Regulated Roman Coins and Their Imitations from India: Did Roman Coins Circulate as Money in the Subcontinent?
Abstrakt: This paper focuses on a relatively unknown group of published and unpublished Roman gold coins and their imitations from India with a large gold plug placed behind the head of an emperor. This phenomenon was briefly discussed by Peter Berghaus, who rightly noticed that the size of the filling on those coins suggests that the purpose for placing such material into the hole was different than simply the repair of a piercing made previously for a piece of jewellery. He considers the possibility that the holes were made in order to check whether those coins were plated or not and were later refilled with gold so that the coins could return to the money market. I would like to present a different explanation of this phenomenon. I would argue that those coins were perforated and plugged in order to adjust their weight. Such an adjustment let them be used as money in the Subcontinent. Similar phenomena from various parts of the world and time periods constitute the key to understand the purpose of plugging those coins and those analogies are examined in this paper as well.
Emilia Smagur, "Regulated Roman Coins and Their Imitations from India: Did Roman Coins Circulate as Money in the Subcontinent?", NN-ZN 15, 179–210 (2020)