Dupondii, Asi and Quadrantes

A copper As was worth four quadrantes or two semis. A brass Dupondius (the same size as the as) was worth two asi.  Two dupondii (or 4 asi) made one sestertius. On the dupondius, the Emperor was shown wearing a radiate crown (representing the rays of the sun), as opposed to the usual laurel wreath, to help distinguish it from the similar sized (but different coloured) as. The smallest coin of the early Empire at 15-17 mm, a copper Quadrans was the Widow's Mite of the Bible. Quadrantes were not normally inscribed with the Emperor's name until the reign of Claudius. The coin was in general use in the late Republic and the reign of Augustus (from 9 BC) but, after the reign of Nero, quadrantes were probably only produced for Imperial largesse (public handouts)None were issued after the reign of Antoninus Pius. Semis were issued infrequently and were worth two quadrantes. Augustus issued them in brass, then none were issued until the reign of Nero who issued them in brass and copper. Vespasian and his sons issued brass semis, as did Trajan and Hadrian. None were issued after the reign of Hadrian.