I have a little something out of the ordinary for today's installment of Faustina Friday. Today's installment deals not only with Faustina's hairdo or whether or not she's wearing a strand of pearls or a stephane in her hair, but also about ancient errors -- brockages!
Most of us know how brockages happen, but not everyone does. So, I'm going to briefly explain, helped along by images courtesy of Peter Lewis, who has an excellent paper online about ancient brockages.
Normally, the die for the obverse of a coin was fixed in a metal anvil, and the die for the reverse die was fixed in a metal punch which was hit with a hammer so that the designs on the dies were pressed into the planchet. (Figure 1)
A brockage occurs when the coin remains between the two dies and is thereby involved in striking a second coin. Because the second coin usually has the...
Valerian I Sestertius
RIC 184 - noted as common, but a check of databases indicates that rare or scarce would be more accurate.
You have to have to hand it to the ancient celators - it takes an enormous amount of skill to engrave the wonderful portraits of much of the imperial period. Compare the engravings from that time to, for example, the crude portraits of later periods. It is not surprising that that ancient art, including coins, inspired the Renaissance.
I have always been fascinated by the sestertii of the emperors who directly preceded or lived during the early part of the time of troubles ca. 250 - 260 - Trajan Decius, Trebonianus Gallus, Volusian, Valerian, Gallienus, plus empresses, princes usurpers et als. The web-site "Four Bad Years:"
shows that the Rome mint was still capable of engraving gorgeous, if not stunning portraits - I go...
So far the only Chola coins posted in this forum came from the medieval imperial Cholas (985 AD- 1044 AD), when emperors like Raja Raja and his son Rajendra expanded their empire to encompass all of South India, and reach as far as the South East Asia.
However, these following coins come from a time when the Cholas were just another local Kingdom!
This period is known as the Sangam age of Tamil society (300 BCE-300 AD), when trade and literature flourished among the three main kingdoms (Chera, Chola and Pandyas).
Since the period encompasses 600 years, the date range of these coins are only an estimate.
1. Sangam Chola anonymous ruler, these square shaped coins came before the circular issues, the obverse features a standing tiger raising its tail, and the reverse has an elephant with religious symbols...
While my main interest in numismatics has always been Roman Imperial coinage, I can't deny that I have also taken a liking to Bactrian and Indo-Greek coinage and, from there, it has developed into an interest for the other nations that existed in that area, both in the same timeframe and also after it. Out of them, one of the most prolific in issuing coins was that of the Western Satraps, to which my most recent acquisition belongs to:
Isvaradatta (242-243?), Drachm, Mint B.
Obverse: head right, wearing satrapal cap, surrounded by blundered Greek legend;
Reverse: Rajno Mahaksatrapasa Isvaradattasa Varse Prathame, three-arched hill, with crescents above and to the left, sun to the right and river below;
The history of the Western Satraps is very incomplete, due to a lack of sources, but historians were still able to piece it together thanks to numismatic evidence as well as the scant literary fragments. The Western Satraps arose in the...
While I normally put historical interest and rarity over grade and condition, it is undeniable that a common coin in an excellent state of preservation is still a fantastic addition to any collection. This is the case with this recent acquisition of mine, a very common type that not only does not show any sign of wear, and even has portions of silvering left, but also comes with an important provenance (it's my first coin with one):
Constantine I, as Augustus (306-337), Follis, Trier mint.
Obverse: CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right;
Reverse: PROVIDEN-TIAE AVGG, campgate, two turrets, 6 layers, star above. Mintmark PTR dot-in-crescent;
RIC VII 475
This coin comes from the Peter Weiß collection, which was auctioned a few weeks ago by Gorny & Mosch; it contained a great number of late Roman coins, including some very rare and impressive ones, and its owner had also written several articles regarding coinage from the Constantinian period. If anybody...
Every time I see one of these, I forget I have one, so over the years I seem to have managed to acquire a complete set of these. It's only 3 years, so it's not much of an achievement. The Showa 15 (1940) seems to be the least common of the three.
I have kind of a 10 sen coin addiction. Every time I see one in a junk bin I can't help picking one up. I probably have ~200 by now for a grand total of a little over $20.
It would be nice to complete a base metal 10 yen date set from Taisho 9 (1920) to Showa 21 (1946). Here's what a random distribution has gotten me so far:
Taisho Copper-Nickel: Taisho 9-15 = 1920-26
I have all but Taisho 13, which wasn't minted. (Please ignore that I accidentally put another year 11 where 15 should be....
Why not a thread of their own? I have a couple newps and I've mentioned a few in other posts, but time to pull it together. Will mix up the commentary with my actual coins.
Here was my first one ever! The common type.
Typical color, Mt. Fuji and cherry blossom, undated but 1945 attributed.
The porcelain coins really aren’t precisely porcelain, but a clay mix baked in high heat. Somehow the translation went that way though and the coins carry the name. Their production was at the end of WWII and there has been some debate on various message boards as to whether they circulated officially or unofficially. Most clearly did not, but as one type is much more commonly found, this has been ascribed to it having been out in the wild for a limited time. Or, that the rumor of circulation just a speculation that has been repeated.
It’s an interesting little niche, but little literature exists in English, and apparently not much in Japanese either. I...
I've been on the hunt for a coin from the forth Meris of Macedonia without much luck.
As we all know, once Perseus tried striking back at Rome after they had just crushed his father's resistance, enough was enough. Rome split Macedon into 4 different pieces, or as they called them Meris's.
The first Meris coins are plentiful (don't worry I've added my 2 below). The second Meris is more of a bucket list coin. But they are easy to get if your wallet is DEEP. Strangely, the third Meris has no known coins that we can identify as theirs. And then lastly, the fourth Meris. Which only made a few bronze coins.
I LOVE little Greek bronze coins. Especially when they are from Macedonia!
And then I happened upon this little hot mess as it jumped out at me from my coin cabinet as I was perusing my MSCs:
that I bought as:
Philip V – Perseus
(187-168 BC). Æ (22mm). Uncertain Macedonian mint. Diademed head of Poseidon r. R/...
So far this year, I’ve acquired 12 coins of which 2 are on their way to their new home. 5 of these coins show a monument, temple, or otherwise ancient building on the reverse (I love these types!). Of these 5 coins, 4 show a monument/building that actually once stood on the Forum Romanum resp. still stands (partly obviously) on the Forum Romanum on this day. This small write up concerns one the latter coins: a denarius of Octavian, showing the Senate House. I’ll try to do small write ups of the other coin on a later date.
A better struck, and overall beautiful specimen of this type is shown here, a coin by @Romancollector.
I believe most of you will know, that this coin commemorates the completion of the new Senate House by Octavian. Work on the old House (the Curia Cornelia, by Faustus Cornelius Sulla) had commenced under Caesar,...
I got a couple of fractional Byzantine coppers the other day, and I was wondering what kind of a write up they could inspire. And then it hit me... While we pursue our passionate hobby and research the history of our coins, we tend to focus on the rulers depicted on the obverse. The circumstances of the society that the coins actually represent are often side-lined or not researched at all. This is mostly down to how we collect ancients nowadays... We are usually after an 'Alexander' tetradrachm or a 'Justinian' solidus and most associated research revolves around their personality and individual achievements. But if you think about it, the very nature and purpose of a coin is to abet in the commercial running of everyday life. So what kind of lives did these people have and how different those lives were compared to ours?
A way to find out is to focus our research into the buying power of the coin in question during the era it was minted. However this is not always easy, simply...
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