Coins first appeared in various different parts of the world in the 7th and 6th Centuries BCE, they originally represented the value of the amount of metal they contained be it copper, silver, gold or some other metal and developed from trade ingots or tokens which were the first attempt at standardised units of wealth. This is known as commodity money or representative money.
You can still get coins in precious metals like gold and silver, for example the British Sovereign or South African Krugerrand, these are known as bullion coins and their value fluctuates according to the currant price of gold or silver. Interestingly the value of the coins does not relate directly to their weight and the currant gold or silver prices, mainly due to their desirability by collectors.
Most coins now in circulation are formed of metal alloys worth much less than the face value of the coins, these are an example of Fiat Money from the Latin fiat and translates as "let it become" or "it will become". Basically a government decides that a coin is worth a certain amount and we all chose to believe them!
We stock a wide range of coins here at Top Banana, with an age span of over two thousand years with coins from all over the world. As well as coins we sell various types of tokens and bank notes.