Roman coins

Roman currency for most of Roman history consisted of gold, silver, bronze, orichalcum and copper coinage. From its introduction to the Republic, during the third century BC, well into Imperial times, Roman currency saw many changes in form, denomination, and composition. A persistent feature was the inflationary debasement and replacement of coins over the centuries. Notable examples of this followed the reforms of Diocletian. This trend continued into Byzantine times.


Because of the economic power and longevity of the Roman state, Roman currency was widely used throughout western Eurasia and northern Africa from classical times into the Middle Ages. It served as a model for the currencies of the Muslim caliphates and the European states during the Middle Ages and the Modern Era. Roman currency names survive today in many countries (e.g., the Arabic dinar (from the denarius coin), the Peruvian sol (from the solidus coin),the British pound and Mexican peso (both translations of the Roman libra).

Roman coins came in a variety of denominations and were minted in many more denominations than modern day coins.

The gold aureus was the most valuable denomination.  While many denominations were used, accounting was done primarily using the sestertius through late in the third century AD. The sestertius is a large bronze coin very popular with collectors  although it's not as common as some other Roman coins. The dupondius was worth half of a sestertius.

The most commonly found coin from the second century BC through the first half of the third century AD is the silver denarius. This popular coin is usually between 18 and 20 millimeters across, and weighs between 3 and 4 grams. A denarius was equivalent to four sestertii in the Roman accounting system.


Despite their age Roman coins cab be very reasonable in price unless they are very rare. Rare Roman coins can sell for considerable sums of money. You can find many types of Roman coins on the ebay listings, a great place to start buying Roman.

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