Origin: These pieces of dolphin shaped bronze currency are from the Greek colony of Olbia, located on the northern coast of the Black Sea in modern day Ukraine. Dolphins had an important role in Greek mythology, and the bottle-nosed dolphins that swam in the Black Sea were likely the inspiration for Olbia's uniquely shaped currency.
The dolphin "coins" are an example of proto-money, which refers to any commodity that all people in an early society agreed to accept in trade. This could include shells, rings, or other small objects that were easy to find or manufacture in large amounts.
The colony of Olbia itself was an important commercial hub for exporting fish, grains, and enslaved people to Greece, as well as importing Greek goods into Scythia. It held this status for about a thousand years, from the 7th century BCE to the 4th century CE.
Each includes a Certificate of Authenticity.
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Your order will include:
- One piece of dolphin proto-money from Olbia
- Glass top leather display box
- Detail card with relevant information about the relic
- Certificate of Authenticity
History Hoard relics are guaranteed authentic and have a 100% money back policy. Read more about the History Hoard Promise.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Your Certificate of Authenticity is more than just a piece of paper—it's a promise to you.
When you buy from History Hoard, you can rest assured that each of your new relics has been thoroughly inspected under the careful eyes of an antiquities specialist. Only items that are 100% certain to be authentic get sent to our customers.
Plus, we take great care to source our relics from only vetted antiquities experts, who are also committed to providing genuine and ethically sourced relics.
Check out this video to see the most basic things we look for when authenticating coins:
To read more about our promise to you, click here.
Actually, many relics are able to be owned by anyone.
Typically, museums only want to display items that are either very rare or incredibly well preserved. This leaves many items that don't make the cut, and these are able to be owned by individuals.
While the items we sell aren't "museum grade," they still carry with them the same amount of history and uniqueness. Each relic was still hand made by a person, hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
One of our core values is not to damage or alter any of the artifacts we sell.
History needs to be preserved—after all, there is a limited amount of it that survives—but it is also something to be shared with the masses. For this reason, we put our relics in sturdy display cases that are safe to handle, but are mindful that someday the relic may need to be taken out again.
No glue or resin holds the items in place. Instead, we're developed our own method for holding the relics securely in their displays using pressure alone. In fact, any of our relics can be removed in their original condition by simply opening the display case.
You can find our complete FAQ section here.