When I share my coin collection The ones that truly give a ‘Wow’ reaction is those that are Roman coins. My friends are likely to imagine the coin sitting in the purse of some Roman Centurion in the days of Jesus and that it would have a huge value. They’re shocked and disappointed to discover that most Roman coins are worth a sum of no more than the equivalent of a few dollars or pounds. How could this be?
What is the reason the coin valuable?
When a coin ceases to be more legal tender, it’s worth the amount a collector will be willing to pay. In essence, we’re left with a tiny round disc made of metal that has some engravings on it. So how do we value it? This depends on several factors:
Rarity: If a coin is rare it is more likely to fetch more. Obviously if there are many examples around and cheap coins everyone already has one then it’s unlikely to be worth much. Just because a coin is older doesn’t mean it’s scarce. I’ll discuss the reasons later.
Condition: Coin collectors call this “grade” and it has a significant impact to the price. A coin that is in good condition similar to how it was first made is always a target for coin collectors. Heavily worn coins are usually worthless unless very rare.
Metal When a coin is made up of a precious metal, like gold, silver or platinum the coin will have intrinsic value, even if it goes into the melting pan.
Interest: Sometimes a coin can be increased in value due to an rise in popularity which increases the demand. For instance there are many shipswreck coins, but If we could find a piece of the Titanic it could fetch more because of the mythology surrounding the story that surrounded the Titanic.
Should we employ these rules to Roman coins, it’ll explain why they’re not worth the price of a fortune.
The History of the Roman Empire
Probably the main reason why Roman coins are so cheap is the fact that they’re not rare. In fact, they are found all over. In fact, the Roman Empire was one of the biggest empires of history which covered most of Europe, Britain, parts of Asia in The Middle East and North Africa. It existed from 27BC until 476AD about 500 years. These places all used Roman coins during the entire era.
The Romans required coinage in massive amounts to cover their needs. And, to make matters even more difficult the inflation rate was as high as 1000 percent. The average Roman soldier’s pay (his ‘stipendium’) was probably only a few denarii per day at the start of the Empire and towards the end the soldier would have paid several hundred. The smaller denomination coins didn’t have much spending capacity.
In the past, Roman soldiers were always males, and had to sign up for 25 years. They were paid a wage plus a bonus as well as a pension. On the other hand they had have to purchase their food and contribute towards the horses and weapons.
At first, coins were only minted in Rome at first, but in the third century, there were mints in different countries as well. They could produce greater than two million pieces per month to satisfy demand. Coins usually depicted the Emperor on one side, and some other image or letters across the back. In the time of the Empire, more than 10,000 different types of coins were made.
It was hammered, meaning that a blank disk would be placed inside two casts and given some hammering! This is why the edge from the design do not always align. It was a simple process that was extremely vulnerable to forgery and it began as early as the very first coins. Initially, there could have been some form of approval from the government to produce some coins locally in order to meet demand for currency, but towards the end of the third century, forgeries became an everyday issue and a serious one.
It’s worth noting that because of its popularity Roman coins, they’ve been copied for gifts to tourists and also for historical interest Therefore, you should always buy from a reputable source, such as an expert dealer.
So I hope you see the fact that Roman coins aren’t at all rare They’re being found in quite large quantities even today.
Given that, not all Roman coins are worthless
Don’t think it’s true that all Roman coins are low in value. The Romans employed Gold and Silver frequently. Certain coins are very rare Certain Emperors are well recognized and collectible than others, such as Julius Caesar and Nero. Don’t be sceptical about any Roman coin because it’s not in good condition be aware that it’s very ancient, likely to have been in the ground for centuries and due to the method of making them, you’ll never found a coin that is perfect when compared to a modern coin.
The nice thing about the price-tag of ancient Roman coins is that they’re affordable. They’re interesting pieces of art and conversation, so you must buy one or two for your collection and they make an excellent gift for someone interested in the Roman era.