A Lucky Coin Brings Some

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kirispupis, Aug 5, 2021.

  1. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

    Recently, I took part in two auctions and picked up some new favorites.

    In the first auction, I originally bid on two coins. Of course, afterwards I was a bit pissed at myself because they were fairly low priorities, and I needed the budget for some top priority ones coming up. However, I enjoy participating at this auction, so I couldn't resist putting in what I felt were fair bids for two. The first I was quickly outbid on, but I wound up winning the second.

    Kingdom of Macedon, Philip III Arrhidaios AR Tetradrachm. Struck under Laomedon, in the types of Alexander III. Sidon, dated RY 15 of Abdalonymos = 319/8 BC. Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress / Zeus Aëtophoros seated to left, holding sceptre; ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ to right, O (date) in left field, ΣI below throne. Price P175; Newell, Dated 45; DCA 878. 16.95g, 26mm, 12h

    Technically, although I like this coin, it serves as a wake-up-call to me. I'm going to keep the attribution of Laomedon, but I'm highly skeptical. Ptolemy knocked Laomedon out of Sidon sometime in 321 or 320, so this coin was probably not minted while he was satrap. While normally I research and verify all attributions, I didn't check this one enough because I was more focused on higher priority targets. The lesson is to properly research all coins.

    Overall, though, I'm happy with the quality of the coin and it's my first from Sidon. I still haven't decided if I want to collect Alexander's mints, but I'm slowly building up a collection of them. This is also by far my cheapest tet so far.

    With this coin won, I then looked for what I call "bonus coins." Since I'm on the hook for shipping already, I check if there's anything interesting that hasn't received attention. The pickings were slim and I did have to conserve budget for future auctions, but I found an Antoninus Pius felicitas denarius with no bid. I'd promised to buy one for my son as a lucky coin, so I decided to bid.

    But how much? Should I do the opening bid, or one higher? Well, I figured if the coin was truly lucky, then the opening bid would suffice - and it did. I'm not showing the coin here because I've already given it away.

    Next, I found this Constantine I coin. I'm not focusing on Roman, let alone late Roman, but I didn't have a single coin from him and felt this one looked nice. I'd like to think the lucky coin helped me pick this up for the opening bid, but I realize the truth is that this coin isn't worth too much.

    Constantine I 'the Great' BI Nummus. Arelate, AD 319. IMP CONSTANTINVS AVG, helmeted, laureate and cuirassed bust to right / VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP, two Victories holding shield inscribed VOT PR in two lines over altar; SARL in exergue. RIC VII 191. 3.22g, 17mm, 6h.

    It wasn't until I started reading The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that I saw Constantine I in a new light. I originally labelled him with the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire, which has caused problems for my family for the last millennium and a half and is what I consider one of the truly bum moves in world history.

    However, I'm now more convinced that Constantine I converted to Christianity in order to gain more control, rather than due to actual religious reasons. He was just your standard powermonger who saw an opportunity. In that respect, I now don't see him as any worse than the other autocratic Roman emperors and I'm glad to have a coin that represents him.

    At the next auction, the lucky coin still held sway and I picked up one of my new favorites.

    17 mm, 5,71 g
    Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ, bow-in-bowcase and club; grain ear below.
    Price 2102.

    Coins minted by Asandros are very common, but I really loved the look of this one and it's even better in the hand. It may be my prettiest bronze and is one of the few that doesn't require a magnifying glass to appreciate. In common with Laomedon, his reign was ended by Antigonos I Monophthalmos.

    In the cases of Laomedon and Asandros, I'm also excited because these are two players I didn't have in my original list of the "Era of the Diadochi." In fact, even as I add more coins to the collection, I'm discovering even more and my list is growing. For me it's cool uncovering aspects of history I didn't realize at first.

    The lucky coin continues to help, and I picked up a Ptolemy Keraunos tet (names types of Alexander) for a good deal under my max at another auction.
    Tejas, Limes, Curtisimo and 16 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

  4. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Great pickups, @kirispupis

    I especially like your Asandros bronze. :)
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2021
    kirispupis likes this.
  5. romismatist

    romismatist Well-Known Member

    Question: how can you differentiate your Asandros bronze from a run-of-the-mill Alexander AE? Is it from style or the associated symbols on the reverse? Technically, ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ reads the equivalent of "Alexander", or do I need to brush up on my Greek?
  6. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Great Arrhidaios under Laomedon:wideyed:
    And excellent Herakles portrait on your ae. Here's my fav:
    Alexander III 'the Great'
    KINGS OF MACEDON. (336-323). Ae. Uncertain mint in Western Asia Minor.
    Obv: Head of Herakles right, wearing lion’s skin headdress.
    Rev: BAΣIΛEΩΣ.
    Bow in bowcase (with counter mark on bowcase) and club; torch below.
    Price 2799.
    Condition: Extremely fine.
    Weight: 5.7 g.
    Diameter: 20 mm.
    Curtisimo, PeteB, Bing and 2 others like this.
  7. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

    Mostly by attribution and history. Asandros controlled Caria from 323 BCE until he was ousted by Antigonos Monophthalmos around 313. This coin was minted in Miletos sometime between 323 BCE and 319 (I believe per Price). Therefore, at the time the coin was minted, Miletos and Caria were under Asandros.

    Similar attributions are necessary for many of the players during the era of the diadochi. For example - Perdiccas, Antigonos I Monopthalmos, Ptolemy Keraunos, Peithon, and many others issued coins but not in their own names.
  8. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

    Nice! I've always been tempted by some of the unknown mint coins. My suspicion is someday a researcher's going to write a paper proving something like: Eumenes did mint coins and these ones we couldn't figure out before are his.

    Then everyone and their cat is going to want one.
    Ryro likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page