Ancient Coins

Antiquities reach back to the time when man first began using tools. We have many beautiful and interesting artifacts from the Byzantine Empire and going back thousands of years to Pharaonic Egypt and earlier. Greek coins began to appear c.700 BC in Ephesos-Lydia and Aigina. Of course, we also have many Roman Republican, Roman Imperial and Roman Provincial coins to offer for your collection as well. Ancient Celts and Spain are available too and don't forget to buy supplies to properly store your Ancient coins and artifacts.

Where and when did the first coins appear?

The coin seems to have been invented in three different, unrelated places: China, Lydia (Asia Minor, now Turkey) and India. The latter, however, was soon integrated into the Greek monetary tradition as a result of its conquest by Alexander the Great in 337 BC. In China, the first coins appeared around the 6th century BC. They were made of copper and had the shape of a hoe and a knife, imitating the utensils that had previously been used as money. The Western monetary tradition originated in Lydia at the end of the 6th century BC and coins were made of an alloy of gold and silver.

Which coins are classified as ancient coins?

The term “ancient” usually includes the earliest known coin issues to those struck in the first five centuries A.D. Some of the most commonly collected ancient coins come from Greece, Rome, and the Byzantine Empire. Other civilizations that also produced ancient coins include Persia, India, and China.

When were coins first used?

Coins were first used around the 7th century BC in Lydia, a region of modern-day Turkey. The Lydians are credited with inventing the first standardized coins made of electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. These were stamped with a design to indicate their value and used as a medium of exchange in commercial transactions. Soon after, the use of coins as a form of currency spread rapidly and other civilizations, such as the Greeks and Romans, began to mint their coins using various precious metals such as gold, silver, and bronze.

What ancient coins can you buy at VCoins?

Our collection goes back thousands of years to ancient civilizations from all over the world, including ancient Eastern and African coins. We also have an extensive collection of Roman Republican, Imperatorial, Imperial, and Provincial coins, as well as Greek and Byzantine coins. It is also possible to find coins from the different Celtic tribes of Europe, and from the peoples of Ancient Hispania.

Greek coins

Greek coins were first minted from the 7th century BC until the Roman conquest. Each city had their own coin, so the patterns and themes included in the coins varied widely. Among the most common were the different local divinities, as well as emblems of the cities, for example the numeral of Athens shows the goddess Athena and her symbolic animal, the owl. Many different types of coins were minted over the centuries such as the drachma, the tetradrachm, the stater and the obol. The drachma was a silver coin and the most common unit of currency. The tetradrachm was a larger silver coin, worth four drachmae, and was often used for large transactions. The stater was a gold or silver coin, worth 20 silver drachmae. Finally, the obol was a small silver coin worth one-sixth of a drachma which was mainly used for small transactions.

Roman coins

The main Roman coins were the as, the denarius and the aureus. The as was the monetary unit for a long time and was made of bronze. The denarius, a silver coin, was so called because when it was created it was equivalent to 10 as. The aureus was the gold unit and was widely used during the Empire, although it was replaced by the solidus in the early 4th century. The designs on the coins varied widely: many of the coins of the Republic featured in the obverse the figure of the goddess Rome, while during the Empire it included the portrait of the emperor. Numerous divinities, personifications, objects, buildings, etc. appear on the obverse.

Byzantine coins

The Byzantine Empire used a monetary system that was based on the gold solidus, introduced by Emperor Constantine in the early 4th century AD. Byzantine coins were made of gold, silver, and bronze, and had a variety of designs. The most common one was the image of the reigning emperor, along with his name and title. They also included images of religious figures, such as Jesus Christ, the Virgin, saints and angels. Another notable feature was the use of inscriptions in Greek.

Celtic coins

Celtic coins were issued from the late 4th century BC until the Roman conquest in the 1st century BC by various tribes in Gaul, Britain, Macedonian Thrace, Germany and central Europe, the Danube region and south-eastern Europe. They were typically made of gold, silver, or bronze, and decorated with intricate patterns and imagery that reflected the cultural and religious beliefs of the Celtic people. Many coins were struck using a technique known as "cast coinage," in which the molten metal was poured into a mould and allowed to cool, resulting in a roughly spherical shape.

Who classifies ancient coins at VCoins?

The coins available at VCoins are graded by each store, which counts with their own team of experts. However, before they are uploaded to the platform both the store and its items are reviewed by our numismatic experts to make sure the coins are correctly classified.

What are the most valuable ancient coins?

The value of ancient coins depends on several factors, including rarity, historical significance, condition, and collector demand. Some of the most valuable coins include the aurei of the Roman Republic.

What materials were used to make ancient coins?

The materials used to make ancient coins varied according to the period, location, and availability of resources. The most common were gold, silver, bronze and their alloys, although it is also possible to find coins of electrum and iron. The Roman monetary system was originally based on bronze, but from the Empire onwards it became tri-metallic and gold, silver and bronze coins were minted. The Greek system was based on silver, and bronze was used for less valuable pieces. Electrum was used for the first coins, especially in the Lydian and Persian periods. Lastly, iron coins were common in ancient China during the Han dynasty.

Gold coins

Gold coins have been used since ancient times, with the earliest known gold coins dating back to the 6th century BC in Lydia (modern Turkey). They were also minted in ancient Greece and Rome, and throughout Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages. Gold coins have historically been valued for their rarity, durability, and intrinsic value. Their worth is determined by their weight, purity, and market demand.

Silver coins

Historically, silver coins were often used as a standard for currency, with the weight and purity of the silver determining the value of the coin. Their history dates back to ancient civilizations such as Greece, Rome, and China. One of the most famous silver coins in history is the drachma, used in ancient Greece. The drachma featured various designs, including images of the Greek gods. In the Roman period, the standard silver coin was the denarius, which included images of Roman gods and emperors.

Bronze coins

The first copper coins, called the "cash", were produced in China during the Tang Dynasty. They were round with a square hole in the centre and cast in bronze, a metal made of copper and tin. In ancient Greece, the use of bronze coins dates back to the 6th century BC, when various city-states began to mint their coins. Similarly, in the Roman Republic bronze coins known as the as were first minted in the 3rd century BC. In both ancient Greece and Rome, bronze coins were used for small transactions and were low in value.