The Research

Curated by Manuel Chacón

February, 2011 – January, 2013

The oldest coins in the world available in Costa Rica, including some before Christ, were showcased in the Coins of the Ancient World: Asia Minor, Greece and Rome exhibition. It totaled 100 original objects, dating back to 500 BC and up to 600 AD.

The coins displayed were struck in silver and bronze, and are of low denominations, which means they were used in daily transactions.

Greek “drachmas” and “diobols” were among the most frequent ones, as well as Roman “denarii” and “asses”. These objects feature images of emperors and historical figures, as well as mythical beings, such as gorgons and griffons, and representations of the main gods of mythology, such as Zeus, Venus, and Athenea. Most of the objects exhibited belong to Édgar Pacheco’s collection.

The Exhibition

 The exhibition was structured around five themes. The first offered information on where the coin came from, how it was minted, and how it expanded around the world. It then led to a selection of coins from Asia Minor, the oldest ones in the exhibit.

Coins from Greece and Rome from Imperial times were also displayed. The exhibition culminated by broaching the theme of a frequently represented figure: Alexander the Great.

Complementary coins from Persia, Carthage, China, and India were also included in the exhibition to show the expansion of coins all over the world.