Greek coins were made using mostly silver but also gold, electrum (a naturally occurring alloy of silver and gold), copper alloy, and bronze.
How was money made in ancient Greece?
Before 600 B.C. there was no monetary system in Greece, so they utilized the barter system. This was a system of trading goods and /or services for other goods and/or services. By 500 B.C., each city-state began minting their own coin. A merchant usually only took coins from their own city.
What were Greek drachmas made of?
Initially a drachma was a fistful (a “grasp”) of six oboloí or obeloí (metal sticks, literally “spits”) used as a form of currency as early as 1100 BC and being a form of “bullion”: bronze, copper, or iron ingots denominated by weight.
What did Greeks use before coins?
The word drachm(a) means “a handful”, literally “a grasp”. Drachmae were divided into six obols (from the Greek word for a spit), and six spits made a “handful”. This suggests that before coinage came to be used in Greece, spits in prehistoric times were used as measures in daily transactions.
How much was an ancient drachma worth?
However, some historians have estimated that in the 5th century BC a drachma had a rough value of 25 U.S. dollars (in the year 1990 – equivalent to 40 USD in 2006). A skilled worker in Athens or a hoplite could earn about one drachma a day. Sculptors and doctors were able to make up to six drachmae daily.
How did Greeks make coins?
Greek coins were made by hand. The design for the one side was carved into a block of bronze or possibly iron, called a die. The design for the other side was carved into a similar punch. … Athenian coins were also minted to an extremely high standard of purity.
How much did stuff cost in ancient Greece?
The typical costs of goods in ancient Greece: A loaf of bread = 1 obol. A lamb = 8 drachmas. A gallon of olive oil = 5 drachmas. A pair of shoes = 8 drachmas.
What money is used in Greece?
Today ancient Greek coins are also numismatic coins. This means that they are worth more than the value of their precious metal and are therefore valuable collectibles. Their added value is mainly a result of their ancient history and rarity.
What are ancient Greek coins worth?
A dekadrachm was worth 10 times a drachm, a tetradrachm was worth four times, and so on. Fractional denominations for the drachm included the obol, which was worth one-sixth of a drachm, while the stater, which was often produced in gold, could have equal or even greater value than a drachm, depending on its size.
Who made Greek coins?
Lydia was credited by the Greeks with inventing coins in the early 6th century BCE which were stamped by the state to guarantee value and be recognisable as genuine.
Who invented money?
The Chinese were the first to devise a system of paper money, in approximately 770 B.C.
What currency did Sparta use?
Allegedly, Spartans were prohibited from possessing gold and silver coins, and according to legend Spartan currency consisted of iron bars to discourage hoarding.
What is a four drachma coin?
The four-drachma (or shekel) coin would be exactly enough to pay the temple tax (two-drachma coin) for two people. It is usually thought to be a Tyrian shekel. The coin in the fish’s mouth is generally seen as a symbolic act or sign, but there is little agreement concerning what it signifies.
What could a drachma buy?
Eight drachmas would buy a pair of shoes, 20 drachmas a quality tunic and 160 drachmas a slave (child slaves were a bargain at 72 drachmas). A family of four plus slave spent 1,000 drachmas a year on living expenses.
What is a drachma coin?
drachma, silver coin of ancient Greece, dating from about the mid-6th century bc, and the former monetary unit of modern Greece. The drachma was one of the world’s earliest coins. Its name derives from the Greek verb meaning “to grasp,” and its original value was equivalent to that of a handful of arrows.