Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, seals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse reverse means the back face; the obverse of a coin is called heads, because it depicts the head of a prominent person, the reverse tails. In fields of scholarship outside numismatics, the term front is more used than obverse, while usage of reverse is widespread; the equivalent terms used in codicology, manuscript studies, print studies and publishing are "recto" and "verso". The side of a coin with the larger-scale image will be called the obverse and, if that does not serve to distinguish them, the side, more typical of a wide range of coins from that location will be called the obverse. Following this principle, in the most famous of ancient Greek coins, the tetradrachm of Athens, the obverse is the head of Athena and the reverse is her owl. Similar versions of these two images, both symbols of the state, were used on the Athenian coins for more than two centuries.
In the many republics of ancient Greece, such as Athens or Corinth, one side of their coins would have a symbol of the state their patron goddess or her symbol, which remained constant through all of the coins minted by that state, regarded as the obverse of those coins. The opposite side may have varied from time to time. In ancient Greek monarchical coinage, the situation continued whereby a larger image of a deity, is called the obverse, but a smaller image of a monarch appears on the other side, called the reverse. In a Western monarchy, it has been customary, following the tradition of the Hellenistic monarchs and the Roman emperors, for the currency to bear the head of the monarch on one side, always regarded as the obverse; this change happened in the coinage of Alexander the Great, which continued to be minted long after his death. After his conquest of ancient Egypt, he allowed himself to be depicted on the obverse of coins as a god-king, at least because he thought this would help secure the allegiance of the Egyptians, who had regarded their previous monarchs, the pharaohs, as divine.
The various Hellenistic rulers who were his successors followed his tradition and kept their images on the obverse of coins. A movement back to the earlier tradition of a deity being placed on the obverse occurred in Byzantine coinage, where a head of Christ became the obverse and a head or portrait of the emperor became considered the reverse; the introduction of this style in the gold coins of Justinian II from the year 695 provoked the Islamic Caliph, Abd al-Malik, who had copied Byzantine designs, replacing Christian symbols with Islamic equivalents to develop a distinctive Islamic style, with just lettering on both sides of their coins. This script alone style was used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period; the type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, with variations remained the norm until the end of the Empire. Without images, therefore, it is not always easy to tell which side will be regarded as the obverse without some knowledge. After 695 Islamic coins avoided all images of persons and contained script alone.
The side expressing the Six Kalimas is defined as the obverse. A convention exists to display the obverse to the left and the reverse to the right in photographs and museum displays, but this is not invariably observed; the form of currency follows its function, to serve as a accepted medium of exchange of value. This function rests on a state as guarantor of the value: either as trustworthy guarantor of the kind and amount of metal in a coin, or as powerful guarantor of the continuing acceptance of token coins. Traditionally, most states have been monarchies where the person of the monarch and the state were equivalent for most purposes. For this reason, the obverse side of a modern piece of currency is the one that evokes that reaction by invoking the strength of the state, that side always depicts a symbol of the state, whether it be the monarch or otherwise. If not provided for on the obverse, the reverse side contains information relating to a coin's role as medium of exchange. Additional space reflects the issuing country's culture or government, or evokes some aspect of the state's territory.
Regarding the euro, some confusion regarding the obverse and reverse of the euro coins exists. As agreed by the informal Economic and Finance Ministers Council of Verona in April 1996, despite the fact that a number of countries have a different design for each coin, the distinctive national side for the circulation coins is the obverse and the common European side is the reverse; this rule does not apply to the collector coins. A number of the designs used for obverse national sides of euro coins were taken from the reverse of the nations' former pre-euro coins. Several countries continue to use portraits of the reigning monarch. In Japan, from 1897 to the end of World War II, the following informal conventions existed: the Chrysanthemum Throne, representing the imperial family, appeared on all coins, this side was regarded as the obverse; the Chrys
In English, a coronet is a small crown consisting of ornaments fixed on a metal ring. By one definition, a coronet differs from a crown in that a coronet never has arches, from a tiara in that a coronet encircles the head, while a tiara does not. By a different definition, a crown is worn by an emperor, king or queen. See diadem. In other languages, this distinction is not made as the same word for crown is used irrespective of rank The main use is now not on the head but as a rank symbol in heraldry, adorning a coat of arms; the word stems from the Old French coronete, a diminutive of coronne, itself from the Latin corona, from the Ancient Greek κορώνη. Traditionally, such headgear is – as indicated by the German equivalent Adelskrone – used by nobles and by princes and princesses in their coats of arms, rather than by monarchs, for whom the word crown is customarily reserved in formal English, while many languages have no such terminological distinction. Other than a crown, a coronet shows the rank of the respective noble.
Hence, in German and Scandinavian languages there is the term Rangkrone. For equivalents, both physical and emblematic, in other languages and cultures, see under crown. In the United Kingdom, a peer wears his or her coronet on one occasion only: for a royal coronation, when it is worn along with coronation robes standardised as a luxurious uniform. In the peerages of the United Kingdom, the design of a coronet shows the rank of its owner, as in German and various other heraldic traditions. Dukes were the first individuals authorised to wear coronets. Marquesses acquired coronets in the 15th century, earls in the 16th and viscounts and barons in the 17th; until the barons received coronets in 1661, the coronets of earls and dukes were engraved while those of viscounts were plain. After 1661, viscomital coronets became engraved, while baronial coronets were plain. Coronets may not bear any semi-precious stones; the coronet of a duke has eight strawberry leaves of which five are seen in two-dimensional representations.
Since a person entitled to wear a coronet customarily displays it in his or her coat of arms above the shield and below the helm and crest, this can provide a useful clue as to the owner of a given coat of arms. In Canadian heraldry, descendants of the United Empire Loyalists are entitled to use a Loyalist military coronet or Loyalist civil coronet in their arms. Members of the British Royal Family have coronets on their coats of arms, may wear actual coronets at coronations, they were made, according to regulations made by King Charles II in 1661, shortly after his return from exile in France during the Restoration. They vary depending upon the prince's relationship to the monarch. Additional royal warrants vary the designs for individuals; the most recent royal warrant concerning coronets was the 19 November 1917 warrant of George V. Rather than a coronet, the heir apparent receives a crown with a single arch. There is evidence to support the wearing of coronets amongst Welsh royalty and nobility in the Kingdom of Gwynedd.
Llywelyn's coronet was for a while kept with the English crown jewels. All over the world, Spanish heraldry has used these crowns and coronets: This hierarchy among the French nobility, identical for non-royal titles to the British hierarchy of peers, should not be understood to be as rigid in the ranking of titleholders as the latter. In particular, title was not a good indication of actual preeminence or precedence: Ancestry, high office, military rank and the family's historical renown counted far more than the precise title; some distinguished families held no higher title than count or baron, but were proud of their ancient origin. Moreover, most of the nobility was untitled, some hereditary titles could be acquired by a nobleman who purchased a "titled" fief, while titres de courtoisie were assumed in the absence of strict regulation by the French crown and became more numerous than titles borne; as an example, the title of marquis ranks in principle after duke, but was so ridiculed by the late 18th century that Napoleon omitted it from his own scale of titles.
It should be noted that, in the 17th and 18th centuries, people assumed and us
Farthing (British coin)
The British farthing coin, from "fourthing", was a unit of currency of one quarter of a penny, or 1⁄960 of a pound sterling. It was minted in bronze, replaced the earlier copper farthings, it was used during the reign of six monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II, ceasing to be legal tender in 1960. It featured two different designs on its reverse during its 100 years in circulation: from 1860 until 1936, the image of Britannia. Like all British coinage, it bore the portrait of the monarch on the obverse. Before Decimal Day in 1971, there were 240 pence in one pound sterling. There were four farthings in a penny, 12 pence made a shilling, 20 shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. three shillings and six pence, pronounced "three and six" or "three and sixpence". Values of less than a shilling were written in pence, e.g. 8d, pronounced "eightpence". A price with a farthing in it would be written like this:, pronounced "nineteen and elevenpence farthing".
The purchasing power of a farthing from 1860 to its demise in 1960 ranged between 2p to 12p. The original reverse of the coin, designed by Leonard Charles Wyon, is a seated Britannia, holding a trident, with the word FARTHING above. Issues before 1895 feature a lighthouse to Britannia's left and a ship to her right. Various minor adjustments to the level of the sea depicted around Britannia, the angle of her trident were made over the years; some issues feature toothed edges. Over the years, seven different obverses were used. Edward VII, George V, George VI and Elizabeth II each had a single obverse for farthings produced during their respective reigns. Over the long reign of Queen Victoria two different obverses were used, the short reign of Edward VIII meant that no farthings bearing his likeness were issued; the farthing was first issued with the so-called "bun head", or "draped bust" of Queen Victoria on the obverse. The inscription around the bust read VICTORIA D G BRITT REG F D; this was replaced in 1895 by the "old head", or "veiled bust".
The inscription on these coins read VICTORIA DEI GRA BRITT REGINA FID DEF IND IMP. Coins issued during the reign of Edward VII feature his likeness and bear the inscription EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP; those issued during the reign of George V feature his likeness and bear the inscription GEORGIVS V DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP. A farthing of King Edward VIII does exist, dated 1937, but technically it is a pattern coin, i.e. one produced for official approval, which it would have been due to receive about the time that the King abdicated. The obverse shows a left-facing portrait of the king; the pattern coin of Edward VIII and regular-issue farthings of George VI and Elizabeth II feature a redesigned reverse displaying the wren, one of Britain's smallest birds. George VI issue coins feature the inscription GEORGIVS VI D G BR OMN REX F D IND IMP before 1949, GEORGIVS VI D G BR OMN REX FIDEI DEF thereafter. Unlike the penny, farthings were minted throughout the early reign of Elizabeth II, bearing the inscription ELIZABETH II DEI GRA BRITT OMN REGINA F D in 1953, ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F D thereafter.
Pound sterling Mill British Coins – information about British coins Collection of copper & bronze pennies of Great Britain About Farthings A photographic collection of farthings Farthings Private Collection of farthings dating from 1799-1956
Elizabeth II's jewels
The monarch of the Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II, owns a historic collection of jewels – some as monarch and others as a private individual. They are separate from the Gems and Jewels and the coronation and state regalia that make up the Crown Jewels; the origin of a distinct royal jewel collection is vague, though it is believed the jewels have their origin somewhere in the 16th century. Many of the pieces are from overseas and were brought to the United Kingdom as a result of civil war and revolutions, or acquired as gifts to the monarch. Most of the jewellery dates from the 20th centuries; the Crown Jewels are only worn at the annual State Opening of Parliament. At other formal occasions, such as banquets, the Queen wears the jewellery in her collection. Elizabeth owns more than 300 items of jewellery, including 98 brooches, 46 necklaces, 37 bracelets, 34 pairs of earrings, 15 rings, 14 watches and 5 pendants, the most notable of which are detailed in this article. Unlike the Crown Jewels—which date from the accession of Charles II—the jewels are not official regalia or insignia.
Much of the collection was designed for queens regnant and queens consort, though some kings have added to the collection. Most of the jewellery was purchased from other European heads of state and members of the aristocracy, or handed down by older generations of the Royal family as birthday and wedding presents. In recent years, Elizabeth has worn them in her capacity as Queen of Australia and New Zealand, can be seen wearing jewels from her collection in official portraits made specially for these realms. In 1714, with the accession of George I, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Hanover both came to be ruled in personal union by the House of Hanover. Early Hanoverian monarchs were careful to keep the heirlooms of the two realms separate. George III gave half the British heirlooms to his bride, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, as a wedding present. In her will, Charlotte left the jewels to the'House of Hanover'; the Kingdom of Hanover followed the Salic Law, whereby the line of succession went through male heirs.
Thus, when Queen Victoria acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom, her uncle Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale became King of Hanover. King Ernest demanded a portion of the jewellery, not only as the monarch of Hanover but as the son of Queen Charlotte. Victoria flatly declined to hand over any of the jewels, claiming they had been bought with British money. Ernest's son, George V of Hanover, continued to press the claim. Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, suggested that she make a financial settlement with the Hanoverian monarch to keep the jewels, but Parliament informed the Queen they would neither purchase the jewels nor loan funds for the purpose. A parliamentary commission was set up to investigate the matter and in 1857 they found in favour of the House of Hanover. On 28 January 1858, 10 years after Ernest's death, the jewels were handed to the Hanoverian Ambassador, Count Kielmansegg. Victoria did manage to keep one of her favourite pieces of jewellery: a fine rope of pearls.
Some pieces of jewellery made before the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 are regarded as heirlooms owned by the Queen in right of the Crown and pass from one monarch to the next in perpetuity. Objects made including official gifts, can be added to that part of the Royal Collection at the sole discretion of a monarch, it is not possible to say how much the collection is worth because the jewels have a rich and unique history, they are unlikely to be sold on the open market. In the early 20th century, five other lists of jewellery, which have never been published, supplemented those left to the Crown by Queen Victoria: Jewels left to the Crown by Her Majesty Queen Victoria Jewels left by Her Majesty to His Majesty the King Jewels left to His Majesty King Edward VII by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, hereinafter to be considered as belonging to the Crown and to be worn by all future Queens in right of it Jewels the property of His Majesty King George V Jewels given to the Crown by Her Majesty Queen Mary Jewels given to the Crown by His Majesty King George V The Delhi Durbar Tiara was made by Garrard & Co. for Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, to wear at the Delhi Durbar in 1911.
As British law prohibited the removal of the Crown Jewels from the country, King George V wore a specially made crown to the Durbar, Queen Mary wore the tiara. It was part of a set of jewellery made for Queen Mary to use at the event which included a necklace, stomacher and earrings. Made of gold and platinum, the tiara is 8 cm tall and has the form of a tall circlet of lyres and S-scrolls linked by festoons of diamonds, it was set with 10 of the Cambridge emeralds, acquired by Queen Mary in 1910 and first owned by her grandmother, the Duchess of Cambridge. In 1912, the tiara was altered to take one or both of the Cullinan IV diamonds. Mary lent the tiara to Queen Elizabeth for the 1947 royal tour of South Africa, it remained with her until she died in 2002, when it passed to Queen Elizabeth II. In 2005, the Queen lent the tiara to her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cornwall; this tiara, which can be worn as a necklace, was made for Queen Mary in 1919. It is not, as has sometimes been claimed, made with diamonds that once belonged to George III, but reuses diamonds taken from a necklace/tiara purchased by Queen Victoria from Collingwood & Co. as a wedding present for Princess Mary in 1893.
In August 1936, Mary gave the tiara to h
On 15 February 1971, known as Decimal Day, the United Kingdom and Ireland decimalised their currencies. Under the old currency of pounds and pence, the pound was made up of 240 pence, with 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings in a pound; the loss of value of the currency meant that the "old" penny, with the same diameter as the US half-dollar, had become of low value. The Coinage Act of 1792 had authorized the United States as the first English-speaking nation to have decimalised currency, although Tsar Peter the Great used the concept for the Russian ruble close to a century earlier, in 1704, while China has used such a decimal system for at least 2000 years; the United Kingdom's Parliament rejected Sir John Wrottesley's proposals to decimalise sterling in 1824, prompted by the introduction in 1795 of the decimal French franc. After this defeat, little practical progress towards decimalisation was made for over a century, with the exception of the two-shilling silver florin first issued in 1849.
A double florin or four-shilling piece was a further step in that direction but failed to gain acceptance and was struck only from 1887 to 1890. The Decimal Association was founded in 1841 to promote decimalisation and metrication, both causes that were boosted by a realisation of the importance of international trade following the 1851 Great Exhibition, it was as a result of the growing interest in decimalisation. In their preliminary report, the Royal Commission on Decimal Coinage considered the benefits and problems of decimalisation but did not draw any conclusion about the adoption of any such scheme. A final report in 1859 from the two remaining commissioners, Lord Overstone and Governor of the Bank of England John Hubbard came out against the idea, claiming it had "few merits". In 1862, the Select Committee on Weights and Measures favoured the introduction of decimalisation to accompany the introduction of metric weights and measures; the decimalisation movement entered fiction. In Anthony Trollope's Palliser novels, Plantagenet Palliser is a passionate advocate of decimalisation, a cause the other characters seem to find intensely boring.
Palliser's scheme would have divided the shilling into ten pennies. This would have changed the threepence into 2 1/2 new pence, the sixpence into fivepence and the half crown into a two shilling, five pence piece, it would have required the withdrawal and reissuance of the existing copper coinage. At the end of the fifth book in the series, The Prime Minister, Palliser muses that the reform will not be accomplished, since it can only be done by a Chancellor of the Exchequer sitting in the House of Commons, the Duke now sits in the House of Lords; the Royal Commission on Decimal Coinage, chaired by Lord Emmott, reported in 1920 that the only feasible scheme was to divide the pound into 1,000 mills but that this would be too inconvenient. A minority of four members disagreed. A further three members recommended that the pound should be replaced by the Royal, consisting of 100 halfpennies. In 1960, a report prepared jointly by the British Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, followed by the success of decimalisation in South Africa, prompted the Government to set up the Committee of the Inquiry on Decimal Currency in 1961, which reported in 1963.
The adoption of the changes suggested in the report was announced on 1 March 1966. The Decimal Currency Board was created to manage the transition, although the plans were not approved by Parliament until the Decimal Currency Act in May 1969. Former Greater London Council leader Bill Fiske was named as the Chairman of the Decimal Currency Board. Consideration was given to introducing a new major unit of currency worth ten shillings in the old currency: suggested names included the new pound, the royal and the noble; this would have resulted in the "decimal penny" being worth only more than the old penny. But Halsbury decided, in view of the pound sterling's importance as a reserve currency, that the pound should remain unchanged. Under the new system, the pound was retained but was divided into 100 new pence, denoted by the symbol p. New coinage was issued alongside the old coins; the 5p and 10p coins were introduced in April 1968 and were the same size and value as the shilling and two shillings coins in circulation with them.
In October 1969 the 50p coin was introduced, with the 10s note withdrawn on 20 November 1970. This reduced the number of new coins that had to be introduced on Decimal Day and meant that the public was familiar with three of the six new coins. Small booklets were made available containing all of the new denominations; the old halfpenny was withdrawn from circulation on 31 July 1969, the half-crown followed on 31 December to ease the transition. There was a substantial publicity campaign in the weeks before Decimalisation Day, including a song by Max Bygraves called "Decimalisation"; the BBC broadcast a series of five-minute programmes, "Decimal Five", to whi
The ostriches are a family, Struthionidae, of flightless birds. The two extant species of ostrich are the common ostrich and Somali ostrich, both in the genus Struthio, which contains several species known from Holocene fossils such as the Asian ostrich; the common ostrich is the more widespread of the two living species, is the largest living bird species. Other ostriches are among the largest bird species ever. Ostriches first appeared during the Miocene epoch, though various Paleocene and Oligocene fossils may belong to the family. Ostriches are classified in the ratite group of birds, all extant species of which are flightless, including the kiwis and rheas. Traditionally, the order Struthioniformes contained all the ratites. However, recent genetic analysis has found that the group is not monophyletic, as it is paraphyletic with respect to the tinamous, so the ostriches are classified as the only members of the order; the earliest fossils of ostrich-like birds are Paleocene taxa from Europe.
Palaeotis and Remiornis from the Middle Eocene and unspecified ratite remains are known from the Eocene and Oligocene of Europe and Africa. These may have been early relatives of the ostriches, but their status is questionable, they may in fact represent multiple lineages of flightless paleognaths; the African Eremopezus, when not considered a basal secretarybird or shoebill, is sometimes considered an ostrich relative or an "aepyornithid-like" taxon. Apart from these enigmatic birds, the fossil record of the ostriches continues with several species of the modern genus Struthio, which are known from the Early Miocene onwards. Several of these fossil forms are ichnotaxa and their association with those described from distinctive bones is contentious and in need of revision pending more good material. While the relationship of the African fossil species is comparatively straightforward, a large number of Asian species of ostriches have been described from fragmentary remains, their interrelationships and how they relate to the African ostriches are confusing.
In China, ostriches are known to have become extinct only around or after the end of the last ice age. Ostriches have co-existed with another lineage of the eogruids. Though Olson 1985 classified these birds as stem-ostriches, they are otherwise universally considered to be related to cranes, any similarities being the result of convergent evolution. Competition from ostriches has been suggested to have caused the extinction of the eogruids, though this has never been tested and both groups do co-exist in some sites. Order Struthioniformes Latham 1790 Family Struthionidae Vigors 1825 Genus?†Palaeotis Lambrecht 1928 †P. weigelti Lambrecht 1928 Genus?†Remiornis Lemoine, 1881 †Remiornis heberti Lemoine, 1881 Genus?†Eremopezus Andrews, 1904 †Eremopezus eocaenus Andrews, 1904 Genus Struthio Linnaeus 1758?†S. anderssoni Lowe 1931?†S. barbarus Arambourg 1979?†S. daberasensis Pickford, Senut & Dauphin 1995?†S. epoasticus Bonaparte?†S. kakesiensis Harrison & Msuya 2005?†S. karingarabensis Senut, Dauphin & Pickford 1998 †S. chersonensis Brandt 1873 †S. asiaticus Brodkorb 1863 †S. coppensi Mourer-Chauviré et al. 1996 †S. dmanisensis Burchak-Abramovich & Vekua 1990 †S. mongolicus †S. oldawayi Lowe 1933 †S. transcaucasicus Burchak-Abramovich & Vekua 1971 †S. wimani Lowe 1931 S. molybdophanes Reichenow 1883 S. camelus Linnaeus 1758 S. c. australis †S. c. syriacus Rothschild 1919 S. c. camelus Linnaeus 1758 S. c. massaicus Today ostriches are only found natively in the wild in Africa, where they occur in a range of open arid and semi-arid habitats such as savannas and the Sahel, both north and south of the equatorial forest zone.
The Somali ostrich occurs in the Horn of Africa, having evolved isolated from the common ostrich by the geographic barrier of the East African Rift. In some areas, the common ostrich's Masai subspecies occurs alongside the Somali ostrich, but they are kept from interbreeding by behavioral and ecological differences; the Arabian ostriches in Asia Minor and Arabia were hunted to extinction by the middle of the 20th century, in Israel attempts to introduce North African ostriches to fill their ecological role have failed. Escaped common ostriches in Australia have established feral populations
A coin is a small, round piece of metal or plastic used as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, produced in large quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade, they are most issued by a government. Coins are metal or alloy, or sometimes made of synthetic materials, they are disc shaped. Coins made of valuable metal are stored in large quantities as bullion coins. Other coins are used as money in everyday transactions; the highest value coin in circulation is worth less than the lowest-value note. In the last hundred years, the face value of circulation coins has been lower than the value of the metal they contain, for example due to inflation. If the difference becomes significant, the issuing authority may decide to withdraw these coins from circulation issuing new equivalents with a different composition, or the public may decide to melt the coins down or hoard them. Exceptions to the rule of face value being higher than content value occur for some bullion coins made of copper, silver, or gold, intended for collectors or investors in precious metals.
Examples of modern gold collector/investor coins include the British sovereign minted by the United Kingdom, the American Gold Eagle minted by the United States, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf minted by Canada, the Krugerrand, minted by South Africa. While the Eagle, Maple Leaf, Sovereign coins have nominal face values, the Krugerrand does not. A great quantity of coinage metals and other materials have been used to produce coins for circulation and metal investment: bullion coins serve as more convenient stores of assured metal quantity and purity than other bullion. Metal ingots, silver bullion or unmarked bars were in use for exchange among many of the civilizations that mastered metallurgy; the weight and purity of bullion would be the key determinant of value. In the Achaemenid Empire in the early 6th century BC, coinage was yet unknown, barter and to some extent silver bullion was used instead for trade; the practice of using silver bars for currency seems to have been current in Central Asia from the 6th century BC.
Coins were an evolution of "currency" systems of the Late Bronze Age, where standard-sized ingots, tokens such as knife money, were used to store and transfer value. In the late Chinese Bronze Age, standardized cast tokens were made, such as those discovered in a tomb near Anyang; these were replicas in bronze of earlier Chinese currency, cowrie shells, so they were named Bronze Shell. The earliest coins are associated with Iron Age Anatolia of the late 7th century BC, with the kingdom of Lydia. Early electrum coins were not standardized in weight, in their earliest stage may have been ritual objects, such as badges or medals, issued by priests; the unpredictability of the composition of occurring electrum implied that it had a variable value, which hampered its development. Most of the early Lydian coins include no writing, only an image of a symbolic animal. Therefore, the dating of these coins relies on archaeological evidence, with the most cited evidence coming from excavations at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus called the Ephesian Artemision, site of the earliest known deposit of electrum coins.
Because the oldest lion head "coins" were discovered in that temple, they do not appear to have been used in commerce, these objects may not have been coins but badges or medals issued by the priests of that temple. Anatolian Artemis was the Πὀτνια Θηρῶν, it took some time before ancient coins were used for trade. The smallest-denomination electrum coins worth about a day's subsistence, would have been too valuable for buying a loaf of bread; the first coins to be used for retailing on a large-scale basis were small silver fractions, Ancient Greek coinage minted by the Ionian Greeks in the late sixth century BC. Many early Lydian and Greek coins were minted under the authority of private individuals and are thus more akin to tokens or badges than to modern coins, though due to their numbers it is evident that some were official state issues; the earliest inscribed coins are those of Phanes, dated to 625–600 BC from Ephesus in Ionia, with the legend ΦΑΝΕΟΣ ΕΜΙ ΣΗΜΑ, or just bearing the name ΦΑΝΕΟΣ.
The first electrum coins issued by a monarch are those minted by king Alyattes of Lydia, for which reason this king is sometimes mentioned as the originator of coinage. The successor of Alyattes, king Croesus, became associated with great wealth in Greek historiography, he is credited with issuing the Croeseid, the first true gold coins with a standardised purity for general circulation. And the world's first bimetallic monetary system circa 550 BCE. Herodotus mentioned the innovation made by the Lydians: "So far as we have any knowledge, they were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins, the first who sold goods by retail" Coins spread in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, leading to the development of Ancient Greek coinage and Achaemenid coinage, further to Illyrian coinage. Standardized Roman currency