To Put this post into context, and think about the Romans and the quality of their skills we are looking at the quality of their sculpting of coin dies.
Just over 2000 years ago, when Jesus was walking the earth, the quality of the coin portraits was stunning, and this continued into the 3rd Century when a crisis in the Roman empire saw the gradual down grading in the quality of portraits.
The coin of Augustus (above) dates from 2BC – 13AD.
The Coin Below dates from around 150 years later, and you can still see the quality of the workmanship
However by the times of Constantine III, 407-411 AD the quality of workmanship had degraded quite a lot
The timeline continues:
Gold tremissis (shilling) of Eadbald of Kent Anglo-Saxon, AD 616-40
The Sceat series of AD 675 – AD 750
Kings of Mercia. Offa AD 757-AD 796. Silver Penny, undated. Light coinage
Berhtwulf of Mercia -Date of reign: AD 852-AD 852
Anglo-Saxon Kings of England, Aethelred II AR Penny. Canterbury Mint, AD 978-1016
Henry II AD 1154 – AD 1189
Edward I AD 1279
Henry VI – AD 1422 – AD 1427
CHARLES I AD 1625 – AD 1649
we have the Oliver Cromwell, Silver Halfcrown, dating from AD 1656 and we are starting to come back to a standard to reflect the skill of craftsmanship of the Romans, and probably not a coincidence that the description of this coin would reflect the coins from “one thousand 600 years earlier”.
laureate and draped bust left