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First money in human history worth 200,000 euros

The first coin to be minted in Ephesus during ancient times was set to go on auction in Munich’s “Gorny & Mosch” Art Gallery Monday.

But after daily newspaper Hürriyet published an article that the coins, which were minted in 625- 600 B.C. in Ephesus were stolen, the office of the public prosecutor in Munich began an investigation.

Bidding for the ancient coins was going to start at 200,000 euros although the coins have a priceless history. The coins have a figure of a deer on it. Above the figure of the deer there is a name “Phanes.” It is the name of the person who minted the coins. Besides the deer symbolizes the “nobility badge” of Phanes. According to some historians the deer symbolizes the wealth and power of Phanes.

There are nine samples of the coin in Gorny & Mosch Art Gallery’s catalog. It is considered the first example of money in the history of the world. There were 533 other gold coins at the auction and some of them belong to the Seljuk Empire and Ottoman Empire. The coins are worth around 150-250 euros each.

Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry instructed all museums to recheck their inventories because it is a crime to smuggle the coins out of Turkey.

The celebrated coins of Phanes are known to be amongst the earliest of Greek coins, and was found in the famous foundation deposit of the temple of Artemis at Ephesos. It is this find spot, along with the design of the grazing stag (an animal associated with Artemis), that has suggested Ephesos as the mint. The use of a personal name at this early point in the development of coinage is instructive. We know from these coins that the responsibility for the issue was personal ( whether the issuer was an official or a private individual ) rather than collective (the citizenry as a whole).

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  1. GILAD ZUCKERMAN | Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    THE EARLIEST KNOWN COIN WAS MINTED IN LYDIA KINGDOM , NOW IN MODERN TURKEY. THE COIN WAS MADE OF ELECTRUM , THE DATE , ACOORDING TO THE TURKS WAS 640BC , HISTORIANS REFER TO THE SAME COIN , TELL THAT THE DATE WAS AROUND 650BC. IN 1983 THE COIN WAS DEPICTED ON A MODERN TURKISH 500 LIRA DATED 1983. THE PICTURE IS HERE :

    http://catalog.ebay.com/Turkey-500-Lira-1983-Lydia-First-Coin-World-/78233763/r.html

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