Roman Silver Coins by P-Summersdale


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									Roman Silver Coins

Author: Richard Plant
Editor: Christopher Henry Perkins

Edition: 2
Age Group: 12-80

For the first time, the most commonly encountered silver Roman coins can be inexpensively identified
and some idea of value can be gained. Whether you are setting out to form a collection of every emperor
or are already an experienced Roman Coin collector, you will not be able to put this book down! The line
drawings of most obverse types mean that the legend is clear and readable in the book, and it makes a
great aid to identification, as does the alphabetical list of emperors/empresses in the back of the book.
This book includes an identification guide for republican coins, instructions on cleaning Roman silver
coins and a list of Roman mint town mintmarks. It also includes an alphabetical list of
Emperors/Caesars/Empresses and information of Roman coin grading. The book is ordered
chronologically, and with the introduction of different coin types clearly mentioned, together with some
historical notes, it also gives an easy to follow explanation of the Roman silver coinage and how it
changed over 750 years.

Such a reader, I believe, wants to know two things about his (or her) coin; which Emperor minted it and
roughly how much it is worth. On the whole the obverse portrait will, therefore, be more important than the
Allegorical figure - or whatever is on the reverse. Though comparatively few reverses are catalogued, I
have tried to illustrate all the obverses I have seen for Imperial coins. The Republican period has been a
headache to catalogue - I feel that the usual way of listing by family name is extremely difficult for the
non-expert, so I have tried a different method. Perhaps my readers will tell me if this is any better! I am
sorry that I was unable to list every Republican coin. I only hope that the selection I have offered
represents most of the coins that most collectors are likely to come across. To ease identification for
those who need to thumb through the whole book to find the coin they want, I have kept the illustrations
as close together as possible, and relegated descriptive notes to the end of the book. Any coin with a
bold Asterisk (*) after the value has further notes included in Appendix I. I have not discussed weights or
purity of silver content: but I have made the illustrations as close as possible to lifesized (though size
may vary between one specimen of the same coin and the next). Important Note In all cases the price
given is for a coin in VF (Very Fine) condition. A crack across the flan, or a flan smaller than normal, or a
coin being struck off-centre will very much affect the price. Plated coins will be worth much less, as will a
coin which is “black” (probably through impurity of the metal). Note also, that as one approaches 260AD
and the descent of the Antoninianus into the realms of base metal coinage, a good silvered coin will be
worth much more than one that is no longer well silvered. Identification The questionnaire on the following
page is designed to help you identify your Roman Republican coins. A coin is listed in the earliest
category in which it falls. Thus CRS178 with a ram on the reverse is listed under GROUP 5 “Coins with
notable Obverse type” not under GROUP 6 “single animal”. Unfortunately, there is a chance your coin
may not be listed at all: because this is a catalogue containing the vast majority of coins that collectors
will come across. It would need to be considerably larger in order to cover the vast array of all Roman
Republican coins. If your coin is not from the Republic, a full Index of both Roman Imperatorial and the
Roman Empire (Imperial period) follows the questionnaire. And if you still cannot find your coins,
remember that it could be from Numidia or Mauretania in North Africa, which use Latin legends. Or, if the
writing is Greek, certain coins of Caesareia in Cappadocia, of the province of Lycia, and of Amisus in
Pontus can look very like Roman coins, especially when the legend is worn. It is not impossible it could
even be Celtic British! Unfortunately none of these “foreigners” come within the scope of this catalogue.

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