The first one has an elephant that's really rather crude in design -- I wonder if the engraver ever even saw one -- but I like it a lot anyway. Roman Republic, Q. Caecilius Metullus, AR Denarius, 81 BCE. Obv. Head of Pietas right, wearing diadem; below chin, stork standing right / Rev. Elephant standing left, wearing bell around neck; in exergue, Q•C•M•P•I [Q. Caecilius Metellus Imperator]. Crawford 374/1, RSC I Caecilia 43, Sear RCV I 301 (ill.), Sydenham 750, BMCRR Spain 43. 18 mm., 3.9 g.* The first photo is the dealer's; I'm adding two photos I just took simply because I think they represent the actual color better: *See Sear RCV I at p. 128: “The issuer strikes as imperator in Northern Italy where he was campaigning on behalf of Sulla. The following year he was to be the dictator’s colleague in the consulship.” See also Crawford Vol. I p. 390: "This issue was produced by Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius, serving as a Sullan commander in the fight against Carrinas, Norbanus and Carbo. The obverse type [of Pietas] . . . alludes to his cognomen, acquired for his part in securing the restoration from exile of his father Q. Caecilius Metullus Numidicus.” The stork depicted in front of Pietas “is an emblem of family piety and an occasional adjunct of the goddess.” Jones, John Melville, A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (London, Seaby, 1990) p. 243, under entry for Pietas. (Apparently, the Romans believed that the stork demonstrated family loyalty by returning to the same nest every year, and that it took care of its parents in old age.) Crawford also states at Vol. I p. 390 that “[t]he reverse type of an elephant recalls the capture of Hasdrubal’s elephants by L. Caecilius Metullus in 251 [BCE]” (also commemorated by an elephant denarius of C. Caecilius Metullus Caprarius in 125 BCE; Crawford 269/1, RSC I Caecilia 14). The elephant continued to be associated thereafter with the family (see the elephant denarius of Q. Caecilius Metullus Pius Scipio issued in 47-46 BCE; Crawford 459/1, RSC I Caecilia 47). The family was known for its opposition to Caesar. As many of you know, Metullus Pius elephant coins like this one, given that the family were well-known to be opponents of Caesar, have been used to support the theory (as presented by Michael Harlan and elucidated eloquently by @Severus Alexander) that Caesar's own elephant/snake coin was intended to portray the snake positively and the elephant negatively -- contrary to what the modern eye tends to see. A couple of questions about the elephant on this coin: First, is that supposed to be hair along the top of its back? Second, what in the world is going on with its left hind leg? I get that it apparently starts up near the elephant's back, but what is it that looks like a huge gouge out of the elephant's side around that leg, and what is the length of flesh that appears to cover part of the leg towards the bottom? Is it possible that it's supposed to be the tail? The next three are all Imperial coins: Antoninus Pius AE As, 148 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII / Rev. Elephant walking left, MV-NIFICENTIA AVG; in exergue COS IIII/S C in two lines. RIC III 863, Sear RCV II 4308 (var.), BMCRE 1840. 29 mm., 10.4 g. (Issued to commemorate games and spectacles held to celebrate 900th anniversary of Rome.) I love the traces of coppery color showing through. I did a search to see if anyone has posted the type here, and couldn't find any examples of the left-facing elephant variety; only the one facing right. I guess the left-facing one is less common. The next coin is missing a good part of the reverse legend, but I think the elephant is really adorable! Septimius Severus, AR Denarius 197 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIII / Rev. Elephant advancing right, MVNIFICENTIA AVG. RIC IV-1 82, RSC III 348, Sear RCV II 6317. 18 mm., 3.32 g. Finally, a coin that isn't technically part of Philip I's SAECVLARES AVGG series -- it has a different reverse legend, and no officina mark -- but is generally believed to have been issued for the same occasion, namely the games and spectacles held in celebration of Rome's 1000th anniversary: Philip I AR Antoninianus, ca. 247 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP PHILIPPVS AVG/ Rev. Elephant walking left, bearing driver holding goad, AETERNITAS AVGG. RIC IV-3 58, RSC IV 17, Sear RCV III 8921. 23 mm., 4.2 g. Please post your own examples of elephants on ancient coins, whether Greek, Roman, or other. One request: please no elephant-skin headdresses (even though I have a couple of coins showing them myself), elephant heads, or other parts of dismembered elephants. I like my elephants whole and entire!