Origins of Gold Coins We Sell Today
General consensus, based on research, appears to indicate that coins were first used as a method of payment between 500 and 600 BC. Of those, containing gold was first struck in Asia Minor (or Anatolia, the south western part of today’s Turkey) during the same period.
Persia and Carthage
Shortly thereafter, the ancient Persians owned most of the gold known to exist in this particular period, which they used in the production of copious quantities of coins, but sadly, very few of these were later to be found and unearthed by archaeologists.
While the Persian Empire’s enjoyed its greatest power, however, their gold pieces were the principal currency in circulation throughout their area of influence, extending to the Greek city-states. Across the Mediterranean, the mighty Carthaginians likewise traded with a currency similar to that of the Persians.
Greek Gold Reserves
In turn, the Greeks tended to use bullion only when there was a shortage of silver or when silver supplies ran out, while they mined comparatively little of the former metal. What they produced was kept in reserve rather than minted.
Phoenicians built their most important cities along the Mediterranean coastline from where they set sail to trade far and wide, establishing their trade routes and colonising other areas in the process. This great trading nation availed itself of Iberian gold, which they used in conjunction with silver to produce their own alloy currency.
Rome’s Emergency Currency
The Roman Empire increased and size and strength as its armies conquered ever more territory and seized treasures from defeated nations and tribes, accumulating riches to swell the coffers of the Empire, which included gold from Iberia, which was retained as reserves. Silver coinage continued to be their preferred currency.
However, when the Romans decided to engage Carthage in a second sortie, they lacked money with which to equip their armies, resulting in their first gold coins being struck. Between 200 and 100 BC, general received senate authorisation to strike gold currency with which to pay troops, failing which their soldiers might mutiny.
Under the respective reigns of Julius Caesar and Emperor Nero, gold coinage became more ubiquitous and commonplace, spreading across all their conquered territories and countries with which they traded.
Indian royalty were thought to have amassed fortunes in precious bullion as from the ancient Greek period. Later, China, the Ottoman Empire, Arabia and Russia followed suit.
English Gold Sovereign
Throughout the subsequent centuries, use of this precious metal as currency continued to spread across the developing world, and by the time Edward 111 ruled England, a gold florin was introduced, leading up to the production of the historically famous gold sovereign, during Henry V11’s reign.
After initial Italian and French press machine inventions, depiction of royal portraits on money became popular and by 1662, all English coins were mechanically struck, no longer painstakingly hammered by the hands and tools of craftsmen.
Myths and Commonplace Terms
This ancient precious metal features in a myriad of myths, sayings and commonplace terms, most indicating its desirability and value. Sadly, mankind knows that there is no pot of it at the end of a magical rainbow, so one might be better off searching for a goose which lays an egg of which the purity is measured in carats.
It is admirable to have a heart of this substance, but people may envy someone who is sitting on a goldmine. Superior quality is inferred when an item is as good as gold, while something which is worth its weight in this precious metal is indicative of its high value.
A well-read person may be a goldmine of information, whilst avid prospectors participating in a gold rush probably suffer from a fever of the same name, but who could blame them if they foresee a golden opportunity to get rich? Every wise person should beware of diggers of this substance, lest they be parted from their possessions.
Serious About What We Sell
Whilst it may be fun to consider the lighter side of this fine metal, we are dead serious about the gold coin collection which we sell to investors and collectors. Gold coins have always been outstanding investments and will continue to be so, whilst they also make perfect gifts and ideal special awards, increasing in value – investments and gifts that grow.
We are located in the heart of South Africa’s business hub, Sandton City, where we receive and serve our clients with professional, competent efficiency. So, should you require further information or wish to know how we can help you, simply contact our team it ISA Gold.