Steven Battelle

Roman Republic Coin in Yellow gold

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Roman Republic, M Porcius Cato, 89 BC, AR Quinarius. Obv: Head of Liber right, crowned with an ivy wreath, M

In Republican Rome the responsibility of minting coins was an annual office, shared by three men; it was usually held at the beginning of one's career. Candidates for the position normally had to be at least twenty-seven years of age, and had usually already served in the military. They often placed their own names on their coins, although anonymous issues did occur. In the early Republican Period signs and letters were used to identify the moneyer. Symbols, monograms and fully written names were often used alongside each other. The types or images used on Roman Republican Coinage varied. Some were standard and stereotyped, particularly in the early Republican period, often displaying Jupiter in a quadriga or the Dioscuri. Other types alluded to the history of Rome and to the history of the moneyer's own family. From 80 BC. onwards men from more prominent families begin to hold the office of moneyer. Many of the monetales took the opportunity to place on their coins designs that represented the achievements of their family and ancestors. This is the traditional interpretation of many of the designs on Republican coinage. Recently it has been suggested that these representations should be seen in the context of a wider Roman cultural practice of honoring one's ancestors . Coins were struck by hand. The designs for the obverse and reverse of the coin would be engraved into hard metal. These designs are called dies. One die was placed in an anvil, and the other in a metal bar (the die placed in the metal bar was always the reverse of the coin). A pre-measured amount of metal (flan) would then be placed in between the two dies using a pair of tongs. A hammer would then be brought down on the reverse die, making an imprint on the metal. Most of the coins of the Republican period are denarii. The denarius was introduced in 211-207 BC, weighed around 3.86g. A denari is thought to be worth approximately one days wages for a soldier or laborer. The quinarius was a relatively uncommon coin worth 1/2 of a denarius.

  • Size: 26 mm
  • Coin Size: 14,1.7f(4)
  • Coin Grams: 1.95
  • Metal Type: 22K

Shown with an 18K gold thin link chain. 

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