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What Happened To Out Of Date Ancient Coins?

 
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Australia
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 Posted 06/03/2020  6:04 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add adam86 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hey guys new to the forums, hi all. I tried looking into it but cant find a clear answer. I'mcurious how certain coins would survive to this day, ie for example in the years when one emperor would only last 1-2 years would the circulating coins be still used after the death of said emperor? or were these now useless? would the be taken and recast with the updated image of new emperor? very interested to know this.

cheers
Adam
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 Posted 06/03/2020  6:41 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know the answer to this, but in the excellent Gallo-Roman Museum in Lyon, France (Roman Lugdunum) is a small hoard of 12 silver denarii found with the skeleton of a Roman soldier. The coins had been in a purse which had rotted away. The newest of them was of Septimus Severus and the oldest from Mark Anthony (more than 200 years older). It's believed the coins represented the soldier's pay packet and that he died around 197AD.
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 Posted 06/03/2020  9:04 pm  Show Profile   Check FVRIVS RVFVS's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add FVRIVS RVFVS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Unless there was a good "Political" reason to remove them coins continued to circulate after the death of most emperors
Keep in mind though that other reasons existed
Silver coin of Julio Claudians were removed due to the change in silver which became 10% copper alloy under Nero
This was a smart move as the alloy lasted considerably longer than the near pure silver of earlier issues
By the time of Severus the alloy had been diminished and was closer to 70% with some cheating on weight also occurring
Severus and Caracalla bankrupted the State by lavishing money on the Legions
They knew where their power came from ....... the end of a sword !
This rapidly fell in the third century down to 50 - 40 - 30 - 20 - 10% and less
Older purer coins were withdrawn and many of them hidden away
Coins of Augustus seem to have been spared somewhat
Some numismatists assume a JFK effect
In 1964 people didn't spend the new 1/2 dollar but kept them in a drawer
But a soldier receiving his pay almost certainly was given minted coin of the reigning emperor
Just to remind him who was his boss and where his loyalty belongs
Some 3rd century usurpers are assumed to have secretly minted up vast sums with their own names and faces on coins well in advance of the "big event"
This was to buy off the local militias as well as any of the soldiers who may have missed a payday or two !
If the legions didn't get paid by you their was always some rich fool out there willing to take over
If the revolt failed one can just imagine people running to the hills to bury them lest they be found in pocket and earn you a quick 12 inch haircut
IN GOD WE TRVST ....... all others pay cash !

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 Posted 06/04/2020  11:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think FR pretty much nailed it. To expand with specific examples:

- The overt propaganda of the EID MAR denarius indicates that it was probably minted in large quantities, so in order for it to be so rare today, the whole series was probably ordered to be destroyed by Antony and Octavian.

- As stated above, Nero recalled old denarii to re-coin them at lower fineness. The Augustus "Gaius and Lucius" and Tiberius denarii are probably only common today because of an enormous initial mintage, quite possibly in the hundreds of millions.

- History tells us that Caligula's coinage was recalled after his death.

- Trajan also recalled his predecessors' coinage to issue more of his own.

- Antony's legionary denarii were minted at a lower purity, and it is well-documented that they circulated freely until debasement caught up with them, sometime between the reigns of Commodus and Severus.

- Considering the size, wealth, duration, and influence of Pescennius Niger's denarii ought to be much more common than they are, indicating that they were probably also subject to a recall.

- History tells us that owning a coin of Geta was likely a capital offense after 211, although the survival rate of his coins is still quite high. Some provincial coins can be found with his portrait scratched off.

- The coins of many usurpers were likely destroyed, particularly Domitius against Diocletian, and Martinian and Valens against Constantine.

- Hoards seem to point to the fact that many late bronzes circulated together, and particularly the AE4's of Arcadius, Honorius, and Theodosius II likely survived the collapse of the western empire in 476.
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Canada
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 Posted 06/04/2020  11:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Claudius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Eid Mar was NOT struck in high quantities.. merely in travelling mints to pay the legions... and yes the coin was recalled by Antony... which greatly reduced the initial relatively small number.
Why then are Antony denari so plentiful if they were also minted in travelling mints?
Brutus was killed 12 full years earlier than Antony!
Antony's denari are also of poor silver (for the time).. so they changes hands readily and no government wanted to call them in ..
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 Posted 06/05/2020  12:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What happened to a deceased emperor's coinage depended to a large degree on the manner of their demise, and the opinion of that emperor by subsequent regimes.

For the most part, they would have simply remained in circulation, treated as coins in more modern times were treated - "money is money", no matter whose picture appears on it.

Some ex-emperors were reviled some even to the extent of a proclamation of damnatio memoriae - the official expungement of the person from the public record, which included destruction of all known coins and monuments. In times of civil war, revolution and usurpation, owning a coin of "the enemy" could easily land you in trouble. Evidence suggests that households who owned portraits or a hoard of coins of "the wrong emperor", would be exterminated when their rival's troops paid a visit.

Others, on the other hand, were deified and honoured by their successors. Their coins would continue in use; indeed, as the emperors in question had now been officially elevated to godhood, anyone deliberately destroying their coins would have been irreligious, as well as treasonous.

In times of civil war, revolution and usurpation, owning a coin of "the enemy" could easily land you in trouble. Evidence suggests that households who owned portraits or a hoard of coins of "the wrong emperor", would be exterminated when their rival's troops paid a visit.

Finally, of course, as mentioned above - the ever-present scourge of inflation meant that, for silver coins at least, old coins generally had better silver content, so when found were usually plucked out of circulation and returned to the Mint for melting and re-issue.

Coinage reform was sometimes undertaken for the personal gain of the coin-issuing emperor. When the double-denarius, or antoninianus, wsa first issued by emperor Caracalla in AD 215, the rule was that anyone paying taxes must pay in old denarii coins, but government payments would be paid out in antoninianii. As there was only 1.5 denarii's worth of silver in an antoninianus, that was a nice tidy involuntary extra tax people paid on every transaction. The denarii collected in taxes would, of course, be melted down and turned into antoninianii.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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 Posted 06/05/2020  11:32 am  Show Profile   Check FVRIVS RVFVS's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add FVRIVS RVFVS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Likely one of the 'politic' reasons Macrinus had Caracalla deified and issued a Divus Caracalla
All the old silver having been replaced by a inflated 'antoniniani' Macrinus would have had an enormous challenge trying to replace it
Better to just deify the swine and tell the folks "everything is good"
Every one back to work
IN GOD WE TRVST ....... all others pay cash !

COGITO ERGO SPVD
I think ...... therefore I yam
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 Posted 06/05/2020  5:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add january1may to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
In times of civil war, revolution and usurpation, owning a coin of "the enemy" could easily land you in trouble.
Well outside of the "ancient and medieval" range, this had also happened to the 1741 coinage of Ivan VI of Russia; for literally decades, well into the 1770s, people found with Ivan VI coins were severely punished.

I'm not specifically aware of any ancient examples of the same problem, but it wouldn't really surprise me (though I suspect that it wouldn't have quite gone to the "even one wrong coin is enough" levels of 1770s Russia).
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 Posted 06/05/2020  6:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Pertinax to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
people found with Ivan VI coins were severely punished.


january1may,
Are there documented instances of people being punished ?
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 Posted 06/06/2020  07:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add january1may to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
january1may,
Are there documented instances of people being punished ?
Yes, but I'm not sure if I could quickly find any specific examples.
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 Posted 06/06/2020  10:20 am  Show Profile   Check CalzoneManiac's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add CalzoneManiac to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I seem to recall hearing something about in the 1930s in the Soviet Union, you could be shot for owning the short-lived Soviet silver coinage.
Looking for pre-1961 Russian and Soviet coins.
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 Posted 06/06/2020  3:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting thread....I've learnt something thanks..
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 Posted 06/06/2020  4:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree that this is a fascinating thread.

My favorite one-liner though is the one about the "12 inch haircut". Very nice @FR!
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