When were coins first used?

Coins were first made in the seventh century b.c.e. in Lydia, Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). They were issued by the early Lydian kings probably Alyattes or Sady-attes about 600 b.c.e., several decades before the reign of the famous Lydian king Croesus. Lydian coins were made out of electrum, a mixture of gold and silver, and each was weighed and stamped with a lion’s head, the king’s symbol. About 0.03 pounds (14 grams) of electrum was one stater (meaning “standard”). A stater was about one month’s pay for a soldier. Today’s coins are not made from precious metals like gold and silver, but from inexpensive alloys such as cupro-nickel, which is a combination of copper and nickel. Unlike early coins, the metal in today’s coins is worth far less than its value in the marketplace.