Roman Coins

This week our guest speaker was numismatic, Dennis Nettleton, a collector with a special interest in Roman coins.
In summary:
Dennis told us that his interest in coin collecting started whilst still a youth when his father gave him some WW1 Coins. He found them fascinating and his interest continued to include coins from England's Queen Elizabeth 1 and some of the early Kings.
As he continued Dennis took us for an exciting look at the early Roman times which spanned over 600 years and were presided over by many, many Caesers. Each Caesar that ruled, albeit for either a miniscule term or one more lengthy, deemed a coin be minted in their honour. The Romans were expanding their Empire and each battle also resulted in minted coins. The currency of those times was the Denarius.
Originally coins were pure silver but as the coffers were draining, alloys such as tin nickel and lead were also added. Metals were taken to each battle site so coins could be made to signify the date of each battle. They were moulded in the trunks of trees with the inscriptions being etched in reverse so as to appear in a readable form when finished.
The metals were mainly sourced from India. At the beginning of the Roman Empire the coins were 98%  silver but only 2% by the end.
As the Roman soldiers were sent off to battle they were paid in advance, often they would bury their coffers under a tree or bridge, never to return, hence the number of caches being discovered today in modern England.
Dennis sparked our interest with colourful tales of Caesar battles and corruption, and of the ultimate downfall of the Empire.
Dennis showed us his favourite coins,  a cartwheel twopence from the reign of King George 111 dated 1797 and one made by the first steam driven coin press. A coin that opened to reveal further small coins inside it also sparked our interest . One tiny coin was minted in 1591. We were also shown a Victorian ½ farthing and sheets of interesting collection items.
We could have listened to Dennis for hours and we certainly left the table that evening a lot more knowledgeable than when we arrived.