7 Fascinating Facts About the World's Oldest Coins

Coins are more than just money; they teach us about how nations worked and what life was like in the past. The study of coins, or numismatics, can teach you a lot about history and give you new ideas. Seven interesting facts about some of the world's oldest coins:   

Some of the first coins were made by the Lydian culture in what is now Turkey around 600 BCE. On one side of these coins was a beautiful lion's head, and on the other was a simple geometric pattern, usually in the shape of a square or rectangle.  

1. Lydian Lion Coins

A lot of these early coins were made from electrum, which is a natural mix of gold and silver. This mix not only gave the coins a unique look, but it also showed what kinds of materials these ancient societies had.  

2. Electrum Composition

For the first coins, metal was hammered between two etched dies. This method made it possible to make a lot of things at once and standardize sizes, shapes, and designs. This made trade and business easier across large areas.  

3. Stamping Techniques

The ancient Greeks made coins even better by coming up with the idea of "types." Each city-state or ruler would make coins with different images or symbols that showed who they were and what they stood for, like gods, heroes, or animals from mythology.  

4. Greek Innovation

The Roman Empire used coins all over its huge empire, standardizing weights and amounts to make trade and collecting taxes easy. Roman coins often had pictures of emperors and other important people on them, which was a strong way to spread propaganda.  

5. Roman Influence

In the West, coins were just starting to be made, but in China, cowrie shells were used as money as early as 1200 BCE. These shells from the Indian Ocean were very valuable and were used as money for hundreds of years.  

6. Chinese Cowrie Shells

In South America, the Inca people used a special kind of money called "quipu." Quipus, which were made up of knotted strings, stored data like numbers, trades, and even stories, which helped us understand how the Incas ran their economy and government.  

7. Incas' Monetary System

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