Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenides, was well-informed about the importance of minting and establishing a mint but unfortunately he was deprived of this opportunity due to his rather early demise. Cambyses (529-521 B.C.E) was engaged with various wars and conflicts during his short period of rule and consequently he could not get any chance to deal with issues such as mintage. However, Darius I (521-458 B.C.E.) embarked on organizing domestic affairs, administrative distributions in the mainland and satellite states after establishing order in the vast empire of the Achaemenides. He paid studious attention to improving financial and economic status of his territories. Having establishes and solidified the administrative and financial order, Darius I addressed the issue of mintage. Under his decree, a mint was established. Consequently, gold and silver bullions were transferred from the treasury to the mint under a specific procedure. Probably, the mint was established after 514 B.C.E. as per the decree of Darius I, since some coins of Croesus and other Greek cities had been placed in the foundation of Darius’s Palace in Persepolis whose date of establishment dated back to 517-514 B.C.E. It indicates that there were no coins of the Achaemenides at that time.
Gold coins of the Achaemenides were called Dereyk and silver ones were called Shekel that weighed 8.42 and 5.60 grams respectively. Modern chemical analysis of Dereyk coins has revealed that it was 97% pure gold and there was just 3% alloy. Hence, these coins were well-known across Asia and Greece and they had gained importance as well. Other reasons for popularity of Dereyk included the order of their weight and easy transaction in businesses and trade. On all of Dereyk coins was a figure of the king standing and wearing a winged crown while his right knee was pointing forward and his left leg was oriented backwards together with an arch and a ball-head spear in the hands. This figure and image depicted him as an archer.