In 1859, the British Museum engaged the sealmaker Robert Cooper Ready to produce replicas of notable Greek coins held in the national collection.
Though he initially attemped to produce casts, Ready soon took to the newly developed method of electrotyping, which uses electrolytic deposition
of copper on a mold to reproduce a form. The high quality replicas produced by Ready were first used in a display in the King's Library, with the
coins divided into seven eras based on the contemporary interpretation of artistic growth and decline, as described by Barclay Head in A Guide to
the select Greek and Roman Coins Exhibited in Electrotype. Individual electrotypes from this set were later sold at the price of 2s 6d, with completed
encased sets available for schools and museums.