Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Mammothtooth, Jan 30, 2023.

  1. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Why did they cease making them?
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  3. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The Romans debased their coins over time which went hand in hand with price inflation. The antoninianus, which was worth two denarii, replaced it. That coin was debased quickly until it was replaced. Debasement and inflation are an economic fact of life.
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  4. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Thank you, concise and to the point.
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  5. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    Roman mints ceased to issue denarii together with sestertii, asses, dupondii, etc. It's all the Augustean monetary system, together with the local bronze provincial coinages, that disappeared in the 2nd half of the 3rd c., leaving the silvered bronze antoniniani as the sole unique coinage minted in the Empire, except in Egypt.
    Diocletian tried to revive the old silver denarius by minting the "argenteus", in good silver and with the same weight as Flavian or Antonine denarii.
  6. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The siliqua was another attempt to bring back a quality silver coin in the 4th century.
  7. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Why did the US drop the half cent in 1857? Why did the UK drop the farthing? Why no one lira coin at the time Italy adopted the Euro?
  8. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

  9. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The half cent is answer is easy. The coin was never popular, and as evidenced by the high grades seen for the last type, the Braided Hair, the piece was seldom used in circulation. It's rare to see one of these coins, because of "honest wear," not damage grade below EF.

    1855 Half Cent All.jpg

    Also the new small cents were much smaller than the large cent. A half cent would have been even smaller. Why issue a small coin that no one wanted to use?

    As for the other two coins, I dare say that inflation made them obsolete.
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  10. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    And why has the US, as of 2023, not yet dropped the cent? Let's just round everything off to the nearest nickel already!
  11. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    Today, this 18 mm 3.2 g AE coin would have a face value of 0,0000152 €uro. Or if you like 1 € = 65 596 coins like this one.
    1 centime 1849.jpg
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  12. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Here are the two later Roman coins that were similar to the denarius.

    Argenteus, Maximian I

    Maximinus I All.jpg

    Siliqua, Julian II

    Julian II Siliqua O.jpg Julian II Siliqua R.jpg
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  13. Lon Chaney

    Lon Chaney Well-Known Member

    I thought the half cent existed to make change for a 1/8 reale, which was worth 12.5 cents due to the "base 8" system (as opposed to our base 100 system). By the mid-1800's, we had enough US coinage circulating that we could do without Spanish dollars and did away with the half cent. Isn't that right?
    Also that's why a quarter is called two bits.
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  14. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    There are multiple reasons why we are still stuck with the cent.

    l. Inherent conservatism. Most folks don’t like change unless there is a clear and prompt benefit to them personally.

    2. Fear that rounding prices to 5 cents will result in paying more for goods and services. Merchants will naturally round up, not down. However, there are few goods and services where rounding up to next multiple of 5 cents would be more than 2-3% of the cost. In most cases, it would be far less than 1% of the cost. In a year of two, everything would be priced initially in a multiple of 5 cents.

    3. Loss of the cent hits them too hard in the face about nonstop inflation. It’s unpleasant enough to live with it day to day without it being thrown so visibly in our faces.

    4. Folks don’t realize that it cost more than 2 cents to make a cent coin. If it’s dropped, an unnecessary government expense will go away.

    One consequence of dropping the cent is that there would be a sudden increase in collecting them and probably an increase in price of high-condition, rare dates/mints.

  15. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Alexander Hamilton also thought that the small coin would benefit the poor. It would allow them to buy smaller quantities that could fit their budgets.

    Some people think that may of doomed to piece as a "poor man's coin."

    As for the cent, I would like to see it continue for coin collector's sake. It's the only U.S. coin that has a virtually continuous date run from 1793 to date. The date that is missing is 1815.

    It could be included in Proof and Mint sets like the Kennedy Half Dollar was continued for many years, including 1970.
  16. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark all my best friends are dead Romans Dealer

    though the denarius was no longer produced, it was still referenced in Diocletian's Edict of Maximum Prices.

    "All the prices and wages are listed in denarii communes, which were not actually silver denarii as we usually think of when discussing ancient Roman coinage. Denarii communes, or d.c., were notational currency. What this means is, an exchange rate was given, telling how much of the currency in circulation at that time (nummii) it took to equal one d.c. This made it easy to change the value of the money in circulation, without having to rewrite and redistribute the entire Edict."
  17. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    The denarius continued as a unit of account long after inflation had rendered a single denarius pointless in circulation. The Constantinian AE3 of 318 to 348, for example, is believed to have held a nominal value of 25 denarii.

    Edit: looks like @Victor_Clark and I were posting similar thoughts at the same moment. :)
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2023
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  18. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Thank you, this is very interesting!
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  19. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Speaking of money which was a unit of account but never actually coined is the US Mill, 1/10 of a cent, a unit used in calculating real estate values and taxes. When I started elementary school in the late 1940's we had a black and white marbled copybook which had all kinds of measurements (including the mill) imaginable, including the gold US $10 gold Eagle, along with rods and furlongs ang gills (liquid measurement). About the only unit of measurement not on that back of that book was the "the cubit and the ell" but I guess there was no longer any call for ark construction after the war. I should not have thrown it away as we now do have gold eagles and their fractions as bullion coins and with shrinkflation now common maybe I'll be able to buy a gill or two of hard cider again (for instructional purposes only).
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  20. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    Don't know if they can be considered money or having been "coined", but state sales tax tokens were denominated in mills. See the pic. Cal

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