Naturwissenschaften und Technologie in der Kunst; Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien; Schillerplatz 3; 1010 Wien
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Scientific Investigations on Roman Silver Coins of the Emperor Trajan (AD 98 – 117)

Roman Silver Coins of the Emperor Trajan (AD 98 – 117).Roman Silver Coins of the Emperor Trajan (AD 98 – 117).In the course of an interdisciplinary project a collection of 68 silver coins (denarii) of Trajan (2nd to 6th consulate) as well as 3 coins of the regime of his antecessor, Emperor Nerva (AD 96 – 98) were acquired at the coin market. To analyse these coins cross-sections were made. Those samples were analysed by µ-XRF, SR-XRF and SEM/EDX to study the chemical composition of the coins, the homogeneity of the silver-copper-alloys and degradation phenomena observed on the surfaces of the coins.

The results could show that between the 2nd and 3rd consulate (AD 98 – 100) the silver content of the coins decreases by nearly 10%. While during the 2nd (AD 98 – 99) consulate the coins contained around 87% silver and 13% copper, the coins in the 3rd consulate (AD 100) only contained 82% silver and 18% copper. Silver content of the coins.

Silver content of the coins.

Figures above: Roman Silver Coins of the Emperor Trajan (AD 98 – 117).



M. Rodrigues, F. Cappa, M. Schreiner, P. Ferloni, M. Radtke, U.  Reinholz, B. Woytek, M. Alram:
Further metallurgical analyses on silver  coins of Trajan (AD 98-117).
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, Themed issue: Synchrotron Radiation in Art and Archaeometry, 26 (2011) 984-991