A new veiled bust Faustina I consecration issue

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Recently won this at auction and I thought I'd show it off. It's not FDC, nor is it the great rarity that Tameryazev and Makarenko (CRE)* would lead you to believe, but it is scarce and a welcome addition to my collection.

    Faustina Sr CONSECRATIO Eagle Denarius.jpg
    Faustina I, AD 138-141.
    Roman AR denarius, 2.86 g, 18 mm.
    Rome, AD 141-147.
    Obv: DIVA AVG FAVSTINA, veiled and draped bust, right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, Eagle standing right, head left.
    Refs: RIC 387b; BMCRE 305 var.; Cohen 181; RCV --; CRE 95.

    There are a handful of other examples at acsearchinfo, struck with at least three reverse dies, but this particular reverse die is easy to identify because of the bizarrely-formed S in CONSECRATIO. Moreover, with use, the die became filled in the E, the R, and the T, such as on this reverse die match:

    Faustina Sr CONSECRATIO Eagle Denarius Herbert Grün.jpg
    Heidelberger Münzhandlung Herbert Grün, auction 52, lot 322, Nov. 13, 2009.

    Here are some examples struck earlier in the lifetime of the die before it became filled:

    Faustina Sr CONSECRATIO Eagle Denarius CNG.jpg
    CNG Mailbid sale 64, lot 1367, May 21, 2003. This is the CRE plate coin.

    Faustina Sr CONSECRATIO Eagle Denarius Gorny & Mosch.jpg
    Gorny & Mosch, auction 117, lot 590, Oct. 14, 2002.

    Post anything you feel is relevant!


    *Temeryazev, S. A. and T. P. Makarenko. The Coinage of Roman Empresses. San Bernardino, CreateSpace, an Amazon.com Company, 2017, p. 44. Referred to as CRE.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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  3. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    I wonder if the engraver started gouging out a C before realizing it should be an S. It rather looks like the upper 2/3 of a C made into an S.
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting theory, @TIF ! Perhaps he started to engrave CONCORDIA out of habit.
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  5. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Cool, @Roman Collector . Like the coin, and really like that C, oops, S .

    I agree with @TIF . Consider: Die cutters (engravers) were perhaps slaves. Perhaps illiterate, or their native language was Greek... Wasn't the Greek 'C' pronounced as a Latin 'S' ? Just thoughts.

    LOL, I have been 40 years in manufacturing, purchasing a LOT of tooling (dies) over the years. Lotsa hilarious "OOPSIES" with some of those tools, especially those commissioned in other countries and cultures that were not as familiar with English, and/or Latin lettering, etc.

    I only have one Faustina I:

    RI Faustina Sr 138-140 CE after 146 CE DIVA AR Denarius m Antoninus Pius 17.4mm 3.2g Ceres torch fold RIC 362 RSC 104
  6. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice RC, with great eye appeal. congrats.
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  7. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice coin and impressive research, RC. I should say nice bird too. Earlier this year I got a similar one with the peacock strutting on a scepter (if that's what it is). The reverse legend initially confused me because the peacock's crest looks like part of the legend:

    Faustina I den Peacock May 2019 (0).jpg

    Faustina I Denarius
    (c. 141-161 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust right / CONSECRATIO, peacock walking right (on
    sceptre, per Strack?), head left.
    RIC 384a; Cohen 176.
    (2.71 grams / 18 mm)
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