Early Coins from Ancient Greece

Some of the most interesting, though crudely formed examples of coins in the collection include this dolphin coin from Olbia, an ancient Greek settlement on the Black Sea (present-day Ukraine.)  This busy trade outpost was, and still is, habitat to large populations of bottle-nosed dolphins. Scholars speculate that the Olbians may have placed a spiritual significance on the dolphin, leading to this unusually shaped currency. 








 Black Sea Dolphin Money           Bronze                                               6th to 5th century B.C.E.         2015.16.0027                                       Gift of Ron D’Argenio