Monday, August 9, 2010

Some Important Information about Ancient Roman Coins

Nobody can ignore the fact that the Roman Empire was one of the most advanced empires of its time. The kind of the monetary system that the Roman Empire has is more than enough to show that it was well advanced. As we know, it was in the middle of the third century BC this empire was able to find its root. It later continued to grow until the middle of the third century AD. However, speaking about the main values of this empire, they were like gold coins called ‘aureus’, the silver coins known as ‘denarius’, bronze coins known as ‘sestertius’ or ‘dupondius’ and at last the copper coins called the ‘As’.

Since all the Roman coins were carrying an intrinsic value, they had many differences compared to coins of other Empires. In fact, these coins appealed more than what they actual deserved for the precious metal content used to make these coins. Getting to know the exact value of these coins was impossible for any archeologist so far. However, most of the archeologists have come up with their own estimates. For instance, some of the estimation reports by popular archaeologists are suggesting that the value of the denarius may be 1.6 to 2.85 times with respect to the metal content i.e. silver, used to make these coins. This value will be equal to 13 US dollars during that time. Of course, silver bullion coins have enjoyed a great popularity throughout the Roman era.

As the Roman Empire grew, a split was witnessed in authorities allotted for minting coins making use of varieties of precious metals. Unfortunately, the local authorities were not authorized to mint the silver and gold coins, as those coins were restricted from going out of Rome. Hence, the local authorities were able to mint only copper and bronze coins.

It is in the Egypt’s dry climate, where you will be able to find maximum information about the roman coins including the bullion coins. The information will be in the written form of papyri. The reports collected so far also suggests that there were also some other coins existing during the Roman Era, which were made by some inexpensive materials. In fact, it has been said that these were the coins that the people used for their routine purchase. There was also a dichotomy witnessed between the intrinsic value coins and the token value coins. The inadequate and infrequent production of the coins made up of bronze reflects this fact. The negative aspect of the Roman coins is that the workmanship was of low quality and very crude in some cases.

The silver coins, which we are able to find today, are representing most of the aspects that were discovered with regard to the coin system of the Roman Empire. Of course, today in most of the currencies, we will find the image of the great leaders and then the intrinsic value. Obviously, this is a major fact, which suggests that the Roman Empire was quite advanced when it comes to coin system and culture as well.