Obverse: IMP C M AVR PROBVS PF AVG; Radiate, Draped, and Cuirassed Bust of the Emperor Facing Right
Reverse: RESTITVT ORBIS; Orbis Terrarum Standing on the Left, Presenting a Wreath to Probus, Standing on the Right, Holding a Globe and a Staff
Probus was one of the more interesting and outstanding of the Roman Emperors. In the tumultuous 3rd century, Probus, like many others, sought his fortune through the military. Unlike others, he rose quickly to become one of the leading generals of the empire. After the death of Florianus, Probus was proclaimed emperor by his troops. His reign was unique not only for its military successes, but also for the economic reforms he initiated, including introducing viticulture into several of the western provinces. Just as remarkable was his good relations with the Roman senate. Had he lived longer, the senate might have regained its former prestige. In the end, Probus' reign was brought to a close by mutinous soldiers who were angry at having been employed on public works instead of military duties.
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 to an emperor, passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation that still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck.