The Supreme Guide To Ancient Coins 101

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money. My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges. I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights. Collecting, for me, is about preserving history and building a community around this shared interest.

Ancient coins are a great way to get into the world of numismatics.

They have been around for thousands of years and can be collected in many ways.

These ancient coins have stood the test of time, so they are worth collecting!

The Ancient Coins History and Classifications

Ancient coins were the first form of currency to be used. Ancient coins were made from gold, silver, bronze, and copper.

The creation of these coins was done by hand and some techniques used included hammering, casting, stamping, or drilling holes into the coin.

Ancient coins were used as a form of payment in ancient times to pay for goods and services.

History of Ancient Coins and their Development


The history of coinage is a long one. The earliest coins were made around 700 BC in Lydia, the region now known as Turkey.

The first coins were made of electrum, a natural alloy of gold and silver that has been used for jewelry since prehistoric times.

The Lydian Lion was the first authentic coin: it was made from electrum and had images on both sides – one side showed Zeus sitting on his throne flanked by his eagle and lion; on the other side was an incuse punch with a lion’s head in profile.

This type of coin became very popular in Ionia and spread throughout Greece during its early period.

It wasn’t until about 500 BC when Athens began minting its silver coins, known as Tetradrachms, that this development took off across Europe and Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey).

Classification of Ancient Coins, Early Forms of “Coins.”

Coins were primarily used as a means of exchange. They were made from precious metals, such as gold and silver because these metals had value.

Coins were created so that people could exchange them for food or other goods in their local community without having to trade with each other directly.

This way, coins became a form of currency: they functioned like money and could be exchanged for goods and services.

Because of their value—and because only wealthy people could afford them—they also showed wealth and power.

How Ancient Coins Were Made (The Process)


We’ve already discussed how coins were minted and their basic construction, but this section will go into more detail about the process of making ancient coins.

Ancient coins were made by pressing a blank metal between two dies (a tool for stamping or impressing an image). The die was held in one hand and struck with a hammer in the other. This would create a coin out of the blank metal strip.

Each die was carved from wood by highly skilled craftsmen with years of experience making them.

The die could be created from different types of wood depending on what kind of coin it was being made.

For example, bronze or silver coins would have been created using different types than gold ones because they would require different tools to carve properly without breaking them apart or not cutting all the way through so that only part breaks off instead of everything except maybe one side being left behind intact like you might expect if you didn’t know any better!

How the Ancient Mints Worked

Ancient mints, run by a magistrate and sometimes privately owned, were located in cities.

The minting process, however, was pretty simple: all you needed was a hammer and anvil to strike coins.

How these machines worked is up for debate today; some theories suggest they were operated by water-powered devices or even enslaved people using their feet!

The government-run mints were often located in temples—often Zeus’ temple at Olympia—to give them extra-religious significance. It also meant citizens could visit the venue without paying taxes since they were considered religious sites.

The Debate on Ancient Coins, Fake or Real?


The first thing you need to know about ancient coins is that there are a lot of fakes out there. So how can you tell if an ancient coin is real?

  • Real Ancient Coins: An excellent way to start searching for your ancient coin is by finding one that looks like it could have existed in the past. They should have some writing on them that belongs in antiquity, especially if it’s an official seal or mark from an emperor or king (and not just any old image). Other signs include wear and tear, which clues how long ago they were made and used. If they’re new looking, then they might need to be more authentic!
  • Fake Ancient Coins: You’ll also want to look out for fake ones because sometimes people try selling them as original items. Still, they’re just replicas made recently with modern materials. The best way I’ve found so far is by checking where the seller lives—if someone isn’t located in Europe or Asia, then the odds are high that their product isn’t worth buying either way!

What Makes an Authentic Ancient Coin?

The authenticity of an ancient coin is determined by its provenance.

Provenance refers to the history of ownership of an item, and each part of this history can tell you something about the coin’s authenticity.

If you are buying ancient coins online, make sure they have a clear and complete provenance so that you know where they came from and how they got into your hands.

You should also be alert for fake websites claiming authentic coins but not having real evidence to back up their claims.


With just a little bit of education, you, too, can enjoy ancient coins as much as I do.

Knowing the history of these coins is essential to appreciate them fully.

You must understand how these coins were made and traded before being used for currency.

The most important thing for any collector is knowing how the value of ancient coins was determined.

Ancient coins are not necessarily valuable; however, many collectors enjoy collecting them for fun or as investments (if you buy them, hold onto them for more than a year).

In addition, collecting ancient coins is a beautiful way to learn about history!

Before you go…

By now, you better understand ancient coins, their history, and their value. I hope this article has helped you answer your questions about ancient coins and a little more about them! Before collecting ancient coins, remember to research and enjoy your hobby! Happy Collecting!

Check out my next article: “Which Old Coins Are Worth Money? List of 6 Coins You Might Have In Your Pocket.”

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