Aureus: Difference between revisions

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The ''solidus'' was first introduced by [[Diocletian]] (r. 284–305) around 301 AD, struck at 60 to the Roman pound of pure gold (and thus weighing about 5.5 g each) and with an initial value equal to 1,000 ''denarii''. However, Diocletian's solidus was struck only in small quantities, and thus had only minimal economic effect.
 
The [[Solidus (coin)|''solidus]]'' was reintroduced by [[Constantine I]] (r. 306–337) in 312 AD, permanently replacing the ''aureus'' as the gold coin of the Roman Empire. The ''solidus'' was struck at a rate of 72 to a Roman pound of pure gold, each coin weighing twenty-four Greco-Roman carats, or about 4.5 grams of gold per coin. By this time, the solidus was worth 275,000 of the increasingly debased ''denarii''.
 
However, regardless of the ''size'' or ''weight'' of the ''aureus'', the coin's purity was little affected. Analysis of the Roman ''aureus'' shows the purity level usually to have been near to 24 [[Carat (purity)|karat]] gold, so in excess of 99% pure.