Numismatics: ancient and ancient Roman coins
The fascination with numismatics is quite popular in ourdays. Collectors call different reasons for their craving for old coins: this is their historical value, and nostalgia for the past, and childhood dreams of mysterious treasures. Such people are especially interested in antique coins, because they store images not only of rulers, but of whole epochs, grandiose events, and their diversity amazes imagination.
A bit of history
For the first time coins were made in the Middle Kingdomand India in the beginning of the XII century. BC. e. But the turnover of this banknote did not go beyond these countries. Many years later, the Greeks began to mint silver coins. And they became the used means of exchange and sale, hitting first to the Middle East, and from there spreading to the adjacent countries.
This monetary system continued. Coins of the Roman Empire replaced the Greek, which served as a model for their creation. In its heyday Ancient Rome was an example of the highest civilization. With its disintegration, people were regressed, since many achievements were forgotten for centuries. A long period of coins of the ancient Romans were the standard element of the monetary system in Europe and Asia, like their predecessors, made by the Greeks.
In the narrow sense, onlymoney notes of Ancient Rome. However, in reality this is not so. It includes coins of all ancient peoples, including Persian, Israeli (Jewish) and Byzantine. Monetary signs of the antique period were minted from precious metals: bronze, brass, silver and gold. Material depended on the dignity of the coin, since it was they who determined its value. This rule was respected at all times and exists to this day. Ancient Roman coins were decorated with the seals of the ruling monarch. It was a guarantee of weight, fixing its value. Antique coins are extremely diverse, since new banknotes were issued with each successive change of the ruler.
Bronze and brass coins
In the monetary system of Ancient Rome an important roleplayed such metals as bronze and brass (the old aurihalk). It was from them that monetary signs were minted. The first coin was made of bronze. Her weight at the time was measured in ounces. It was a copper ass, the mass of which was as much as 12 ounces (340 g). There were coins of lesser dignity:
- Semis - 170 gr.
- Triens - 113 gr.
- Quadrant - 85 gr.
- Sextans - 56 g.
- An ounce and an ounce share, weighed accordingly to the name.
Then the metal aurihalk (brass) appeared - moreexpensive than bronze, an alloy of copper and zinc. From it minted such ancient Roman coins as sestertius (27.28 gr.), Dupondiy (13.64 gr.) And ass (54.59 gr.).
Gold and silver
Of silver minted denarii, victorians, quinariaand sesterces. The largest of them at par (denarius) weighed about 5 grams, and the smallest - just over one gram. As a result of the reforms of 217 BC. e. their mass decreased. Of gold were created aureusy, and after the reform of Constantine I came into use solidas, semises and triens (names are arranged in descending order of denomination).
Today it is considered that the basic unit inAncient monetary systems were either a stater or a drachma. So, in the framework of the Agin system, silver stators (12-14.5 grams) and drachmas (such an ancient Roman silver coin weighed as half a stator) were minted, and in the Miletskaya, Phocaean and Persian gold coins. It is worth noting that the banknotes made of brass or copper, also counted with the help of these units. This custom was especially widespread in the times of Alexander the Great.
There are two types of handicrafts. Part created by the counterfeiters of that time, while others are modern copies. In this section, we will talk about the latter, because only they lose in value for today. There are several ways that are suitable for self-checking:
- To identify a substandard counterfeitjust take a look at the photo in the catalog. Now fake ancient Roman coins are made for tourists and ordinary people who do not know anything about numismatics. Therefore, the similarity to the originals is rather insignificant.
- Comparing the data in the directory, you can weigh and measure the coin. If the indicators are not written to the specified values, the conclusion is obvious.
- In the time of Ancient Rome coins were not cast, but were minted. Therefore, money made on modern equipment can always be distinguished.
- If there is a detachment of particles on the surface on the coin, it is genuine. It is impossible to forge this effect. It is caused by internal corrosion of impurities.
- The presence of a stamp shine also speaks in favor of the verified copy.
- Ancient Roman coins can be checked with a microscope. With a strong increase, surface corrosion, characteristic of the ligatures of that time, will be visible.
- Comparison with the original is the best method, allowing to compare the impression and its smallest details.
- Spectral analysis will help determine the sample andthe composition of the ligature. If the results of the analysis of a dubious specimen and the original are the same, then we can conclude that the coins belong to the same time.
Of course, an ignorant person can hardly distinguish a fake. And in this case the best solution is to apply to an experienced numismatist.