A $35 Rarity

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    This slightly rough Vespasian as cost about as much as one meal at a decent restaurant. It's also a very rare variant missing from most of the major collections. IMHO, an eBay bargain.

    Æ As, 9.94g
    Rome mint, 72-73 AD
    Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS IIII; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
    Rev: AEQVITAS AVGVSTI; S C in field; Aequitas stg. l., with scales and rod
    RIC 398 (R2). BMC -. BNC -.
    Acquired from eBay, November 2020.

    Aequitas on Vespasian's coinage proclaims that the honest administration of public finances and lapsed standards would be restored. Aequitas holding her scales and measuring rod was probably based on a cult image of the deity. She first shows up as an imperial virtue on the coinage under Galba, a virtue that Vespasian was eager to emulate. Rare COS IIII variant of the Aequitas type from 72-73 AD. Missing from both the BM and Paris collections. RIC cites one specimen in the Budapest collection.

    Post your bargain rarities!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
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  3. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Did you know it was a rarity when you saw it, or was it something you didn't realize until after you bought it? In any case, congratulations on the find!
  4. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Oh, I knew straight away it was rare ... but I would've pulled the trigger even if it was a common variant. Being a specialist I want them all!
  5. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Congrats on your purchase. I would imagine the discovery itself is exciting, not only the bargain price. :happy:
    ambr0zie and David Atherton like this.
  6. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Your SC is in field like mine. I sold my III (below) to a dealer more impressed with the lack of wear than turned off by the surfaces as I was.
  7. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Good eye! Fixed.

    I'm not too bothered by the surfaces on your former coin, the sharp detail is fair tradeoff, IMHO. Plus, it's from Lugdunum, a personally interesting mint.
    ambr0zie likes this.
  8. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    A coin that I posted a few times on this forum, I consider this my biggest bargain.

    Trajan with she wolf, RIC 693.
    I wanted a Trajan coin as I had none at that point. I missed a few denarii in an auction and this appeared. I said OK, bronze will do, especially since the details are OK (except for the black deposits, but I don't intend to experiment on them).
    The surprise was when I noticed I cannot find another pic of this coin, all I found were with obverse inscription IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN............. and not like this one, IMP TRAIANO AVG.

    The coin doesn't have that reddish shade, no idea why this happened (some colors are a little enhanced in the pics from this auction house) but this is not a problem.

    Apparently there are only 3 specimens documented, all die matches, this being the 4th, also die match.

    Hammer price - 26 EUR.
  9. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    My bargain came just a week ago, when I was able to land a "Unique" coin for 3000 euros+ fees from Heritage/ Europe event.

    Regnum Francorum/ Austrasia
    AV Triens ND Brivate Mint
    Theudebert II 582-612 King of Austrasia/ Auvergne
    Merovingian Dynasty
    Compare to US coin scene/1933 Double Eagle (15 known and counting) 7.3 M 9631-l.jpg
    Ryro, nicholasz219, buckeye73 and 3 others like this.
  10. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Paid $10 for this Vespasianus Aequitas:

    Vespa Aequitas.jpg
    Jay GT4, David Atherton, Ryro and 4 others like this.
  11. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    I paid $1 for the coin, at the time uncleaned, below. Not exactly rare, but a hard-to-find reverse type. It's the reason I decided to begin collecting Bronze Coins of Constantine the Great.
    Rome mint, A.D. 318-319
    RIC 147
    Rev: ROMAE AE-TERNAE - Roma, seated right, holding shield inscribed X/V
    RS in exergue; P in left field, R in right
    20 mm, 3.1 g.
  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I won't bore you with my tales of cherry-picking, @David Atherton. You've heard them all before. I just want to say I'm happy for you and know how exciting it is to pick up an unappreciated coin at a bargain price.
    David Atherton and panzerman like this.
  13. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice price for that coin.
    David Atherton and panzerman like this.
  14. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on your find. Nice coin
    David Atherton likes this.
  15. nicholasz219

    nicholasz219 Well-Known Member

    @David Atherton Wow, so fun. I admit when I see something along these lines my first thought is if it is fake or not. But sometimes you just get lucky! I don’t collect the large bronzes but the appeal is certainly there even if the money isn’t. Cheers
    David Atherton likes this.
  16. GerardV

    GerardV Supporter! Supporter

    Always feels good to land something rare.
    David Atherton likes this.
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