Four-drachma coin (tetradrachm)
Unknown artist, Greek
Four-drachma coin (tetradrachm), 460 - 340 BCE
Diameter: 2.4 cm (15/16 inches)
Gift of Mr. Edward Perry Warren 13.1493
This selection of coins represents almost six hundred years from the Greek and Roman periods. Due to their general and geographically widespread use, coins were and still are an excellent medium for communicating political messages, expressing regional identities, and commemorating important events. The Museum’s collection contains about seven hundred ancient coins spanning more than 1500 years of history from the sixth century BCE to the thirteenth century CE. Dozens of denominations are represented in gold, silver, electrum (a gold and silver alloy), and bronze or billon (copper alloys). Although the coins have come to the RISD Museum from many different sources and donors, the largest single group - almost four hundred - came from Henry Augustus Greene, who amassed a diverse collection of coins from across the Greek world. The Museum acquired Greene’s collection in 1940.