Roman Coin Glossary

AD – Anno Domini = in the year of the Lord (after 1AD)
Archaic Greece – ancient Greece, c.700-500 BC
BC – Before Christ
Barbarous Imitations – coins minted by people who lived on the fringes of the Empire
Brass – alloy of copper and zinc, goldish in color
Bronze – alloys of copper and tin, brown in color
Bullion/Billon – an alloy containing below 50% of silver
Campgate – a common 4th century coin with a campgate reverse design
Common coin – everyone has one, or too many of them, easy to find
Copper – pure metal, brown/orange in color
c. – circa = about, as in c.210 BC = about 210 BC
Debasement – reducing value of coin by reducing the weight and/or fineness
Devaluation – making money less valuable
Exergue – bottom of the reverse on a coin, where mint mark can be placed
FDC – fleur de coin = mint state coin
Flan – piece of metal used to make a coin, or that the coin is on
Fourree – a plated coin, usually with silver
FTR – Fel Temp Reparatio; a common 4th century bronze type
Imperial coins – coins from the Roman Empire (27BC-496AD)
Imperatorial coins – coins of generals of the Republic (49BC-27AD)
Late Bronze – bronze coin from the 4th or 5th century AD
Legend – inscription on a coin, usually around the edge
Mint mark – letters at the bottom of the reverse; often stand for the mint city
Obverse – the front of the coin (during Empire, the side with a portrait)
Officina – another name for a workshop where coins were made
Orichalcum – alloy of bronze and tin, similar to brass; gold/yellow color
Overstiking – using a existing coin as a planchet and striking a new coin
Patina – smooth (or rough) corrosion on a coin from being underground
Personification – giving human attributes to nonhuman objects/concepts
Planchet – same as flan above
Posthumous coin – coin issued in the name of an emperor that died
Provincial Issues – coins from Roman provinces, often with Greek inscriptions
Rare – a very had to find and usually expensive coin
Republican coins – coins from the Roman Republic (510BC-49BC)
Reverse – the reverse side of the coin (portrait being on the obverse)
Scarce – a harder to find, uncommon coin, might be expensive depending on demand
Silver Wash – a thin layer of silver
Silver Washed – coin coated with a thin layer of silver when it was minted
Unique – a one of a kind coin; you’ll never get it !
Workshop – another name for officina; place where coins were made

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Fields marked with * are required

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.