The Origins of Coinage:
Three Ancient Coinage Systems
Man has been exchanging pieces of metal and other commodities for thousands of years. We only regard these items as coins when they are given a recognised mark or stamp authorising them to be accepted at a particular value.
Between c. 700BC and c. 400BC, three very different coinage systems emerged in the ancient world. The Greek and Chinese currencies seem to have developed independently of each other in around the seventh century BC, while the Indian coinage followed about two centuries later.
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Department of Coins and Medals, © Fitzwilliam Museum.