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Who made the first coins?

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Mamal View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02 Oct 2012 at 08:06
Chinese? Egyptians? Phoenicians? Greeks? Sumerians? Indians? Babylonian?
Is there any coin that surpasses this ancient civilization in time?
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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2012 at 20:41
If by 'coins' you mean regular metal polygons and circles stamped with a specific nominal value, then Anatolians. I don't know whether they were Greeks or not. The Chinese were first to paper money.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lao Tse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2012 at 22:00
Well, if you mean any metal with stamped etchings and used as a currency, that is debatable. The first known coins in the west were the Lydians of Asia Minor. The first known coins in the east were in the late Hongshan until the Shang Nation. So there are 2 answers. But, it can be said that the Lydians came first, or the Hongshan and Erlitou-Shang Periods.

Edited by Lao Tse - 02 Oct 2012 at 22:25
在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lao Tse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2012 at 22:24
Heres a few pics of the Lydian and Hongshan coins
 
Lydian
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hongshan coins-Shang Nation
 
 This is Cowrie money, mostly used in the Hongshan and Erlitou Cultures
 
Fish money of the Later Erlitou and Early-Mid Shang Period
 
 Jade Longbi coin from very early Shang
 
Dragon Variation of Bridge Coins. Later
Shang Period
 
 Plain variation of Bridge Coins. Mid to late Shang Period
在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2012 at 02:27
Before Lydians, Sumerians used rings as money, so it is not certain the first "coin" is a race between ancient Chinese and Lydians
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lao Tse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2012 at 04:17
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Before Lydians, Sumerians used rings as money, so it is not certain the first "coin" is a race between ancient Chinese and Lydians
 
I think it all depends on the definition of coin. When the Sumerians used rings as money, did they have face values? Did they have a weighing system? Was there a standardised system of values in the rings?
 
I think those are the main factors of a coin, but there are many varrying definitions. But, if you say that the Sumerians used ringsa s money, then that would put early Africans as even earlier, they used stone wheels for thousands of years.
 
My definition of a coin is: any object that does not need to be backed by any other object, and can be used in a standardised currency system.
在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2012 at 20:16
Originally posted by Lao Tse Lao Tse wrote:


My definition of a coin is: any object that does not need to be backed by any other object, and can be used in a standardised currency system.

I might agree to drop my phrase about being a regular polygon or circle, but I'd add that it has to be legal tender - that is at least for certain purposes the state must guarantee that it be accepted ini payment of debt. (That may be what you include in a 'standardised' currency system, though.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lao Tse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2012 at 20:25
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Lao Tse Lao Tse wrote:


My definition of a coin is: any object that does not need to be backed by any other object, and can be used in a standardised currency system.

I might agree to drop my phrase about being a regular polygon or circle, but I'd add that it has to be legal tender - that is at least for certain purposes the state must guarantee that it be accepted ini payment of debt. (That may be what you include in a 'standardised' currency system, though.)
 
Yes it was, and I agree with omitting the circled polygons as a definition of coins because not all coins in the modern world are round
在財富的害處,而是一件好事永遠不持續。我在和平中仅居住在新的風下。 Wei Jia Hong No harm in wealth, but a good thing doesn't last forever. I live only among peace under
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2014 at 01:23
Originally posted by Mamal Mamal wrote:

Chinese? Egyptians? Phoenicians? Greeks? Sumerians? Indians? Babylonian?
Is there any coin that surpasses this ancient civilization in time?


Probably the same bloke who invented Parking Meters and Poker Machines.

One is only an extension of the other .
Tiocfaidh ár lá
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 2015 at 04:41
Lydia made the first coins, although some people attribute them to Ionia, next to Lydia. c. 650-550 BC
A coin according to Isadore is metal, badge and weight.  The badge or type signifies the issuing authority, and the issuing authority means that the metal is relatively pure, of a certain weight.  Earliest coins were electrum, a natural alloy of Gold and Silver, there was some playing around with the proportions, (gold more valuable), with the edition of copper to give more of a yellowish sheen.
Literary Sources traditionally say Lydia was first, (Xenophanes of Colophon, and Herodotus, as interpreted by N.K. Rutter)
Hoard finds show both Lydia and Ionia early.  I think of it as Lydia invented it, but the Ionians did the early developments with coinage, and the Greeks of the Mainland, Sicily and Southern Italy developed it further.  Think of another communications technology, the video tape, whether you consider Betamax or VHS.  The video tape was developed in the United States, but it was the Japanese that brought both VHS and Betamax to market.  Again, Lydia invented coinage, but Ionia developed the EL coinage.
The pictures above given by Lao Tse, are early Electrum coinage (and gold and silver), but are not the earliest.  There is a display from a museum in Israel showing early Electrum or (El) coinage, (white gold) that is quite good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RAMESH.V.NAIVARUNI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2015 at 14:22
Since India being the oldest civilization, It can be from India
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2015 at 21:52
General scholarship dates first coinage to Lydia, Ionia 7th-6th c. BC, Indian coinage is probably around 5th-4th c. BC, I am not sure when Chinese is, but Chinese uses "knife money" and other things that are not really coinage, but rather an abstraction of a commodity, according to Grisham's law.  Why use an honest to goodness working knife, when you make something that kind of looks like a knife, but is cheaper to make.  This Chinese money _might_ be contemporary with early Lydian coinage (I am not sure), but it is not the same thing.  Coinage really is invented in Lydia or maybe Ionia, 7th and 6th c BC, according to both literary sources (Xenophanes, Herodotus) and archaeology.  According to Isidore of Seville, coinage consists of three things, metal, weight and type (emblem).

Most places get coinage through diffusion, I am not sure that is true of India, and China is something different altogether.
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