If I present my friends with my coin collection The ones that truly provoke a “Wow” response will be ones from the Roman coins. My friends may think of the coin they would find in the purse of some Roman Centurion at the time of Jesus and that it would be worth an enormous sum. They’re shocked, and somewhat disappointed, to learn that the majority of Roman coins are worth a sum of just the equivalent of a few dollars or pounds. How can this be?
What makes the coin valuable?
If a currency is no longer official tender it’s only worth what a collector would pay for it. In essence, we’re left with a tiny circular disc of metal with an engraving worldcoins on it. So how do we value it? This is contingent on many variables:
Rarity: If a currency is rare, it usually attracts more money. If there are plenty of instances of it and everyone has one , then it’s likely unlikely to be worth much. Even though a coin may be old doesn’t mean that it’s scarce. I’ll go over the reason later.
Condition coin collectors refer to this ‘grade’ and it can make a huge difference to the price. A coin that is in good condition that is close to the date it was first minted is the ideal target for coin collectors. The coins that have been heavily worn are generally worthless unless very rare.
Metal A coin is made of precious metal like platinum, silver, or gold then it will have intrinsic value, even if it goes into the melting pan.
Interest: Sometimes a coin can be increased in price due to some increase in popularity that boosts the demand. For example There are numerous coinage from shipwrecks, however when we discover a coin from the Titanic it would be sold at a premium because of the mythology surrounding the tale about the Titanic.
When we use these principles to Roman coins, it’ll explain why they’re not worth much.
The History of the Roman Empire
Perhaps the primary reason Roman coins are so cheap is that they’re not rare. On the contrary, they can be found in every corner of the world. It is believed that the Roman Empire was one of the biggest Empires of all time and covered most of Europe, Britain, parts of Asia, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. It was in existence from 27BC to 476AD over 500 years. And all these places used Roman coins throughout the period.
The Romans required coinage in massive amounts to meet their requirements. And, to make matters even more difficult there were times when inflation was at 1000 percent. The average Roman soldier’s salary (his ‘stipendium’) was likely to be a few denarii a day at the start of the Empire at the beginning; by the time it was over, the soldier would have been paid several hundreds. Smaller denomination coins did not have much purchasing capacity.
In passing, Roman soldiers were always male, they had to sign up for 25 years, and were paid a salary along with a bonus and pension. On the other hand they were required take care of food expenses, and contribute towards the horses and weapons.
At first, coins were only minted in Rome however in the third century there were mints operating in other countries too. These mints sometimes produced more than 2 million coins per month to meet demand. Coins generally depicted the image of in the form of the Emperor, on one side, and another image or a letter to the reverse. During the Empire, more than 10,000 different types of coins were made.
These coins had been hammered meaning that a blank disc could be placed on two separate dies and gave a whack with a hammer! That’s why the edge in the design as well as the top of the rim does not always coincide. It was a relatively simple process and very susceptible to forgery, which began with the very first coins. In the beginning, there may have been some formal approval to produce some coins locally in order to meet demand for currency, but towards the end of the third Century forgeries became commonplace and became a major issue.
Be aware that because of popular demand for Roman coins, they’ve been replicated as tourist gifts and for historical interests, so always buy from a trusted source such as a professional dealer.
So , I’m sure you’ll realize now that Roman coins are not at all scarce, and they’re still being discovered in large numbers even today.
It is true that not all Roman coins are worthless
Don’t be fooled into thinking the majority of Roman coins are of low value. The Romans used 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 dismiss the value of a Roman coin simply because it’s in poor 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, there is no way to find one that is perfect as compared to the modern coin.
The best part about the low price of old Roman coinage is the fact that they’re extremely affordable. They’re interesting pieces of art and conversation, which is why you should get some or two for your collection and they make an excellent gift for someone who is interested in the Roman time period.