A guide to Roman Coins
Roman Coins are probably the most beautiful and interesting coins to collect.Each coin is literally a piece of history. In the past those amazing pieces of metal (gold,silver,bronze) were mostly found in museums and in the private collections of the elite. However, in the past few years with the rapid expansion of internet sales and auction sites like eBay,along with the wealth of information found on-line is now easier - and cheaper than ever to start a collection of Roman Coins.I am not an expert on Roman Coins but I will do my best to share the knowledge I have about the topic with you. The coin presented here is a gold aureus of Roman Emperor Germanicus.
Some history first
A few basic facts and information need to be said first before moving on,since Roman Coins - and coins in the ancient world in general changed, as history itself changed over the centuries.Generally speaking there are two separate periods of Roman coinage which are as follows:
300 BC - 27 BC The Roman Republic
The Romans were a bit late in adopting a coinage system, especially taking into consideration that their neighbouring areas were already minting coins a few centuries back.The first type of coin that appeared in the Roman world was the large bronze bar known as the aes signatum which was as heavy as 1,6 kg ! Later circular coins were produced as well, influenced by the Greeks as they feature mainly mythical scenes and deities in their designs.
27 BC - 476 AD The Roman Empire
The end of the Roman Republic came to an end when Augustus rose to the throne as the first emperor.This, as expected changed the Roman coinage.The coin periods of the Roman Empire are categorized further into three time periods according to their values and denomination. It starts with the Augustan values (27 BC - 301 AD), , followed by the Diocletian values ( 301-305 AD) and finishing with the Late Empire coin values (337 - 476 A.D)..
Statue of the first Roman Emperor Augustus as a younger Octavian.
The Republic Values
The Denarius was a small silver coin weighting around 6.8 grams at the early years of the republic with a gradual decline towards the end of the period,reaching 3.9 grams.
During Republican times this was issued only in rare occasions. It was a small silver coin, usually a quarter of the weight of the denarius.
This was a large brass coin valued at 1/5th of the sesterius.
A bronze coin,half the value of the dupondius.
All these were smaller bronze coins. The semis had a value of 1/20th of the sesterius while the smaller republican value, was the uncia valued at 1/120th of the sesterius.
Below you can see how the coin values were formed in relation to the gold aureus.
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The Augustan Values
The beginning of a new era in Roman history saw the introduction of new coins as well. Two gold coins were introduced, the aureus and the Quinarius Aureus (hald aureus). The value of the aureus was 25 denarius, while weighting 7,3 g. The coin values in relation to the aureus were formed as shown in the table below:
Aureus of Emperor Augustus
Informative books about Roman Coins
The Diocletean Values
A new era began during the reign of Emperor Diocletean with a reform of the Roman coinage system. New values were introduced and the gold aureus was replaced by a lighter coin,the gold solidus. The coin values in relation to the solidus were as follows:
The Late Empire Values
The last years of the Roman Empire brought a new reform to the coinage system. Now, the coin values were formed as shown in the table below:
Roman Coins on YouTube
More links about Roman Coins
- Roman Numismatic Gallery
museum showing roman coins, countermarks on coins, military diploma, legionary and auxiliary armour, location of Roman legions, roman and greek sculpture, roman portraits, imperial women and their families, historical events
- Roman Coin Attribution Toolkit
Roman Coin Attribution Toolkit
Roman Coins-Roman Artifacts-Biblical Coins-Roman Rings-Creative Gifts-Christian Gifts-Galerius-Maximinus II-Maximianus
- Roman Coins Ancient Roman Coins Roman Republican Coins Roman Imperial Coins Buy Online
Classical Coins is an online store Specializing in Roman Coins, Ancient Roman Coins, Roman Republican Coins, and Imperial Roman Coins Buy Online
- Roman Coins
Information about roman coins
- Identifying Late Roman Bronze Coins
Identifying Late Roman Bronze Coins
Roman Coin Hoards
Roman Coin Hoards and Finds on YouTube
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