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AD161 Silver Roman Denari Empress Faustina Jr. + Goddess of Harmony “Concordia”

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,186) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122138712791 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! Silver Roman Denarius of Empress Faustina the Younger Struck Under Emperor Marcus Aurelius (of “Gladiator” Fame) with the Goddess (of Concord or Harmony) “Concordia” (Greek “Homonia”); 161-176 A.D. OBVERSE INSCRIPTION: FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL. OBVERSE DEPICTION: The bust of Empress Faustina, draped, hair pined into a bun. REVERSE INSCRIPTION: CONCORDIA. REVERSE DEPICTION: The Goddess Concordia Seated (left) on a Curule Throne Holding a Flower in Outstretched Hand, and the Other Hand Holding a Cornucopiae Resting Against the Throne, Resting Atop a Globe. ATTRIBUTION: City of Rome Mint between 145 and 161 A.D. SIZE/MEASUREMENTS: Diameter: 17 1/2 millimeters. Weight: 3.17 grams. NOTE: Coin is mounted free of charge into your choice of pendant settings (shown in sterling silver pendant), and includes a sterling silver chain in your choice of 16", 18", or 20" length, (details below or click here). We can reverse coin in mounting if you prefer opposite side showing front. DETAIL: This is a very handsome, fairly rare silver denarius produced in the city of Rome itself sometime between 145 and 161 A.D. It is in excellent condition, evidencing only moderate wear from circulation in ancient Rome, the legends and themes remaining fairly clear and distinct. It was well struck both front and back, well center, but the planchet (blank) though thick and heavy, was not quite large enough to capture all of the legend on both the obverse and reverse. Consequentially, though there is at least a portion of each letter showing in both front and reverse legends, many of the letters toward the top of both sides are several foreshortened, with as much as perhaps the top 80% of the uppermost letters missing, beyond the edge of the coin. Of course, all of Rome ancient coins were hand struck using dies and a hammer, so it is the rule, not the exception, to have portions of the legends and oftentimes even the themes themselves off the edge of the coin. This particular specimen is better than average, in at least a portion of all of the letters constituting the legends are extant, and of course, there’s enough of the legend still readable on both sides of the coin to discern what the entire legend was intended to say. The obverse of the coin depicts bust of the Empress Faustina “the Younger”, daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, wife of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (the elderly emperor of Hollywood’s “Gladiator), mother of future Emperor Commodus (Aurelius’s demented son and future emperor of “Gladiator” fame). As well as being Marcus Aurelius’s wife, she was also a cousin on their maternal side, and eventually mother to eleven of Aurelius’s children. Faustina is depicted draped, hair pined into a bun, with the legend “FAVSTINA AVG PII AVG FIL”. “FAVSTINA” of course refers to the Empress’s name, “Faustina”. The Roman Latin “V” is the equivalent of an English “U”. Likewise the following “AVG”, an abbreviation for “AVGVSTA”, translates to “Augusta”. The term “Augusta” is the female version of “Augustus”; Latin for “majestic” (thus the honorific salutation “your majesty”). However the term “Augustus” in the common vernacular of the Roman Empire became synonymous with the Emperor (or Empress). The first "Augustus" (and first man counted as a Roman Emperor) was Octavius, Julis Caesar’s nephew and heir. Octavian was given the title of Augustus by the Senate in 27 B.C. Over the next forty years, Caesar Augustus literally set the standard by which subsequent Emperors would be recognized, accumulating various offices and powers and making his own name ("Augustus") identifiable with the consolidation of these powers under a single person. Although the name signified nothing in constitutional theory, it was recognized as representing all the powers that Caesar Augustus eventually accumulated. Caesar Augustus also set the standard by which Roman Emperors were named. The three titles used by the majority of Roman Emperors; “Imperator”, “Caesar”, and “Augustus” were all used personally by Caesar Augustus (he officially styled himself "Imperator Caesar Augustus"). However of the name "Augustus" was unique to the Emperor himself (though the Emperor's mother or wife could bear the name "Augusta"). But others could and did bear the titles "Imperator" and "Caesar". Later usage saw the Emperor adding the additional titles “Pius Felix (“pious and blessed”) and “Invictus” (“unconquered”) in addition to the title “Augustus”). In this usage, by signifying the complete assumption of all Imperial powers, "Augustus" became roughly synonymous with “Emperor” in modern language. As the Roman Empire began splintering, Augustus came to be the title applied to the senior Emperor, while the title “Caesar” came to refer to his “junior” sub-Emperors. That leaves us with the abbreviation “PII” and “FIL”, short for “FILIA”. Filia refers to the fact that Faustina was daughter of the Emperor, and the “PII” is short for “PIVS”, or “pius”. Take “PII” “AVG” and “FIL” together and a rough English translation is “daughter of Pius Augustus”, or “daughter of the Pius Emperior. Pius? The title Pius was often times used in conjunction with “Pius Felix”. Pius was a title used for Roman Emperors to mean that they were dutiful toward the pantheon of Roman deities, to the country (patriotic), and (perhaps) to their family. Felix meant quite simply fortunate, lucky, or blessed. In fact the Romans had several goddesses of good fortune including Felicitas and Fortuna, who were worshipped in various sanctuaries in Rome. Never hurts to have a leader who is both pious and lucky (blessed). Faustina "the Younger", Annia Galeria Faustina Minor, was the daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161) and his wife Faustina "the Elder". Faustina's father was one of the more noteworthy and laudable monarchs during the twilight of the Roman Empire. Antoninus Pius had been adopted by the great Roman Emperor Hadrian as the heir apparent, and the empire enjoyed an era of tranquility and prosperity during his reign, thanks to his patient, judicious, and impartial rule. The love that Antoninus Pius had for his wife, Faustina Senior is the stuff that legends are made of. Faustina died in 141 A.D., only three years into Antoninus Pius's reign. Rather than the ordinary (if even existent) commemorative issue or two, Antoninus continued striking commemorations of his wife for the remaining 20 years he was on the throne of Rome through 161 A.D., keeping alive in spirit if not the flesh, the memory of his dear departed wife. What a story! Faustina "Junior" inherited this rich legacy and a loving, caring, and capable father in Emperor Antoninus Pius. Along with Antoninus, Hadrian had also before his death adopted Marcus Aelius Aurelius, making Aurelius the "adopted", albeit much younger brother of Antoninus. In 139 A.D. Antoninus elevated his adopted brother Aurelius to the rank of Caesar, and betrothed him to his daughter, Faustina Junior. Faustina and Marcus Aurelius (maternal cousins to one another) were married in A.D. 145. Faustina and Aurelis had their first child the following year, and Faustina was made Augusta. Faustina and Aurelius were a very close couple. They were blessed with an abundance of children (most historians agree there were eleven), amongst whom were the future Emperor Commodus (the wicked emperor of “Gladiator” fame) and the future empress Lucilla. Aurelius did not become Emperor until the death of Antoninus Pius in A.D. 161. Marcus Aurelius was as his elder adopted brother, a careful, generous, and conscientious ruler and is most remembered for his devotion to philosophy and his literary work of art, "Meditations". It has been said of Marcus Aurelis that, "in the evening of Rome's greatness her ruler personified the virtues that had been Rome's glory". Faustina accompanied her husband during his numerous campaigns in the field, attempting to make a home out of an army camp. Though many sources claim she was not nearly so virtuous as her mother, nonetheless she was loved and revered by the Roman soldiers, who called her Matri Castrorum, or, "Mother of the Camp". However the years spent on military campaigns at the side of her husband took their toll, and Faustina died at the age of only forty-six in faraway Cappadocia in A. D. 176. When she died, Marcus Aurelius grieved much for his wife. Faustina was buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome, she was deified; her statue was placed in the Temple of Venus in Rome; a temple was dedicated to her in her honor. Aurelius opened charity schools for orphan girls called “Puellae Faustinianae” or “Girls of Faustina”. As did Antoninus Pius before him for Faustina Senior, Marcus Aurelis commissioned an extensive series commemorating the life of his wife, Faustina Junior. Some of the most beautiful portraits of contemporary Roman women are those found on the coins of Faustina the Younger. Mercifully Marcus Aurelius only had four years in his own life upon the death of his beloved wife, and passed away on March 17, 180 A.D., at which time he was immediately deified. The reverse of the coin portrays the goddess, and/or mythical personification of the "Roman" virtue of Concord, or Harmony (agreement, understanding, and marital harmony), along with the legend “CONCORDIA”. This almost-deity was featured on the reverse of many Roman issues in the form of "Concordia", the equivalent to the ancient Greek’s "Homonoia”. A personification isn’t really a deity or goddess, it is rather a symbol much like the Statue of Liberty symbolizes both America and the abstract concept of freedom and liberty. In Roman context, these are the values at the heart of the Via Romana — the Roman Way — and are thought to be those qualities which gave the Roman Republic the moral strength to conquer and civilize the world. Typically Concordia was portrayed holding a cornucopiae and scepter or “hasta pura”. A “hasta pura”, a ceremonial lance (spear, pike) without an iron head, oftentimes with a knob at the end, the forerunner of the standard pilum issued to Roman soldiers. The hasta was derived by the Roman from the Etrurians, who called it a “corim”. By the Sabines it was called a “quiris”, their king called “coritos” as the spear was to them an attribute of royalty. The Hasta was the symbol not only of power, fortitude and valor, but also of majesty and even divinity. It is one of the insignia of the Gods, and of the Emperors and Augustae after their apotheosis, implying that they had become objects of worship. It is generally found in the hands of female divinities, as the war-spear is in those of warriors and heroes. It’s name literally means “blameless spear”, and it was sometimes awarded ceremoniously to soldiers who had saved another’s life. A cornucopiae of course is a “horn of plenty”, a symbol of abundance generally a wicker container filled with fruits or vegetables. Used since at least the fifth century B.C., it seems to have originated in Greek mythology where Amalthea raised Zeus on the milk of a goat. In return Zeus gave her the goat's horn. It had the power to give to the person in possession of it whatever he or she wished for. This gave rise to the legend of the cornucopia. The original depictions were of the goat's horn filled with fruits and flowers. Greek and Roman deities would be depicted with the horn of plenty, which was especially associated with the Roman Goddess Fortuna (Greek Tyche). Occasionally Corcordia would be depicted with a stork (a bird known for its cordial behavior toward its parents), a dove, or rarely, a peacock. Sometimes rather than a hasta pura Concordia might be shown holding out an olive branch or a flower. Another frequent substitution for the hasta pura was a depiction of Concordia holding a patera (a broad, flat, round dish used for drinking and ceremonially, for offering libations). Oftentimes Concordia would be depicted holding the patera over an altar, preparing to pour out an offering. Sometimes Concordia would be simply represented by two clasped hands representing concord and peace between contentious parties (the Senate and Caesar; rival armies or co-emperors). Occasionally the hands would be depicted each holding a winged cauduceus. The cauduceus was in Greek Mythology originally an attribute of Hermes (“Mercury” to the Romans), messenger of the gods of Mount Olympus. The cauduceus was originally an enchanter’s wand, a symbol of the power that produces wealth and prosperity, and also an emblem of the influence over the living and the dead. But even in early times it was regarded as a herald’s staff and an emblem of peaceful intercourse. It consisted of three shoots, one of which formed the handle, the other two being intertwined at the top in a knot. The place of the latter two intertwined shoots was eventually taken by serpents and was an attribute of Asclepius, the Graeco-Roman God of Medicine. Of course in this instance, Concordia is portrayed seated on a “curule” throne, holding in one outstretched hand a flower, and holding next to the throne in the other hand, a cornucopiae, which in turn rests atop a globe. In the Roman Republic, and later the Empire, the curule chair (or throne) was the chair upon which senior magistrates or promagistrates were entitled to sit, including dictators, masters of the horse, consuls, praetors, priests of Jupiter, and the curule aediles. In the latter Republic, Caesar the Dictator was entitled to sit upon a curule chair made of gold. The curule chair was traditionally made of ivory; with curved legs forming a wide X; it had no back, and low arms. The chair could be folded, and thus made easily transportable for magisterial and promagesterial commanders in the field. According to the (ancient) Roman Historian Livy the curule chair originated with the Etruscans, though there is evidence that before then it might have originated with Near East potentates. The symbol of the globe (as a symbol of the world) on Roman coinage was first used in 11 A.D. on a denarius of Octavius Augustus. Known to the Romans as a "globus", it symbolized Rome's dominion over the world. It also symbolized eternity, or the eternal dominion of Rome, as a globe has no beginning or end. The globe eventually appeared on many coinage issues, to be found in the hand not only of emperors, but also of the deities Hercules, Jupitur, Sol, Eternitas, Felicitas, Fortuna, Providentia, the Genus Humanum, Indulgentia, Nobilitas, Perpetuitas, Securitas, Roma, Nike, and Virtus. A variation of the theme known as a "victriola" consisted of a small image of Victory ("Nike") standing upon a globe held by the emperor, signifying the emperor’s dominion over the world, the fruit of successful wars. In the latter Roman Empire this evolved into the symbol of a cross atop a globe. In later times Concordia would be sometimes portrayed in a military theme, as Concordia Militum. In such character she would oftentimes be depicted holding two standards. Many shrines were erected to Concordia during the Republic era, especially in celebration of the cessation of civil dissension. The earliest was a temple on the Forum Romanum dedicated by Camillus in 367 B.C. A second temple was erected on the Capitolium in 216 B.C. There were as well other temples to Concordia scattered throughout Rome. The Goddess Concordia was also invoked together with Janus, Salus, and Pax at the family festival of the Caristia each March 30th, and by married woman along with Venus and Fortuna on the following day. During the Imperial period which followed, Concordia Augusta was worshipped as the protectress of harmony, especially of matrimonial agreement in the Emperor’s household. In art (especially statuary), Concordia was generally depicted sitting, wearing a long cloak and holding onto a patera (a sacrificial bowl) and one or two cornucopiae. Sometimes, she is shown standing between two members of the Royal House shaking hands (this depiction of the emperor and empress is quite common). If you’d like to learn more about Concordia, there’s a good article here. Your purchase includes, upon request, mounting of this coin in either pendant style “a” or “d” as shown here. Pendant style “a” is a clear, airtight acrylic capsule designed to afford your ancient coin maximum protection from both impact damage and degradation. It is the most “politically correct” mounting. Style “d” is a sterling silver pendant. Either pendant styles include a sterling silver chain (16", 18", or 20"). Upon request, there are also an almost infinite variety of other pendants which might well suit both you and your ancient coin pendant, and include both sterling silver and solid 14kt gold mountings, including those shown here. As well, upon request, we can also make available a huge variety of chains in lengths from 16 to 30 inches, in metals including sterling silver, 14kt gold fill, and solid 14kt gold. HISTORY OF COINAGE: Coins came into being during the seventh century B.C. in Lydia and Ionia, part of the Greek world, and were made from a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. Each coin blank was heated and struck with a hammer between two engraved dies. Unlike modern coins, they were not uniformly round. Each coin was wonderfully unique. Coinage quickly spread to the island and city states of Western Greece. Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.) then spread the concept of coinage throughout the lands he conquered. Ancient coins are archaeological treasures from the past. They were buried for safekeeping because of their value and have been slowly uncovered throughout modern history. Oftentimes soldiers the night before battle would bury their coins and jewelry, hoping and believing that they would live long enough to recover them, and to return to their family. Killed in battle, these little treasure hoards remain until today scattered throughout Western and Eastern Europe, even into the Levant and Persia. As well, everyone from merchants to housewives found the safest place to keep their savings was buried in a pot, or in some other secretive location. If they met an unexpected end, the whereabouts of the merchants trade goods or the household’s sugar jar money might never be known. Recently a commercial excavation for a new building foundation in London unearthed a Roman mosaic floor. When archaeologists removed the floor, they found 7,000 silver denarii secreted beneath the floor. Even the Roman mints buried their produce. There were over 300 mints in the Roman Empire striking coinage. Hoards of as many as 40,000 coins have been found in a single location near these ancient sites. Ancient coins reflect the artistic, political, religious, and economic themes of their times. The acquisition of ancient coins is a unique opportunity to collect art which has been appreciated throughout the centuries. Coins of the Roman Empire most frequently depicted the Emperor on the front of the coins, and were issued in gold, silver, and bronze. The imperial family was also frequently depicted on the coinage, and, in some cases, coins depicted the progression of an emperor from boyhood through maturity. The reverse side of often served as an important means of political propaganda, frequently extolling the virtues of the emperor or commemorating his victories. Many public works and architectural achievements such as the Coliseum and the Circus Maximus were also depicted. Important political events such as alliances between cities were recorded on coinage. Many usurpers to the throne, otherwise unrecorded in history, are known only through their coins. Interestingly, a visually stunning portrayal of the decline of the Roman Empire is reflected in her coinage. The early Roman bronze coins were the size of a half-dollar. Within 100-150 years those had shrunk to the size of a nickel. And within another 100-150 years, to perhaps half the size of a dime. ROMAN HISTORY: One of the greatest civilizations of recorded history was the ancient Roman Empire. In exchange for a very modest amount of contemporary currency, you can possess a small part of that great civilization in the form of a 2,000 year old ancient Roman artifact. The Roman civilization, in relative terms the greatest military power in the history of the world, was founded in the 8th century (B.C.). In the 4th Century (B.C.) the Romans were the dominant power on the Italian Peninsula, having defeated the Etruscans and Celts. In the 3rd Century (B.C.) the Romans conquered Sicily, and in the following century defeated Carthage, and controlled the Greece. Throughout the remainder of the 2nd Century (B.C.) the Roman Empire continued its gradual conquest of the Hellenistic (Greek Colonial) World by conquering Syria and Macedonia; and finally came to control Egypt in the 1st Century (B.C.) The pinnacle of Roman power was achieved in the 1st Century (A.D.) as Rome conquered much of Britain and Western Europe. At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the West, throughout most of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and into Asia Minor. For a brief time, the era of “Pax Romana”, a time of peace and consolidation reigned. Civilian emperors were the rule, and the culture flourished with a great deal of liberty enjoyed by the average Roman Citizen. However within 200 years the Roman Empire was in a state of steady decay, attacked by Germans, Goths, and Persians. The decline was temporarily halted by third century Emperor Diocletian. In the 4th Century (A.D.) the Roman Empire was split between East and West. The Great Emperor Constantine again managed to temporarily arrest the decay of the Empire, but within a hundred years after his death the Persians captured Mesopotamia, Vandals infiltrated Gaul and Spain, and the Goths even sacked Rome itself. Most historians date the end of the Western Roman Empire to 476 (A.D.) when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. However the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) survived until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. In the ancient world valuables such as coins and jewelry were commonly buried for safekeeping, and inevitably the owners would succumb to one of the many perils of the ancient world. Oftentimes the survivors of these individuals did not know where the valuables had been buried, and today, thousands of years later caches of coins and rings are still commonly uncovered throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Throughout history these treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day thousands of years after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these ancient treasures. HISTORY OF SILVER: After gold, silver is the metal most widely used in jewelry and the most malleable. The oldest silver artifacts found by archaeologists date from ancient Sumeria about 4,000 B.C. At many points in the ancient world, it was actually more costly than gold, particularly in ancient Egypt. Silver is found in native form (i.e., in nuggets), as an alloy with gold (electrum), and in ores containing sulfur, arsenic, antimony or chlorine. Much of the silver originally found in the ancient world was actually a natural alloy of gold and silver (in nugget form) known as “electrum”. The first large-scale silver mines were in Anatolia (ancient Turkey) and Armenia, where as early as 4,000 B.C. silver was extracted from lead ores by means of a complicated process known as “smelting”. Even then the process was not perfect, as ancient silver does contain trace elements, typically lead, gold, bismuth and other metals, and as much as a third of the silver was left behind in the slag. However measuring the concentrations of the “impurities” in ancient silver can help the forensic jewelry historian in determining the authenticity of classical items. From Turkey and Armenia silver refining technology spread to the rest of Asia Minor and Europe. By about 2,500 B.C. the Babylonians were one of the major refiners of silver. Silver “treasures” recovered by archaeologists from the second and third millenniums demonstrate the high value the ancient Mediterranean and Near East placed upon silver. Some of the richest burials in history uncovered by archaeologists have been from this time frame, that of Queen Puabi of Ur, Sumeria (26th century B.C.); Tuankhamun (14th century B.C.), and the rich Trojan (25th century B.C.) and Mycenaean (18th century B.C.) treasures uncovered by Heinrich Schliemann. The ancient Egyptians believed that the skin of their gods was composed of gold, and their bones were thought to be of silver. When silver was introduced into Egypt, it probably was more valuable than gold (silver was rarer and more valuable than gold in many Mesoamerican cultures as well). In surviving inventories of valuables, items of silver were listed above those of gold during the Old Kingdom. Jewelry made of silver was almost always thinner than gold pieces, as indicated by the bracelets of the 4th Dynasty (about 2,500 B.C.) Queen Hetephere I, in marked contrast to the extravagance of her heavy gold jewelry. A silver treasure excavated by archaeologists and attributable to the reign of Amenemhat II who ruled during the 12th Dynasty (about 1900 B.C.), contained fine silver items which were actually produced in Crete, by the ancient Minoans. When the price of silver finally did fall due to more readily available supplies, for at least another thousand years (through at least the 19th dynasty, about 1,200 B.C.) the price of silver seems to have been fixed at half that of gold. Several royal mummies attributable to about 1,000 B.C. were even entombed in solid silver coffins. Around 1,000 B.C. Greek Athenians began producing silver from the Laurium mines, and would supply much of the ancient Mediterranean world with its silver for almost 1,000 years. This ancient source was eventually supplemented around 800 B.C. (and then eventually supplanted) by the massive silver mines found in Spain by the Phoenicians and their colony (and ultimate successors) the Carthaginians (operated in part by Hannibal’s family). With the defeat of Carthage by Rome, the Romans gained control of these vast deposits, and mined massive amounts of silver from Spain, stripping entire forests regions for timber to fuel smelting operations. In fact, it was not until the Middle Ages that Spain’s silver mines (and her forests) were finally exhausted. Although known during the Copper Age, silver made only rare appearances in jewelry before the classical age. Despite its infrequent use as jewelry however, silver was widely used as coinage due to its softness, brilliant color, and resistance to oxidation. Silver alloyed with gold in the form of “electrum” was coined to produce money around 700 B.C. by the Lydians of present-day Turkey. Having access to silver deposits and being able to mine them played a big role in the classical world. Actual silver coins were first produced in Lydia about 610 B.C., and subsequently in Athens in about 580 B.C. Many historians have argued that it was the possession and exploitation of the Laurium mines by the Athenians that allowed them to become the most powerful city state in Greece. The Athenians were well aware of the significance of the mining operations to the prosperity of their city, as every citizen had shares in the mines. Enough silver was mined and refined at Laurium to finance the expansion of Athens as a trading and naval power. One estimate is that Laurium produced 160 million ounces of silver, worth six billion dollars today (when silver is by comparison relatively cheap and abundant). As the production of silver from the Laurium mines ultimately diminished, Greek silver production shifted to mines in Macedonia. Silver coinage played a significant role in the ancient world. Macedonia’s coinage during the reign of Philip II (359-336 B.C.) circulated widely throughout the Hellenic world. His famous son, Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.), spread the concept of coinage throughout the lands he conquered. For both Philip II and Alexander silver coins became an essential way of paying their armies and meeting other military expenses. They also used coins to make a realistic portrait of the ruler of the country. The Romans also used silver coins to pay their legions. These coins were used for most daily transactions by administrators and traders throughout the empire. Roman silver coins also served as an important means of political propaganda, extolling the virtues of Rome and her emperors, and continued in the Greek tradition of realistic portraiture. As well, many public works and architectural achievements were also depicted (among them the Coliseum, the Circus Maximus). In addition many important political events were recorded on the coinage. You can Romaan coins which depicted the assassination of Julius Caesar, alliances between cities, between emperors, between armies, etc. And many contenders for the throne of Rome are known only through their coinage. Silver was also widely used as ornamental work and in other metal wares. In ancient cultures, especially in Rome, silver was highly prized for the making of plate ware, household utensils, and ornamental work. The stability of Rome’s economy and currency depended primarily on the output of the silver mines in Spain which they had wrested from the Carthaginians. In fact many historians would say that it was the control of the wealth of these silver mines which enabled Rome to conquer most of the Mediterranean world. When in 55 B.C. the Romans invaded Britain they were quick to discover and exploit the lead-silver deposits there as well. Only six years later they had established many mines and Britain became another major source of silver for the Roman Empire. It is estimated that by the second century A.D., 10,000 tons of Roman silver coins were in circulation within the empire. That’s about 3½ billion silver coins (at the height of the empire, there were over 400 mints throughout the empire producing coinage). That’s ten times the total amount of silver available to Medieval Europe and the Islamic world combined as of about 800 A.D. Silver later lost its position of dominance to gold, particularly in the chaos following the fall of Rome. Large-scale mining in Spain petered out, and when large-scale silver mining finally resumed four centuries after the fall of Rome, most of the mining activity was in Central Europe. By the time of the European High Middle Ages, silver once again became the principal material used for metal artwork. Huge quantities of silver from the New World also encouraged eager buyers in Europe, and enabled the Spanish to become major players in the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. Unlike the ores in Europe which required laborious extraction and refining methods to result in pure silver, solid silver was frequently found as placer deposits in stream beds in Spain’s “New World” colonies, reportedly in some instances solid slabs weighing as much as 2,500 pounds. Prior to the discovery of massive silver deposits in the New World, silver had been valued during the Middle Ages at about 10%-15% of the value of gold. In 15th century the price of silver is estimated to have been around $1200 per ounce, based on 2010 dollars. The discovery of massive silver deposits in the New World during the succeeding centuries has caused the price to diminish greatly, falling to only 1-2% of the value of gold. The art of silver work flourished in the Renaissance, finding expression in virtually every imaginable form. Silver was often plated with gold and other decorative materials. Although silver sheets had been used to overlay wood and other metals since ancient Greece, an 18th-century technique of fusing thin silver sheets to copper brought silver goods called Sheffield plate within the reach of most people. At the same time the use of silver in jewelry making had also started gaining popularity in the 17th century. It was often as support in settings for diamonds and other transparent precious stones, in order to encourage the reflection of light. Silver continued to gain in popularity throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and by the 20th century competed with gold as the principal metal used in the manufacture of jewelry. Silver has the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of any metal, and one of the highest optical reflectivity values. It has a brilliant metallic luster, is very ductile and malleable, only slightly harder than gold, and is easily worked and polished. When used in jewelry, silver is commonly alloyed to include 7.5% copper, known as “Sterling Silver”, to increase the hardness and reduce the melting temperature. Silver jewelry may be plated with 99.9% pure ‘Fine Silver’ to increase the shine when polished. It may also be plated with rhodium to prevent tarnish. Virtually all gold, with the exception of 24 carat gold, includes silver. Most gold alloys are primarily composed of only gold and silver. Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. Precious minerals were likewise considered to have medicinal and “magical” properties in the ancient world. In its pure form silver is non toxic, and when mixed with other elements is used in a wide variety of medicines. Silver ions and silver compounds show a toxic effect on some bacteria, viruses, algae and fungi. Silver was widely used before the advent of antibiotics to prevent and treat infections, silver nitrate being the prevalent form. Silver Iodide was used in babies' eyes upon birth to prevent blinding as the result of bacterial contamination. Silver is still widely used in topical gels and impregnated into bandages because of its wide-spectrum antimicrobial activity. The recorded use of silver to prevent infection dates to ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates, the ancient (5th century B.C.) Greek "father of medicine" wrote that silver had beneficial healing and anti-disease properties. The ancient Phoenicians stored water, wine, and vinegar in silver bottles to prevent spoiling. These uses were “rediscovered” in the Middle Ages, when silver was used for several purposes; such as to disinfect water and food during storage, and also for the treatment of burns and wounds as a wound dressing. The ingestion of colloidal silver was also believed to help restore the body's “electromagnetic balance” to a state of equilibrium, and it was believed to detoxify the liver and spleen. In the 19th century sailors on long ocean voyages would put silver coins in barrels of water and wine to keep the liquid potable. Silver (and gold) foil is also used through the world as a food decoration. Traditional Indian dishes sometimes include the use of decorative silver foil, and in various cultures silver dragée (silver coated sugar balls) are used to decorate cakes, cookies, and other dessert items. Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $15.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $19.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world – but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the “business” of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly – even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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