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What were the principal denominations or coin values used by the ancients?

Numerous denominations were in use throughout antiquity. Many of these were fractions or divisions of the principal denominations, which were:
Greek Coins
Denomination Image Weight Used Multiples and fractions
AV Stater 8.6g Alexandrine Empire, Hellenistic Kingdoms Distater
AR Stater
(Lydian)
10.5g Asia Minor
(Archaic)
Many fractions: 1/3 and 1/12 stater are common
AR Hemistater
(Lydian)
or Siglos
5.25g Asia Minor
(Archaic)
1/3 siglos or hekte
AR Stater
(Tridrachm)
10.5g Asia Minor
AR Stater
(Didrachm)
or Nomos
8.5g Magna Graecia Distater or Tetradrachm
AR Tetradrachm 17g Universal
AR Drachm 4.25g Universal Didrachm, hemidrachm
AR Obol 0.7g Universal
replaced by bronze coinage
Tetrobol, triobol, diobol,trihemiobol, hemiobol, tetartemorion
AE Denominations mostly uncertain - many sizes. An AE Obol was a large coin (25 mm).
Roman Coins
Denomination Image Weight Used Multiples and fractions
AV Aureus 8g Late Republic. Principate Double Aureus (Binio),
1/2 Aureus (Quinarius)
AV Solidus 4.5g Dominate Multiples (gold medallions);
1/2 solidus (Semissis);
1/3 solidus (Tremissis)
AR Didrachm 7g Early Republic
AR Victoriatus 3.5g Early Republic
AR Denarius 4g Middle Republic through Principate 1/2 denarius (Quinarius);
1/4 denarius (Sestertius)
AR Antoninianus 5.8g Late Principate
AR Siliqua 3.4g (heavy)
2.25g
(light)
Dominate Multiples (1.5 siliqua);
Fractions (3/4, 1/2 siliqua)
AR Miliarense 5.4g (heavy)
4.5g
Dominate Multiples (3 miliarensia)
AE Sestertius 27g Principate Double Sestertius
AE As (cast) 320g
(libral)
to
41g
(sextantal)
Early Republic Multiples:
Decussis, Tressis, Dupondius;

Fractions:
Semis, triens, quadrans, sextans, uncia

AE As (struck) 44g (Republic)
declining to 6.5g
(Principate)
Middle Republic through Principate Multiple: Dupondius (2 aes)
Fractions:
Semis
Quadrans
Sextans
Uncia
AE Follis 11.3g
declining to
0.7g
Dominate Fractions: 1/2, 1/4
Reduced folles are usually described as AE 3 or AE 4
AE Centenionalis 5.7g
declining
Dominate Multiple: Double
Fraction: 1/2
Byzantine Coins
Denomination Image Weight Used Multiples and fractions
AV Solidus 4.4g Early and Middle Empire Multiples (gold medallions);
1/2 solidus (Semissis);
1/3 solidus (Tremissis)
AV Histamenon 4.4g Middle and Late Empire
AV Hyperpyron 4.4g Late Empire
EL Histamenon 4.4g Late Empire
EL Aspron Trachy 4g Late Empire
AR Miliarense 5.0g (Heavy)
4.0g
(Light)
Early Empire
AR Siliqua 2.2g Early Empire
AR Hexagram 6 to 7g Early and Middle Empire
AR Trachy 2-3g Latin Conquest, Restored Empire
AR Basilikon 2g Restored Empire
AR Stavraton 6.8g Restored Empire
Billon Aspron Trachy 4.4g Late Empire
AE Follis 13-26g, declining Early Empire
through Late Empire
AE Tetarteron 5-6g, declining Late Empire
AE Trachy 2-3g Latin Conquest
Restored Empire
AE Assarion 1.5-2g Restored Empire
Persian Coins
Denomination Image Weight Used Multiples and fractions
AV Daric 8.4g Achaemenid Empire Double daric
AV Dinar 7-8g Sasanian Kingdom 1/2 dinar
AR Siglos 5.5g Achaemenid Empire 1/2 siglos
AR Stater
(Tridrachm)
10.5g Achaemenid Empire
AR Tetradrachm 15g Parthian Kingdom
AR Drachm 4.2g Parthian Kingdom, Sasanian Kingdom Hemidrachm
AR Obol 0.7g Parthian Kingdom, Sasanian Kingdom Diobol
Billon Tetradrachm 13.5g Parthian Kingdom, Sasanian Kingdom
AE Denominations mostly uncertain - many sizes. Parthian and Sasanian Kingdoms.


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