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Damnatio memoriae Roman condemnation of a deceased person for crimes against the state; resulting in the destruction or obliteration of the person's name and image.
Debase To reduce the precious metal content of coinage by alloying it with less valuable metals.
Decennalia Anniversary of the tenth year of assuming office; usually celebrated with games and other events.
Decursio Roman equestrian military manoeuvre.
Dekadrachm Greek gold or silver coin of 10 drachmas
Delamination Metal missing or retained but peeling from the surface due to incomplete bonding or impurities in the flan
Denarius Roman silver coin weighing about 3.5 grams; valued at 16 asses
Design The devices and legends appearing on a coin and their arrangement
Diadem Greek headdress in the form of a band denoting victory; a symbol of kingship. Diadems of late Roman and Byzantine emperors were elaborately decorated.
Diana (Artemis) Greek goddess of the hunt and of the Moon.
Didrachm Greek silver coin of 2 drachmas
Die A piece of metal at one end of which is cut the inverse of the design of one side of a coin; when a flan is struck with the die the raised design is formed.
Die chip A flaw caused by a fragment broken off from a die; metal flowing this during striking results in a raised area on the surface of the coin
Die clash Upper and lower dies struck together without a flan between them; design details are partially impressed into the opposite dies
Die crack A fissure in the surface of a die; coins struck with which have a raised line corresponding to the crack
Die state Condition of a die at a particular point in its life
Dionysos Greek god of the vine and other fruits
Dioscuri Castor and Pollux; twin Greek and Roman heroes
Drachm (Drachma) Greek silver coin of about 4 g
Dupondius Roman bronze or brass coin worth 2 asses
Edge The surface perpendicular to the two sides of a coin.
Electrotype A reproduction of a coin made by the electroplating process.
Electrum Naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver used for early coins; also refers to gold debased with silver
Exergue The lower part of a coin; sometimes divided from the field by a line and often containing a mintmark or engraver's initial(s).
Facing Bust A full frontal portrait; common during the Byzantine period.
Fasces Roman symbol of authority; a bundle of wooden rods with an axe
Fibula Clasp used to fasten clothing; like a safety pin
Field The flat surface of a coin surrounding the designs.
Flan Metal blank from which a coin is struck
Fleur de coin A coin in essentially perfect condition.
Follis A Roman and Byzantine bronze denomination
Fourre A coin with a base metal core surrounded by a foil of precious metal; normally an ancient counterfeit but sometimes an official issue.
Forgery An imitation of a coin made to deceive a collector.
Fraction A coin of less than one unit; for example a hemiobol
Genius Personification of a nation or group; e.g. the Roman people
Globus cruciger Sphere with a cross on top; symbol of sovereignty on Byzantine coins.
Gorgon (Medusa) Mythological female monster with snakes for hair
Gorgoneion Gorgon’s head
Grading The process of determining and describing a coin's condition
Hades Greek god of the underworld
Hera Greek queen of the gods
Herakles Greek hero renowned for strength and virility
Hexagram Byzantine silver coin weighing 6 g
Hexastyle Having six columns
Hilaritas Personification of laughter; also mirth or joy
Hippocamp Sea-horse
Hoard A deposit of coins secreted in the past; discovered accidentally.
Holed Having a hole drilled through it; usually to use for jewelry
Horned Head or Bust Some coins show a horn on the head as an indication of divinity (Zeus Ammon; also Alexander deified and Elagabalus).
Hub A raised positive punch used to impress recessed working dies
Incuse Impressed into the surface; recessed rather than raised.
Isis Egyptian goddess; mother of Horus
Italia The land of Italy; also its personification
Ithyphallic Sporting an erection; usually larger than life
Janus Double-headed god of beginnings
Janiform Refers to two heads facing in opposite directions; joined at the back as in depictions of Janus
Jugate Heads Two (or rarely three) heads shown facing the same direction and overlapping.
Jupiter Roman King of the gods
Labarum A military standard bearing the Christogram
Labyrinth A maze; the original (at the palace of Minos in Knossos) was the legendary home of the Minotaur
Lamination Defect consisting of a portion of the metal of the flan separating from the rest due to impurities or internal stresses
Lares The spirits of departed ancestors associated with a house
Laureate Wearing a wreath of laurel leaves tied in the back with a ribbon
Legend The inscription on a coin
Legionary eagle A legionary standard surmounted by an eagle
Legionary standard A military symbol affixed to a tall pole. These were originally the guiding standards for the maniples comprising a legion.
Lepton A small Greek bronze coin best known as the "Widow’s mite" of Palestine; one half Prutah
Liberalitas The personification of liberality or generosity
Libertas The personification of liberty
Libra An Italian pound
Lictor One of the guards or escorts for Roman magistrates; they bore the fasces as a symbol of office
Litra A Sicilian Greek pound
Lituus Augur’s or priest’s staff; like a shepherd’s crook
Luster A sheen or radiance of a coin’s surface; resulting from reflection of light off flow lines caused by striking
Manus Dei Hand of God appearing from above as an indication of divine approval.
Mars Roman god of war
Medallion A large presentation piece not intended for circulation as money
Medusa (Gorgon) Snake-haired female monster
Mint luster See luster
Mint mark A mark added to a die to indicate the mint at which a coin was struck. Under the Romans this often included the individual workshop in a mint
Mint state As struck; uncirculated.
Modius A container used to hold or measure grain and other foodstuffs; one third amphora; about one peck
Module The size of a flan
Moneta The personification of money
Monogram A symbol comprised of conjoined letters
Mural crown A crown whose decoration is battlements representing the walls of a city; often worn by Tyche

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