Roman Republic AE Uncia. Anonymous. Rome, c. 225/217 BC

Roman Republic AE Uncia. Anonymous. Rome, c. 225/217 BC


AE Uncia, 19.61g (22mm, 12h). Head of Roma l. wearing Attic helmet; behind, pellet of value / Prow of ship right; under pellet of value.

Pedigree: Ex Eberhard Link Collection. Ex Kricheldorf XXI, Stuttgart 1970, lot 152

References: Crawford 35/6. Sydenham 77. HN Italy 342. Thurlow Vecchi 56. Haeberlin pp. 49-51, 1-184 pl. 18, 22-29. Vecchi, Italian Cast Coinage, 83

Grade: Attractive brighter green patina. Clear images but soft overall. VF (rr1114c)

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Due to the small amounts of silver available, the first coins used by the early Republic c. 280 BC were made of bronze. This likely occurred as Roman conquered central Italy where bronze was plentiful. The coins of the period were cast, not struck. Aes Grave were nothing like the Greek coins that had been struck for the previous 350 years. The coinage was based on the libral standard where the As referred to a coin and the weight. One As equaled one Roman pound (or twelve uncia (ounces)). The weight standard changed around 265 BC when the As equaled 10 uncia. This period was known as the light libral standard.

Aes Grave coinage are normally quite crude looking based on their method of production. The imagery on the coins is typically simplistic in nature. Aside from the Romans, early Etruscan coinage is similarly cast. Other cast coinage types can be found in ancient Olbia however they are large and thinner in fabric.