The first metal coins are regarded by some as having been invented in
China. The earliest known Chinese metal tokens were made ca. 900 BC,
discovered in a tomb near Anyang. Most numismatists, however, regard
these as well as later Chinese bronzes ... as money but not as coins
because they didn't at least initially carry a mark or marks certifying
them to be of a definite exchange value.
Coins originated independently in Anatolia, with most numismatists
regarding Lydia as the birthplace of coinage. The Greeks soon adopted
the Lydian practice and extended it to commerce and trade, with coinage
following Greek colonization and influence first around the eastern
Mediterranean and soon after to North Africa (including Egypt), Syria,
Persia, and the Balkans.
Along with China and Anatolia, India also played a major part in the
development of coinage. The first Indian coins were minted around the
6th century BC by the Mahajanapadas of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Some
argue that Indian coins were developed from Western prototypes, which
the Indians came in contact with through Babylonian traders.