- The Collaborative Numismatics Project
  Explore Our Website And Find Joy In The History, Numismatics, Art, Mythology, And Geography Of Coins!!! NumisWiki Is An Enormous Unique Resource Including Hundreds Of Books And Thousands Of Articles Online!!! The Column On The Left Includes Our "Best of NumisWiki" Menu If You Are New To Collecting - Start With Ancient Coin Collecting 101 NumisWiki Includes The Encyclopedia of Roman Coins and Historia Nummorum If You Have Written A Numismatic Article - Please Add It To NumisWiki All Blue Text On The Website Is Linked - Keep Clicking To ENDLESSLY EXPLORE!!! Please Visit Our Shop And Find A Coin You Love Today!!!

× Resources Home
New Articles
Most Popular
Recent Changes
Current Projects
Admin Discussions
How to
Index Of All Titles


Aes Formatum
Aes Grave
Aes Rude
The Age of Gallienus
Alexander Tetradrachms
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coin Prices 101
Ancient Coin Dates
Ancient Coin Lesson Plans
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Counterfeits
Ancient Glass
Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Ancient Oil Lamps
Ancient Weapons
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Folles
Anonymous Follis
Anonymous Class A Folles
Antioch Officinae
Armenian Numismatics Page
Byzantine Denominations
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
Caesarean and Actian Eras
Campgates of Constantine
A Case of Counterfeits
Byzantine Christian Themes
Clashed Dies
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Corinth Coins and Cults
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Danubian Celts
Damnatio Coinage
Damnatio Memoriae
Denarii of Otho
Diameter 101
Die Alignment 101
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Edict on Prices
ERIC - Rarity Tables
Etruscan Alphabet
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Friend or Foe
The Gallic Empire
Gallienus Zoo
Greek Alphabet
Greek Coins
Greek Dates
Greek Coin Denominations
Greek Mythology Link
Greek Numismatic Dictionary
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Hasmonean Dynasty
Helvetica's ID Help Page
The Hexastyle Temple of Caligula
Historia Numorum
Horse Harnesses
Identifying Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Important Collection Auctions
Islamic Rulers and Dynasties
Julian II: The Beard and the Bull
Julius Caesar - The Funeral Speech
Kushan Coins
People in the Bible Who Issued Coins
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Later Roman Coinage
Latin Plurals
Latin Pronunciation
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
List of Kings of Judea
Malloy Weapons
Maps of the Ancient World
Military Belts
Mint Marks
Museum Collections Available Online
Nabataean Alphabet
Nabataean Numerals
The [Not] Cuirassed Elephant
Not in RIC
Numismatic Bulgarian
Numismatic Excellence Award
Numismatic French
Numismatic German
Numismatic Italian
Numismatic Spanish
Parthian Coins
Patina 101
Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet
Phoenician Alphabet
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Reading Judean Coins
Representations of Alexander the Great
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Roman Militaria
Roman Mints
Roman Names
Rome and China
Satyrs and Nymphs
Serdi Celts
The Sign that Changed the World
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Star of Bethlehem Coins
Statuary Coins
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Syracusian Folles
Taras Drachms with Owl Left
The Temple Tax
The Temple Tax Hoard
Test Cut
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Tyrian Shekels
Uncleaned Ancient Coins 101
Venus Cloacina
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Who was Trajan Decius
Widow's Mite

   View Menu

The Nero Gold Quinarius

Joe Geranio

Did You Know this Roman Imperial Coin of Nero Exists? 

RIC 10; BMCRE 11, pl. 38, 6.

I feel odd even writing about this?  As I was doing research on the Quinarii of the Julio Claudians, I assumed there were at least AV (gold) issues of the big five, ie: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula who of course must be the rarest and hardest to attain photos of, and then Claudius and then the coin we come to here; Nero.  Nero reigned from 54-68 A.D. and I thought there must be a decent amount of Neronian quinarius, when I say a decent amount , I mean 5 photos somewhere floating in the universe that I could find photos of the Nero small gold?    I just assumed there was a Nero AV quinarius?  I went to the usual sources and started my research of Nero and to my amazement !!  There was not much there?  

I then went to our FAC discussion board and knew Curtis Clay must have some information for me and so he gave me a little information that was very helpful. Nero gold quinariusBMC 11, pl. 38.6, apparently unique, part of the Blacas Coll. acquired by the BM in 1867.  Now this is the old Testament of information compared to how little information is out there?  I contacted the British Museum, as that is where the coin resides and Curtis actually gave me more information and they were not as excited about this wonderful Julio Claudian treasure as I was.   I would find examples like this regarding the Nero quinarius in context with Nero's monetary reform, but never with a photo of the Nero quinarius?  Just would get tid-bits of information like:   Nero's reform in 63-4 A.D. is remembered by Pliny the Elder (Nat. Hist. XXIII, 47), who points out that the princeps reduced the weight of the aureus to 1/45th of a libra (=about 7.27 grams).  As a consequence, Nero's quinarius aureus weighed 1/90th of a libra (=about 3.64 grams).   Our specimen above is 3.83 grams and dated 55-56 A.D.  The year after Nero became the last princeps of the Julio Claudian dynasty.  The point is, the article from Italy does not use a photo of the Neronian quinarius and did not respond to any of my questions on availability of the issue ? 

Experts in the field of Roman numismatics:  I spoke with a number of numismatists who did not even know the coin existed?  I could see this for some unique issue from Asia Minor, but; not a 12 Caesar in gold!  I was glad to see "The encyclopedia for Roman Imperial Coins", on this website had a description for the coin under the Nero section.  I was so excited I actually put the photo in under the description:   https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=ERIC%20-%20NERO   

The coin description is as follows: Nero Quinarius- 55-56 A.D.  AV 3.83 gr., 7h. NERO CL DIVI F CAES AVG PM TR P II (55-56 A.D.)  Youthful Bare Head Right.  Reverse:  VICT AVG Victory Draped, Alighting Left, Holding Round Shield in Right Hand. One thing worth noting on the reverse is the round shield is in such HIGH relief!   I would love to examine it at the British Museum one day.    ONE NEW UPDATE: In Numismatic Chronicle 7, (PUBLISHED BY COHEN MED IMP NO. 66) THERE IS A REFERENCE TO A NERO QUINARIUS ISSUE WITH THE FOLLOWING OBVERSE:  NERO CL. DIVI F CAES AVG PM TRP II. REVERSE: VICT. AVG (Victory flying to left holding shield

The Portrait itself is interesting. Nero would have been 18/19 years old in this portrait dated 55-56 A.D.  

Nero's early portraiture on coins shows a young man through the maturation process. These younger portraits are skillfully done, and have realism belonging to the young emperor's (princeps) age. He is much thinner and does not have the heaviness of the jowls and bloated face as we have come to love in his later portraits. This is Roman realism in portraiture. We never see Augustus or Tiberius age on Roman Imperial coin portraits, there are some portraits of Octavian that seem younger looking, but are not the same quality as Neronian  portraits from the imperial Mint. Tiberius has never aged on his coins from imperial Rome, especially the big flan coins with nice room for portraits, yet even on Nero's portrait on denarii and aurei, as well as this quinarius convey a high achievement in artistic quality in his portraiture.  Caligula was young and always had a sense of youthful realism, and Claudian coins have a more realistic sense to them on imperial coinage like Nero. The difference in wanting to convey realism on Nero's portraits is the high quality and die cutters ability for detail with the Hellenistic technical skills added. 

Here is a provincial piece struck 55 A.D. of Nero with similar hairstyle. PHRYGIA, Sebaste. Nero. AD 54-68. Ĉ 18mm (5.65 g, 12h). Ioulios Dionysios, magistrate. Struck circa AD 55. Draped bust right / Zeus seated left, holding scepter and eagle. RPC 3155 (same obv. die); SNG München 451-2 (same obv. die). cngcoins.com


I took some time with this and came up with a portrait that is not seen too often, but matches well with the maturation process on this coin,  The young portrait of Nero here is from Russia and resides in the Hermitage Museum.  My Friend Hans took the photos and I think they best represent Nero at this time in his life.


Nero Caesar as a Youth.  Hermitage Museum.

Reference: On Neronian Reform of Quinarius and Silver.


All coins are guaranteed for eternity