Roman coin replicas
A Roman Denarius, featuring the official effigy of military commander Caesar, or the image of Emperor Nero or majestic Augustus, on the replica of a coin from the Roman Empire: this makes a collector's heart pound, not only if he is a friend of the antique age. You may find on the Roman-Shop's page 'Coins' even a faithfully imitated Sestertius – shaped in high detail – which commemorates the opening of the Colosseum in 81 A.D. A small but valuable eldorado for collectors of coins and fans of antique goods! Enjoy the Roman 'treasure chest'!
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For history buffs, here are some facts on the history of Roman coins:
The first money of the Roman republic derives from the 4th century B.C. It was found in the shape of moulded rectangular bronze ingots, 'Aes signatum', and they were stamped mainly in Rome. They bore the inscription 'ROMANOM' (by the Romans).
According to a lawyer named Pomponius, who lived during the second century B.C., the first masters of the mint were hired in 289 B.C. They signed their coins, 'III. VIR. AAAFF', being the abbreviation of 'tres viri aere argento auro flando feriundo - Three (masters of the mint) are responsible for melting and minting of bronze, silver and gold.' The mint was located in Rome, in the temple of Iuno Moneta on Capitol hill. At this time the Romans were familiar with the minting of coins, because the Greek colonies of Metapont, Crotone and Sybaris in Southern Italy had been minting since about 500 B.C. already (Naples started in about 450 B.C.). Mostly bronze coins were produced by the mints.
A system of bronze coins was introduced which is known today as 'Aes grave'. They differed from other coins minted around the Mediterranean by their crude, sometimes even barbaric style. The money was originally fiat money and was based on the customary system.
In early Roman coinage, the Aes grave were unsigned, the first abbreviations of the masters of the mint appeared on the nominals as late as about 210 B.C. All early Roman coins display on the back side the hull of a ship (prora), a memory of the conquest of the fleet of Antium, and on the front there were different divine images. Varying series of coins were issued till about 110 B.C. All coins of a series bore a specific sign, as for example a grain ear or the signature of a master of the mint. Often a series included a Denarius as the largest nominal, followed by Aes, Semis, Triens, Quadrans, Sextans, Uncia and now and then also the Semuncia. Near the end of the republic, though, these series were rarely minted any longer.