Here is brief History of coins which I have collected reading history books and online
information. It is known that humanity created currency to eliminate the bartering system.
With creation of currency, humanity also gave rise to other factors like inflation,
deflation, and coin collecting as a hobby. Although the coin creation was originally strictly
for trade, record does show that at some point the concept of living forever came into human’s
psyche. Kings started to have their pictures hammered on their coins as a show of power
and immortality. Some have accomplished that because we do pay large sum of money to obtain
it. The coin was a medium of exchange for thousands of year and more so even today.
According to fleur-de-coin, “The heritage of ancient coins is a subject that intrigues
and delights collectors and scholars the world over. The oldest coin available today was
discovered in Efesos, an ancient Hellenic city and prosperous trading center on the coast
of Asia Minor. The 1/6 stater, pictured below, is more than 2,700 years old, making it one
of the very earliest coins. Made from electrum, a natural occurring alloy of gold and silver,
the coin originated in the area of Lydia. It had a design on one side only, a result of the
primitive method of manufacture. This ancient stater was hand struck. A die with a design
(in this case a lion's head) for the obverse (front) of the coin was placed on an anvil.
A blank piece of metal was placed on top of the die, and a punch hammered onto the reverse.
The result was a coin with an image on one side and a punch mark on the other.”
According to Gainesville Coins,” Caesar Augustus of Rome, who often gave coins as gifts,
was the first documented collector of coins. Archaeological evidence from this period suggests
that Augustus was not the only collector of his era: in Vidy, Switzerland, a pile of approximately
70 Roman gold coins was discovered. Since each coin was unique, researchers believe this find
was actually an ancient coin collection. Around the fourth and third centuries BCE, art collecting
began. During this time, coins were finally seen as art, and were often incorporated into jewelry
and decorative pieces. From 249 to 251 AD, Emperor Trajanus Decius issued commemorative coins
honoring previous emperors, from Augustus to Severus Alexander. These coins mimicked those
issued during each emperor’s reign. The prototypes for these imitations must have come from
collections, because some of the coins modeled were over 300 years old. Several centuries
later, in 805, Charlemagne designed and issued a series of coins in Roman Imperial style.
Again, coins from a collection presumably served as his inspiration. The key to these coins’
popularity was the beauty and variety of their images. People admired the images of rules
and mythological creatures often found on Roman coins, and began to collect them. During this
era, coin collecting did not yet take hold in places like Asia or Africa, because coins were
not engraved with designs.”
Although the above references have given credit to coins being minted mostly from regions of
Middle East and Far Eastern Roman Empire, it is my firm belief that Archeologists have not found
the true oldest coin. Me being a History buff among other subjects, believe that Chinese probably
had an older coin that dates back more than 2700 years ago. Keep in mind that Chinese and Egyptians
were long a civilization before any other civilization came into being. Great Pyramid of Giza in
Egypt was built 4600 years ago. This does not include Mastabas which came into creation even before
the Great Pyramid of Giza. I find it hard to believe that an entire society managed to build
structures in such a short period of time by simply exchanging Donkeys for stones. Chinese
civilization dates back few thousand years before the Egyptians (subject open for debate). With
that in mind, I present you with a brief History of coins.