Roman coin showing Mercury. The denarius is from 82 BCE and was struck by Gaius Mamilius Limetanus.
Mercury (Mercurius) was the Roman god of trade, profit, and mercantile; also thieves and customs; the messenger of the gods. The coin shows the image of Mercury with a wide travel cap (petasos) on its head, protecting it from sun and rain; along with wings that symbolically gave him speed. On the left is the caduceus, an ancient trade symbol. The indents on the sides of the coin were a procedure used in ancient Rome to thwart attempts to counterfeit the coin’s value and use too little of the precious metal (silver or gold).