The Lifespan of Roman Coins: Inflation and Coin Quality

Investigating the lifespan of Roman coins and their circulation duration, highlighting issues of inflation and coin quality.

00:00:01 Investigating the circulation duration of Roman coins and estimating the lifespan of bronze, silver, and gold coins during ancient times.

🔍 Investigating how long Roman coins circulated in ancient times using archaeological and numismatic evidence.

💰 Base metal coins had less intrinsic value and their value was determined by the issuing state.

Base metal coins could circulate for centuries as long as the monetary standard existed.

00:02:44 A worn Roman coin with a countermark of the Goddess Taiki suggests intense circulation for at least a century. Roman coins were preferred for wealth storage and a bronze coin horde found in Pompeii confirms this. The horde contained coins from the Flavian and Julia-Claudian dynasties, some of which were nearly a hundred years old, as well as Republican coins and an Egyptian coin from 280 BC.

Coins in ancient Rome were often worn flat and had countermarks to revalidate them.

Base metal coins were preferred for everyday use, while precious metal coins were hoarded.

A coin horde found in Pompeii contained coins from different dynasties, including some that were over a hundred years old.

00:05:28 Roman coins circulated for up to 150 years during the early Empire without rampant inflation. Silver Denarii were hoarded but still used for smaller purchases.

Bronze coins could circulate for up to 200 years during the early Roman Empire.

🔍 Italian archaeologists did not publish specific information about the coins found.

💰 Silver denarii were hoarded but still used for bigger purchases.

00:08:10 This video discusses how long Roman coins stayed in circulation, ranging from a single year to several centuries, depending on factors like silver content and stability. It explores examples of short and long periods of circulation, highlighting issues of inflation and coin quality.

⏲️ The duration of time Roman coins stayed in circulation varied based on the Central State's manipulation of silver purity.

💰 Coins would be hoarded when it became more profitable due to the value of their precious metal content.

📅 Coins could circulate for centuries or just a few years, depending on their quality and purity.

00:10:54 Roman silver coins circulated for over 250 years, reaching as far as Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Barbarian tribes used them as currency, worn from heavy circulation. Gold coins, like the Aureus, were rare and mostly seen by the rich and powerful.

📜 Roman silver coins circulated for over 250 years, with some coins still in circulation 250 years after they were made.

🌍 Evidence shows that Roman silver coins were also circulated beyond Roman borders through trade with tribes in regions like Germany, Poland, and Ukraine.

💰 Gold coins, such as the Roman Aureus, were not meant to circulate widely and were mostly held by the rich and powerful.

00:13:37 Roman coins stayed in circulation for a long time, with intervals of 130 years between the oldest and newest coins found. This was due to weight reductions by Emperor Nero and Emperor Karakala.

🔑 Roman coins were used for foreign trade and were handled securely, leading to their good condition.

🌍 The Trier horde, the largest Roman gold treasure found, contained coins minted over a span of 130 years.

💰 Changes in weight of the Aureus coin led to earlier coins being melted down and replaced, resulting in the absence of pre-Neronian coins in circulation.

00:16:20 Ancient Roman gold coins circulated for a long time, potentially up to 130 years, as a store of value and for big transactions, but their circulation was affected by changes in the monetary standard.

💰 Before a certain reform, Roman coins were likely hoarded, but afterwards, people would only spend the post-reform lightweight coins.

The circulation time of ancient gold coins varied: they were used as a store of value, circulated until the next Emperor's monetary changes, and during the Roman Empire's peak, some gold coins could circulate for over 100 years.

🏛️ Based on archaeological and numismatic evidence, these conclusions about the circulation of Roman coins were reached.

Summary of a video "How long Did Roman Coins Stay in Circulation?" by Classical Numismatics on YouTube.

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