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Ancient Coin Project. Photo by Doug Smith; http://dougsmith.ancients.info/. created by Latin teacher Cathy Scaife for Ancient Coins for Education classroom attribution project . Ancient Coin Project. Photo by Doug Smith; http://dougsmith.ancients.info/. Part II Production of Roman Coins.

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ancient coin project

Ancient Coin Project

Photo by Doug Smith; http://dougsmith.ancients.info/

created by Latin teacher Cathy Scaife for

Ancient Coins for Education

classroom attribution project.

ancient coin project2

Ancient Coin Project

Photo by Doug Smith; http://dougsmith.ancients.info/

Part II

Production of Roman Coins

slide3

The Making of a Coin:

---authority to issue and guarantee coin’s worth

---possession of metal

---ability to refine metal to desired purity

---tools/techniques to fabricate coin from

metal

ability to refine metals pliny natural history bk xxxiii
Ability to Refine Metals(Pliny, Natural History Bk. XXXIII)

Alloy: the mixing of precious metals with base

metals to create a usable material

Electrum: natural alloy of gold and silver

Bronze: alloy of copper and tin

Silver

Gold (rare)

slide6

Tools and Techniques to Mint a Coin

Juno Moneta

Roman goddess of

the mint

---a temple to

Juno Moneta was

dedicated on the citadel

of Rome In 344 B.C.

---an adjoining building

contained the mint of

Roman state.

slide7

The Making of a Coin:

Mints in the Roman Empire

the minting of roman coins
The Minting of Roman Coins

---casting in a mold

---striking

cast bronze coinage 5 th c mid 2 nd c bce
Cast Bronze Coinage: 5th c.- mid 2nd c. BCE

1. Aes rude, central Italy, 3rd c.

2. AE dolphin money, Olbia, 5-4th c.

3. Aes grave, wheel coins

http://dougsmith.ancients.info/

4. Tooth-shaped, Akragas, Sicily, 5th c.

5. Arrow or leaf ,6th-5th c.

aes grave
Aes Grave

Janus / Galley As (pl. Asses)

striking making a flan
Striking: Making a Flan

ancient coin mold

funnel-shaped bronze for pouring liquid metal into cast

slide12

Striking: Making of a Flan

---cabo de barro (cob style) cookie dough style

(chiseling the end off a rod)

Severus Alexander

---hammering a bronze wire

the making of a coin tools techniques to fabricate coin from metal
The Making of a Coin:Tools/techniques to fabricate coin from metal

---flan

---dies (obverse & reverse)

---tongs

---striking process

---coin rotation

Medieval Striking Rig

(but set up is similar to a

Roman rig)

slide15

Display,

Smithsonian Institution,

Washington, D.C.

slide16

Much Slave Labor Required

Celatores (signatores) = die engravers cut master die from which working dies were made; dies lasted for 10,000 – 50,000 strikes

Suppostores = “placers”

Malleatores = “strikers”

dies byzantine die
DiesByzantine die

Islamic die

Byzantine

coin

slide18

Forgers’ Dies

1-Sestertius

2-Mark Antony

3-Republican

slide19

Modern Die and Hub

American Numismatic

Association Museum,

Colorado Springs

the making of a coin tools techniques to fabricate coin from metal20
The Making of a Coin:Tools/techniques to fabricate coin from metal

---flan

---dies (obverse & reverse)

---tongs

---striking process

---coin rotation

Medieval Striking Rig

(but set up is similar to a

Roman rig)

slide21

Coin Denominations

Roman denominations

during the Republic

slide22

Obverse (“heads”)

CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES

“Constantius Nobilissimus Caesar”

Reverse (“tails”)

GENIO POPVLI ROMANI

“to the genius of the Roman people”

slide24

Nero

Claudius

Caesar

Augustus

Germanicus

Pontifex Maximus

Tribunicia Potestas

Imperator

Pater Patriae

“Caesar Augustus Nero Claudius, High Priest and Ruler of Rome and

Germany, Supreme Commander of the armies of Rome, the father of his country, leader of the Triumviratefor as long as he shall live.”

gold coins fine coin craftsmanship
Gold Coins: Fine CoinCraftsmanship

Plantation Place, England

slide26

The Kentucky Quarter

What similarities and differences

do you see with ancient coins?

goofs
GOOFS
  • Brockage: the result of a coin sticking in a die when a second coin gets struck.
goofs28
GOOFS

Clashed Dies: Dies are hammered together without a coin

in place, so that the softer reverse die receives a partial

impression of the obverse.

1.Clodius Albinus, AVG.

from Lugdunum

2.Julia Domna denarii

special techniques
SPECIAL TECHNIQUES:

Silvering: technique of soaking coins in salt water to give

them a silvery appearance

Debasement: the weakening of currency by reducing the

amount of precious metal content

special techniques30
SPECIAL TECHNIQUES

Countermark: Small punch mark used by a mint to retariff a coin.

baked clay molds
Baked Clay Molds

COUNTERFEITING ??

used for casting Roman coins made of bronze

counterfeiting
COUNTERFEITING

Fouree: the coating

of a copper coin with

a silver wash.

Serrated Edges: perhaps

used to prove coin was not

a fouree and edges not shaved

image sources
Image Sources
  • Meshorer, Ya’akov. Coins of the Ancient World. Lerner Archaeology Series: Digging Up the Past. (Lerner Publications Company, Minneapolis, 1980).
  • Russell, Solveig Paulson. From Barter to Gold: The Story of Money. (Rand McNally & Company, Chicago, 1961).
  • Website by Doug Smith. http://dougsmith.ancients.info/
  • Website, American Numismatic Museum. www.money.org
  • Other Images donated by supporters of Ancient Coins for Education, as listed at http://www.bitsofhistory.com/acc/CI.html