Creating an Intriguing Ancient Greek Coins Collection

Ancient Greek coins consist of currency minted from 100 AD and earlier. Many coins have beautiful designs like flowers, animals, gods and goddesses, and realism-style art. Each period and region have unique design characteristics and history, giving you an abundance of options in building an intriguing coin collection.

Archaic period Greek coins

The Archaic period took place from 480 BC and earlier. Greek coins were first introduced around 700 to 600 BC. Finding coins this old is rare but not impossible. eBay sometimes sees NGC-certified Greek coins from around 440 BC available, such as the Ancient Athens Greece Athena Owl Tetradrachm Coin. Aegean turtle coins, not to be confused with Aegean tortoise coins, from the 6th century BC are another option.

Some Archaic period coins have an uncertain city. The stories behind some types of Archaic period coins are also uncertain, which is part of their appeal. 625 to 600 BC Lydian coins may have been issued to pay Greek mercenaries, or Lydians just wanted them for their own use. Lydian and East Greek coins are made of electrum, which is a mixture of gold and silver. Other types of Archaic period coins include Croeseids, Ionia, and Staters. You'll find coins from the islands Aegina, Thasos, and Chios as well.

Classical period Greek coins

Classical period Greek coins, ranging from 480 to 323 BC, are known for their aesthetics. It was during this period that Greeks began including inscriptions on coins. Different types of designs on Classic period coins include gods, goddesses, legendary heroes, city symbols, and visual puns. Inscriptions were usually of the issuing city, making it easy for you to know which city these coins are from. You may be interested in old Greek coins from Sicily because it was a wealthy island that created gorgeous coins. Syracuse was an affluent city on the island known for numismatic art and beautiful coins.

Greek coins from the Hellenistic period

The Hellenistic period took place from 323 BC to 31 BC. Rome began ruling over Greece in the 1st century BC, but Greek cities continued minting their own coins. Coins from this century may be referred to as Roman provincial coins or Greek imperials. You'll have an easier time collecting Hellenistic period coins because they were mass produced. You may be interested in collecting Greco-Bactrian coins from this time period. These coins feature numismatic art and tend to be large. Portraits, especially of kings, were popular design choices in Hellenistic coins. Coins with king portraits often have the name of the king inscribed on them.

How do you choose Greek coins to collect?

There are over 100,000 different ancient Greek coins, so you'll want to narrow down your collection to a specific theme. Part of why there are so many coins is Greek currency were minted all around the world, including North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Ideas for themes you can choose for your collection are a specific denomination, a certain city or island, kings, period, portraits, gods and goddesses, city symbols, and a specific city-state.

Content provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice.