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42 Nummi Countermark; As of Agrippa, 45-12BC, honoured by Caligula, 37-41

Features

Country Ostrogothic Kingdom
Period Anonymous (501-553)
Type Standard circulation coin
Years 501-553
Value 42 Nummi = 1/12 Siliqua = 1/96 Tremissis (1/96)
Composition Bronze
Weight 9.95 g
Diameter 27 mm
Shape Round
Demonetized Yes
References MEC# -, RIC I# cf. 58
Medieval European Coinage
by Philip Grierson and Lucia Travaini
(Cambridge University Press)
The Roman Imperial Coinage - Vol. I
by Sutherland, C.H.V.
(Spink & Son Ltd., 1984)

Obverse

Bust facing left and surrounded by legend, all with an etched countermark of a re-value in the left field.

Lettering:
M AGRIPPA L F COS III
XLII

Translation:
Marcus Agrippa Lucius Fili Consul Tertium
Marcus Agrippa, Son of Lucius, Consul for the Third Time

Reverse

Neptune standing with letter on either side.

Lettering: S - C

Translation:
Senatus Consulto
By Decree of the Senate

Edge

Smooth.

Comments

These countermarked coins came in two denominations: 42 Nummi and 83 Nummi. While their values are quite odd in comparison to other Ostrogothic coins, these coins were not intended to be used as general nummus pieces, but rather fractions of the Siliqua (1/12 and 1/6 of one, respectively). While these denominations in nummi are not perfectly divisible by the equivalent values in siliquae, these values are as close to the proper divisions as possible.

The host coin for this piece is a Rome mint, 1 As struck under Agrippa (45-12 BC) honoured by Caligula (37-41), and these were said to be countermarked in the early- to mid-6th century. With the Ostrogothic Kingdom falling in 553, that is the latest possible end-date.

Around 150 countermarked coins are known, with the vast majority being found in Italy. Because the host coins were minted hundreds of years before the countermarks were applied, it is suggested that a hoard of these host coins were found, which prompted some local mint in Ostrogothic Italy to start countermarking them.

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Year Mintage G VG F VF XF AU UNC
ND (501-553) 

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42 Nummi (Countermark; As of Agrippa, 45-12BC, honoured by Caligula, 37-41)