The die that struck Britain’s first coins?

April 11, 2014 in Ancient Coins, Antique Coins, British Coins, Coins, Collecting, History, Museums, Numismatica, Numismatics, UK Coins, World Coins

Ian Leins and Emma Morris, curators, Department of Coins and Medals, British Museum.  April 11th, 2014

One of the most recent acquisitions made by the Department of Coins and Medals is a highly unusual object – an ancient punch or ‘die’ used to manufacture coins in the second century BC. The die was found in Bredgar, Kent by a metal detector user in 2013 and is being used to shed new light on when the first coins were made in Britain.

The earliest coins found in Iron Age Britain date from around the second century BC and, until recently, it was believed that they were produced in Gaul (a region roughly equivalent to modern day France and Belgium) and imported into south-east England. These coins, known as Gallo Belgic A, were based on the gold coinage (staters) issued by King Philip II, ruler of the Greek kingdom of Macedon from 359 – 336 BC and father of Alexander the Great.

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