Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Time Of Calm - A Coin Of Probus

Peace was a rare commodity in the Roman World, so any cessation of hostilities foreign and domestic, however short-lived, was worth commemorating.

Obverse: IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG (Imperator, Caesar, Marcus Aurelius Probus, Pius Felix Augustus) Radiate, Draped Bust of Emperor Probus right.

Reverse: CLEMENTIA TEMP (Clementia Temporum - a time of peace and calm) The Emperor standing right, holding Scepter, receiving Winged Victory on Globe from Jupiter, standing left and also holding Scepter.

The B in the lower center is the Antioch Mint Officina mark, and the XXI in exergue is not a mint mark, but instead a value marking. It means the coin was made from a ratio of 20 parts bronze to 1 part silver, or 5% Silver.

This antoninianus is in practically uncirculated condition with full silvering, just as an inhabitant of the Imperium Romanum would have seen it when freshly minted. The portrait of the emperor is nice and crisp with excellent detail. Lovely condition for a coin that's over 1,700 years old.

Compared to the prior coin that has had significantly more wear over time with the silver wash worn away and with it showing the bronze underneath.

In the throes of the high inflation that gripped the Roman world at the time, millions of these coins were minted to keep up with the demand for money. Many have survived in everything from miserable to excellent condition and all stages in between, and are easily obtainable for a starting collector of Roman coins.

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