Medallion (Billon, 30 mm, 17.39 g, 1 h), Rome, 254-256. IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG Laureate and cuirassed bust of Gallienus to right, with slight drapery on his left shoulder. Rev.
MONETA AVGG The three Monetae standing front, their heads to left, each holding cornucopiae in her left hand and a scale over a pile of coins in her right; the Monetae on the left and right both holding balance scales with a short handle (for weighing silver and aes); the central Moneta holding a small balance scale with a very long handle (for weighing gold). Cohen -. Dressel -. Gnecchi p. 53, 20 and pl. 27, 2 (same dies
). MIR 299f. Tocci -. Extremely rare. A bold and impressive early medallion struck in unusually good metal. Slightly rough and with minor deposits, otherwise,
From an American collection.
It was long believed that the issuing of coins and medallions showing the three Monetae was always connected to monetary reforms. However, the scene occurs too regularly to maintain such a view. Medallions such as this extremely rare piece of Gallienus more broadly proclaim financial stability of the trimetallic Roman currency, and because Roman coins were instrumental in conveying imperial propaganda, it is perhaps not surprising that the more unstable the Roman currency system became throughout the third century, the more frequently the Monetae appeared as a reverse type. This is reminiscent of the surge of military types under the barracks emperors, proclaiming endless imperial victories in a time of perpetual military crises.