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Mints and Their Marks - Common Mint Marks

Roman Mints     Provincial Mints

Mint MarkStarting around the middle of the 3rd century A.D., Roman mints began incorporating mint marks as a form of control over the actions of mint officials. If a problem was found on a particular series of coins (underweight for example) , the coins could be traced to the offending mint and the officials held liable.

Mint marks are located on the reverse of the coin at the bottom in an area known as the 'exergue'. The exergue is visually set off from the rest of the reverse design by a line (see red arrow on example). However, in some cases, part of the mint mark (such as the officina or workshop) may be found in the body of the reverse design or even on the obverse. The reverse example that you see at left has a fictious mint mark of PLNA, circled in red. We will examine what this mint mark may represent later.

A mint mark was (usually) formed from three elements:
1: A letter P (Pecunia = money), M (Moneta) or SM (Sacra Moneta = Imperial money). 
2: One to four letters representing the mint.
3: A single letter indicating the Officina or workshop. In the Latin system, the officina was indicated by A = prima or 1st officina, B = secunda or 2nd, C = tertia or 3rd, etc. In the Greek system for some colonial or provincial mints, the system was, 1st officina is represented by Alpha, 2nd by Beta, 3rd by Gamma and so on. 

So, if we take our fictious example from the coin above, we can see the mint mark is 'PLNA'. If we break it apart into the 3 elements, we can see 'P' for Pecunia, 'LN' for Londinium and 'A' for the 1st officina. In this particular case, both the 'PLN' and the 'LN' can be found in the table under Londinium. So, putting it all together we can see that this coin would have been minted in Britain (Londinium) during the first workshop.

As you learn about mint marks, you will find variations to this description. Sometimes the officina will not be found in the reverse exergue, but in the reverse field or on the obverse. Other times the Pecunia, etc letter will be missing. And still other times you will find only the mint designation in the exergue. The only way to learn is to study the coins you have and become used to the variations you will see.

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Roman Mints

Ancient Location Modern Location Mint Marks Notes;
Alexandria Egypt  AL, ALE, ALEX, SMAL ca 294 A.D. - until closed by Leo I
Ambianum Amiens, France AMB, AMBI 350 - 353 A.D.
Antioch/Antiochia  Antakiyah, Syria  AN, ANT, ANTOB, SMAN  closed under Leo I 
Aquileia  Aquileia, Italy   AQ, AQVI, AQVIL, AQOB, AQPS, SMAQ  ca 294 - 425 A.D. 
Arelatum/Constantina  Arles, France   A, AR, ARL, CON, CONST, KON, KONSTAN  313 - 475 A.D. 
Barcino  Barcelona, Spain   BA, SMBA  409 - 411 A.D. 
Camulodunum  Colchester, England   C, CL  287 - 296 A.D. 
Clausentum  Bitterne, England   C, CL 
Carthage/Carthago  (near) Tunis, North Africa   K, KAR, KART, PK  296 - 307 A.D. and
308 - 311 A.D. 
Constantinopolis  Istanbul, Turkey   C, CP, CON, CONS, CONSP, CONOB  326 - ??? A.D. 
Cyzicus  Kapu Dagh, Turkey   CVZ, CVZIC, CYZ, CYZIC, K, KV, KVZ, KY, SMK  Closed under Leo I 
Heraclea  Eregli, Turkey   H, HER, HERAC, HERACI, HERACL, HT, SMH  ca 291 A.D. - until closed by Leo I 
Londinium  London, England   L, LI, LN, LON, ML, MLL. MLN, MSL, PLN, PLON, AVG, AVGOB, AVGPS  287 - 325 A.D. and
383 - 388 A.D. 
Lugdunum  Lyons, France   LD, LG, LVG, LVGD, LVGPS, PLG  closed ca 423 A.D. 
Mediolanum  Milan, Italy   MD, MDOB, MDPS, MED  ca 364 - 475 A.D. 
Nicomedia  Izmit, Turkey   MN, N, NIC, NICO, NIK, SMN  ca 294 A.D. - until
closed under Leo I 
Ostia  Port of Rome, Italy   MOST, OST  308 - 313 A.D. 
Ravenna  Ravenna, Italy   RAV, RV, RVPS  ca 5th century -
ca 475 A.D. 
Rome  Rome, Italy   R, RM, ROM, ROMA, ROMOB, SMR, VRB ROM  closed 476 A.D. 
Serdica  Sophia, Bulgaria   SD, SER, SERD, SMSD  303 - 308 A.D. and 313 - 314 A.D. 
Sirmium  near Mitrovica, Yugoslavia   SIR, SIRM, SM, SIROB  320 - 326 A.D. and 
351 - 364 A.D. and 
379 A.D. and 
393 - 395 A.D. 
Siscia  Sisak, Yugoslavia   S, SIS, SISC, SISCPS  closed ca 387 A.D. 
Thessalonica  Salonika, Greece   COM, COMOB, SMTS, TH, THS, THES, THSOB, TE, TES, TESOB, TH, TS, OES  ca 298 A.D. - until 
closed by Leo I 
Ticinum  Pavia, Italy   closed 326 A.D. 
Treveri  Trier, Germany   SMTR, TR, TRE, TROB, TRPS  ca 291 - 430 A.D. 

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Roman Provincial Mints

City and Province As it Appears on Coinage
Aegeae, Cilicia
Amasia, Pontus   AMACIAC
Anazarbus, Cilicia
Bostra, Arabia   BOCTPA
Cibyra, Phrygia
Damascus, Coele Syria
Emisa, Syria
Flaviopolis, Cilicia
Laodiceia ad Mare, Syria 
Neapolis, Samaria
Samosata, Commagene
Seleucia Pierra, Syria
Sidon, Phoenicia
Soli-Pompeiopolis, Cilicia
Tiberias, Galilaea
Tyre, Phoenicia
Viminacium, Moesia Superior   P M S COL VIM

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Compressore Coin, Germany

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