Restitutor orbis terrarum
Hadrian (117-138 AD) ruled as 14th Roman Emperor for 21 years. He is considered one of the 'five good emperors' and is known for stability and military success. He believed, the Empire should be strengthened rather than expanded and therefore built fortified defenses along the borders. The most famous being Hadrian's wall in North of England.
Laurion Silver Owl
Athens flourished thanks to the nearby rich silver mines of Laurion. The Athenians created a unique currency, the drachm. Athena’s owl, symbol of knowledge and wisdom, guaranteed the fineness of the coin. The design remained unchanged for almost 400 years and is still much beloved today.
Part of Magna Graecia
On the coast of southern Italy, famous Greek colonies were founded between 750 and 550 BC. Called ἀποικία APOIKIA “home away from home”, those colonies were well organised and evolved into strong city-states with their remarkable and iconic sets of coins: Metapontum with the barley ear, Heraclea with Heracles fighting, Thurium with the butting bull or Velia with the hungry Lion devouring prey.
Sparta's sole colony
Ruling over the Greek colonies in southern Italy, Tarentum was founded by immigrants hailing from Sparta and soon became a sovereign city of Magna Graecia. The depiction of Taras, son of the famous Greek sea god Poseidon who has been saved from a shipwreck by a Dolphin is often found on its coinage. Taras riding a Dolphin remains the iconic symbol of the city.
German Medieval Coinage
In the Early Middle Ages, the one-sided, thin silver pfennigs or Bracteates were a local currency in German-speaking areas. Despite a weight of less than 1 g. they are of outstanding quality and belong to the most curious and interesting types of coins among the pennies of the German Middle ages.
LYDIA & MYSIA
First minted coins
The origin of our monetary system is the kingdom of Lydia, once situated on the territory of today's Turkey. Around 550 BC the first minted coins, guaranteed in their weight and value by a government, were struck in the city of Sardis. Soon the idea of the system spread all over the ancient world.
Proof of good Silver
Collectors love the distinctive look of the Roman serrated Denarii. Derived from the Latin word "serratus", the saw-edge was used to prove good silver content. Struck over a period of approx. 65 years (ca. 118-53 BC) the serrated Denarii testify the Roman ingenuity and are seen today as especially charming.
From the Aegean Sea to Pakistan
After Alexander the Great's death, one of his successors, Seleucus I Nicator, established a dynasty that ruled for over two centuries over a melting pot of various peoples. At its height, the Seleucid Kingdom span from the Aegean Sea to what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Early Medieval Coins
After the collapse of the centralized Roman authority, new kingdoms were formed in Western Europe. Eventful centuries followed and pagan Europe slowly Christianized. The Anglo-Saxons established the Kingdom of England and the Franks the Carolingian Empire. But soon external invaders showed up: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east and Saracens from the south. Browse some coins of those moving times here.
Ancient Jewish Coins
Browse coins dating back to the 2nd century BC until 2nd century AD minted by the Jewish people. Large quantities of coins were issued in silver, bronze and copper, some being overstruck over Roman coins. They tell about revolts and wars but also about redemption and freedom.
Citizens full of ideas
Great Britain and Ireland in the 18th Century. Due to the little effort by the government to ameliorate the shortage of official small denomination coins for everyday transactions, inventive merchants privately minted 'provincial tokens' to pay their workers and their bills. This period created one of the most various coinage type we still may enjoy today.
Largest island in the Medi-terranean Sea, Sicily was an important place for Medi-terranean trade. Greek settlers arrived in the 8th century BC and brought with them their civilization which left a lasting imprint on the Romans who conquered the island around 276 BC. Enjoy the Greek culture that still echoes today on Sicilian coins.
Silver pieces of art
Adorned with images of gods like Heracles or Athena, the silver Tetradrachm were spread all over the ancient world. Known for consistency in good metal, Tetra-drachms were favourite payment for soldiers and mercenaries and the most popular unit of exchange. Throughout time, the hand-made silver beauties never lost their attraction.
Prior to unification in 1871
The rich variety of German States coinage reflects the territorially fragmented situation of Germany since the Middle Ages until the German-French war in 1870/1871. There are numerous duchies and counties, bishoprics, monasteries as well as free imperial cities that struck their own coins, a real challenge for trade and travel. But thanks to it, we nowadays are given an incredibly rich collection area to explore.
Res Publica Romana
Prior to the Roman Empire there was the time of the Roman Republic. Not less than 370 names of men, hungry for reputation and prestige, can be listed during the moving period when Rome's control expanded from the city's surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.
Born from a desire to represent identity and origin, the coat of arms developed during the High Middle Ages into the visual mark of a family, a state, a city or even an individual person. Heraldic art is profound and of great importance in numismatics and can be found on numerous old but also modern coins.
Castor & Pollux
The Dioscuri were worshipped by the Greeks and Romans alike. The Romans believed that the twins aided them on the battlefield and brought news of the victory back to Rome. As horsemen, they were patron saints of the Roman Equites and cavalry. Each year on July 15, Feast Day of the Dioscuri, 1'800 equestrians would parade through the streets of Rome in an elaborate spectacle.