Minting of coins by the Macedonian kings began at Aigai circa 480 BC, during the reign of Alexander I. The standards of measure and the metals used (initially silver, later gold and bronze), the regions they reached, and their depictions and inscriptions attest the power of each ruler, his attitude to the institution of monarchy and the extent of his country's commercial relations.
Excepting the coins of Alexander I, those of the kings who came after him, until Philip II, did not circulate beyond the borders of the state by reason of the instability which then reigned. The currency of Philip II and Alexander III on the other hand circulated widely; indeed the silver coins of the latter were the most popular in antiquity. Under the Hellenistic kings the circulation of coins was again limited to the Macedonian kingdom and central Greece.
In the Classical period the royal coins, of excellent artistic quality, were decorated with traditional or contemporary subjects, attesting their issuers' attempts to connect their origins to the mythical progenitor of their dynasty.
In the Hellenistic period the subjects were clearly chosen for the purposes of propaganda, while a novelty was the introduction of realistic portraits of the monarchs. The Successors also instituted the inscription of the royal title on the coins, which was not the case with the previous royal mints.