KOSON Gold Staters (with and w/o Monogram)
The Roman consuls and magistrates walking through the ancient streets of Rome on their way to conduct business or making their way to the forum, would be accompanied by their lictors who would carry axes and fasces as symbols of their power & authority. The bundles of birch, fasces symbolized power in unity, meaning that a bundle is stronger than a single stick.
An old theory for this type Koson gold stater says it was issued by Koson, Scythian dynast, who ruled from Olbia, 44 – 29 B.C. Coins that were issued by the Dacian Kingdom during this period imitated coins the Roman Republic and often used different obverse and reverse designs.
In 2002, an analysis of the Koson gold stater with metallurgical methods, confirmed that the gold used to strike these coins is ancient. New investigations were conducted in 2012 by the National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering in Bucharest, Romania, in the Institute for Synchrotron Radiation at Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe in Germany, and in the Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro in Padua, Italy. The results make it clear that a distinction be made between the two different types of Koson staters – coins with monogram and coins without monogram . The coins without monogram , like the one above, in addition to not having a monogram, were struck with coarser engraving of the dies and will often have rougher surfaces. The differences indicate these two types were likely not struck at the same mint. The 2012 research has also shown that the two types were struck from different gold sources. The coins with monogram do not contain tin or antimony, but the coins without monogram contain significant amounts of both. This indicates coins with monogram were struck with gold refined by the process used by the Roman Republic, where by, tin and antimony were removed during the process. Where as, coins without monogram were struck with natural unrefined gold, as found in the rivers of Dacia. In addition, the gold is identical to the gold found in bracelets from the ancient capital of the Dacia, Sarmizegetusa. Since this gold is unrefined gold from Dacia, and the Dacians had not learned how to refine gold as the Romans had, this then indicates that the coins without monogram were likely producded by the Dacians. Almost all the coins struck in Dacia during this period imitated the coins of Rome. This along with the coarser design and rough surfaces also indicate the coins without monogram were struck by the Dacians. Most likely at Sarmizegetusa.