A simply amazing example that confounds any explanation for how it survived in such an incredible state of preservation for more than 1700 years. The luster is exceptionally strong and seems undimmed from the day it was coined.
In 293 or 294 Diocletian reformed the coinage as part of his larger effort to regulate wages and the prices of goods and services. Diocletian''s reforms were generally unsuccessful, especially those associated with economics. His attempt to regulate the economy failed miserably, and in fact made matters worse. After his attempt to set maximum prices on goods and services, inflation skyrocketed and economic activity was forced underground, where it bypassed taxation.
His attempt to restrict personal freedoms and to increase revenues also tended to create the opposite effect. He tried to force the increasingly powerful Christian population to make sacrifices to the pagan gods, but to no avail. By the end of his reign, Diocletian recognized that his heavy-handed tactics had failed.
With these depressing reversals, a serious health crisis and (apparently) the ambitions of one of his presumed successors, the Caesar Galerius, Diocletian chose to abdicate in A.D. 305. This had never happened before in the Roman Empire, as the reigns of all previous emperors had ended only with their deaths, natural or violent.