Compared to studies that already have tackled this topic, but only for a specific coinage or period, our sample of coins (more than 150 specimens from around the Mediterranean Sea and struck between 5th c. BC and 3rd c. AD) adds to our understanding of different coin manufacturing processes on a large geographical and chronological scale. These data will help to refine the quantification of the ancient monetary production.
Through chemical analysis (XRF, EDX) made on coin sections, we first identified metallurgical recipes used during Antiquity. We then conducted metallographic analyses to determine thermic and mechanical processes applied. With these data, we can identify different steps of the coin production process and even at this early stage identify coins with a more complex metallurgical history than only casting and minting. Furthermore, the impact of minting on the microstructure of coins and productivity of the dies was quantified with Vicker’s hardness tests on our sample.