Cavino's die, BNF Paris. The study of monetary dies constitutes the very foundation of a large number of numismatic research and in any case of those aimed at providing the corpus of a coinage. This tool was not popularized until the end of the 19th century, at a time when the development of photography made it possible to compare specimens preserved in different places. The study of dies quickly established itself as a particularly effective research tool. Classifications had in fact remained until then based mainly on style and sometimes on discoveries of hoards. During the 20th century and to the present day, it can be considered that almost 30% of all gold and silver issues of Greek coins have now been subject to die study. This percentage is much lower for Greek bronze (less than 10%) and much lower still for Roman coinage, inhibited both by the size of the material to be considered and by the possibility of better extrapolating the productions from the hoards. The subject of this thread is to discuss the use of dies in a particular situation: when an emperor died (often assassinated) and was replaced by his successor. The procedure in place in all mints was the destruction of all the dies of the late ruler and the production of new ones displaying the portrait of the new emperor and also reverses with often a modified propaganda message. One can sometimes imagine, based on the artistic style, that the same engravers kept their jobs even after the change of direction at the head of the Empire. Two of my coins from Lyons, and I believe the same engraver worked on the obverse dies...? But can we think that some dies were kept for a certain period of time, especially in times of civil war, then reused on the coins of the new Emperor? And by carefully examining the dies of certain periods, could we discover numismatic evidence for this hypothesis? We can answer yes to these two questions. How ? By scrutinizing the research of two very patient numismatists, Colin.M. Kraay, who studied in detail the Aes de Galba coinage, and also H.H.Gillham who specialized in Laelianus coins. Here are some very interesting examples that I hope you will appreciate. I'm very pleased to have been able to find a die match between my old Marius and a Laelianus. Note the wear on my example compared to the almost brand new die of the other usurper... (Not my coin) Now can you find the difference between the two coins below ? The Galba is dated from 68 AD, the Vespasian from 71, a difference of 2 1/2 years but definitely a die match ! British Museum London Münzkabinett Berlin The world record of all time: the same die reused for three different Emperors : Galba, Vitellius and Vespasian. (Plate pictures from Kraay's study) A last example of two Medallions; I know they were not produced for circulation, but anyway it shows the fact that dies were not always destroyed, even after 6 years ! The first reverse is from Marcus Aurelius dated 162AD, the second one ( they added the legend TRP VIII IMP IIII COS III) from Lucius Verus dated 168 AD. Look at them carefully...same dies... Please show us your own examples of die-matches or post your comments about this thread !