Victor just posted his Top 10 2021 LRB list, including a great specimen of one of these interesting IOM (Ivpiter Optimvs Maximinvs) types issued by Licinius.
There are numerous points of interest to these coins, obviously starting with these highly unusual dual confronted bust obverses, usually of the Licinii (Sr + Jr).
These types were issued from three mints, Nicomedia, Cyzicus and Antioch using differentiated designs at each mint.
At Nicomedia Fortuna is featured, with a reverse legend of IOM ET FORT[VNA] CONSER DD NN AVG ET CAES, and a reverse design of IOM & Fortuna, mirrored by an obverse of the Licinii holding a mini Fortuna.
At Cyzicus Victoria is featured, with a reverse legend of IOM ET VICT[ORIA] CONSER DD NN AVG ET CAES, and a reverse design of IOM & Victoria, mirrored by an obverse of the Licinii holding a mini Victoria.
To stay in tradition, I will post my top 10 of 2021. As for most, 2021 will be remembered as the year of the pandemic. Prices of coins soared, and as a medical doctor, I had little spare time to spend on coins. Hopefully, next year will be better.
I've just checked my database: only 19 coins were added to the collection this year (that is: I've bought more, but decided to sell of a large part of my non-sceatta collection recently. Many of the better Roman and Greek coin will be sold at Roma's e-auctions 91 and 93). Of these 19 coins, four were Greek, and the remaining 15 were sceatta's. In fact: I have increased the number of sceatta's from 38 last year to 53 this year. In my top 10 of 2020, 5/10 coins were sceatta's; in 2019, only 1/10 coins was a sceatta, illustrating the current focus of...
I am happy to have added this prutah struck in Jerusalem during the First Jewish War to my collection this year. Because I think the context is what makes these coins so interesting I will spend some time in this write up discussing the relevant background and how that relates to the coins.
First Jewish War
AE Prutah, Jerusalem mint, struck ca. AD 67/8
Wt.: 2.13 g
Dia.: 16 mm
Obv.: Amphora; Paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Year Two"
Rev.: Vine leaf; Paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Freedom of Zion"
Ref.: Hendin 1360
Ex Tareq Hani Collection
Year 1: Outbreak and Early Success
In AD 66 the Roman procurator of Judaea (Gessius Florus) forcibly removed 17 talents of silver from the temple treasury in Jerusalem causing widespread Jewish unrest. Florus responded to the unrest in such an incompetent and heavy-handed manner that Josephus...
My "normal" favorite list will come later at some point in December, but for the newcomers and bargain hunters among you, this thread might be more interesting. In 2020 and 2019, I posted lists of my favorite ancient and medieval coin purchases under $25. Although the price tags on ancient coins have risen during the pandemic, I still found enough attractive coins to continue this small tradition in 2021.
The reason for this list is simple: each year, new members looking for advice and inspiration are joining this board. Many of our favorite lists could give such new collectors the impression that ancient numismatics is a hobby only suitable for people with substantial piles of disposable cash. To prove this wrong, I'll try to illustrate what is possible on a budget, and I’d like to...
I am very excited about this coin but it was a hard one to write up because it has so many different points of interest in its favor. I chose to break the write up into 4 parts: The Moneyer, The Trial, The Temple and The Provenance. Thanks for reading!
Q. Cassius Longinus, moneyer
AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck 55 BC
Dia.: 20.2 mm
Obv.: Head of Libertas right, wearing hair collected into a knot, decorated with jewels, and falling down neck, and wearing single-drop earring and necklace of pendants; LIBERT upward to left, Q • CASSIVS downward to right.
Rev.: Temple of Vesta, circular, surmounted by figure holding scepter and patera, flanked by antefixes; curule chair within; urn to left, tabella (voting tablet) [inscribed AC (Absolvo Condemno)] to right.
Ref.: Crawford 428/2; Sydenham 918
Ex Prof Dr Hildebrecht Hommel Collection, acquired from Hirsch, Auction 63, 1969, lot 2454, Ex Minotaur Coins...
OK, I'm not trying to wear readers out but I have been collecting and studying currency (and proof) issues of the Franklin Mint from the 1970s and 1980s and have made what are apparently discoveries, some of which I have shared on these boards. It is the passion of collecting I suppose...
Well, the mysteries surround mostly the uncirculated coins issued in (U) prooflike or (M) matte format.
A little bit of background without boring folks:
FM starting striking coins in earnest for foreign countries in 1970 and continued on through 1985, when their function as a minting facility dropped off (and mostly out) with a few nearly pointless exceptions. They made evidently large amounts of money selling proof sets and proof gold coins to the public and used to advertise in coin publications, newspapers and even by recall the TV. Supposedly to legitimize these as coins, they also issued specimen quality coins in sets and singly.
Mostly, the former were sold through the same outlets, the...
I've bought half a dozen Roman Alexandrian coins over the last few months, but decided to wait until the last one arrived to mention them, so I could post them all together. One is a type I never thought I'd be able to afford except in extremely poor condition: one of the Antoninus Pius Zodiac drachms. The kind I bought (a "Sun in Leo" variety) is clearly the most common, but examples still usually cost more than I'm able to spend. I was able to buy the coin I did only because it's very worn. Nonetheless, the main components of the design are still visible, and there's even enough of the obverse lettering remaining to determine where the legend breaks and be able to assign a Milne number! More importantly, I actually think the green and brown patina is rather attractive. The dealer assured me that there's no active bronze disease, and after receiving the coin I think I can confirm that he was right.
Here they are, with the Zodiac coin first and then the others in chronological...
AR Denarius, Antioch mint, struck AD 223
Dia.: 18.38 mm
Wt.: 3.20 g
Obv.: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev.: LIBERALITAS AVG, Liberalitas standing left, holding counting board and cornucopia
Ref.: RIC IV 281 Antioch
When I first saw the Liberalitas type I really wanted an example because I thought that the object that Liberalitas was holding in her right hand was an abacus. In fact, this is what the authors of RIC (1938) noted it to be as well. As an engineer and a math enthusiasts, having an abacus on one of my coins appealed to me. My assumption was that an abacus might have been used in some way in the calculations that went into the emperor distributing money to the people (a congiarium). This would have made it a great attribute for Liberalitas (the spirit of generosity).
However, during my research...
I won this lot, final cost w/premium and shipping--- $225. It looked close to 150 coins(actually 131) in the box. There were 112 1909 VDB w/95% being VF and better, mostly better. 10 - 1909-P XF-AU, 3- 1910 XF, 1 - 1914 XF, 4 Indian cents and the coin I have uploaded. I've included a couple of pics from NGC to compare shape and location of MM.
Lot that I won:
I vaguely remember hearing when I was younger that my grandmother had a gold coin stowed away somewhere. Her husband, my grandfather, is the one that got me started collecting about the time I was able to sit up on my own. We would sort pennies for hours and I would block out everything going on around us. It is some of my fondest childhood memories.
Despite that, I never really paid much interest to the gold coin story because I was concerned with stuff you found in circulation and it was impressed upon me that gold coins were expensive, thus, out of my budget.
I hadn't even thought about the coin for many years. Then, my mother moved in with us last year. She gave me some coins of my grandparents that she had held back. Mostly, low-end circulation stuff that she had held on to for sentimental reasons. Then, she mentioned the gold coin. Being a more seasoned collector now, I was interested.
Then she told me the story of how my grandmother had...
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