THRACE, Hadrianopolis. Gordian III
AE 18 mm, 2.59 gm
Obv: AVT K M ANT ΓORΔIANOC AVΓ; laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: AΔPIANOΠOΛEITΩN; ostrich running like @stevex6 is chasing it with a basting brush
Ref: Varbanov 3833, rare
But ostriches aren't extinct, you say. True, but I believe the bird on this coin is Struthio camelus syriacus, the Arabian ostrich.
The common and extant Struthio c. camelus lives in the southern Sahara and northern subsaharan Africa. Its habitat is shown in orange on the map below. Struthio c. syriacus's approximate habitat at the time of the Roman Empire was in the areas shown in pink. The Arabian ostrich was extinct by the mid 20th century.
The two types are similar in appearance, with the...
Hey Folks, I need your help with a project I am working on for the Smithsonian Numismatic Collection. The resulting display (note: it will get carted out and be presented with a docent) will allow children and the visually impaired to learn about US coins, hold large examples in their hand, and have fun. The exhibit is also intended to be shipped to schools for the visually impaired in order to allow for those who cannot get to the Smithsonian to have access to the coins.
What do I need from you? I need very specific descriptions of the obverse and reverse of coins. When I say specific, I mean down to the number of diamonds and feathers on the IHC. The idea is that a visually impaired person can read your description and trace their fingers along the coin and follow along. Most visually impaired folks only understand our denominations based on the size and weight of the coin as the designs are too small to be felt. (Imagine the only way you could look at the coin was with closed eyes...
This ca. 1300-1310 Long Cross silver penny of Edward I "Longshanks" was the first coin I found on my 2013 metal detecting trip to England.
The pictures are just... OK. Considering my utter inexperience, I'm pleased with how they turned out. I finally upgraded to a dSLR camera, and these were the very first photos I took with it (not counting two unusable shots).
The focus, particularly on the reverse, is not optimal, but this was a first attempt.
Note the king's piggy little nose in this portrait. Medieval coin portraiture of monarchs in this era was, as many of you know, often more cartoonish than realistic. Not until the Tudor period in the mid-1500s did realistic portraits of kings like fat ol' Henry VIII again begin to appear on coins.
Hi all, it's been a while since I've posted around here. College has been my primary focus these past 3 years, so much of my collecting has been on-hold. That being said, I was able to acquire an exceedingly rare numismatic item recently, the Washington Success Token (small size). Honestly, not much is known about this coin. On the front it depicts a portrait of George Washington along with his name, and on the reverse it depicts the all-seeing eye, surrounded by the phrase "Success to the United States".
Numismatic historians disagree on the origin if this coin. Some say it was made to celebrate the 2nd inauguration of George Washington and was produced sometime in the mid 1790s. Others believe the item to be a gambling token from the late 1800s. From my (nowhere near professional) research on the item, I believe the former theory is more accurate, and for a few reasons.
1) The all-seeing eye motif was present on other US colonial coins around this time, such as the Nova...
I do, and I love these little coins.
Besides early large cents and colonials, the CBD's are perhaps my favorite U.S series.
Within the Capped Bust Dimes my favorites are the large diameter types, struck in an open collar in use until 1828. The series was continued until 1837 when the last Bust Dimes were struck.
CBD's are, as a type, fairly scarce. They are not as scarce as the Capped Bust Quarters (specially the large diameter CBQ's), but quite a bit scarcer in my opinion than Capped Bust Halves.
Consider for example that in the year 1827 alone, almost 1/2 a million more Capped Bust Halves were struck that the entire mintage of open collar dimes struck since the start of production in the year 1809, until the year 1828.
CBD's in better grades are not that easy to find.
CBD's are collected by JR numbers (named after John Reich, the chief designer for the series). All were stuck at the Philadelphia mint.
The most popular and coveted date is the 1822. Many collectors of...
As some of you know, I live in Charleston, SC. Today was the official release of the Fort Moultrie Quarter in the America the Beautiful series. I decided to go, since it was nearby. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and a fun time.
When you first enter Fort Moultrie, the fort walls make an imposing presence. They loom over you, and make you reconsider an assault on this fort. These brick walls were built in the early 1800's, using a mix of freedman and slave labour. This part of the fort was built in 1808, and was used during the War of 1812 to protect Charleston.
Fort Moultrie is unique in that it was used continuously from the 1770's through WWII. Various modifications were made to the fort during each period, but you can trace the entire history of American coastal defense through this magnificent fort. In the large panorama below, history traces from right to left....
I'm quite excited by my newest coin, not only for the very interesting design (let's face it, most medieval coin designs are rather boring), but because of the history surrounding it.
When Pope Innocent III ascended to the Papal throne in 1198, Europe had achieved an uneasy and temporary truce with Saladin and the Muslim defenders of the Third Crusade. The great kings and princes of Europe became too enmeshed in their own quarrels to organize another crusade like the previous one attended by the kings of England, France, and the Holy Roman Emperor. Yet, a relatively small group of knights would eventually be gathered. Their goal was the Holy Land to re-establish the Crusader states, but without the patronage of the Kings of Europe, they were sorely lacking funds. Despite this, the Crusaders would agree to meet in Venice, and from there hire the boats necessary to sail to the Holy Land. Venice then, was prepared to receive a large amount of money which would be distributed to...
One of the stops on our amazing honeymoon in Central Europe was a small Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic. Situated on Vltava river, it's a picturesque town that turned out to be a hidden gem. We enjoyed walking around the castle, chatting with the locals and canoeing down the river through the city.
While going through the castle, I was surprised to find a small mint. Apparently a number of the ruling families minted coins at different times in castle's history.
Here's some info from the tour:
Hello all - I believe I have posted the following coins randomly a while ago, but since I have been without any major purchases for a while, I though I would take the time to put together a better write-up for these. The coins come from the Genoese controlled city of Caffa from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The allure of Caffa, is its connection to the Black Death.
The Crimea and Genoa's colonies, including the city of Caffa. Caffa acted as a major trading center for Italy on the Silk Road.
The story of the Black Death begins with the Mongol Empire. Through terror, destruction, and war, the Mongols built the largest empire the world had yet seen, and its crowning jewel was China. The Mongols established their own Yuan Dynasty, but were hated by the Chinese. The Mongols destroyed or corrupted China's meritocracy, and the ethnic Chinese suffered under their rule. The Yuan dynasty was short lived however, as the Red Turban...
The year is 976 AD. For over 200 years the remains of the once great Umayyad Caliphate have managed to keep their Abbasid enemies at bay, and have secured a few remaining territories in North Africa, as well as Al-Andalus in Iberia. By all accounts, they've done a good job of it. Islamic culture, science, mathematics, architecture, and literature have thrived under their rules, and the Christian kings of Iberia have been pushed back, and a "permanent peace" appears to have been secured between the Caliphate and the Christian kings...the Christian Reconquista seems almost like a thing of the past. What could possibly go wrong?
Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba, circa 972 AD
It is in this climate of optimism that the Umayyad Caliph Hisham II took the throne. Little could his subjects know that within 4 decades the seeds of the Islamic decline in Iberia would be firmly sowed, and the last remnants of the once great Umayyads would be...
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