Calabria Didrachm Boy on Dolphin
The invention of coinage by the Greeks came as their ancient civilization expanded and established trade with its colonies and settlements throughout the Mediterranean and beyond. This was an amazing accomplishment in all aspects. Along with their ability to purify metals, the ancient Greeks had to devise a standard for value based on weight and metal as well as a system of denominations. Each piece had to be struck from dies, individually and by hand. Over time, rather crude and primitive coinage evolved into beautiful works of art. It is widely believed that the very first coins were created during the latter part of the 7th Century BC and there is evidence of at last six mints during the 6th Century BC. As coinage was issued throughout the vast Greek Empire, different symbols were used to identify their origin and these were often images that reflected the culture of each place.
This silver didrachm was minted circa 300 BC in Taras (Terentum), Calabria, considered the most important Greek city in the south of Italy during the 4th and 5th Centuries BC. The colony was named for Taras, the son of Poseidon, Greek god of the seas. A boy on a prancing horse is seen on the obverse of the coin; Taras appears riding a dolphin on the reverse.
Approx. 1.25” long (including the bail), 1” wide