Denomination: Roman Bronze, AS Date: 200– 400 CE
History: The Roman Mint was established at the Temple of a Roman God Juno Moneta. The word “money” is derived from this god’s name. These mints relied on vast numbers of manual laborers. Since each coin had to be struck by hand, no two are identical.
The making of each coin required the labor of three men: one to hold the coin blank in place with special tongs, one to hold the die over the blank, and one to strike the hammer blow that minted the coin. More than one hammer blow was often necessary to transfer the die image to the coin. Some coins feature a ghost image resulting from a die shift between two hammer blows. This is also why an image is not often centered on a coin.
Roman coins were made from gold, silver, brass, bronze, billion and copper. Some emperors lowered the percentage of gold and silver in precious metal coins and the effects on the Roman economy were disastrous. The value of base metal coins was derived from the good faith and authority of the icon engraved on the coin. When the rulers face appeared on a base metal coin lost power, the coin lost its value. Roman armies carried portable mints so they could make new money on an as-needed basis. A ruler’s engraved portrait on a coin reminded his soldiers who controlled their pay. Julius Caesar was the first living Roman to appear on a coin.