History of Greek coinage may be explained with the help of three periods in ancient Greece, the Archaic, the Classical, and the Hellenistic period. The tradition of coinage essentially began with the Greeks. Ancient Greek Silver Coins are very expensive today. Most of them can be found in famous museums such as the British Museum. It is regarded that the large silver decadrachm (10-drachm) coin from Syracuse is the finest coin of the ancient world.

Ancient Greek Silver Coins

Ancient Greek Silver Coins

The first coins were issued at around 600 BC of electrum, an alloy of gold and silver. The first of the silver coins were either elongated or round. By the sixth century BC, however, gold and silver coins began to be produced on a large scale. Most of the city-states of ancient Greece issued their own coins.

Athenian silver coins

Athenian silver coins were famous. Athens began producing a fine silver tetradrachm (four drachmae) coin by 510 BC. The tetradrachms were minted to the attic standard drachma of 4.3 grams. The mines at Laurion provided the Athenians with extensive silver supply. This also helped them to dominate trade.

Hellenistic Period

When Greek reached its classical period, we see that gold and silver coin was produced with portraits of gods, goddesses or heroes. In the Hellenistic period, the largest silver coin was produced by the Indo-Greek king Amyntas. Portrait of living people was largely used in the coins of the Hellenistic period.

Ancient Greek Silver Coins

Designs of Silver Coins

The silver coin was handmade. Designs were carved into a block of iron on both sides. The blank silver planchet was heated to make it soft, was then placed between the two. Designs were punched into both sides of the coin.It is surprising that the Greeks who did not have machines to work with achieved exceptionally beautiful coins.

More info on- modern Greek coins, coins, and their values