Coin, Victoriatus, 211-208 BC
Luceria - graded - NGC - Ch MS 5/5 5/5 - MS(64)
Bust of Jupiter on the right, laureate
Victory standing on the right, crowning a trophy.
Exceptional quality for this type, struck on a slightly wide flan, letting the whole type appear. The coin has kept its original luster. The victoriatus is a small Roman silver coin minted between the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 2nd century BC, on which appears on the obverse the head of Jupiter and on the reverse a Victory crowning a trophy (hence the Greek name of this coin, τροπαικον). Circulating at the same time as Roman denarii, but with a debased silver content, it would seem that it was intended to replace the Greek drachma in the Hellenic regions of Cisalpine Gaul and southern Italy, as evidenced by the numerous finds of this type in these specific parts of the Empire. We lose track of it from the middle of the 2ndcentury BC, which suggests that this currency, not very popular, is officially withdrawn from circulation more or less at this period.
VB monogram, ROMA in exergue.
- Composition: Silver
- Diameter: 17
- Denomination: Victoriatus
- Product type: Coin
- Year: 211-208 BC
- Mint name: Luceria
- Certification: NGC
- Grading: graded
- Grade: Ch MS 5/5 5/5
- Certification Number: 4374460-137
- Our coin condition comments: complete piece
- Crawford: 95/1b
Silver can fall into your pocket but also falls between copper and gold in group 11 of the periodic table. Three metals frequently used to mint coins. There are two good reasons for using silver: it is a precious metal and oxidizes little upon contact with air. Two advantages not to be taken for granted.
Here is thus a metal that won’t vanish into thin air.
It’s chemical symbol Ag is derived from the Latin word for silver (argentum), compare Ancient Greek ἄργυρος (árgyros). Silver has a white, shiny appearance and, to add a little bit of esotericism or polytheism to the mix, is traditionally dedicated to the Moon or the goddess Artemis (Diana to the Romans).
As a precious metal, just like gold, silver is used to mint coins with an intrinsic value, meaning their value is constituted by the material of which they are made. It should be noted that small quantities of other metals are frequently added to silver to make it harder, as it is naturally very malleable (you can’t have everything) and thus wears away rapidly.
The first silver coins probably date back to the end of the 7th century BC and were struck on the Greek island of Aegina. These little beauties can be recognized by the turtle featured on the reverse.
The patina of silver ranges from gray to black.
The millesimal fineness (or alloy) of a coin indicates the exact proportion (in parts per thousand) of silver included in the composition. We thus speak, for example, of 999‰ silver or 999 parts of silver per 1 part of other metals. This measure is important for investment coins such as bullion. In France, it was expressed in carats until 1995.