Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Ancient Greek & Roman Coins

An Educational Site on Roman Coins, Greek Coins and other Ancient Coins

My site appeared first on Geocities in February 1997 and was updated for the next 5 years. After 2002, updates and corrections almost stopped. Later updates have been sporadic but I have the intention of doing more in the future. This site has moved several times and currently is here on this space provided by Forvm. Please change any bookmarks or links you have. If you have corrections or would like to suggest sections in particular need of update, I can be reached at dougsmit (at) comcast {dot} net --- Updated August 2015

Site Highlights and Recent Pages

Vocabulary of Ancient Coins
Start here if you are new to Collecting

Part 1 - Greek
Part 2 - Not so Greek
Part 3 - Republican
Part 4 - Early Imperial
Part 5 - 3rd Century Imperial
Part 6 - Late Imperial
Part 7 - Asian

...or you may prefer to select from the 100+ pages on the MENU below.

Coins shown on this site are not for sale and belong to a number of different collectors who have been so kind as to allow me to make photographs of their coins.

August 2004
The web space for these pages is provided by Forvm Ancient Coins.
A great way to learn about coins is participation in the
Discussions Hosted by Forvm.
Consider shopping for coins from the wide selection here.

The following pages were posted over a period of years and reflect my understanding of the subjects at that time. Some need updating.

My favorites are listed first but repeated in sections below:

  • Roman Imperial Coin Denominations - A survey
  • Alexandria Denarii - Commodus, Pertinax & Albinus
  • Septimius Severus & Julia Domna An Overview of coins
  • Style Judging numismatic art
  • My Favorite Coin Revisited I bought it in 1963
  • Bride of My Favorite Coin A Numismatic Wedding
  • 3 More Gordian & Tranquillina Centration Marks
  • Officinae The workshop system on Roman coins
  • Vocabulary of Ancient Coins
  • Grading & Describing Ancient Coins - My most popular page!
  • The Coin Show - 3 ways to collect
  • The Coin Show 2011 a Sequel
  • Brockage or Clashed Dies? Which is which?
  • Fourrees - Plated Coins A multi part survey
  • Fabric Coin Structure
  • Topics addressing a Roman subject:

    Roman Republic:
  • Vocabulary of Republican coins
  • Cast Ancient Coins Roman & Greek cast coins
  • Serrate Fourree Republican Denarius- No guarantee!
  • Republican Plated Denarii Fourrees

    Early Empire (12 Caesars):

  • Impossible to Grade Augustus and Agrippa crocodiles
  • Abbreviations on Roman Imperial Coins - SC TRP etc.
  • Ugly but Collectable Ugly and Rare
  • Tiberius: The Tribute Penny - Render Unto Caesar......
  • An Indian copy of the Tribute Penny - A barbaric coin of good silver
  • Claudius I Varieties Low cost options for a popular Caesar
  • Two Dupondii of Nero Selecting and Photographing
  • Nero Temple of Janus The doors were closed
  • Plated Denarii Second installment of a series
  • 2 Bronzes of Vespasian Same/Different series
  • Mintmarked Coins of The Flavians - Three Eastern mint denarii
  • A Denarius of Domitian Dolphin of Neptune & 4 more
  • Roman Imperial Coin Denominations - A survey

    Middle Empire (Adoptive Emperors):

  • Imperial Plated Coins More fourrees
  • Hadrian An overview of a popular ruler
  • A Fourree Brockage of Hadrian A rare combination
  • A Two Headed Denarius - Pius adopts Aurelius
  • Collecting Antoninus Pius
  • Antony Denarius Reissued Actium denarii 200 years later
  • The Commodus of Your Choice Each better than the other

    Severan Period:

  • Alexandria Denarii - Commodus, Pertinax & Albinus
  • A denarius of Pescennius Niger - Too rare for his own good
  • Septimius Severus & Julia Domna An Overview of coins
  • Legionary Denarii of Septimius Severus A catalog
  • Julia Domna AlexandriaTetradrachm Julia Domna Coins of Alexandria
  • Septimius Severus 'Emesa' Mint Denarii
  • Julia Domna 'Emesa' Mint Denarii
  • Barbaric Denarii of Septimius Severus Strange coins!
  • Style Judging numismatic art
  • Legion III Coins of Septimius Severus Rome and Alexandria
  • Septimius, Julia & Venus His & Hers coins
  • My Favorite Coin Revisited I bought it in 1963
  • Bride of My Favorite Coin A Numismatic Wedding
  • Minerva/Athena Unlisted Septimius denarius and more
  • Caesarea AE of Septimius Severus - Greek Imperial
  • A Fourree Mule Denarius- Septimius / Caracalla
  • Caracalla Caesar Sestertius - A coin of fine style
  • Caracalla or Elagabalus? Rules to tell the coins apart
  • Ugly but Collectable My rarest coins but do you want them?
  • Imperial Plated Coins More fourrees
  • Geta The One Who Died
  • Macrinus A Greek Imperial of Laodocea and two denarii
  • Macrinus again A Neocorate of Nikomedia
  • Two Heads: Better than One Greek Imperial - Macrinus
  • Maesa & Elagabalus 'Unlisted' Coins Not in RIC
  • Thrace & Moesia Provincials
  • 2 Bronzes of Severus Alexander Same/Different

    Military Emperors:

  • Gordian III Boy King Common coins of a young man
  • 3 More Gordian & Tranquillina Centration Marks
  • Philip the Arab & Family An expanded look at the same material
  • 2 Philip II Marcianopolis Bronzes Same/Different
  • Officinae The workshop system on Roman coins
  • Trajan Decius: Double Your Money Profitable overstriking
  • Agonistic Bronzes Coins of the games
  • Valerian II & Saloninus Brothers of numismatic confusion
  • Postumus , Emperor of Gaul
  • Revolt of Aureolus Coins of a ruler with no coins
  • Aurelian An overview
  • Reverse Gallic Empire Brockages Interesting artifacts
  • Florian Politics, Succession and Death
  • Antoniniani Of Probus - MANY PHOTOS - Basic Overview
  • An antoninianus of Probus - An exercise at looking closely
  • Probus EQVITI Coins A strange series!
  • Coded Antoniniani HRKOULI - IOBI
  • XXI and Other LettersThings found on the reverse
  • A silvered Antoninianus of Numerian - Why GGG?
  • MAX Coins of Maximinus, Maximianus etc.
  • Galerius A follis of Maximianus Noble Caesar
  • A Coin of John Quincy Adams - ...but its mine now!

    Constantinian Period (Christianity comes to Rome):

  • Constantine IThe Road to Greatness
  • Crispus & Fausta Tabloids would love THIS one?
  • Delmatius Nepotism Roman Style
  • Bavarian Collection A great collection that no one knew
  • Campgates - a popular type
  • Constantinian Copper - Coins from junk boxes
  • "By This Sign, You Shall Be Victorius" - Milvian Bridge
  • FEL TEMP REPARATIO A survey of a common types
  • Falling Horsemen An overview of the mints that made them
  • Stirrups? on a coin of Constantius II Can you believe?
  • AE2 of Magnentius A Chi-Rho coin of a pagan ruler
  • Identifying Late Roman Coins using RIC and other References
  • Common Uncleaned Coins Coins commonly found in uncleaned lots

    End of the Empire (Valentinian and later):

  • 5th Century AD Roman Bronze Tiny, ugly & very popular
  • Coins of Barbarians After the fall, then what?
  • Valentinian & Theodosius - Junk box coins: Part 2
  • An AE4 of Theodosius I - Tiny but sharp!
  • Greek & Other Ancient Coins:


  • Vocabulary of Greek Coins
  • Greek Plated Coins More fourrees
  • Greek Tiny Treasures Obols and smaller silver
  • Microcopic Coin Photos More small coins
  • A Coin from Spain Castulo AE
  • Taras, the Boy on a Dolphin A popular Greek silver coin
  • Countermarked Greek Coins
  • An Owl of Athens A fourree 4dr and solid obol
  • Istros Two heads, one inverted
  • Thrace An overview of the region
  • Thrace & Moesia Provincials
  • Rhodes A Colossal type
  • Widow's Mites A popular Biblical coin
  • Alexander the Great Coins to finance conquest
  • Coins of the Ptolemies Most Greek of the Egyptians
  • Cast Ancient Coins Greek & Roman cast coins
  • Medusa - Still more looking closely
  • Greek Bronze Coins- An Overview for Beginners
  • Greek Imperials - An Overview for Beginners
  • Trihemiobol of Corinth - A heavily reticulated silver coin
  • Larissa Drachm - Horse 'ready to roll'
  • A test cut coin - Stater of Tarsos, Cilicia

    Eastern Empires:

  • Persian Imperial Silver Coins Running kings
  • Parthian Coins An overview of coins
  • A Parthian Fourree Overstruck on Roman???
  • Month Dated Parthian Tetradrachm - Struck for Greek tastes
  • Baktrian Nickel & Other Eastern Coins Pre-1800 nickel!
  • Elymais A side trip on the tour of history
  • Gadhaiya Paisa Coins I do not know well
  • Bull & Horseman Jitals My favorite medieval coins


  • Byzantine Overstrikes Recycling before it was popular
  • Jesus Portraits - on Byzantine Coins
  • Byzantine Bronzes Marked Denominations
  • Technical and General Topics:

  • Vocabulary of Ancient Coins
  • Caesar - Emperor Junior Grade (ACM)
  • Grading & Describing Ancient Coins - My most popular page!
  • Impossible to Grade Augustus and Agrippa crocs are hard to grade.
  • The Coin Show - 3 ways to collect
  • The Coin Show 2011 a Sequel
  • Size Scales - When Denominations are unknown
  • Abbreviations on Ancient Coins
  • Stereoscopic Microscope Tool for numismatists
  • Microcopic Coin Photos More small coins
  • Microscope Photo Quiz Whatzits?
  • A Fourree Brockage of Hadrian A rare combination
  • The Earliest Coin Photograph? Tell me I'm wrong?
  • Brockage or Clashed Dies? Which is which?
  • Fourrees - Plated Coins A multi part survey
  • Photography of Ancient Coins How to - if you like my photos
  • Photographing a Nero Dupondius - a difficult subject
  • Photographing Ancient Coins - Part 1 Camera Support
  • Photographing Ancient Coins - Part 2 Light Direction
  • Photographing Ancient Coins - Part 3 Backgrounds
  • Photographing Ancient Coins - Part 4 Light Bulbs and Color Balance
  • Die Links A tool for numismatists
  • Lions on Coins Miletos, Septimius, Gallienus, Leo
  • Apollo Statues on Coins
  • Centration Dimples Gordian & Tranquillina Imperials
  • Ancient Coin Book Reviews Buy the book before the coin
  • Review: Roman Bronze Coins A biased review of the Failmezger book
  • Worth? Purchasing Power of Roman coins
  • Style Judging numismatic art
  • Fabric Coin Structure
  • Fakes! - A survey of 'modern' ancients
  • Illustrated Glossary of Terms - other - Exergue etc.
  • Illustrated Glossary of Terms: Heads - Laureate, radiate etc.
  • Gods & Goddesses of the Roman Pantheon - Illustrated list
  • Personifications on Roman Coins - Illustrated list

  • Secondary pages - Pages determined to be outdated or of lower quality have been moved to a secondary menu. If you identify other weak pages or disagree with these selections, let me know.
  • Buy the Book Before the Coin!:

    A message from the owner of this page:

    This page is very much a 'fast food' or 'pop culture' approach to the subject of ancient numismatics. I am an amateur collector and offer no guarantee of completeness or accuracy on any material on this site. I recommend that you research your questions rather than accepting blindly anything posted here. I also recommend you apply this same degree of care in using any other source material online or in hard copy. This site was intended to expose new collectors to an enjoyable hobby. No claim is made to serious scholarship. Serious numismatists are also welcomed here while they await publication of more proper and scholarly coverage of this material. Images posted on this site are taken from a variety of sources including my personal collection and several other private collections.

    Links to other sites on the Web have been removed. I proved too lazy to keep up.

    © 1997-2015 Doug Smith - All materials may be copied and used by any teachers or students participating in the Ancient Coins for Education programs and other teachers or students doing research for reports or non-for-profit school activities. If you intend to make a profit from using my images, ask first. I am easily reached through the discussion sections of Forvm Ancient Coins by private message.


    This site began 27 Feb 97.

    This site is dedicated to the memory of two men who were most influential in my studies.
    Dr. John F. Charles of Wabash College (Crawfordsville, Indiana) taught me: "It's more fun to know than not to know."
    Roger A. Bickford-Smith was my friend and the source of what I know about the Eastern mints of Septimius Severus.
    Both are missed.