Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Emergence of Silver Coins in Ancient Rome

 A respected presence in the Wisconsin dermatology community, Dr. Steven Armus serves as head of Native Prairie Restoration and guides a company that combines environmental and horticulture expertise. An outdoors enthusiast, Dr. Steven Armus also enjoys activities such as coin and stamp collecting. 

One of the early centers of coinage was ancient Rome, which first produced coins in the 4th century BC, which supplanted the cumbersome “aes rude” bronze weight system. More portable and created from metals obtained from throughout an expanding empire, the Roman coin had a widely recognized value extending beyond borders. 

The first example of a figure on a Roman coin was under Julius Caesar, who selected his own profile as a fitting image. This was followed by Brutus, who also placed his image on one side, with a pair of daggers representing the assassination of Caesar on the back. 

As Rome relied more on its coins for financing expansion, more coins were placed in circulation and the amount of silver in even high-value pieces dropped from pure to 50 percent to as low as two-percent silver. These low-silver-content coins were given a fine silver finish, but this did not prevent the hoarding of more valuable pure silver pieces. Starting under Marcus Aurelius, the coins were stamped in ways that indicated the specific silver content, which was typically five to 10 percent.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tarpon Fishing in Costa Rica

Serving Native Prairie Restoration in Franksville, Wisconsin, as a prairie technician and environmental biologist, Steven Armus enjoys the outdoors. Away from his professional work, Steven Armus takes tarpon fishing to Costa Rica. 

Also called The Silver King, tarpon can grow over 7 feet long, weigh over 300 pounds, and live in both fresh water and saltwater. While very difficult to hook, and even harder to hold onto, they are often caught as trophy fish, as they aren't usually eaten. When hooked, a tarpon will almost always thrash around, making reeling it in extremely difficult. 

In Costa Rica, the Rio Colorado on the northern coast is one of the most notable destinations in the world for tarpon fishing. Tarpon are most commonly caught in the dry months, from January until May. However, the seas in January and February can often be rough and unpredictable, while March brings smooth waters and overall favorable conditions.