|6th century BC
||The King Croesus of Lydians, in Asia Minor, issued the first money of gold -an oblong piece-. Soon the
Greeks began minting money in the shape of discs, striking them with detailed high relief. Romans introduced
the familiar serrated edges of today's coins as a way to discourage the practice of shaving off thin slices
||In its heyday 2,500 years ago, the standard Attic silver drachma would buy a sheep or a bushel of barley.
It was the hardest currency of the civilised world. By AD2001, however, a drachma could buy - as a Greek
television commercial pointed out - maybe a single strand of spaghetti
||Metal coins were introduced in Greece. They replaced grain -usually barley- as the medium of exchange.
Stamped with a likeness of an ear of wheat, the new coins were lighter and easier to transport than grain,
and did not get moldy
||Was the first recorded automatic vending machine ever designed, that required a big copper five-drachma
piece to operate. It was the brainchild of the Greek scientist Hero and was found in the Greek-governed
Alexandria in 150 BC.
||In one of the parables recorded by Saint Luke, Jesus Christ refers to a woman who had 10 drachmas but lost one
||The writer Josephus, reporting on the Roman siege of Jerusalem in AD 70 says that starving people in the
besieged city were selling bundles of withered grass for four drachmas.
|Descendants of the drachma
||are the Indian drammas, and dirhams from North Africa and Central Asia, which were used in trade all over
|168 consecutive years
||The Hellenic drachma had been circulating for 168 consecutive years in modern history, until January 1,
2002, when the new European currency (€) was introduced
||is the combined weight of the replaced coins that the Bank of Greece had to gather and destroy during the transition from drachmas to euros
||were installed in Greece, with information about the new european currency
||euro coins had to be struck by the Hellenic Mint before they were
introduced in circulation in 2002, and another 500 million were ordered from abroad (581 million banknotes
were also required)