The history of Ancient Greek coinage can be divided (along with most other Greek art forms) into three periods, the Archaic, the Classical, and the Hellenistic. All Greek coins were hand-made, rather than machined as modern coins are. The design for the obverse was carved (in incuso) into a block of bronze or possibly iron, called a die. The design of the reverse was carved into a similar punch. A blank disk of gold, silver, or electrum was cast in a mold and then, placed between these two and the punch struck hard with a hammer, raising the design on both sides of the coin.
Ancient Greek coins today
Collections of Ancient Greek coins are held by museums around the world, of which the collections of the British Museum, the American Numismatic Society, and the Danish National Museum are considered to be the finest. To varying degrees, these coins are available for study by academics and researchers.
There is also an active collector market for Greek coins. Several auction houses in Europe and the United States specialize in ancient coins (including Greek) and there is also a large on-line market for such coins. Hoards of Greek coins are still being found in Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, and some of the coins in these hoards find their way onto the market. Coins are the only art form from the Ancient world which is common enough and durable enough to be within the reach of ordinary collectors. Looking for a quality coin holder? Follow the link and shop now!