Silver Ancient Roman Coins are a great collectors items. It wasn't until Julius Ceasar that Roman coins began depicting living leaders. His was the first such portrait. The coins with living figures had the standard monetary value, but there were favored coins that people chose to carry, others that the owner would try and get rid of, or that the state simply melted down. One myth concerning this practice stated that following the death of Caligula (a very corrupt leader) the Senate ordered that all coins bearing his likeness be melted.
As the Roman Republic became the Empire, these politicized coins became more prevalent, and political affiliation could be determined by examining the coins someone carried. During the time of the Empire the images on the opposite side of the portrait also changed in context, depicting political messages intended to sway the opinion of the public.
The main base monetary value was the denarius, first minted around 211 BC, lasting until the third century AD. It officially had a consistent silver content of 4.5 grams, although depending on the minter and the receivers of the coins, often they were physically smaller, and could have up to a gram less of silver. During times of war or other disasters that would cost the actual value of the coin would also decrease as a wealth increasing measure for the state.
After the continuing decline in value of the denarius the state introduced a double denarius piece, called the antoninianus. This coin had the monetary value of 2 denarii, but the actual value of about 1 ½ denarii. As the need for more coins increased and the pure silver supply decreased, the silver content of Roman coins still continued to be debased through the next centuries. Eventually coins contained barely if any precious metals, and the Roman government they could stretch the budget by continuing to remove the intrinsic value of the coins.
After Julius Ceasar, Rome became an empire. Many more coins were minted under the Roman Empire. Coins minted during this time are referred to as Imperial coins. These coins were minted by the Roman empire. You can buy Imperial coins online.