The first time the ancient Celtic peoples of Eastern Europe encountered coins was payment for fighting in Ancient Greek wars. The Danubian Celts fought as mercenaries for Macedon and were paid in Silver coins. They took these home and when silver bullion was available they would copy the coins they had, making their own version of the design. These are based on the Tetradrachms of Alexander the Great! These Silver Tetradrachms date from the 3rd to 2nd Century B.C. and are based on Alexander’s design showing a part of Herakles head on the obverse and an outline of seated Zeus on the reverse. They were weakly struck so they do not show the full design but this is reflected in the price of only £95 for a 2,300 year old coin of over 16g in silver. Own your piece of Celtic Numismatic history….
In 320 B.C. Pytheas of Massalia was the first Mediterranean to visit Britain and write about it! He wrote of a group of tribes called The Cantii (or Cantiaci) whose name meant ‘people of Cantion’, ‘Cantion’ being roughly where modern Kent is now. They are next mentioned as the confederation of at least four ‘kings’ who fought Julius Caesar when he invaded Britain in 54 B.C. This independence lasts until the early first century A.D. when larger tribes, such as the Atrebates and Catuvellauni, absorbed them into their kingdoms. We have a small group of cast coins from the first century B.C. made from Potin, a mixture of copper and tin with a little lead and silver for colour. These coins are virtually as they were made, any weakness is from the casting process. The obverse shows a stylised head with a large central eye and the reverse is a stylised bull of straight lines. Add to your collection a coin of the Canti, the tribe that fought Ceasar at the edge of the known world!