What Is a Silver Coin of Ancient Greece?

A silver coin of ancient Greece is a fascinating piece of history that can tell us a lot about the culture and economy of the time. These coins were used as currency, and they played an important role in trade and commerce in ancient Greece.

What are the different types of ancient Greek silver coins?

There were many different types of silver coins that were used in ancient Greece, each with its own unique design and value. Some of the most well-known types include:

  • Athenian owl coins: These coins featured an owl on one side and the goddess Athena on the other. They were among the most widely circulated coins in ancient Greece.
  • Corinthian stater: The Corinthian stater was known for its intricate designs, which often included depictions of mythical creatures like Pegasus or Medusa.
  • Spartan drachma: The Spartan drachma was a simple coin with few decorative elements, reflecting the Spartan emphasis on austerity.

What can we learn from these coins?

Ancient Greek silver coins can give us valuable insight into the economy, culture, and artistry of the time. For example:

  • The designs on the coins often depicted important figures or symbols from Greek mythology, providing clues about what stories were popular during this period.
  • The relative values of different coins can tell us about trade relationships between different city-states.
  • The production techniques used to create these intricate designs show us how skilled ancient Greek artisans were at metalworking.

How were these coins made?

Making a silver coin in ancient Greece was a complex process that required skill and precision. First, raw silver was mined from local deposits or acquired through trade with other regions. This silver was then melted down and poured into molds to create blank coins.

Next, the blanks were heated and hammered to create the desired shape and thickness. Finally, artisans would use specialized tools to carefully carve intricate designs into the surface of the coin.


In conclusion, ancient Greek silver coins are a fascinating piece of history that offer valuable insights into the culture, economy, and artistry of this period. By studying these coins and their designs, we can gain a deeper understanding of what life was like in ancient Greece.