Coins began to be used in Macedonia relatively early compared to southern Greece, that is shortly after the mid-6th century BC.
A series of factors contributed to this transition from barter to a currency economy: proximity to the coasts of Asia Minor, where trade prospered and where coins were already in use from the 7th century BC; the development of trade with Thasos; and the Athenian influence into Macedonia, aided by the tyrant of Athens Peisistratos' possession of land in the area.
In addition, the establishment of permanent settlements and their evolution into cities led to the systematization of the economy and the development of internal and external trade. A basic factor in initiating the minting of coins was the existence of large reserves of metals, chiefly silver, in the mines of eastern Macedonia and Chalkidike.
Macedonian coinage is conventionally classified as that of the 'Thraco-Macedonian' people; of the independent cities (particularly those of Chalkidike) in the Archaic period; of the kings in the Classical and Hellenistic periods; of the "Macedonian People"; of regions and cities during the 2nd century BC; and finally as that of the Roman period.