Dupondius or As ?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kevin McGonigal, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    As many readers know, as part of his reform of the coinage, Augustus issued a token coinage of copper, bronze and brass. At the time of Nero the appearance of the Dupondius was altered to have the obverse appear with a radiate crown to more readily differentiate it from the As, which in size and appearance was similar to that of the Augustan Dupondius, and had to be distinguished by its metal and perhaps weight. The Dupondius was about one gram heavier than the As but was issued in a yellowish brass while the As was in a reddish copper hue. After a period of time, however, the difference in the appearance of the two metals became more difficult to discern, hence the Neronian change to radiate heads on the Dupondius. What I have pictured here are two coins, one obviously a well worn As with its typical reddish caste of 10.6 grams. The other, actually of a lesser diameter but slightly heavier weight, 10.7 grams, seems to have a brassy appearance to the coin. Both are otherwise pretty much the same coin, Sear 1772 which identifies the coin as an As. I wonder though, if the other might be an equally well worn Dupondius with its brassy appearance, though my photos may not show the difference very well. I know that in the case of the Aureus and Denarius sometimes the same design was used for both coins and the only difference is in the metal. For example the Tribute Penny of Tiberius is in silver but an Aureus in gold was issued with the same design. What I am asking is, are both of my coins simply two copper Aes or might one be a Dupondius. Any thoughts? IMG_0593[1601]Tiberius obverse.jpg IMG_0594[1599]Tiberius reverse.jpg
    Johndakerftw, galba68, Bing and 3 others like this.
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  3. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    It seems the obverse on the right was intended to be struck on a large flan, which makes one think (along with the color) it could be a dupondius.
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