2018 – A Numismatic Retrospective

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Aethelred, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Aethelred

    Aethelred The Old Dead King Supporter

    As the year began, my expectation was that I would devote the year to the coinage of Alexandria, Egypt during the Roman Period. I felt that my collection was lacking in that area, I am interested in Roman Egypt and unlike Roman Syria (which also captures my interest), Roman Egypt is represented by a wealth of literature including the superb “Alexandrian Coins” by Keith Emmett.

    However, as we all know New Year’s plans seldom come to fruition. I listened to a few podcasts and read a couple of books about Plantagenet England, Richard the Lionhearted and King John. I didn’t have a nice coin of Richard, so I decided to seek one out. This would be a one off purchase, not a new direction, I just wanted one nice coin of the famous Crusader King. I am sure we all know how the story goes, one is never enough, especially when there are other Plantagenets who I didn’t have coins for. I ended up buying the other three I lacked (Edward II, Edward III and Richard II). Since then I have added a couple dozen other Medieval coins to my collection, most are English, French and Crusader States. The capstone of the Medieval additions was a Penny issued by my 33rd great grandfather, William the Conqueror.

    In spite of the sudden rekindling of my interest in Medieval coinage, I still kept a toe dipped in ancient waters and managed to add some nice ancients to my collection during the year.

    I have a very fond memory from the mid 1980s, I was in my mid teens, it was snowing outside and I was pouring over ancient coins and coin lists looking for a nice Denarius to buy as it snowed outside, ever since snow make me think of ancient coins and I have added dozens of memories of working on ancients during snow storms. As a result it is only natural that as Fall gave way to Winter and snows began to fall, my mind has drifted back to ancients over the last few weeks. Images of the Pharos Lighthouse and the great Library (which had been destroyed prior to the Roman Imperial era) dart through my mind and I imagine Alexandria as the jewel in the crown of great cities that dot the ancient Mediterranean coast. I have began to add a few Alexandrian coins to my collection.

    This past week I made what will probably be my last purchase of the year, I bought a gold Solidus of Honorius. As my first example of Roman gold it is a fitting and memorable way to close out my numismatic year.

    I am going to apologize for failing to follow the usual forum convention of posting a Top 10 list of my favorite coins of the year. I am not sure which my favorite is, much less being able to tell you which is #4, #7 et cetera. So instead I am going to post a few photos that shows several of my favorite additions this year. Some of my Medieval coins are currently at PCGS being entombed.

    Instead of me telling you which ones I like best, I would like you to tell me which ones you like best and why.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Richard I Penny, London

    Edward III Groat, London (ex, Lord Stewartby)

    Richard I Denier, Poitier Mint

    Bohemond III Denier, Antioch Mint
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  3. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    You sure that is Richard I? Looks more like John
  4. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    I like the Roman Republic, Edward III Groat, & the greek silvers.
  5. TheRed

    TheRed Well-Known Member

    Those are some great medieval coins @Aethelred I like them all. Your denier of Bohemond III is a great coin and that Edward III groat is just spectacular.
    I hope you continue to add medieval coins to your collection in 2019.
  6. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    I can think of only a handful of scenes on coins that can be directly related to ancient literature; that denarius depicting Ulysses coming home to his poor, mistreated dog Argo (who promptly dies after recognizing his master) is one of the best. Your reverse image is lovely. My (inferior) version:
    TIF, randygeki, Marsyas Mike and 3 others like this.
  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Same, same
    Aethelred likes this.
  8. Aethelred

    Aethelred The Old Dead King Supporter

    I'm certainly no expert of short cross pennies, but Arthur Bryant and PCGS agree that it is indeed Richard.
  9. Aethelred

    Aethelred The Old Dead King Supporter

    Thank you @TheRed I'm sure I'll be adding more, I still have some medieval goals to attain.
  10. Aethelred

    Aethelred The Old Dead King Supporter

    I looked for a long time before I found one that combined the look I wanted and a price I was willing to pay.
    Gavin Richardson likes this.
  11. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    Unless some new information has come up in the last two years or so (that ai’m unaware of), seven pellets on the crown is a giveaway that it is Richard.
  12. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    Oh - and awesome coins Aethelred!
  13. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    I love that Richard I penny and of course that groat has a great provenance. However, the Richard is my favorite because I really like that entire series starting with Henry II. I have 2 denier of Richard I but I am still lacking this type. Coincidently, I almost bought one last night. To be honest I like all of the coins you presented. I would gladly welcome any of them into my collection. You had a great year.
  14. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    Huh. How many kings used the title of HENRICUS? I know John and Henry III did. I was not aware that Richard I did as well. I looked into Richard I pennies, and I did not see any like this.
  15. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I love mythological scenes on coins, so I like the Ulysses and Argos denarius the best.
  16. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  17. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Where's the William the Conqueror penny? I want to see it. :arghh::hungry::D

    They are all great coins, but I think my favourites are the Honorius solidus (just wow!), the Rhodian mercenary drachm (both beautiful and historic, assuming I've got the ID right), and the ex Stewartby groat (strike and toning).

    A wonderful group overall, congrats!!

    Also: Arethusa has a fish in her eye! :p
  18. TheRed

    TheRed Well-Known Member

    Henry II introduced the short cross coinage in 1180 AD, and he, Richard, John, and Henry III all issued short cross pennies. It was the only style of penny from 1180 to 1247. Here is a short cross of Henry II from class 1.
    Henry II AR Penny Short Cross .png
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  19. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    I like either the RR silver, that big hunk of beautiful bronze in the middle or the gold. That Honorius is a beautiful coin, too bad he was such a dud.
  20. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    The big Ptolemy has really gorgeous surfaces, and the Rhodian drachm looks amazing. The Limetanus denarius is an example I'd love to own (still need one of those!), but overall for me the fish-in-the-eye Arethusa is my favorite. It's a real one-of-a-kind flaw. :D
  21. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    A wonderfully diverse year! Of course I like all of the Egyptian coins, and the Rhodes is gorgeous!

    As for your medievals, I don't know how to assess them other than by their history but that Edward III groat is very appealing. He looks very petulant :D.
    Aethelred likes this.
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