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Index Of All Titles


Alexander Tetradrachms
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Counterfeits
Ancient Glass
Ancient Weapons
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Folles
Anonymous Follis
Anonymous Class A Folles
Armenian Numismatics Page
Byzantine Denominations
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
A Case of Counterfeits
Clashed Dies
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Edict on Prices
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Friend or Foe
Greek Alphabet
Greek Dates
Greek Mythology Link
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Helvetica's ID Help Page
Historia Numorum
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Latin Plurals
Latin Pronunciation
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
Maps of the Ancient World
Military Belts
Mint Marks
Nabataean Numerals
Not in RIC
Numismatic Bulgarian
Numismatic Excellence Award
Numismatic French
Numismatic German
Numismatic Italian
Numismatic Spanish
Parthian Coins
Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet
Phoenician Alphabet
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Roman Mints
Roman Names
Serdi Celts
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Syracusian Folles
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
The Sign that Changed the World
The Temple Tax Hoard
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Tyrian Shekels
What Did The Julio Claudians Really Look Like?
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Widow's Mite


Please help us convert the Dictionary of Roman Coins from scans to text by typing the original text here. Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.

Potin.-- This is one of the names given by French numismatists to base silver.  The writers of that nation have adopted both this denomination and that of billon, either indiscriminately, or in their endeavor to discover the difference between the nature of the alloys which form the materials thus qualified.  Potin is a composition of copper, tin and lead, of which some of the money of the ancients was fabricated.  "Its name" (says Millin) "is derived from the mixture of metals employed in the manufacture of pots." -- Savot denies that there is any silver in potin; an opinion not coincided in by Rinckens, who agrees in sentiment with Savot. -- Bimard asserts, that, "besides copper, lead, and a little tin, there enters into the components of that potin, of which medals were coined, about one-fifth of silver."  In which case there is but little distinction between potin and billon, the latter containing a slight portion of silver.

  "These discussions respecting the real meaning of modern appellations" (as M. Hennin justly observes) "lead to no result of any importance.  It is sufficient to know that silver was subjected to various degrees of adulteration, in different countries and at different epochas; and this species of ancient coinage is designated by the names of potin or of billon, always bearing in mind that the denomination of potin is more generally applied to Imperial Greek, and that of billon to Roman money."

View whole page from the Dictionary Of Roman Coins