Tuesday, 30.11.2021
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Numismatic Puzzle: Lombards

This gold coin is an issue by Sico I, the Lombard Prince of Benevento (817-832). His realm was in southern Italy and bordered Byzantine territories. Coins like this solidus testify of the neighbour’s cultural impact.

Numismatic Puzzle: Knife Money

Commodity money including various tools had a long tradition in China. Knife money circulated for centuries, especially in northern China. This specimen from the Qi Kingdom dates to the 4th century BC.

Numismatic Puzzle: A New Capital for the Roman People

Today’s puzzle shows us how the Roman Empire moved its centre of power around 300: on this solidus, Roma presents the globe to Emperor Constantine the Great. From then on, it was no longer the old lady on the Tiber who played first fiddle but the metropolis on the Bosporus.

Numismatic Puzzle: Paris

This stater is attributed to the Parisii tribe. In ancient times, today’s Paris was not yet a centre of art. However, inspired by Greek coins, Celtic engravers found their very own form of expression at the end of the 2nd century BC.

Numismatic Puzzle: Darius

Today you will see the Persian King Darius the Great (ca. 522-486 B.C.) in a half-kneeling stance as brave archer on one of his gold coins. For a long time, these darics, which were named after him, were a popular means of payment throughout the Mediterranean world.

Numismatic Puzzle: Shapur II

The Roman Empire was terrified of this man: Shapur II, King of the Sasanian Empire, is shown on this stater wearing the typical dress of his people. His crown, on the other hand, is quite unique: no other king wore a lion scalp with a globe in the form of an artichoke.

Numismatic Puzzle: Cunobelinus

For many collectors, Greek coins form the highlight of numismatics. Already the Celts of Britain were enchanted by these coins. A gold stater of Cunobelinus from the 1st century BC was inspired by coins of Alexander the Great.

Numismatic Puzzle: Spade Coin

No, today’s issue does not feature gardening tools, but a numismatic object lesser known in Europe. Spade coins were a type of money in ancient China. This coin is from the 3rd century BC and you can probably tell straight away how it got its name.

Numismatic Puzzle: Chandragupta II

Northern India experienced a period of prosperity around 400 under the Gupta dynasty. King Chandragupta II not only promoted arts and culture, he was also called the “world conqueror”. With bow and arrow, Chandragupta shows his martial side on this golden dinar.

Numismatic Puzzle: Hadrian’s Beard

Well-shaved or with beard? It’s always a statement – and it even was in ancient Rome. Hadrian was the first emperor with beard. Why? Scholars are still trying to figure out the answer. The beard certainly added a whole new “touch” to his coins as this aureus shows.
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