While following a live auction with my little son, we saw a shiny coin with a hole in it. As it was coming up for a minimum bid of just 10 Euros, we decided to bid on it for fun or as possible present for grandma´s birthday, so maybe by her wearing it as jewelry the family could see some practical use in ancient coinage . It was labelled as uncertain imitation by an uncertain mint with no indication of who or what was shown on it. I tried a little research on this "mystery purchase" and this is what I came up with: Fourée Aureus, gold-plated AE, Chernvyakhov culture, Ukraine, ca. 295 a.D. 19 mm / 2,57 gr IIIEIT (alliterate legend) - Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Diocletianus left The left facing obverse bust is obviously inspired by Diocletian´s Aureus RIC 308 (Antiochia, 290-292, but not draped or cuirassed), which would mean the inscription originally read DIOCLETIANVS AVGVSTVS. A specimen from the same pair of dies has been interpreted as showing Licinius I, but this is highly unlikely as Licinius did not issue left facing busts on Aurei. II S III –(alliterate legend) - Roma seated left, holding sceptre in left and Victory on right hand The reverse design seems to be copied not from the same original, which would show a bare headed or laureate Diocletian seated and holding a short baton in his left hand (CONSVL IIII PP PRO COS), but from his Aureus RIC 301 (Cyzicus 284-286, but globe beneath Victory and shield at side) which features a helmeted figure that holds a long sceptre, identified as Roma by the legend ROMAE AETERNAE (this reverse was not struck in gold for the other tetrarchs). Since the battle of Abritus in AD 251 (which left the entire imperial roman treasury including hundreds of thousands of Aurei at the hands of the victorious Goths) we find Roman aurei, perforated from their obverse above the imperial portrait, in burial sites across much of the barbaric territories, but concentrated in the territory inhabited by the Chernvyakhov culture that is identified as what we know as the Goths. These coins are interpreted as prestige objects, perhaps reserved for members of war bands (comitatus). Although the influx of original Aurei continued until the end of the 3rd century, their number may have been too small to satisfy a growing demand and imitations started to be struck in Ukraine. Nearly all the early Germanic imitations made of gold or gold-plated were pierced. At the end of the 3rd century fashions changed and perforations are gradually replaced by loops for suspension, attached above the head of the emperor. This means that my coin can be dated rather precisely to right before the establisment of the loops, but after the issue of the corresponding Aurei of Diocletianus a decade before. I found two other specimens from the same pair of dies, one also plated and pierced, the other of pure gold and intact. So this purchase combines at least four „firsts“ for me: my first coin from the era of the Tetrarchy, my first Germanic/Barbarian coin, my first gold (even it it is only a fourée), and my coin with a hole in it. And, last but not least, it is an interesting romanized, but still pre-christian artifact from the dark world beyond the borders of the empire, anticipating the great migration of tribes still a century away. Please share your thoughts and show your barbaric imitations, coinage of Diocletian, gold of the Tetrarchy, or anything you like!