According to Eusebius, Roman historian and Christian theologian, 'Constantine the Great was matched by none in grace and beauty of form, or in tallness, and so surpassing his contemporaries in personal strength that he struck terror into them.' The quote comes from (where else?) ConstantineTheGreatCoins.com, and CoinQuest appreciates the depth and scholarly work shown on that web site.
This coin comes from Constantine I (the Great), although similar coins can be found with his son (click here). The 'castle' reverse is known as a Roman campgate, and the full inscriptions read:
CONSTAN TINVS AVG
PROVIDEN TIAE AVGG
Silver coins also carry similar patterns and are more valuable, but these copper coins generally catalog as follows:
worn: $10 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $20
well preserved: $80
For a coin to have this value, it must be attractive to a collector. Different collectors will have different personal tastes in coins, but almost universally liked are a well centered strike, legible inscriptions, and an attractive patina. The patina is the color that the coin has taken over the centuries from exposure to the elements. Coins that have been harshly cleaned will be stripped of their patina, leaving shiny metal that will never look the same again.
The coin in our picture with its pleasingly smooth patina, fully centered strikes on both sides, and easily readable legends comes from Jean Elsen et ses Fils in Brussels, and CoinQuest thanks them for use of their image. But the secondary picture, with the yellow background, muddies the waters. It is a reproduction sold as a real coin. Such counterfeiting is always a problem in modern numismatics (coin collecting). If you are buying such material, deal only with people you trust. Thanks to ForumAncientCoins.com for the picture of the fake.