Another green beauty

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ambr0zie, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Yay! last auction wins arrived today. Happy with them, probably this would be my last 2021 purchase (or at least his would be a very smart thing to do)

    I am not a specialist in Flavian coins but as I already have Vespasian, Titus and Domitian denarii I also wanted at least one coin for each of them in bronze.
    Titus was checked, Domitian was checked

    Last one missing - Vespasian.

    Got this Vespasian As and I was wondering if I will like it in hand as I had my doubts.

    Actually in hand the patina is darker and the details are satisfying.
    Certainly not the best Vespasian as out there, but for me - collectable without any doubt.


    Vespasian AD 69-79. Rome
    As Æ
    23 mm, 11,02 g
    RIC II, Part 1 (second edition) Vespasian 287
    Date: AD 71
    Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III, Head of Vespasian, laureate, right / Rev: AEQVITAS AVGVSTI S C, Aequitas, draped. standing left, holding scales in right hand and long vertical rod in left

    Please post
    - new Flavian acquisitions
    - coins that you like more in hand rather than the seller's picture
    - green coins
    - whatever you feel relevant
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  3. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Here's mine , same condition imho

    Vespa Aequitas.jpg
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I'm happy for you, @ambr0zie, that you were able to acquire a Vespasian bronze for your collection. While we all like silver and gold, I also like bronze because I am attracted to the patinas they develop. Yours has a very pretty patina.

    My experience with Savoca's photography is the exposure they use when photographing darkly patinated bronze coins makes them looked washed out in their photos. You can always count on the coins to be darker and richer in color when you see them in hand.

    This one arrived yesterday from Savoca. The reverse type of AVGVSTA S C/Ceres seated only appears on the middle bronze denomination and I snatched it up while I had the chance. Here's Savoca's photo, which makes it look like it has a toothpaste-blue patina:

    Faustina Sr AVGVSTA S C Ceres seated corn ears long torch Savoca.jpg

    This is much closer to what it really looks like:

    Faustina Sr AVGVSTA S C Ceres seated corn ears long torch.jpg
    It's a pleasing wine-bottle-green and glossy in hand. I'm happy with it. It was part of a massive series of coins produced AD 145-147 featuring the AVGVSTA reverse inscription and numerous deities and their attributes.
  5. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Quite happy that Faustina coin reached a collector who appreciates it.

    I have also noticed the situation with pictures at Savoca, this is why when I say "nah" after seeing a picture, I prefer to study it again.

    My coin is clearly better in hand (I am a lousy photographer), the scepter and scales and visible, so is the wreath.
    I consider this a good addition.
    I also risked with a Nerva As where I didn't like the picture, that one is so-so.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
    Roman Collector likes this.
  6. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Here's my best green, with an almost full coverage of this lovely glossy patina:
    Faustina I Sestertius RIC Rome 1128.JPG

    This Antoninus Pius has a really attractive patina too, green like the snake.
    Antoninus Pius AE Dupondius RIC 798.JPG
  7. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Despite the wear, it's a neat coin with a mighty portrait. And of course, who doesn't love a green ancient!? Agree that your picture shows the coin better, its always difficult to capture it as it is in hand.

    Here are my favorite greenies:


  8. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Nomen non est omen.

    That as certainly looks a lot better in hand than in Savoca's photo. Congrats!

    Trying to determine what a coin will look like in hand from pictures is an art form I haven't mastered yet. The best I can do is an educated guess based on previous experience with the seller concerned. Even then: you win some, you lose some.

    Here's my only Flavian (and therefore my favorite). I liked the burnt umber patina in the pic. Luckily, it didn't disappoint in hand.
    Domitianus as Caesar, as.png RIC II 86 (Titus)
  9. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Have found, over the course of attempting to become minimally competent photographing coins, that getting decent images of bronze coins particularly challenging, especially if they have patinated surfaces. The reasons are several.

    1. Bronze ancients, due to the highly reactive nature of the metal, are apt to develop rough or irregular surfaces. No proof-like Morgan dollars here!

    2. The patina on a given coin can vary significantly. Depending on how the coin has fared over the past 2,000 years or so, the patina can be smooth and even, or a combination of smooth and rough. This can vary from one side to the other, depending on how the coin was deposited.

    3. Darkly patinated bronzes are a bear to photograph. If the surfaces are rough or uneven, the challenge is even greater. It is really hard, when using natural light, which I prefer, to avoid photographing such a coin, with the resultant images looking almost more like lumps of unrefined ore.

    Here's one example. When viewed in person, the coin is quite respectable, but due to the very dark patina, plus rough surfaces, the images show the geological features of the coin, detracting from the overall appearance. I experimented with lighting when processing the image, but brightness or darkness really have no material impact on the coin's appearance - pretty bad either way.

    D-Camera Faustina Senior, AE As, Augusta SC, C.86, 9.7 g, 11-5-20.jpg

    4. Ancient bronzes with glossy patinas require great care with lighting, quite similar to silver ancients. Because of the reflectivity of the surfaces, plus the inevitable surface irregularities, I have found that it quite easy to create images that seem to highlight those surface irregularities at the expense of the overall appearance of the coin. This factor, along with the others mentioned, often lead to the description of a given coin as "better in hand". This is true, particularly for ancient bronzes, since the impact of the coin, in hand, can be quite different from the images, closeup. As we look at a sestertius, as or dupondius, we are looking at the coin overall, which can make it quite appealing compared to looking at the "warts and all" in a magnified image.

    5. As far as I can determine, virtually all ancient bronze coins, especially the larger denominations, have had some work done to them over the span of their extensive lives, ranging from simple cleaning to more aggressive treatment. This intervention also impacts the nature of the surfaces. If a coin has been lightly tooled or if there was some smoothing, how does that come off in the image? The more harshly treated coins are quite obvious when viewing their images, but more nuanced treatment is more difficult to depict in an image.

    Here's a case in point. This is a sestertius of Antoninus Pius, Anona reverse, 156-57 AD, RIC 980. This coin has a wonderful olive green and dark brown patina, and strike on both side, probably the best I own. However, I have no doubt that has been "worked" on, with probably some light smoothing in the fields. Still, it was an easy coin to photograph, and the images are very close to the actual coin.

    D-Camera Antoninus Pius sestertius Rome Anona Standing 156-57 AD RIC 980 Rome 25.4g 3-7-21.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  10. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Thank you all for the examples and comments.
    Another coin with a beautiful color also arrived today, from the same auction.
    I fell in love instantly when I saw it and I was not optimistic, thinking the price will raise, not a lot, but enough to be out of my range. I won it and basically I was waiting for 2 coins - the Vespasian as, as I had a little buyer's remorse and I was hoping I am wrong (and I was), and this one, as I was very glad when I won it and I was wondering if I am not overrating it.
    Auction pic:

    Pic in hand

    I could not take a pic to show the clear color with my phone or my camera.
    The color is something in between. Really like this coin and even if it is not rare, it will definitely have a place in my top 10 for 2021.
  11. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Very cool patina on your new Vespasian :D
    I like my Vespasians to also be lean, mean, green and to come bearing shields:

    Some other favorite greenies:troll:
    1683960_1612879043.l-removebg-preview.png IMG_5070.jpg 2020781_1624895932.l-removebg-preview.png IMG_0420.PNG share6000998357205389360.png
    1610629_1609748970.l-removebg-preview.png Screenshot_20210407-172100_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png Screenshot_20210407-161906_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png
  12. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    A most respectable Vespasianic bronze @ambr0zie.

    ambr0zie likes this.
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