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Ancient Roman coin collecting

Sestertii, antoniniani, denarii, dupondii and others. Get information about collecting ancient republican and imperial Roman coinage.

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Collectible coins discussed here come from the Roman Republic (mostly after 280 BC) and the Roman Empire, until Diocletian's coinage reforms were instituted in the 280s AD. We also feature tips for getting modern reproductions of coins, if you want a cleaner but newer piece to display in your own collection.

Find useful information such as our overview of the different coin types from both the republican and imperial eras, and our tips on how to avoid accidentally buying a forged Roman coin.

Collecting ancient Roman coins is a great way not only to learn about history, but to have a real, tangible piece of it to hold in your hands. Feel the past come truly alive with the endlessly fascinating and absorbing hobby!

Coins by ruler

Quite a few ancient Roman rulers minted their own coins, and different rulers saw different types of coins, and several made changes to the coinage system that lasted a short or (in some cases) a long time. Check our subcategories to find the ruler you're looking for...

Vespasian 69-79

Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, usually called Vespasian, was the final Roman emperor of the so-called Year of the Four Emperors, which was the year from June 68 to June 69 in which, following Nero's suicide, three rules came and went in quick succession (Galba, Otho, and Vitellius) before Vespasian took power and held it for ten years. Vespasian released quite a few coins during his years, and collectors often find some pretty nice examples, both authentic and modern replicas. After Vespasian's death, two of his sons, Titus and Domitian, became the next two emperors


Trajan 98-117

Trajan, full name Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Divi Nervae filius Augustus, ruled over the Roman Empire from the death of Nerva in 98 until 117 AD. The coins of Trajan are extensive and there are many different types available for different buyers; there are so many types of Trajan coins and ways to approach them that many collectors choose a specific subset of them that appeals in some way. Trajan was the adopted son of Nerva and ruled for nineteen years. His own adopted son, the famous Hadrian, took over upon Trajan's natural death in 117


Titus 79-81

Titus, full imperial name Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, was the son of Vespasian and the ruler of the Roman Empire from 79 AD until dying from the plague in 81. After his death, Titus' brother Domitian became emperor. Although his reign was short, Titus made coins that are often seen for sale in online coin markets. Some nice examples of authentic ancient Titus coins from 79-81 can be seen in current sales offers; also, interested collectors may find some modern replicas for sale for a fraction of the cost


Coins by type

There were several different types of coins used at various times in ancient Rome. In addition to the sestertius, for which this site is named, there were others, each made of certain metals and with certain values. Although the actual value, and chemistry, of some of these types of coins changed, they are still grouped together by their relative concurrent value. See the subcategories on this page to find specific coin type info. See ancient Roman coins listed by ruler here...

Denarius coins

Produced in great numbers for several hundred years, denarii are arguably the most popular and most numerous ancient Roman coins among collectors today, along with the sestertius and dupondius coins. Your denarius collection can be structured however you want — there are great denarii for sale no matter what your personal collection style may be


Semis coins

The semis ("SEH-miss")) coin was worth half of an as, and was first made in 280 BC. After the Roman Republic came to an end, the semis was continued into the Roman Empire. However, it was never a regularly-issued coin, and the production of semisses ended with the reign of Hadrian (117 — 138 AD). Note that the translation for semis in Italian is semisse; look for that term in sales listings which may include Italian-speaking sellers


Quadrans coins

Quadrans coins of ancient Rome were worth a quarter of an as. Although there are fewer quadrantes for sale, generally, than other coins such as the sestertius and the denarius, there are usually still a few really nice pieces available for patient and keen-eyed collectors. It can require some vigilance to wait for the right quadrans for your collection, though, so keep an eye out. New listings crop up regularly


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