Budget vs Non-budget Coins of the Same Theme

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Curtisimo, May 21, 2022.

  1. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish)

    I started noticing last year that many of my purchases tend to fall into broadly definable themes or categories, whether I consciously seek those categories out or not. This was true for both my budget purchases as well as my more expensive coins (I aim to acquire a good balance of both for my collection :)).

    Since I think the forum could use a good pile on thread in the spirit of frivolous fun here is what I have in mind. :woot:
    • Think of a theme or sub-theme in your collection and pick two representative coins from that theme: a budget coin and a non-budget coin.
    • For my budget examples I decided to define a budget coin as less than $100 so I could cheat and pull from my Budget Top 10 lists. What we consider budget purchases will vary from collector to collector so feel free to choose based on your own criteria.
    • I defined my non-budget examples as coins that were $100 or more which I was willing to bid or offer aggressively on. I haven’t pulled exact numbers but I believe that all of my non-budget coins are at least $200 more expensive than their corresponding budget coin. Again, feel free to define your own criteria here as well.
    • Post both coins and write a bit about why you like coins of that theme and anything special about either example.
    I noted during this exercise just how much value and interest can be had at great value.

    Cavalry vs Infantry (Battle)
    Roman Empire
    Constantius II
    AE Centenionalis, Heraclea mint, struck ca. AD 350-355
    Dia.: 22.5 mm
    Wt.: 5.3 g
    Obv.: DN CONSTAN-TIVS PF AVG; Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev.: FEL TEMP RE-PARATIO; Γ in left field, SMH (?) in exergue; Helmeted soldier spearing fallen horseman who is reaching back. Hair in braids, no beard. Plain shields.
    Ref.: RIC 82 Heraclea (?)
    Purchased from Minotaur Coins

    Kings of Paeonia
    Patraos (c. 335-315 BC)
    AR Tetradrachm, mint at Astibos or Damastion.
    Dia.: 24 mm, 1 h
    Wt.: 12.93 g
    Obv.: Laureate head of Apollo right
    Rev.: Warrior on horse rearing r., spearing enemy warrior who defends with shield and spear.
    Ref.: Paeonian Hoard 493-9; HGC 3, 148

    These two coins just beg to be shown side by side. My falling horseman cost less than $10 last year and I couldn’t be happier with the detail. Though these coins are separated by hundreds of years (and hundreds of dollars :greedy:) the artistic similarity is striking... though reversed in outcome!

    PISIDIA, Etenna
    AE19, Etenna mint, struck ca. 1st century BC
    Dia.: 19.3 mm
    Wt.: 3.32 g
    Obv.: Naked nymph/woman standing to front, legs crossed, entwined by serpent; at her feet to left, a vase.
    Rev.: E-T, sickle-shaped knife.
    Ref.: SNG Cop 146
    Ex Minotaur Coins

    Crete, Gortyna
    AR stater, struck ca. 330-270 BC
    Dia.: 27.5 mm
    Wt.: 11.58 g
    Obv.: Europa seated right in lefeless plane-tree, holding branches of tree with both hands
    Rev.: Bull standing right, head turned back, scratching muzzle with hoof.
    Ex Karl Kress (before 1969)

    The Etenna is fascinating because it shows a scene from a myth that was well-known in antiquity but is lost to us today. I wrote more about it here. The myth obviously involved a female being attacked by a snake and a sickle blade wielding hero but other than these details it is a mystery. This coin was less than $40.

    The Europa coin on the other hand shows what might be one of the most well known myths of all time; Zues’s abduction of the Phoenician princess Europa! No explanation needed but if you’re interested I did do a write up here.

    Pamphylia, Perge
    AE16, Perge mint, struck ca. 50-30 BC
    Dia.: 16.6 mm
    Wt.: 3.9 g
    Obv.: Cult statue of Artemis Pergaea facing within distyle temple, facing eagle in pediment
    Rev.: ΑΡΤΕΜΙΔΟΣ ΠΕΡΓΑΙΑΣ, Bow and quiver
    Ref.: SNG France 373-8
    Ex Savoca Coins 111th Blue Auction (August 2021)

    Roman Republican
    Q. Cassius Longinus, moneyer
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck 55 BC
    Dia.: 20.2 mm
    Wt.: 3.95g
    Obv.: Head of Libertas right, wearing hair collected into a knot, decorated with jewels, and falling down neck, and wearing single-drop earring and necklace of pendants; LIBERT upward to left, Q • CASSIVS downward to right.
    Rev.: Temple of Vesta, circular, surmounted by figure holding scepter and patera, flanked by antefixes; curule chair within; urn to left, tabella (voting tablet) [inscribed AC (Absolvo Condemno)] to right.
    Ref.: Crawford 428/2; Sydenham 918
    Ex Prof Dr Hildebrecht Hommel Collection, acquired from Hirsch, Auction 63 (July 1969), lot 2454; Ex Dr. Busso Peus Nachf., Auction 422 (April 26, 2018), lot 424 (part of); Ex Kölner Münzkabinet Auction 109, Lot 360 (November 16, 2018)

    My budget example shows a famous but lost temple of Artemis at Perge. It cost less than $30. My RR denarius shows the Temple of Vesta in Rome whose ruins can still be seen in the forum today. The Vesta denarius also has a great story and provenance.

    Fine Style Portraits
    Roman Empire
    Elagalabus (218-222)
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck AD 221.
    Dia.: 19 mm
    Wt.: 2.84 g
    Obv.: IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG; draped and “horned” bust right
    Rev.: Rev. emperor standing left, sacrificing over altar, standard on either side
    Ref.: RIC IVB 51
    Ex Shea19 collection, Ex CNG E-Auction 465, Lot 722 (part of), Ex Mike Vosper FPL 112 (11 March 2000), no. 35a

    Roman Empire
    Faustina II, daughter of Antoninus Pius and wife of Marcus Aurelius
    AE Sestertius, Rome mint, struck ca. AD 156
    Dia.: 33mm
    Wt.: 26.11g
    Obv.: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA AVG PII F; Draped bust right
    Rev.: S-C; Diana standing left, holding bow and arrow
    Ref.: C 206; RIC A. Pius 1383; BMCRE 2194
    From a European Collection formed in the 1980s with tag

    It’s hard to really consider my Elagabalus coin a budget coin because it was a highly desired type for me that literally compromises on nothing (great style / preservation / toning / provenance / historical interest). It’s possibly one of my 10 favorite denarii. However, it does just meet my sub $100 requirement so what the heck. The portrait here is what drew me to the coin. Wonderful style and a clear “horn” for good measure.

    The Faustina II portrait is quite possibly my favorite portrait in my collection. Glorious style and a sense of realism that does credit to the engraver’s skill.


    So what do you think? Should we give this a go? Post your Budget vs non-budget examples from the same theme.
    Last edited: May 22, 2022
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro Trying to remove supporter status Supporter

    Nice to see you around old buddy. That Paeonian is a stunner:wideyed::wideyed::wideyed:
    Here's a couple sub hundo:shame: matched with numero hundo:greedy: coins.
    IMG_5752(1).JPG 2229958_1633350129.l.jpg


    45751-removebg-preview.png 1619281_1610095166.l-removebg-preview.png
  4. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    What's the price differential between the two butts? They both look pretty dang good
    Ryro, Orange Julius and Curtisimo like this.
  5. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish)

    I was just typing something similar. Though it felt kinda weird to be congratulating @Ryro on having a nice budget butt... :eek::D
  6. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Bood gutts, @Ryro.
    I was just thinking about my latest addition...


    ... and another variety...

    and another one butt I think this is the best.

  7. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member


    poe 2022.jpg

    Non-budget, 15x with pedigree

  8. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..here's quick shot of mine..thanks to @Ryro!. :) IMG_1113.JPG
  9. Ryro

    Ryro Trying to remove supporter status Supporter

    Thanks, man.
    I'm not finding what I paid on the budget coin from good old Marc Breitsprecher but believe it was somewhere around $40-60. The cherry example about $220 after juice.
    Mr.MonkeySwag96 and Curtisimo like this.
  10. Ryro

    Ryro Trying to remove supporter status Supporter

    Jeez:jawdrop: I can see why that portrait would be anyone's favorite:cigar:
    I'll bet @Roman Collector would hate that as much as I can't stand the masterful reverse, from a supposedly barbaric people, on your Paeonia:artist:
    If I can double dip, here are some..
    Fine styles, alternating from "affordable" to "why didn't she leave me after buying this":
    Screenshot_20220317-155617_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png 2208556_1632938350.l-removebg-preview.png

    share6658015938215512636.png 2492164_1642408795.l-removebg-preview.png

    1824361_1618170405.l-removebg-preview.png 1603051979179620179676817033674-removebg-preview.png

    And better throw this in for good luck:
    upload_2020-12-23_8-27-14 (2).png
  11. Johndakerftw

    Johndakerftw Mr. Rogers is My Hero

    Here’s my example:

    Budget foureé

    The real deal
    0F1B8A89-985E-4BB7-A4F1-3078C61896A8.jpeg EB051727-3985-483F-94CB-4EB8A75B5744.jpeg

    The Real Tribute Penny was a gift from @JGGonzalez. I’m not sure what the price was, but, it’s definitely more than the $24 I spent on the foureè.:woot:

    This coin fits perfectly into my collection of coins related to the Bible. I think it’s really neat to have both a counterfeit and the real coin. I’d like to get more examples of this, but, I have a funny feeling that they weren’t into making counterfeit Widow’s Mites back in the day.

    I really should take a pic of them side by side.

  12. The Meat man

    The Meat man Supporter! Supporter

    A Trio of Trajan -

    Super budget: $
    20220329_180617 - Copy.jpg

    Medium budget $$

    Non-budget: $$$
  13. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander find me at NumisForums

    And another neat thread idea from @Curtisimo! :D It was fun contemplating this.

    Tiny coins
    Budget Hekatomnos:
    Pricey Themistokles:

    Fine style Greek
    budget Selge obol:
    pricey Rhodes tetradrachm:
    rhodes tetradrachm.jpg

    Fine style Roman portraits
    budget Gallienus:
    gallienus vict III.jpg

    pricey A Pi as Caesar:
    ant pius as caesar.jpg

    budget siglos:
    pricey siglos:

    Sev Alex middle bronzes
    budget As (my first coin):
    my first coin.jpg

    pricey dupondius (first coin becomes expensive habit!)

    All of these pairs are separated by at least a 10x differential.
  14. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    This one cost $0.80.
    Constantius Gallus RIC VIII 137A (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG

    This one cost $10.
    Constantius Gallus Nicomedia RIC VII 85 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
  15. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    budget Tiberius Apsimar

    nice Tiberius Apsimar

    Nero middle AE

    modestly expensive

    ($30-something vs. $274, same time period)
  16. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Great thread idea! These two come to mind for me. I “upgraded” both of these for more expensive examples…I had planned to sell my budget versions, but I liked them too much and ended up keeping them in my collection.

    Budget Trajan dupondius:


    “Upgraded” Trajan dupondius (obviously I realize this is a different type…probably why I kept both of them :) )

    Budget Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Seleucid) “Egyptianizing” series

    “upgraded” Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Seleucid) “Egyptianizing” series
  17. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    Last edited: May 21, 2022
    Curtisimo and hotwheelsearl like this.
  18. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Nomen non est omen.

    A budget Lysimachos:

    And the 'real deal': Lysimachos tetra..jpg

    Ironically, I believe I prefer the portrait of the fourree. Only goes to show...
  19. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish)

    Fantastic additions everyone! Here are a few more from my collection.


    Hadrian’s Travel Series

    World Famous Ancient People
    Homer / Brutus
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