6 Fabled Coins and the Legends Behind Them 

Ok, let's dive into the fascinating world of mythical coins and the stories that surround them 

Around 600 BCE, Lydia, now Turkey, manufactured the first money, the Lydian Lion coin. Lydian King Alyattes apparently increased trade using these coins. Coins' obverse screaming lions represent power.  

Lydian Lion Coin  

An intelligent owl and Athena, the city's patron goddess, are on the 5th-century BCE Athenian Owl tetradrachm. These coins represented Athenian democracy and culture beyond the Mediterranean.  

The Athenian Owl Tetradrachm  

The denarius was Rome's standard silver coin from 3rd century BCE to CE. Roman emperors, allegorical figures, and memorial icons appeared. The denarius, a symbol of power, drove Roman economics.  

Roman Denarius  

Spain issued silver Pieces of Eight, or Spanish dollars, from the late 15th to 19th centuries. These coins, traded abroad, underpinned the US dollar and other currencies.  

Spanish Eight-Pieces  

Dutch Lion daalders from the 16th and 17th centuries had a lion rampant on the obverse and a knight with a sword and arrows on the reverse. High-quality coins spread, strengthening the Dutch Golden Age economy.  

Dutch Lion Daalder  

US Double Eagles were $20 gold coins from 1850 to 1933. St. Gaudens' coin depicts Lady Liberty with a torch and olive branch on the obverse and a beautiful eagle in flight on the reverse.  

Gold Double Eagle  


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