The ancient Romans developed a coin making technique which is still used today, known as minting. The blacksmiths would either use cold or hot sheets of metal to create the coin and then heavy bronze or iron stamps to impress the details of the coin onto the metal body. It was thought to be a two or three person job. The images typically shown on the coin would be the profile of the emperor or someone from his family, or a notable leader. The profile image of their head would also be surrounded with letters usually detailing the name of the person on the coin and the date that the coin was made. On the obverse side the scene shown was typically showing a significant battle or religious scene.
This particular coin depicts the profile of Licinius I, deciphered from the legend on the obverse. He was a Roman emperor who ruled from AD 308 to 324 and for most of his reign, he was the colleague and rival of Constantine I. He had co-authored the Edict of Milan in AD 313 and granted official toleration to Christians in the Roman Empire with Constantine. They split when Constantine tried to take power, invading the Balkans and trying to squeeze out the claims of Licinius the Younger to becoming Caesar. Licinius suspected Christians in his service of being Constantine’s partisans, and began to dismiss them. On this pretext, Constantine attacked Licinius, eventually defeating his forces. Licinius and his son were sent to live as private citizens, but in early AD 325 they were hung.