Saturday, May 2, 2009
The Roman goddess Vesta, guardian of hearth and home, makes an interesting Queen of Coins; as deity of sacred fire, she suggests the alchemical process of smelting. (Vesta's priestesses, by the way, were the famous Vestal Virgins. They tended to the eternal flame at Vesta's temples.) On this coin, Vesta is shown seated on a throne. In the palm of her hand is the Palladium of Rome, a talismanic effigy of safety.