Roman bronze trade weight stamped as a coin – ‘per aes et libram’


Roman bronze trade weight pressed as a coin. This item is intriguing because of the combination of its function as a weight and the impression on one of its sides as if it were a coin. This could be to add official certification as to the weight’s validity perhaps.
An equally intriguing hypothesis could lie in the term “per aes et libram” which was the legal process by which slaves were freed and involved a ceremony of a copper coin and scales.

See below for details, description and metrics.

A poem about this coin’s beauty:
“Roman coin of bronze, Weighted for trade, not to spend, Profile worn and faint.”

In Latin:
“Pondus nummorumFeminae facies dextraLegenda vetusta.“

1 in stock

SKU: mgc64b-a220703 Categories: , Tags: , , ,


Ruler: Roman Period: to
  • Denomination:
  • Grade:
  • Exergue/Mint:
  • Material: bronze
  • Weight (g):
  • Diameter (mm): 17
  • Obverse: Female profile facing right. Legend worn and barely visible
  • Reverse: smooth, domed, with 2 diagonal lines incised as a V
  • Like Brass, Bronze is an alloy of copper, but alloyed with Tin rather than Zinc. It was first used by humans around 3000 BCE. The earliest known examples of bronze objects are from the Sumerian city of Ur, in modern-day Iraq. Bronze was widely used in the ancient world for making tools, weapons, and armor, as well as for sculpture and other decorative items. The process of making bronze involves heating copper and tin to a high temperature and then pouring them into a mold. Once the metal has cooled and hardened, it can be shaped into the desired form. The bronze age was followed by the iron age - the spread of the Roman empire greatly contributed to the spread of iron-smelting technology.

Additional information

Dimensions 1.7 × 1.7 × 0.3 cm