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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman CountermarkedView Options:  |  |  | 

Countermarked Imperial Roman and Roman Provincial Coins

A countermark is a stamped or punched impression adding elements of design to a coin after it was originally struck. The practice of countermarking coins was widespread throughout antiquity. It was particularly common in the provinces of the Roman Empire. Countermarks were applied to coins for many reasons, including revalidation, revaluation, devaluation, and propaganda. Exactly when and why any individual countermark was applied is often uncertain.

Antioch, Roman Provincial Syria, Municipal Coinage, Fall 48 - Spring 47 B.C.

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The countermark is similar to a group of countermarks from Antioch, Chalkis, Laodicaea, Seleukia, and Damascus, all cities controlled by Cleopatra (except for Antioch, which nevertheless appears to have issued coins for Antony and Cleopatra). Richard McAlee notes, "it now seems likely that the countermark portrays Cleopatra, and was used to mark coins circulating in the Syro-Phoenician territories which were given to her by Mark Antony." Older references identified the head as Apollo.
RY84165. Bronze AE 23, McAlee 43; RPC I 4216; BMC Galatia p. 155, 35; SNG Cop -; countermark: McAlee p. 74, note 25, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, tight flan, weight 11.436 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 48 - 47 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right, countermark: head right (Cleopatra?) in an oval punch; reverse ANTIOXEΩN THΣ MHTPOΠOΛΩΣ, Zeus seated left holding Nike and scepter, date IΘ below; $225.00 (€200.25)

Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., CAESAR Ligature Countermark

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This coin was struck for Augustus at the Rome mint in 7 A.D under the supervision of the triumvir monetales P. Lurius Agrippa. This countermark is found on coin types struck beginning as late as 23 A.D. and one example is overstruck with a TIB IM (Tiberius Imperator) countermark. From these examples we can conclude the countermark was applied during the reign of Tiberius, between 23 A.D. and Mar 37 A.D. Pangerl attributes this countermark to Germania Inferior. Pangerl also lists an unofficial imitative countermark of this type.
CM84115. Bronze as, BnF I 624 (same countermark on obv.), BMCRE I 213 (c/m on rev.), RIC I 427, Hunter I 90; countermark: Pangerl 43c (same coin type, c/m on obv), coin Fair, countermark VF, weight 10.061 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 7 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVGVST PONT MAX TRIBVNIC POT, Bare head right, countermark: CAESAR ligature in a c. 12 mm x 9 mm rectangular punch (Pangerl 43c); reverse P LVRIVS AGRIPPA IIIVIR AAAFF, legend around large S C; $90.00 (€80.10)

Jerusalem, Judaea, Legio X Fretensis Countermarks, c. 68 - 132 A.D.

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The boar and the galley were emblems of the tenth legion Fretensis, stationed in and around Jerusalem.
CM38681. Bronze AE 26, Hendin 802, countermarks F, weight 10.974 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, obverse Flavian? profile visible, LXF countermark; reverse galley and LXF boar countermarks; rare; SOLD



Baker, R. "The Countermarks Found on Ancient Roman Coins: A Brief Introduction" in SAN XV (1984). pp. 52-58.
Barag, D. "The countermarks of the Legio Decima Fretensis" in Kindler Patterns. (Tel-Aviv, 1967).
Barag, D. & S. Qedar. "A Countermark of the Legio Quinta Scytica from the Jewish War" in INJ 13 (1994).
Howgego, C.J. Greek Imperial Countermarks. RNS, Special Publication No. 17. (London, 1985).
Martini, R. Nomismata 6: The Pangerl Collection Catalog and Commentary on the Countermarked Roman Imperial Coins. (Milan, 2003).
Mac Dowall, D.W. "Two Roman Countermarks of A.D. 68." in NC 1960, pp. 103 - 112, pl. VII.
McAlee, R. The Coins of Roman Antioch. (Lancaster, PA, 2007).
Rosenberger, M. The Rosenberger Israel Collection Volume IV: The Coinage of Eastern Palestine, and legionary countermarks, Bar-Kochba overstruck. (Jerusalem, 1978).
Seyrig, H. "Monnaies contremarquées en Syrie," in Syria 35 (1958), pp. 187-197.
Topalov, S.A. New Contributions to the Study of the Countermarking of Coins in the Area of the West Pontic Cities, 3rd - 1st c. B.C. (Sofia, 2002).
Werz, U. "Die Gegenstempel von Kalkriese und der Münzumlauf in frühtiberischer Zeit in der Germania inferior und superior" in Wiegels, p. 237 - 252.
Werz, U. Gegenstempel auf Reichs - und Provinzialprägungen der römischen Kaiserzeit - Katalog der Sammlung Dr. Konrad Bech, Mainz. (Speyer, 2004).

Catalog current as of Monday, April 24, 2017.
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Countermarked Roman Coins