Claudius II, commonly known as Claudius Gothicus, was Roman emperor for a couple years, from 268 to 270 AD. He fought successfully against Germanic and Gothic tribes. He died of a plague while preparing for another war campaign against the Vandals, and the Roman Senate quickly deified him. The 'DIVO CLAUDIO' inscription on the coins means 'Deified Claudius' or 'Saint Claudius'. These coins were struck in the name of Claudius II for about a year after his death.
The obverse shows Claudius wearing a radiate crown. The Roman coins didn't explicitly state the denomination, and this radiate crown meant that coin was an antoninianus. The reverse shows either an eagle or an altar. Values for both reverse designs are about equal:
worn: $5 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $30
well preserved: $120
For a coin to be valuable, the obverse must show good detail in Claudius' beard, crown and facial features. On the reverse, collectors like either an eagle with a well-defined beak and detailed feathers, or an ornately decorated altar with sharp edges. For both sides of the coin, inscriptions must be clear and legible. It's also a big plus if the coin still has the original ancient silvering on the surfaces.
Low value coins are just the opposite - Claudius' head looks like a vague humanoid blob, the inscriptions cannot easily be deciphered, and the reverse is unimpressive.
The coin in our main picture (with eagle reverse) comes from Lanz Auctions in Munich. CoinQuest thanks Lanz for use of their coin image.
Remember to read our Important Terminology page found at the top left in order to properly interpret these catalog values.