Bruttia Crispina, wife of Roman emperor Commodus, lived from 164 to 191 AD. She was married away at the age of fourteen to emperor-designate Commodus, who was at the time 16 years old. The marriage brought considerable wealth to the future emperor, and had been arranged with the influence of Crispina's father-in-law, Marcus Aurelius. The marriage did not produce any heirs.
Coins were minted with her likeness from 178 to 182 AD.
With nice eye appeal, no major issues, and light to average wear, these coins usually fall in the $60 to $100 US dollar range for large bronze sestertii, and $25 to $40 for the lighter copper asses and smaller dupondii. When worn, poorly cleaned and tainted, they are much more affordable.
A sestertius is large, usually 25 mm and above, commonly 28-29 mm. Smaller, thinner sestertii can weigh as little as 18 grams, but they are normally found around 22 grams, sometimes as heavy as 25 grams.
An as is lighter, and also around 25 mm in size. It is identified easily by its much lower weight, normally in the neighborhood of 10 to 13 grams.
A dupondius will be smaller, 20-21 mm seems to the common size, with weights around 10-11 grams. They often have a more golden color than the asses, since they were minted in 'orichalcum', an ancient Roman bronze alloy.
In ancient Rome, one sestertius was equal to two dupondii, and one dupondius was equal to two asses, such that one as was equal to one quarter sestertius.
Approximate catalog values go like this:
average circulated: $65
well preserved: $180
almost uncirculated: $500
The sestertius in our main picture comes from Lanz Auctions in Munich. This particular coin is in such wonderful shape, it blasted through catalog values and sold for 1050 euros (about $1150 US dollars) during a 2012 auction. CoinQuest thanks Lanz for use of their coin photo. It's a beauty!
ASSES AND DUPONDII:
average circulated: $30
well preserved: $80
almost uncirculated: $380
CoinQuest normally does not use the 'almost uncirculated' grade. However, Roman coins will not be fully uncirculated; no sestertius has been preserved without friction to its surfaces for almost two thousand years.
This somewhat ambiguous almost uncirculated grade is here taken to mean a coin that has no loss of metal from even the highest points of its surfaces, with a full, strong strike, no issues, and no corrosion. Friction to the coins surfaces is considered unavoidable, and mint luster is rarely present.
The beautiful coin in our picture was sold by eBay vendor del550 for £44.99, or just under $60 US dollars. del550 is a reputed vendor with a strong record of positive feedback.
If you were to sell a coin like del550's to a dealer, figure a value around $25. If you were to sell it at a web auction without a positive reputation from an established customer base, figure a value around $35.