Roman Imperial coin, bronze, Billon antoninianus. Struck during the reign of Gaius Aurelius Valerius Dicoletianus Augustus (Diocletian), 284-305 C.E. The radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Diocletian faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG" surrounding image. On reverse, the standing figure of Diocletian faces right and holds a scepter in his left hand and receives a small figure of Victoria from Jupiter, god of the sky and thunder and king of the gods, who holds a scepter in his left hand with the inscriptions "IOVI CONSERVATORIA AVGG" surrounding image and "A/XXI" in the exergum. Obverse and reverse of coin tarnished and damaged, rendering the inscriptions difficult to decipher.
Date range: 284-295 C.E.
Remarks: Diocletian instituted a number of coin reforms. Coins resembling antoniniani continued to be struck but they contained no trace of silver, whereas the pre-reform antoniniani contained 4% of that metal. The absence of the XXI mark on these post-reform radiates and the transference of this mark to the follis, which contained a small percentage of silver, lends weight to the theory that the true meaning of the XXI mark, introduced by Aurelian, is 20 parts of copper and 1 part of silver. Diocletian's coins were minted in London, Treveri, Lugdunum, Ticinum, Aquileia, Rome, Carthage, Siscia, Serdica, Thessalonica, Heraclea, Nicomedia, Cyzicus, Antioch, Tripolis, Alexandria, and possibly Clausentum.
Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values" (Vol IV, 2011), #12670, pg 97.
|Credit line||Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas|