Claudius_Gothicus' Top 10 of 2020

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Claudius_Gothicus, Dec 22, 2020.


Choose your three favourites:

  1. Numerian, PAX AVGG

    9 vote(s)

    2 vote(s)
  3. Salonina, DEAE SEGETIAE

    4 vote(s)
  4. Gallienus, LIBERO P CONS AVG

    12 vote(s)
  5. Victorinus (posthumous), PROVIDENTIA AVG

    6 vote(s)
  6. Claudius II, SALVS AVG

    5 vote(s)
  7. Valerian I, VICT PART

    6 vote(s)
  8. Probus, CONCORD MILIT

    15 vote(s)
  9. Volusian, AEQVITAS AVGG

    5 vote(s)
  10. Claudius II, P M TR P COS P P

    10 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Claudius_Gothicus

    Claudius_Gothicus Well-Known Member

    Since I don't think I'm going to buy any more coins this month, I believe it's time for me to post my list of this year's best purchases. At first, I wasn't even planning to post it, since I though it wouldn't be anything special, but, surprisingly, this December I ended up purchasing quite a few interesting coins; and besides, I think it will be fun to look back on this one, in a few years. I almost exclusively collect coins from the Crisis of the Third Century, I began assembling my collection earlier this year and I have a limited budget, so I don't think my coins will stand out, when compared to the lists of others, but I still hope you'll enjoy them. Without further ado, here it is (some of the coins haven't arrived yet, so I'm using the seller's photos):

    10) Numerian, PAX AVGG
    PAX AVGG (Lugdunum).jpg
    Numerian, as Augustus (283-284), Antoninianus, Lugdunum mint.
    Obverse: IMP C NVMERIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front;
    Reverse: PAX AVGG, Pax standing left, B in left field;
    RIC 394

    While this coin has quite a few things going for it (Cheap, excellent strike, wide and carefully prepared flan, fantastic portrait, almost complete silvering), the reverse was struck with such a worn die that, in hand, it's almost illegible. And besides, Numerian is not a very significant emperor, so it gets the last spot on the list.

    9) Maximian, CONCORDIA MILITVM
    CONCORDIA MILITVM (Heraclea).jpg
    Maximian, first reign (286-305), Antoninianus, Cyzicus mint.
    Obverse: IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right, seen from behind;
    Reverse: CONCORDIA MIL-ITVM (dot), Maximianus standing right holding sceptre, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter standing left, holding long sceptre, Epsilon in lower centre. Mintmark XXI (dot);
    RIC 595

    This coin isn't anything special, but it's well centered, fully silvered, with a nice reverse and an attractive portrait of an important emperor.

    8) Salonina, DEAE SEGETIAE
    Salonina (253-268), Antoninianus, Gallic mint.
    Obverse: SALONINA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, seen from the front, resting on a crescent;
    Reverse: DEAE SE-GETIAE, statue of Segetia, nimbate, standing facing in four-columned temple, both hands raised;
    RIC 5

    Roman emperor Valerian, at the beginning of his reign, opened a mint in Gaul, though, if I remember correctly, it's still uncertain whether it was in Colonia Agrippina, Lugdunum or Augusta Treverorum. This mint produced many interesting types, including this one, featuring an attractive architectural reverse. Valerian and Gallienus also issued similar types, featuring Vulcan and Mars, respectively, which indicated the roles of the various deities in the army: Vulcan produced the weapons, Mars led the soldiers into battle and Segetia, an agricultural deity, obtained the food supplies. Hopefully in the future I'll be able to assemble the whole triad.

    7) Gallienus, LIBERO P CONS AVG
    LIBERO P CONS AVG (Roma).jpg
    Gallienus (253-268), Antoninianus, Rome mint.
    Obverse: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right;
    Reverse: LIBERO P CONS AVG, panther walking left. B in exergue;
    RIC 230

    While this coin is common, the Zoo series of Gallienus is quite an interesting subgroup of coins and, despite suffering from having been struck on a small flan, this coin is very well preserved, when compared to others of the type.

    6) Victorinus (posthumous), PROVIDENTIA AVG
    Victorinus (268-270), Antoninianus, Uncertain mint.
    Obverse: DIVO VICTORINO PIO, radiate head right;
    Reverse: PROVIDENTIA AVG, Providentia standing left, holding baton and cornucopia;
    RIC 88

    One of the most unusual consecration coinages is that of Victorinus, who was one of the ephemeral emperos of the Gallic Empire. The normal reverse for this coin would be CONSECRATIO, with an eagle, but they are often found muled with the reverses of normal coins. My example, while missing a good portion of the legend, still has very nice details on both sides.

    5) Claudius II, SALVS AVG
    Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Antioch mint.
    Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate head left;
    Reverse: SAL-VS AVG, Diana standing right, drawing arrow from quiver and holding bow in hand, facing Apollo standing left, holding olive branch in hand and lyre which rests on rock;
    RIC 219

    Claudius II's rare final emission from Antioch stands out from the others, because all of the eight reverses feature a couple of deities, including some rarely seen ones. It has been speculated that this final emission was minted by the Palmyrene in the time period between their capture of the city and the rise to power of Aurelian, and that the couple of deities is supposed to represent Vabalathus and Zenobia. I am trying to collect the whole issue, and so far I have acquired three of these reverses, but since posting them all would have clogged up the list, I have chosen to show only the best one.

    4) Valerian I, VICT PART
    Valerian I (253-260), Antoninianus, Uncertain mint (possibly Mediolanum or Viminacium).
    Obverse: IMP VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front;
    Reverse: VICT PART, Victory standing left holding shield and palm; on left side below mourning captive;
    RIC 262

    Lucky for me, this rare and interesting coin went almost unnoticed at auction, and I won it for a price far below other examples. This reverse is very significant because, as far as I know, it's the only coin issued by Valerian I that identifies which enemy he was hoping to defeat with his doomed expedition; all his other coins with Victory on the reverse have a generic legend.

    3) Probus, CONCORD MILIT
    CONCORD MILIT (Ticinum).jpg
    Probus (276-282), Antoninianus, Ticinum mint.
    Obverse: IM-P C PROBVS AVG, Radiate bust left, wearing imperial mantle and holding eagle-tipped sceptre;
    Reverse: CONC-ORD MILIT, Concordia standing left, holding two standards, E in left field. Mintmark PXXI;
    RIC 480

    While this coin, belonging to the coded EQVITI series from Ticinum, isn't particularly rare or interesting, it does have a stunning bust of the emperor as well as a fantastic chocolate patina, though the photo makes it look like it still has its silvering. Overall, this coin, while not special, is pretty enough to obtain the third spot on this list.

    2) Volusian, AEQVITAS AVGG
    Volusian, as Augustus (251-253), Antoninianus, Antioch mint.
    Obverse: IM C V AF GAL VEND VOLVSIANO AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, seen from behind. Two dots beneath;
    Reverse: AEQVITAS AVGG, Aequitas standing left, holding scale and cornucopia;
    Unlisted and possibly unique

    It's always very satisfying to find a very rare coin or even one that's unlisted, as is the case here; at Antioch, this reverse legend is only known for Gallus, while his son Volusian always has the legend AEQVITAS AVG, with only one G, suggesting that this coin is actually a mule.

    1) Claudius II, P M TR P COS P P
    P M TR P COS P P (Siscia).jpg
    Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Siscia mint.
    Obverse: IMP CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust, seen from the front;
    Reverse: P M T-R P COS P P, Apollo sitting left, holding olive branch in right hand and with left elbow leaning on lyre. P in exergue;
    RIC V Online 770, Minster 271, La Venera 9728

    Without a doubt, this was my best purchase of the year: it's of one of my favourite emperors, it's very rare (mine is the fifth known example), it's the last appearance of this interesting reverse type, it's very well struck, it's almost uncirculated, with the silvering mostly intact, and it was very cheap, when compared with the others that have been sold before. I think it's only fair that it gains the top spot on this list.

    That was my first Top 10 list; overall, I'd say that, even though the world is going through quite a lot of issues, as far as coin collecting goes, this was a good year; hopefully in 2021 the planet's situation will improve and my collection will expand even more. Remember to vote for your favourite coins and let me know what you think about them!

    Happy holidays to everyone!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2020
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  3. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Happy holidays!
    Nice coins. I like the Victorinus coin, the Probus one (I think the toning is great in hand), and, of course, your number 1. - I think on the reverse we have an early version of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    ... and since you are Claudius Gothicus and you clearly like Claudius Gothicus coin, here's my only one - recent aquisition, not OK as per your standards but I think it's a good start for me.
    Theodosius, Alegandron, finny and 5 others like this.
  4. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Beautiful coins, my favorites are Salonina and #1 Claudius II. I have similar off-center Valerian I:
  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Theodosius and Claudius_Gothicus like this.
  6. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Great selection Claudius Gothicus! Like the the Valerian/ Salonina and the Gallienus best. The others are really nice too!
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  7. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    Great top 10! Congrats! My favourites would have to be the Numerian and the Gallienus!
    finny and Claudius_Gothicus like this.
  8. eparch

    eparch Well-Known Member

    Fine group, especially the Victorinus
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  9. finny

    finny Active Member

    Nice coins! I voted for the Gallienus because of the panther :)
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  10. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Great scores. My choice is #3, #5 and #7

    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  11. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    C.G., It looks like you had a great year :D! My favorite from the group is #4, the antoninianus of Valerian. This coin is a great example of political irony :p. As it turned out, Valerian is the captive on the reverse of the coin & not a Parthian :smuggrin:! My next favorite is #2, the rare antoninianus of Volusian :happy:. I like the coinage from Antioch, & to stumble on a rare mule gives this coin importance. My 3rd favorite is #5, the well struck antoninianus of Claudius II :cool:. The unusual reverse composition is very well done for a late 3rd century issue ;).
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  12. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    I voted for 4, 5 and 6, but find all on your list interesting. It's a great selection from this period. I have one of those Claudius II issues of Antioch, but with Sol and Luna.

    Claudius II - FJ Coll Antioch Sol Luna 2373.jpg CLAUDIUS II GOTHICUS
    AE Antoninianus. 3.34g, 22.9mm. Antioch mint, circa mid AD 270. New RIC V/1 Online temp #1069 (this coin cited). O: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind. R: AETER AVG, Luna standing right, holding long-handled lighted torch in both hands, facing Sol standing left, with right hand raised and holding whip in left hand.
    Ex Finn Johannessen Collection (purchased from Jerome Holderman, 29 Mar 2008)
  13. Alegandron

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

    Killer coins! @Claudius_Gothicus ... Fun reads. I liked the “hopeful thinking” of Valerian!
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  14. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    What a great list!! I love the third century crisis. The two coins I covet most (because of their historical significance) are the Victorinus posthumous and the ironic Valerian.

    Here's a 3rd century crisis coin I got this year that I'm particularly fond of, a rare type from Diocletian's first issue at Antioch:
    Screen Shot 2020-12-22 at 11.30.45 PM.jpg
    Fugio1, TheRed, Bing and 2 others like this.
  15. Claudius_Gothicus

    Claudius_Gothicus Well-Known Member

    Thanks to everybody for the kind answers and for the nice coins you posted! I'm a little bit surprised by the results of the poll, I didn't think Numerian and Gallienus would gain so many votes.

    Impressive, especially considering that it's ex-Finn Johannessen. Here's my version with a left-facing head:
    AETER AVG (Antiochia).jpg
    Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Antioch mint, 4th emission (Late 270).
    Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate head left;
    Reverse: AETE-R A-V-G, Luna standing right, holding long-handled lighted torch in both hands, facing Sol standing left, with right hand raised and holding whip in left hand;
    RIC 198, RIC V online 1070
    zumbly, Johndakerftw and Bing like this.
  16. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    A very nice group! My favorite is the Probus, such great detail on the mantle/clothing. I also really like the Salonina...very interesting reverse type, I don't think I've ever come across that type before.
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  17. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    I voted for Numerian because that is a great coin and I find his family the most interesting, able, and yet tragic dynasty of the third century.
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
  18. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Gallienus, Probus, Valerian are my top picks.
    Claudius_Gothicus likes this.
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