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.
Our original glass and leatherette display boxes showcase your relic above a custom information card, with a design unique to History Hoard.