Greek Coinage is some of the oldest coinage known to man. While a surprising amount of these coin have survived until today, the variety among them is amazing. Most coins bear heavy wear and circulation, but some have survived the millennia in amazing condition.
The minting process used by ancient Greece was very primitive. Considering this was some of the earliest coinage ever made, it should be no surprise. While the process varied slightly from various City-States and Mints, a design was engraved on a piece of copper and set in an anvil and another was engraved in a punch. A metal blank would be placed on the anvil by a worke, and then the punch would be hammered onto the top. While this process was not practical for large quantities of coins, the Greeks managed it regardless.
While the first designs created were fairly crude, artists soon mastered their creations and beautiful, detailed designs were issued. Coins from various City-States were often issued with designs depicting their patron deities, or designs that were symbolic of their cities. Other coins might simply show the god or goddesses worshiped by the ruler who had them struck. Designs varied greatly, as did their quality.
Many denominations existed in ancient Greece. While the weights varied depending on where a coin was issued, the main denominations were the Gold Stater, the Silver Stater and the Drachma. The Drachma, which is referred to as a Drachm, was issued in different denominations itself. Common smaller denominations were the Obol or Triobol (1/4 and 1/3 of a Drachm respectively), while larger denominations were the Didrachm, Tetradrachm, and even a Dekadrachm (2, 4, and 10 Drachms respectively).