If you've recently gotten involved in coin collecting, then you are probably aware that there are many different coins to collect. Some coin collectors specialize in single coins, such as Morgan silver dollars, while others like to collect ancient coins from Greece or Rome. If you're not sure about what type of coins you would like to specialize in, then take the opportunity and discover three historically important coins. One is an ancient coin, and the other is from the United States Civil War era.
This ancient Roman coin had an incredibly important part in commerce. It was first minted in 211 B.C. It ended up being the most popular coin in the Roman Republic for many years.The coin was made of silver. Before this, Roman coins had all been made of bronze. The reason that they made the switch was that they needed a silver coin to trade with the Greeks. The Greeks made their coins of silver, so they wanted silver in turn when doing commerce.
The Denarius started to be "debased" and it's silver content decreased until it was eventually only half silver. At that point the Denarius was replaced by a coin called the Antoninianus. This coin had almost no silver in it.
Because the original Denarius coin was so popular, you can find examples for sale online. It's a great coin because it speaks to the history between Greece and Rome, was used during the Punic Wars, and bridges the Republic and Empire periods of Rome.
Civil War Token
The Government did not mint these coins. They were privately minted during the Civil War due to a shortage of cents. They were typically found in the Union areas (Northeast and Midwestern United States). They were illegal; however, they were in wide use because there was a necessity.
There are three types of Civil War tokens that you can collect. The fist is called a Patriotic token. These coins were made with pro-Union images on them. They might have an engraving of a pro-union slogan, or in one case the engraving of the USS Monitor. The Monitor was a iron steamship used by the Navy. It was engaged in navel battles with Confederate ships.
The second type of coin is called a Store token. These were minted by private businesses and featured the name of the business as a form of advertisement.
The third type of token is called a Suttler token. A suttler is a civilian who would follow a regiment around and sell them non-military goods. They would often load up a wagon and follow the troops on their movements, often times getting close to the fighting. The Suttler token would be engraved with the name of both the particular regiment and the name of the individual who acted as the suttler.
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