How Were Coins Made in Ancient Times?

Coins have been used as a form of currency for thousands of years. In ancient times, the process of making coins was a time-consuming and complex one. Let’s take a look at how coins were made in those times.

Metal Selection

The first step in making coins was to select the appropriate metal. Most ancient civilizations used gold, silver, or bronze to make their coins. The metal would be melted down and poured into molds to create the coin blanks.

Coin Blanks

Once the metal had been melted down, it was poured into molds to create the coin blanks. These molds were typically made of clay or stone and would have the shape of the desired coin on one side. The molten metal would then be poured into the mold and allowed to cool and harden.

Blank Trimming

After the coin blanks had been created, they needed to be trimmed to remove any excess metal around the edges. This was usually done by hand using a cutting tool or chisel.

Designing the Coin

The next step was to design the coin. This involved creating a die that would be used to stamp an image onto one or both sides of the coin blank. The die would be made of hardened steel or bronze and would have a raised image on it that would imprint onto the blank when struck with a hammer.

The Obverse Side

The obverse side of the coin usually depicted an image of a ruler or deity, along with inscriptions identifying them. The image would often be surrounded by decorative motifs such as wreaths or stars.

The Reverse Side

The reverse side of the coin typically featured an emblematic design such as an animal or object that represented some aspect of society or culture.

Striking the Coin

Once the die had been created and the design finalized, it was time to strike the coin. This involved placing the coin blank between two dies and striking it with a hammer. The force of the impact would imprint the image and inscriptions onto the blank, creating a finished coin.

Final Touches

After the coins had been struck, they would be inspected for quality control. Any coins that were deemed to be of poor quality or defective were melted down and recycled. The finished coins would then be cleaned and polished to give them a shiny appearance.


The process of making coins in ancient times was a complex one that required skilled craftsmen and careful attention to detail. From selecting the metal to striking the coin, every step of the process was crucial in creating a beautiful and functional piece of currency. Today, modern technology has made this process faster and more efficient, but the artistry and craftsmanship of ancient coin-makers remain an inspiration for us all.