). 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. 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 ) the artistic similarity is striking... though reversed in outcome! Mythology 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. Architecture 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.