the hostages he had seized earlier. When they saw these men, the Persians thought that they were compatriots freed by the enemy and arranged festivities in celebration. Taking advantage of this, Cimon landed and annihilated the Persians. Aspendos then became a member of the Attic-Delos Maritime league.
SH97973. Silver stater, Apparently unpublished variant; cf. SNG BnF 1; SNGvA 4477; SNG Cop 153; SNG Delepierre 2811; BMC Lycia p. 93, 1, VF, tight oval flan, light scratches and bumps, test cut on reverse, weight 10.808 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, Aspendos mint, c. 465 - 430 B.C.; obverse nude warrior advancing right, wearing crested helmet, shield on left arm, spear in right hand; reverse triskeles of human legs counterclockwise, within an incuse square, no ethnic, no control symbol; CNG recently sold an example from the same dies, e-auction 429 (26 Sep 2018), lot 167, for $2500 plus fees. They described their specimen as "Unpublished in the standard references. VF. Exceptionally powerful and artistic warrior for series. Extremely rare."; $440.00 (€360.80)
 


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 (€188.60)
 


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

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic| |and| |Central| |Italy,| |Middle| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.,| |Aes| |Rude||Aes| |Formatum|
In Italy, as with other nations, early trade used a system of barter. Aes rude (Latin: "rough bronze"), used perhaps as early as the early 8th century B.C., was the earliest metal proto-currency in central Italy. In the 5th century B.C., bronze replaced cattle as the primary measure of value in trade. Aes rude are rough lumpy bronze ingots with no marks or design, some are flat and oblong, others are square, while many are irregular and shapeless. The metal is mostly copper with roughly 5% tin. Weight varies considerably with some exceeding twelve pounds and others under an ounce. Many smaller examples are fragments of broken larger specimens. A scale was necessary to measure value for commercial transactions.
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, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C.; $220.00 (€180.40)
 


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 (€180.40)
 


Roman Republic and Central Italy, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C., Aes Rude

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic| |and| |Central| |Italy,| |c.| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.,| |Aes| |Rude||Aes| |Rude|
In Italy, as with other nations, early trade used a system of barter. Aes rude (Latin: "rough bronze"), used perhaps as early as the early 8th century B.C., was the earliest metal proto-currency in central Italy. In the 5th century B.C., bronze replaced cattle as the primary measure of value in trade. Aes rude are rough lumpy bronze ingots with no marks or design, some are flat and oblong, others are square, while many are irregular and shapeless. The metal is mostly copper with roughly 5% tin. Weight varies considerably with some exceeding twelve pounds and others under an ounce. Many smaller examples are fragments of broken larger specimens. A scale was necessary to measure value for commercial transactions.
LT96164. Bronze Aes Rude, 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 58mm, weight 227g, $200.00 (€164.00)
 


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 (€131.20)
 


Roman Republic, 4th Century B.C., Aes Formatum, Domed Disk Ingot Fragment

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |4th| |Century| |B.C.,| |Aes| |Formatum,| |Domed| |Disk| |Ingot| |Fragment||Aes| |Formatum|
In Italy, as with other nations, early trade used a system of barter. Aes rude (Latin: "rough bronze"), used perhaps as early as the early 8th century B.C., was the earliest metal proto-currency in central Italy. In the 5th century B.C., bronze replaced cattle as the primary measure of value in trade. Called aes formatum by Haeberlin, this very rare bronze currency was later than the aes rude and a precursor to the issues of aes grave. Presumably, the molten bronze alloy was poured into a shallow hole in the dirt. This left a disc-shaped metal mound with a flat reverse. This specimen is a fragment of broken from a disk for a smaller transaction or to make change. A scale was necessary to measure value for commercial transactions.
LT96163. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, Haeberlin pl. 3, 1 - 12, 202g, 9.6cm, fragment, broken from a large domed ingot, "finder's" shovel marks, weight 202.1 g, maximum diameter 95.9 mm, obverse convex obverse; reverse flat reverse; $160.00 (€131.20)
 


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 (€106.60)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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