Featured Did I actually grab a rare coin on this deal?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by NicholasMaximus, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. NicholasMaximus

    NicholasMaximus Well-Known Member

    So, I did something that I dont typically believe in and broke one of my own rules. I bought coins I wasnt familiar with on ebay. I have bought from this seller before and its a seller that I learned about on this forum. I didnt feel like I was taking much risk, especially since it was a 4 coin lot and I only paid 34 bucks for it.

    I had seen this unidentified lot of coins earlier in the day but quickly dismissed them because I didnt know what they were and wasnt in the mood to try and nail down values for them. Fast forward to a minute before the auction closed, and I had just missed out on a coin I really wanted from the same seller.

    I thought I had my initial target coin and was upset about missing out. Wanting to fill an emotional void from losing the previous auction, I reconsidered these 4 coins. The current bid was in the low 30's so I figured "what the hell" might as well try and get these for a decent price and if I lose its no big deal. I was kind of surprised when my 34 dollar bid won, especially since one of the coins is supposedly "Rare". Or at least that is what the listing claimed.

    I am still in my first couple of months as a collector, so identifying new coins without any starting information isnt a strong suit of mine yet. I was wondering how I did for the three I have potential matches for? I was also wondering if anybody recognized the 4th coin (its pretty worn and there isnt much detail left on it).

    Pictures of the Four Coins



    The easiest coin to identify (I hope anyway) was the Crispina in the bottom right of the picture. This is the match I have for it (its in much better shape than mine of course).

    crispina match.PNG

    The next easiest coin to identify (again I hope) was the Lucilla coin on the bottom left. I matched it with this coin.

    lucilla match.PNG

    lucilla match 2.PNG

    I think I have the top right one identified as well with this match.

    Marcus Aurelius Match.PNG

    The top left coin is the one I am having trouble with. I initially thought it was an Antoninus Pius with what seemed like a left facing horse in the reverse, but on a second look, the nose seemed to have more of a Lucius Verus feel to it. It is a very smooth coin and i am not sure how the wear has impacted the bust. It is the largest coin at about 26 MM (the others are 24-25) but easily the least detailed.

    So did I really wind up with a rare coin out of this deal? Also, did I do a decent job identifying these coins? Any information you can share is greatly appreciated, thanks!!
    ominus1, DonnaML, Bing and 4 others like this.
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  3. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I’ve been through a bunch of really low grade Ant Pi and I’m pretty confident that the profile matches Anthony. The Nose is a bit Roman, but I think it’s within parameters

    I was looking at that same lot. Glad you got it - great price too!
  4. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

  5. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    Fun group for the price. I think you did well with the attributions.

    For the top left I'd take a look at (young, beardless) Commodus.

    The Marcus Aurelius is a dupondius - note the radiate crown. I believe you have the reverse type correct.
  6. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    I think your mystery 4th coin is Commodus, specifically RIC 319a.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Looks like my Anthony Pie ID skills are lacking. Great sleuthing!
    NicholasMaximus and Justin Lee like this.
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    I have to wonder how many 'rare' ancient coins there are. There was a saying that there is nothing more common than a rare coin. Perhaps that is not an exaggeration. For all his faults, Commodus did make sufficient quantities of coins with types of added interest. Perhaps I am too hard on 'someone standing there' reverses and I most certainly do have a pile of them but quadriga types after the Republic are upgrades IMO.

    Some rulers are popular among collectors because of their impact on history. Some are popular because they were evil or saintly (we tend to prefer the extremes over the middle group). Some ruled long enough that we can enjoy watching how they changed over time. Some made interesting coins. A few get points in each of these categories. Commodus made so many coins that his successors did not have to strike many bronzes for several years. That and inflation made his asses the last that are really common. After his time, it is usually easier to find sestertii than the smaller coins. I can not help wondering just how much of this was driven by economic factors or whether the emperor just wanted people spending coins bearing his image rather than some has-been old emperor. Did Commodus take personal interest in his coinage?
  9. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I like that quote. Too many misinterpret "rare" in ancient coins. We have so many "scarce", "rare", "very rare" coins. I simply use it as a crib sheet of how much struggle I may have if I look for it INTENTIONALLY. I have bought so many coins listed as "rare" in group lots I wouldn't even begin to hazard a guess. It wasn't "rare" for me, since I wasn't even look for it and now own it.

    More key is demand. I use terms like "better" or "strong" meaning intersection between supply and demand. A 80 drachma piece from Cleo VII might be scarce, but it is a strong coin, since way more people want to buy it than there are available. Likewise a "tribute penny" type of Tiberius I say its better. Pretty common actually, but high demand due to non-collectors wanting it.

    How many may be available is meaningless unless there is demand. I literally own unique coins, leading experts certify they have never seen another. Almost no one cares, so I got it reasonably.

    Btw, the more I read about rarity the more I am calling their bluff. I was going through HGC for Bactria, and they simply are not true. They have coins listed as 5-10 known I have seen 8 unique specimens sold in 2 years. A coin I know about, the Cleo VII/Antony Tet of Antioch RPC said they estimated about 70-90 exist. That is not true, it cannot be. I have seen way too many sell and published in museum collections for that to be the total population. I own one, so wished it was that rare. Its still a very strong coin, with very high demand, but there simply are more around than these authors of these books know about.
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