I was fortunate enough to locate and acquire a coin of great rarity and historical interest. The first indigenous gold coin of Taprobane (Ceylon, now Sri Lanka)! This coin was most likely initially minted in Mahanagkula, a city situated on the extreme south of the Island. This was a turbulent time for Taprobane. The great majority of the island was under the rule of the mighty Chola from India, an empire made of up the Chola, Chera, and Pandya states of south India.
The Chola invasion (AD 997-1017) lead by Raja Raja Chola the Great toppled the ancient Kingdom of Anuradhapura which stood since BC 377. For decades following the invasion, anarchy would be the norm. Several native kings would resist their Cholan overlords while battling each other for control of the south of the Island.
This particular specimen names the ruler as Shri Vajayabahu (VB). In his youth he went by the name Kitti. It is recorded that he came from a noble lineage and possessed exceptional skill and...
I recognize cut Pennies (or technically half pence or farthings in England) are not the most desired coins since they are technically mutilated, but I have found them fascinating since this was a practical method of making change in the middle ages, particularly when there was only one circulating coin (such as the penny in England).
In England, the practice of cutting pennies even led to changes in coin designs to help ease the creation of small change (and also to prevent the practice of clipping coins). Since the introduction of Christianity to England, Crosses were a common motif on the reverse of pennies, and they became the major element of design on the reverse after the Norman conquest (excepting the name of the mint and moneyer where the coin was produced, and a few other irregular issues). During the reign of Henry II (r. 1154-1189), a new coinage was established to replace the many irregular pennies produced during the "anarchy"/civil war that occurred during the...
Some series are very difficult to find in a prooflike condition. Some are nearly impossible. Prooflike copper is incredibly hard to find - across all series. I've been looking for a prooflike Flying Eagle for a long time, and while I've watched a couple cross the auction block, bidding has always been spirited. (A PL Indian cent is even harder - and PL Lincolns are just not found).
So, when I saw the current coin come up in the recent ANA Stacks auction, I knew that I was going to go all in. Over the past year or two, prooflike coins have been really hot. Fortunately, they seem to have cooled off again. I was able to win this coin for significantly less than my max bid, and for about half of what an example sold for at Heritage a couple of years ago.
The Flying Eagle cent was a very short-lived series. The patterns of 1856 are very popular, but regular issues were only minted in 1857 and 1858. The 1858 coins are divided into two subtypes, the Large and Small letter varieties....
Emperor Constantius II entered Rome on 28 April 357, it was the first time in his life that he visited Rome.
Constantius had been in Mediolanum since 353, campaigning against the germans on the Danube frontier and desperately trying to retake northern Gaul from the invading alemanni; northern Gaul had went to hell in a hand basket since Magnentius's defeat at Mursa Major in 353.
Constantius elevated his young cousin Julian to the rank of Caesar to deal with the crisis in Gaul while he eventually set off for the Eternal city.
The contemporary historian Ammianus Marcellinus says that the visit was to shore up the Arian Christian Emperor's position with the still largely Pagan Roman Senate and aristocracy, others say it was just a sightseeing tour.
Constantius entered the city on the 28 of April in a grand triumphal procession. Ammianus notes that it was a hollow victory because Constantius was celebrating his victory over Magnentius and by extension those Romans killed at Mursa Major in...
In honor of Independence Day in America, here's a relatively new purchase of mine depicting a historical victory. I acquired this coin because of an example posted by @Cucumbor around two years ago - it took until a few months ago to find one I liked. I originally passed up this coin as the auction images were underwhelming, but upon being offered it in person by the dealer who bought it at the auction, it took a nanosecond to say yes and write the check.
While fighting the battle of Philippi, Octavian vowed to avenge the assassination of his adoptive father Julius Caesar. Octavian set plans in motion to build a temple honoring the god Mars Ultor (“the Avenger”). Mars was the god of war, protector of Rome, and second only to Jupiter in importance. Caesar had stated earlier that he wished to build a temple honoring the god, but was assassinated before planning could begin.
After reading up on the fakes coming out of China[/URL], I decided to get my hands on one (it was that easy). Here’s a 1879-CC in “UNC” condition. See the images below. The luster was a bit “off” at the high points, particularly on the obverse, but the cartwheel was fully intact. At worst, it looked like a lightly cleaned genuine Morgan to the naked eye. With a bit of pocket wear, it could easily pass for an AU coin.
At this point, I’d recommend only buying raw coins from the most reputable of dealers on eBay (I can list them off on one hand), or dealers whom you’ve done repeated business with & developed a rapport.
Another option is to stick to slabbed coins on eBay, but apparently they are being counterfeited too….Be cautious of any PCGS/NGC slabbed coins that look off. Have genuine slabs to compare against. Take note of the font details, as well as the plastic raised...
For 2015 I sought to set a simple goal. I would acquire a gold coin by hook or by crook. Many of you saw the large Electrum Kidarite Dinar I posted a while back, great coin but still not a gold coin. I knew there were of ancient and medieval coins available everywhere and its just a matter of throwing money at it.
Hugely generalizing its very difficult to find an ancient or medieval coin in VF or better condition for less than $500. There are a few very good candidates for what is considered relatively inexpensive gold coins. You have some common Byzantine solidi and fractions that can be had in the $250 range. On occasion you might find a large diameter scyphate coin from the Middle Byzantine period in VF (or super EF if you are Eng). If neither of these is what strikes your interest at the moment than the quest gets rather interesting. Ancient Roman, Greek, Persian and Chinese gold are generally unavailable to the average casual collector and can range from $1000 to Moon Cheese....
This info comes from one of my bullion suppliers.
At first glance the American Gold Eagle looked fine. Its color, weight, density and feel were all correct. It measured 32.70 (mm) Diameter and 2.87 (mm) Thickness, matching that of a genuine Eagle.
The other day I stopped in a local coin shop which had a weekly bid board ending then. After looking over the lots on the wall and not seeing too much that I really wanted to bid on, I looked over the large lots and expensive coins which are kept in one of the glass cases instead of being hung up on the bid board. One lot that caught my eye was the following medal, sorry the photos are so dark, was doing the best I could with a borrowed camera set up:
Stacks Bowers and PCGS (both in Irvine) recently announced the following grading and consignment event at Stacks’ new offices and since PCGS was offering tours of their offices at the same time, I thought I’d take the opportunity to consign some coins I’ve had for a while to the August ANA auction and take PCGS up on their tour offer which is what I did today. Here is their announcement:
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