Roman bronze coin  – unusually thick – sent for ID


Chris this traveled a LONG way to get there. This is a potin tetradrachm from the Provincial Roman mint at Alexandria, Egypt. Egypt was, legally, an estate wholly belonging to the emperor. As such, the money of the rest of the world was not legal for use there. Visitors had to surrender any money they had brought for its equivalent in the local Provincial currency – which was, itself, illegal to use anywhere outside of Egypt. Ie: Egypt’s economic system during the Imperial period was basically one of “plantation tokens” exclusively under the emperor’s personal control and whim.

Your piece here is from the emperor Probus – 275-282 – and is dated on the reverse.

The “L” is actually a hieratic form of the Egyptian hieroglyph meaning “what follows is a number” – the “S” on the right side of the eagle is the Greek numeral 6 – so this piece was struck in the Egyptian cognate of Probus’ 6th regnal year, or 280/281 AD.

The thickness is typical for these billon/potin pieces.


This is a similar – nearly identical – piece from my own collection:

Weight: 7.08 g
Diameter: 17.94 mm