Why were these ancient imitations minted in such quantities?
While the most sought after coins can reach astronomical prices, there is no shortage of Roman coins to be found for a modest price. Despite its ugly, rough, irregular flan, abstract variation on a Tetricus I Antoninianus, blundered legends, brown and rusted patina, line drawing rendition of "PAX" with a right arm that looks more like a cornucopia than a scepter, I like the rugged look of this coin from the northwest territories that were separated from the Roman Empire between 260-274 AD as the Gallic Empire.
Aurelian reunited the empire in AD 274 in a bloody defeat of Tetricus' army in the Battle at Châlons (today Châlons-en-Champagne, France). Tetricus surrendered and survived, perhaps by betraying his army, and later was appointed by Aurelian to the role of governor in Lucania (southern Italy).
Obv: IMP TETRICVS, crude radiate bust right.
Rev: P X AC, Pax standing left, holding branch and scepter (or cornucopia?)
Size: 2.8 g, 19 mm.
A shortage of official coins in the northwest with Aurelian's reform of the monetary system is a leading explanation for why there are so many barbarous coins from this time.