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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."

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, c. 300 - 150 B.C.; $220.00 (€202.40)
 


Erythrai, Ionia, c. 550 - 500 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

|Archaic| |Electrum|, |Erythrai,| |Ionia,| |c.| |550| |-| |500| |B.C.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||1/48| |stater|
During the second half of the 6th century, Erythrai struck an extensive issue hektai with head of Herakles on the obverse and an incuse square on the reverse. The earliest coins had a crude archaic style head and a simple square punch. The later coins were more refined archaic style with a quadripartite incuse square reverse. We do not know of any official coins of this small denomination.
GA97741. Fouree electrum plated 1/48 stater, cf. BMC Ionia p. 117, 7 (electrum hekte, 2.55g, official, Erythrai), aVF, areas of missing plating, bumps and scratches, weight 0.370 g, maximum diameter 6.0 mm, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, c. 550 - 500 B.C.; obverse archaic style head of Herakles left, wearing Nemean Lion's scalp headdress, almond shaped eye, large nose; reverse irregular roughly square incuse punch; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


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 (€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)
 


Parion, Mysia, c. 500 - 475 B.C.

|Parium|, |Parion,| |Mysia,| |c.| |500| |-| |475| |B.C.||drachm|
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GA96006. Silver drachm, SNG BnF 1347; SNG Delepierre 2526; SNGvA 1318; BMC Mysia p. 94, 1; SNG Cop -, VF, toned, a little off center, die wear, weight 3.536 g, maximum diameter 12.7 mm, die axis 0o, Parion (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 500 - 475 B.C.; obverse gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa); reverse incuse square with angles in the corners forming cruciform pattern, pellet in center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 (€101.20)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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