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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
2250402
225, Lot: 402. Estimate $200.
Sold for $900. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Theodosius I, with Arcadius & Honorius. Circa AD 402-408. Æ Exagium Solidi Weight (22mm, 4.45 g, 6h). DDD NN[N AVGGG], diademed and draped facing busts of Honorius, Theodosius, and Arcadius respectively / EXACIVM SOLIDI, Moneta standing left, holding scales and cornucopia. Cf. Göbl, Antike 228-9; RIC X, p. 8. VF, holed and plugged with silver. Rare.


During the later Roman Empire, coin weights began appearing with the legend exagium solidi, a phrase which has often been translated as “the weight (or weighing) of a solidus”, in order to deal with the practice of clipping. Exagium derives from the Latin exigere (lit. “to drive out”). However, extant examples of these weights vary and some weigh much less than the 4.5 g of a full-weight solidus. These lighter weights are thought to possibly represent the lowest acceptable weight for aurei, and were used to withdraw under-weight solidi from circulation and thereby maintain an acceptable weight standard minimum for solidi to circulate at full value.