How Much Is a Silver Coin Worth in Ancient Greece?

Have you ever wondered how much a silver coin was worth in Ancient Greece? The Greeks were known for their advanced economy and currency system, and silver coins played a significant role in their trade and commerce. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of Ancient Greek silver coins.

History of Ancient Greek Silver Coins

The Greeks began using silver coins as early as the 6th century BCE. These coins were initially used as a means of payment for goods and services and were known as “drachmas.”

Over time, the design of these coins evolved, with various city-states minting their own unique versions. The most famous of these is the Athenian Owl, which was minted in Athens from 560 BCE until the end of the 1st century BCE.

Value of Ancient Greek Silver Coins

The value of an Ancient Greek silver coin varied depending on its weight, purity, and rarity. The drachma was originally equivalent to six obols, with each obol weighing approximately 0.72 grams. In Athens, a day’s wage for a skilled laborer was one drachma.

During the reign of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), a new coin called the “tetradrachm” was introduced. This coin weighed four times more than a drachma and became widely used throughout his empire. It featured an image of Alexander on one side and Zeus on the other.

Collecting Ancient Greek Silver Coins Today

Today, collecting Ancient Greek silver coins has become a popular hobby among numismatists around the world. The value of these coins can vary widely depending on factors such as rarity, condition, historical significance, and provenance.

If you’re interested in starting your own collection of Ancient Greek silver coins, it’s essential to do your research and buy from reputable dealers or auction houses. Some of the most sought-after coins include the Athenian Owl, the Alexander tetradrachm, and the Corinthian stater.


In conclusion, Ancient Greek silver coins played a crucial role in their economy and were highly valued for their weight and purity. Today, they remain a fascinating part of history and a valuable collector’s item for those interested in ancient coins. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting, there’s no denying the allure of these beautiful and historic coins.