Excerpt from The Roman Mint and Early Britain, Vol. 5
The little discs of embossed metal which we call coins, whether made of gold, silver, or the amalgam of copper and tin known as bronze, are the most enduring if not imperishable records of nations and peoples that have long away; and as a medium of universal intercourse have, for nearly thirty centuries, probably effected more for civilisation and progress than any other work created by human ingenuity.
Of all the evidences of departed empire few are so changeless and none so indestructible as the productions of the mint; they are the faithful representative of art in all its phases from the archaic to absolute decadence, of customs, beliefs and national aspirations, disasters or successes; they render to us the lineaments of the great or notorious personages of history, and of those who otherwise would lie little more than a name. In their production the most famous artists have expended their utmost skill, and owing to the metals of which they are made, we receive many of them precisely as when produced; their size and shape have also protected them from injury, where larger or more imposing objects have either perished or been wilfully destroyed; and thus we have preserved and handed down to us a series of monumental histories at once faithful, attractive and enduring.
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