Obverse: SALONINA AVG; Diademed and Draped Bust of the Empress Facing Right on a Crescent
Reverse: IVNO REGINA; Juno Standing to the Left, Holding a Patera and a Sceptre, a Peacock Stands at her Feet to the Left, a Star in the Field to the Left
Like many figures of the mid-Third Century A.D., especially in regards to the women, little is known for certain about the life of Cornelia Salonina. She married Gallienus in 243 A.D. Ten years later, he would be declared Augustus and ruled alongside his father Valerian. Shortly after his ascension, Salonina was awarded the title of Augusta in 254 A.D. After Gallienus was murdered 268 A.D., Salonina was executed along with the rest of his family.
How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. This ancient coin is a memorial an emperor’s wife passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation that still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck.