I have had a fascination with the early half dimes since I was in high school. I could not get over the fact that the same beautiful Draped Bust design that appeared on the Bust Dollar was also on such a tiny coin. The trouble these coins are so scarce, as a group, that I didn’t see my first one until I was a junior in college. A coin dealer, who had a shop in northern Delaware had an 1800, the most common Draped Bust, Large Eagle date, in what I remember to be VF. The asked price was $300. I added up all the money I had, as a college student, and could have bought it … if I decided that I didn’t want to eat.
After I graduated from college and landed my first job, I got my first early half dime, an 1800 “LIBEKTY.” This Red Book variety was created when Robert Scott, who probably made the dies, used a broken letter punch for the "R" in "LIBERTY" that had an open spot at the top. It is moderately scarce with perhaps 275 to 325 examples known. Here it is....
The traditional interpretation of one of the major works of Greek statuary, the so-called Apollo Sauroktonos, is that it depicts a young Apollo about to slay a lizard climbing on a tree. The earliest reference to the sculpture is by Pliny, who attributes it to the Athenian sculptor Praxiteles, and describes what the piece looked like: “[Praxiletes] also made a pubescent Apollo with an arrow watching a lizard as it creeps up with the intent to kill it; this is known as the Sauroktonos.” Sauroktonos is typically translated as “lizard-slayer.” Art historians date the work to c.350-340 BC.
The sculpture was well-known by Roman times and numerous copies and variants in virtually all media are known. The most famous are the Roman copies in the Louvre and the...
I read many post talking about the famous forger Becker lately. Was he a skilled artist or a crook ? Before you answer, let’s examine who he was and what he did.
Carl Wilhem Becker is born June 28 1772 in Speyer , a town located beside the river Rhine. Founded by the Romans, It is one of Germany’s oldest city . His father owned a vineyard and was in the wine business, and also occupied the position of Syndic, probably similar to what we call a mayor today. In his youth, Carl was not interested in wine trade, but would rater study in art and become a sculptor. He was sent at Bordeaux for his training in the wine making profession. He married a woman of Mannheim in May 1795 and opened his own wineshop in this city. From 1798 to 1803 he set up there as a draper but became bankrupt. His personal diary indicates that by 1796 at the latest he dealt with coinage. There is a (...
Most numismatists believe that the 1907 High Relief $20 gold piece is the most beautiful U.S. coin. This piece was the “pet baby” of President Theodore Roosevelt who started the “Renaissance of American Coinage” which extended from 1907 to 1921.
In 1905 President Roosevelt met with Augustus St. Gaudens who was viewed as the greatest American artist of his era. Roosevelt was very dissatisfied with the designs of the coins which were then in circulation and wanted to introduce a series of U.S. coinage designs that would be on a par with America’s emerging greatness. The president asked St. Gaudens to redesign every U.S. coin from the cent to the double eagle. St. Gaudens had more assignments than he could complete, and he was also becoming progressively ill with terminal cancer. Therefore he drew up the designs and assigned an artist, Henry Herring, who worked in the St. Gaudens studio, to execute the models.
Dear Friends of ancient mythology!
Romulus has been depicted on coins not before Augustus. It was said that Augustus was flirting with the idea to take the name Romulus for himself. But as we know he has abstained it. Romulus indeed was the founder of the city, but as first king definitely not a good example for the Republic. Quite the opposite to it he was seen as tyrant and Cicero compared some of his adversaries like Sulla, Lepidus or Caesar with Romulus. At Horaz the mythological fratricide became the original guilt ('Erbschuld') which was responsible for the misery of the Civil War. And that was the reason why Augustus quit the adoption of the name Romulus. It was not until the Flavians when Roman mythological themes occured on coins again.
Hadrian, AD 117-138
AR - denarius, 20mm, 3.33g
Rome, AD 134-138
Obv.: HADRIANVS - AVG COS III PP
Laureate head r.
Rev.: ROMVLO - CONDITORI
Romulus, bare-headed, in military cloak, walking tip-toed r., holding transverse...
I am pretty geeked out over this one, ugly as it may be. This is an AE from Cilicia issued by Tarkondimotos, a king with Roman sympathies who died at the Battle of Actium fighting for Marc Anthony. Tarkondimotos spent his entire career supporting Rome, but always the wrong guy - Pompey against Caesar, then Cassius, then Marc Anthony. The Battle of Actium put an end to this, and the coin was countermarked shortly thereafter with an anchor by his son Philopator I, who was hoping, probably, for another royal pardon from Octavian (nope).
In addition to being fairly unattractive, this coin puzzled me at first and I wasn't planning on bidding on it - a "Seleucid" anchor countermark on a coin issued this late seemed flaky to me. I doubted there'd be much information. The day the auction was closing I did a halfhearted search online and found that this issue was somewhat abundant, with several examples on FORVM and elsewhere. It was the FORVM listings...
A long-term goal of mine is to collect coins from all of Spain's history up until 1500. Still missing pre-Roman Iberian, and high medieval, but I can happily announce that I achieved a milestone very recently by acquiring, not one, not two, but three coins of Muslim Spain, or in Arabic, al-Andalus (الأندلس). I was not too confident in being able to identify whether a coin advertised as from al-Andalus really was the real deal, but after some research recently into Andalusian coins I decided to take the plunge.
Al-Hakam I, Emirate of Cordoba
Obv: (center, in Arabic) "There is no God but Allah. He has no equal"
(in margins, in Arabic) “In the name of Allah. this Dirham was struck in al-Andalus in the year six and ninety and one-hundred ” (AH 196)
Rev: (center, in Arabic) "Allah is One God. The eternal and indivisible, who has not begotten, and has not been begotten and never is there His equal"
(in margins, in Arabic)...
A recent internet listing for an 1804 "C-6" half cent was the motivation to pull this information together for presentation. I actually sent a note to the seller about the listed example (which he responded that it is genuine and came from a respected US auction house) as follows:
Coming from "a famous American auction house" really doesn't mean much in my opinion in the current environment of high grade counterfeits; I have documented fakes sold in 3 of the major ones here with all being in top Third Party Grader's slabs as well. In each case all that protects the buyer is his own knowledge and the auctions houses'/ TPG's guarantee, like yours.
The 1804 C-6 is a commonly used platform for current counterfeits and always warrants a second look. In the case of yours I'll start with the obverse- I have included an image of yours to a known genuine example (attached).
This die pairing ALWAYS has the spiked chin feature, but yours is diminished...
CORRECTION: These coins WERE Not originally minted for commerce, as I was originally told & were strictly meant as a Commerative
Gold Bullion mintage.
A dab of History:
Mexico has been an independent country since its independence from Spain, in September 1821 & this Mexican 50 Peso gold coin was first minted /dated 1921, 100 years after this date & thusly named 'The Centenario'. To my knowledge, it is one of two* largest gold coins minted in consecutive years
gold-weight wise, (Containing 1.20565 ounces of pure gold). This coin was designed by Emilio del Moral & is edge lettered:
"INDEPENDENCIA Y LIBERTAD”.
*Only the Peruvian 100 Gold Soles contains more gold. (1.3543 ounces) & is larger.
The 100 Soles was only minted from 1950-1970.
The Centenario Mintage
Year Quantity minted
As usual, my annual ANA pickups of freebies given out, not complete by any means.
The Sample slabs given out by ANACS, P & D mints, and PCGS.
NGC did not have any, and if you asked they were kind of nasty.
Fun Show give aways.
US Mint had a survey, and on completion you got this $1 coin in the snap tite holder
First a pin supporting legislation for the 100 anniversary coin for the last Morgan & first year peace $'s.
eBay give away, good for $10 on eBay, free $10.
Then CONECA tokens, and the mint/BEP give away of $25 of shredded money.
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