In 550 B.C. Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Persian Empire by amalgamating the Iranian tribes of the Medes and the Persians. Cyrus then looked to the west. His army defeated the Lydians and their king Croesus in 547 B.C. and in the following year the Persian army marched into the kingdoms of Ionia, Caria, and Lykia, on what is now the west coast of Turkey.
It was there that the Persians first came into contact with coinage. From here it spread over the next century throughout the Persian Empire as far as Afghanistan and Egypt. The Persians adopted the Lydian tradition of minting coinage.
A new Achaemenid coinage replaced the local coinage in the conquered countries. The gold daric, named after the Persian king Darius I (521-486 B.C.), and the silver siglos (or shekel), were the main denominations. The obverse of the daric shows a bearded king in half-kneeling posture right, crowned with the royal kidaris and clad in long robe, kandys. At his back, a quiver. In his right hand a spear, and in his left hand a bow. The reverse shows a rectangular punch.
These coins were minted in the western part of the Achaemenid Empire and were minted until the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great at the end of the fourth century B.C.