Collective term for medals with a conspicuous, sharply defined edge, which was subsequently ground in through a deep groove. Genuine pieces come from Rome of the later imperial period (4th-5th c.) Most contorniats are made of brass or bronze; however, other alloys are also found. Their purpose still seems to be unclear. Conjectures range from a use as tokens for games or identification, victory prizes at games, to the assumption that they were commemorative medals. – See amalfines, dareiko, florentine, infrangibility, imperial coins, contorniates, coin, coin commis, coin paradox, numismatics, samarkander, sekel, stater.
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