The Roman Empire

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New Owners Comment's, The Roman Empire, Page 12 "Resurgence", Divus Nigrinian

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There was not a lot to talk about for this coin, except that is bears the half-length (some employ the descriptor “heroic”) bust of about Marcus Aurelius Nigrinianus (died circa 284 AD), who was probably the son of Emperor Carinus.


It is interesting to note that a review of electronically available information revealed eleven examples of this coin, comprising what appear to be only three, very similar and high-quality obverse die types (excluding slight variations presumably applied post-strike), but at least nine, relatively crude, and notably different reverse die types. It was probably the case that only master engravers cut obverse portraits, since their standardization was very important to the ancient Romans.  The reverse, however, was more formulaic, and may have been delegated to less skilled engravers.  These two dies were placed into a hinge, with the obverse die (i.e., more important image) placed in the anvil, and the punch was applied to the reverse die.  As a result, reverse dies broke much more frequently, probably accounting for the discrepancy in reverse vs. obverse die types obverse.


I decided not to include my die analysis in my Owner's Comments *yet*, until I can conduct more comprehensive research to confirm this finding, and maybe even get some more expert opinions on this.

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