Basic overview of ancient coins

All ancient coins are hand made and each is unique. We mainly sell coins from the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine cultures. These coins cover a period from 650 BC to 1450 AD.
This page is intended to give a basic introduction to ancient coins. 

Each coin has it's own denomination, mint, and dimensions. Coins made from precious metals such as silver and gold were held to higher standards than their base metal 
counterparts. The representations for the type of metal used to make the coin is as follows:
AV - Gold
EL - Electrum
AR - Silver
AE - Bronze or base metals

There are more metal types that coins were made in, but these are the common abbreviations. Listed below are typical denominations and weights of ancient coins.

Ancient coin standards

Greek Standards
Metal Type Standard Denomination Weight (grams)
Electrum Euboeic Stater 17.2
Phokaic Stater 16.1
Milesian Stater 14.1
Silver Attic Tetradrachm 17.2
Corinthian Stater/Tridrachm 8.6
Aeginetan Stater/Didrachm 12.3
Achaean Nomos/Didrachm 8.0
Rhodian Tetradrachm 15.6
Phoenician Shekel 7.0
Greek Denominations
Metal Type Denomination Equivalent Weight (grams)
Silver Dekadrachm 10 Drachms 43.0
Tetradrachm 4 Drachms 17.2
Didrachm 2 Drachms 8.6
Drachm 6 Obols 4.3
Tetrobol 4 Obols 2.85
Hemidrachm 3 Obols 2.15
Diobol 2 Obols 1.43
Trihemiobol 1.5 Obols 1.07
Obol - 0.72
Tritartemorion 3/4 Obol 0.54
Hemiobol 1/2 Obol 0.36
Trihemitartemorion 3/8 Obol 0.27
Tetartemorion 1/4 Obol 0.18
Hemitartemorion 1/8 Obol 0.09
Roman Republic Denominations 3rd Century BC
Metal Type Denomination Equivalent
Silver Quadrigatus 15 Asses
Denarius 10 Asses
Victoriatus 5 Asses
Sestertius 2.5 Asses
Bronze Dupondius 2 Asses
As -
Semis 1/2 As
Triens 1/3 As
Quadrans 1/4 As
Sextans 1/6 As
Uncia 1/12 As
Roman Republic Denominations Later
Metal Type Denomination Equivalent
Gold Aureus 25 Denarii
Silver Denarius 16 Asses
Quinarius 8 Asses
Sestertius 4 Asses
AE Dupondius 2 Asses
As -
Semis 1/2 As
Quadrans 1/4 As
Sextans 1/6 As
Roman Imperial Denominations to 294 AD
Metal Type Denomination Equivalent
Gold Aureus 25 Denarii
Billon Antoninianus 1.5 Denarii
Aurelianianus 1.5 Denarii
Silver Denarius -
Quinarius 1/2 Denarius
AE Double Sestertius 1/2 Denarius
Sestertius 1/4 Denarius
Dupondius 1/8 Denarius
As 1/16 Denarius
Semis 1/32 Denarius
Quadrans 1/64 Denarius
Roman Imperial Denominations 294 AD to 324 AD
Metal Type Denomination Equivalent
Gold Aureus -
Silver Argenteus 1/24 Aureus
Billon Nummus 1/120 Aureus
AE Radiate 1/300 Aureus
Denarius 1/600 Aureus
Roman Imperial Denominations 300 AD onward
Metal Type Denomination Equivalent
Gold Solidus -
Semissis 1/2 Solidus
Tremissis 1/3 Solidus
Silver Miliarense 1/18 Solidus
Siliqua 1/24 Solidus
Half Siliqua 1/48 Solidus
Billon Nummus ?
AE 2
AE 3
AE 4
Understanding the coin listings
Each coin has an individual listing that gives information about it.
Attica The exact mint where the coin was made, sometimes shows the ruler instead. 

336 to 297 BC	This is the year the coin was minted. Typically a range is given since exact years are not known, or the same coin was minted for several years.
AR Tetradrachm	Material coin is made of followed by denomination. 
Obvs: Head of Athena right, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll.  Inscription if any, followed by description of the obverse design. 
Revs: AΘE in field to right, owl standing right. Olive twig and crescent to left, all within incuse square.  Inscription if any, followed by description of the reverse design.
21mm, 17.1g	Size of coin in milimeters followed by its weight in grams. 
Svoronos PL XX	Reference where the coin can be found in a book.