Ruler: Julius Caesar
Date: 49 BC
Reverse: Simpulum, Sprinkler, Axe
Reference: Crawford 443/1
The minting of silver coins was under the complete control of the Roman Emperor. Some of the cities with such a Roman permit that will help our understanding of coins in the 1st century are Antioch and Tyre.
There will be three sizes of silver coins that we will find. The most common is the larger of the three silver sizes and comes in various forms: a Tetradrachm or a Stater or a Shekel. For the general population this was the most preferred size of silver coins the in the western part of the Roman Empire.
The middle silver size is referred to as a Didrachma or a Half Shekel. It is this size that will be used by the Jewish community to pay the Temple Tax.
The smallest size is called also by different names. For the Romans it was called a Denarius and the Greeks called it a Drachm. This was the more preferred size for the Romans and are found in great abundance. However in the western part of the Empire, which concerns us from a Biblical point of view, the denarius was not as common. This size coin is the one that is being referred to when the Gospels speak of a "daily wage."