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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.

Numismatic Puzzle: Julia Domna

Without Julia Domna, Septimius Severus would not have been able to found a dynasty. His wife did not only bore him two sons. She also made her mark in politics. Aristocratic ladies were especially inspired by her hairstyle. Our aureus shows how complicated it was.

Numismatic Puzzle: Vespasianus

Vespasianus had to balance the budget – and created a tax for using public urinals. Smelling at the coins, the pragmatist stated: “It does not stink!“ Neither does this denarius. But you can look directly into the face of the cunning politician that Vespasianus was!

Numismatic Puzzle: Caesar

Today we have a first for you! This denarius of 44 BC was the first coin to feature a living Roman: Gaius Julius Caesar. He mentioned two good reasons for it: the star refers to the descent from Venus, the laurel wreath to Caesar’s achievements as a general.

Numismatic Puzzle: Victory Over the Gallic Forces!

Caesar’s great success was his victory over Gaul. This was also celebrated by a silver denarius of 48 BC by one of his followers. A Gallic warrior is shown as prisoner with a rope around his neck. But see, I mean: solve the puzzle for yourself!

Numismatic Puzzle: Roman Denarius

Today you will deal with a Roman denarius and put the head of Roma together. The personification of the Roman people on this 141 BC silver coin has a proud glare, but the special feature of this specimen is something completely different.

Numismatic Puzzle: Caesar as an Elephant

Today you will try your hand at a special denarius of Caesar. In 49 BC, in the midst of the civil war, the general chose a dramatic image: an elephant that tramples a snake. What do you think? Who is who in this political message?

Numismatic Puzzle: Racing Didrachm

This time you will have a go at a Roman didrachm from about 220 BC. You will assemble a racing quadriga. The depiction is the reason why these coins are called quadrigati. Do you recognize who is driving the carriage?
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