The history of coin collecting is as old as money itself. To the uninitiated, coins are merely curiosities like flies in amber, but their real position is far higher than this.

Most of them stand out as illustrations of history, many of them as keys to historical and other problems. In addition, they provide us with numberless examples of antique art.

It may be safely asserted that there are few coins which do not stand as reflections of the time and country that produced them or which do not offer a symbol and summary of some interesting aspect of life. No other objects of art contain so much within so small a compass and condense the history of the civilized world.

The first means of acquiring the necessities of life was by means of barter, exchanging items such as cattle, agricultural produce and skins or furs. Then with the knowledge of metals and an appreciation of gold and silver came the idea of simplifying the process. The obvious choices were metals as they had the advantage of being portable and the demand for them was constant.
The ancients adopted metals as a circulating media and assigned a monetary value to ingots of gold and silver. The purchase by Abraham of the cave of Machpelah for the sum of four hundred shekels of silver was transacted with bars or ingots. The shekal of the Bible stood for a unit of value of gold or silver. Gold or silver has since been the primary means of assessing the value of most items.

The first metal coins were crude affairs. While the originator of the first metal stamped coin is very much in doubt, it is generally agreed that they were first issued on one of the islands of Greece. These coins bore a face, the reverse bearing simply a crossmark of the die. The Greeks, Persians and finally the Romans minted coins of silver, gold and bronze. crossmark of the die

Numismatists (coin collectors) today, "generally" collect items in three main areas of interest. The areas most collected today are Ancient Coins, mostly of Greek or Roman origin, Medieval or hammered coinage (a.d. 476-1453), Modern era.