Ancient Roman coins are old and have a lot of history. This makes people want them and they are worth a lot of money.
Key points of this article that can be understood in 3 lines in number
- People in ancient Rome made coins by shaping metal discs and melting bronze, silver, and gold.
- The coins were decorated with detailed designs using heavy seals. Skilled engraving was required for each coin, making them valuable and unique.
- The coins had emperors and symbols with inscriptions and mint marks to show where they came from. They had detailed designs.
But how exactly are they made?
In our world today, we don’t use coins as much as before. We now depend more on bank cards, online shopping and mobile apps.
Coins were the sole currency in ancient times. They were extremely valuable then.
Romans used the same coins all over their empire. This means they could use their money in distant places. The empire became bigger and bigger.
Collectors nowadays love to collect ancient coins. These coins are becoming more and more valuable.
But how exactly do they create these highly regarded items?
Let’s take a closer look at the craft they discovered for making fine currency.
Roman coins featuring Emperor Augustus
Making Roman Coins: The Coinage Process
The Romans created circular discs made of metal called “coins.” They used these coins to make money. The technique they used to create these coins is known as “coinage.”
We use “coinage” to mean rich people in present times.
Coins today are made by machines, but Romans made coins by hand.
Coins were produced in a workshop named a mint. The mint was like a blacksmith’s shop.
The Romans made coins a long time ago. The first ones were of bronze. Later, they used silver, gold, and copper too.
The Roman Empire used a popular coin called denarius. This coin was made of silver and used for five hundred years.
The Romans made coins using two methods: cold pressing and hot pressing on metal.
Roman gold and silver coins
cold pressed metal
When making coins, the cold striking process involves punching the metal from a cold sheet. This helps to create a flat disc on both sides.
The discs may be pounded to make them smooth before moving ahead.
gold melting process
Creating coins using heat pressing is a unique process. The metal gets heated in a fire or furnace.
The metal can be melted and poured into molds or rolled into sheets and beaten on an anvil.
To form sheet metal, you need specific tools. These include pliers to grip the metal and hammers to flatten it.
The Making of Roman Coins
Marking Roman coins with a “die”
To complete the process, plain coin plates need embellishing. This final step adds decoration.
To make a coin, heavy seals made of bronze and iron are used. These seals have details on their surface. They are called casts. The casts are struck onto the flat coin to leave an impression.
Before using the metal disc, heat it to make it soft.
Roman coins had unique patterns on each side. To create a coin, both sides needed pressing.
The Romans developed a smart way of using a hinged mold. The mold held one picture at the top and another at the bottom. It was similar to the inside cover of a book. They used this method to achieve their goal.
To use the coin plate, put it between two things. Hold it tight and hit it from above.
Roman gold coins featuring Hadrian
It takes two or three workers to print the seal on the coins
Stamping the image onto the coin is a tough job. You need two people for it.
A metal disk is placed in a mold by one worker, who clamps it. Another worker then hits the mold with a hammer, making an imprint on the coin.
After stamping, the coins are given to an engraver. The engraver checks each coin for perfection.
Each coin was a work of art. The man added curls and text to each coin, making them special. This is why they are valuable.
Rare Roman Gold Coin
Different features on Roman gold coins
Ancient Roman coins had different designs on both sides. One side was called the obverse, and the other was called the reverse.
Ancient Roman coins had a picture of a leader like an emperor or a family member on the front. We still see this on coins now.
The paragraph shows a picture from one side and has words around it that describe it.
The coins have different pictures on the backside. The pictures include fights, religious words, and popular emperors.
The ancient Roman coins now have codes. These codes tell us where the coins were made. This helps us know which cities were very busy and rich in the past.