Featured Exercises in Identification

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by furryfrog02, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    As many of you know, my son and I have been working on cleaning and ID'ing mostly Late Roman Bronzes. Most of the coins we have in the collection are ones that we have cleaned ourselves. The vast majority of those are well...for lack of a better word...junk. We have only had a few really nice ones that were very easy for us to ID.

    This has lead to a lot of sleuthing and learning, not to mention a fair share of frustration. But we have managed to do a pretty good job if I do say so myself. Well, on Halloween we received a package in the mail with some absolutely beautiful coins to identify and add to my son's collection. These are way beyond anything we have scrubbed up or purchased on our trip to Baltimore. We saw coins like this but they were not in our price range nor our current level of expertise (if you call what we have now "expertise" lol).

    My son was flabbergasted and his eyes got as big as some of these coins haha. Unfortunately, since they came on Halloween, we weren't able to spend much time with them. I worked on taking pictures over the last week and my son and I were able to sit down and ID the first 2 this afternoon after school.

    We will hopefully be able to ID one or 2 each day and will update here when we ID a new coin.

    Ok, now without further ado, the part that you all wanted to see...the coins! :)

    Theodosius I, AE2,
    AD 378-383.
    Obv: DN THEODO-SIVS PF AVG, helmeted, pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right, holding spear and shield
    Rev: GLORIA ROMANORVM, Emperor standing facing, head right on galley, raising right hand; Victory at helm. Wreath in left field.
    Mintmark CONA.
    Theodosius I, AE2, AD 378-383, Mintmark CONA.jpg

    Maximianus AE Follis.
    300-301 AD.
    Obv: IMP C MA MAXIMIANVS PF AVG, laureate head right
    Rev: GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI, Genius standing left, modius on head, naked except for chlamys over left shoulder (falls low), holding patera from which liquid flows, and cornucopiae, Δ-Epsilon across field.
    Mintmark ANT.
    Maximianus AE Follis. 300-301 AD Mintmark ANT.jpg

    This one comes with a cool anecdote:
    The officina number is 4+5 (Delta plus Epsilon) because the number 9 was the Greek letter theta which was the first letter in the Greek word for death. It was considered unlucky by the pagans but the Christian emperors later used the theta because they rejected pagan superstitions.

    Thanks for looking!
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Very cool! At just under two years old, my son only wants to throw “keens” (coins). Someday...

    (Note: I don’t leave coins around for him to grab... but the few times I’ve showed him coins, he has chucked them.)

    Both coins are nice, I like the Maximian a bit better because of the theta thing.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    Bayern and furryfrog02 like this.
  4. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Ancient coin collectors rock :).

    These father-son coin adventure posts are really fun too. That's quite a remarkable boy you have!
  5. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    My two year old loves looking at coins with her big brother and me. So far everything is a “penny” regardless of the coin lol.
    Bayern likes this.
  6. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I totally agree! :)
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Since you are interested in cleaning, let me mention that red encrustations like on the Maximianus are really hard to remove without leaving places a lot uglier than the red spots were.

    I heard a dentist on TV saying that it was better to let kids eat all their Halloween candy all at once as opposed to stretching out the period when they are giving teeth a sugar bath. Ancient coins, even those that come on Halloween, are not like candy in that regard. Spacing them out over days or weeks is a good plan.

    The 'Theta Thing' played one important role in numismatics. The coins we call Anonymous Pagans from Antioch include officina 9 with the Delta plus Epsilon work around.
    Years ago, they were attributed to Julian II 'the Apostate' as part of his war on Christianity. However, coins of Julian were later than the return to use of Theta so they were moved to the time of Maximinus II. Below is a Urbs Roma from the late 330's showing Antioch had returned to Theta.
    This change occurred after the publication of RIC Vol. VI and before RIC Vol. VIII so the coins were included in neither book. Later books that are no more than ripoffs of RIC also omit the coins out of ignorance. The two volume set by David Vagi included them in 1999 giving that book a great number of positive credits in my opinion. There are still dealers that will try to convince you the things are rare because they are not in RIC. I am of the opinion that the Anonymous Pagan coins with this additive officina should sell for a premium but no one else feels that way.
  8. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting side story, the number 4 also has similarities with the word death in Japanese and Chinese (don't know about Korean). That is why many Japanese or Chinese sets of things avoid 4.
    Sulla80, Bayern, Pellinore and 3 others like this.
  9. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Yup. Same in Korean too. When I lived there, lots of buildings didn't have a "fourth" floor.
  10. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    The Japanese for 4 is "shi" same as death. To cope with this, four is also rendered as "yon" or if there are three 4's in a row, my wife says "shiawase, shiawase, shiawase" which is "good fortune, good fortune, good fortune".
  11. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

    Those are nice coins, and cool to hear that you and your son are having fun together. I was at a small coin show a couple weeks ago, most of the people there were in the either over 40 or under 13. Lots of grandparent and grandkid combos with a few father kid combos. That had several actives just for kids, like a kiddie coin auction, give aways, and coin games like stacking Lincoln cents and stuff like that. Thought it was cool see so many kids there having fun.
    furryfrog02 and TIF like this.
  12. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    It sounds like Christmas came early to the frog household. :) I'm looking forward to seeing the others as you and your son attribute them together.
    furryfrog02 likes this.
  13. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Thats great!
    furryfrog02 likes this.

    RAGNAROK Naebody chaws me wi impunity

  15. dadams

    dadams Well-Known Member

    I think it's so great you two are doing this together. Your son will have fond memories of his pops when he's older and he'll be one heck of a collector!! Love that Maximianus. -d
    furryfrog02 and Alegandron like this.
  16. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Just a guy making his way in the universe

    Great coins! And thanks for sharing the pagan examples @dougsmit
    furryfrog02 likes this.
  17. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    My son had a birthday party today so we only did one new identification. Thanks for looking:)

    Claudius II Gothicus
    AE Antoninianus
    IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right
    FIDES EXERCI, Fides standing left, head left, holding vertical standard and transverse standard
    Ryro, Puckles, Curtisimo and 9 others like this.
  18. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    FIDES EXERCI = Loyalty of the Army... if I remember correctly.

    I think these were minted early in Claudius’ reign when he was consolidating power after the assasination of Gallienus.
    furryfrog02 likes this.
  19. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I think literally it is something like "Their faith" but in this case, obviously referring to the army. My Latin is a wee bit rough though :)
    Orange Julius likes this.
  20. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    My son and I ID'd another one last night but I didn't have time to post. Since I have the day off today, I figured I would post this up :) It's amazing how much easier identification is when you have full legends and great obverse and reverse images.

    Maximinus II Follis
    311 AD
    GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right
    GENIO IMPERATORIS, Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia, Γ to left, three dots to right, MKV in ex.
    Ryro, Puckles, Curtisimo and 5 others like this.
  21. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Good job! The GAL at the start would sucker many people into glossing over the lack of an A and calling the coin a Galerius when it clearly reads Maximinus. This coin is also very educational in another way. It is a perfect example of a weak strike. The thin flan needed to be hit much harder to fill the enters of the dies. You can tell there is little wear from the wreath and hair detail at top of head but there is no detail on the middle of the head where the die was most deeply cut. On the reverse, note the textured area just right of the torso. Not only did it not transfer the detail of the arm but it did not flatten out the rough surface of the cast flan blank. Still, the coin has great sharpness in the legends and peripheral detail. How could this be? My best answer is that the dies did not match exactly in the flatness of their surfaces. This is what you would get if the reverse die were just a little concave. The weak strike was enough to make contact with the edges but not in the recessed middle. Now, I have to wonder if this concavity was the same for all coins struck with this die or, perhaps, did the die swell a bit as it heated up with repeated strikings so the later coins might do better in terms of evenness. I am no expert on matters of technical die numismatics. It is not a subject of interest at all to 99% of collectors except that they would not find any interest here and would avoid the coin like the plague. If your son grows up to be a PhD in metallurgy or applied physics, blame this coin.

    Below is a coin showing the opposite situation. pz2725fd2211tilt.jpg This AE36 of Rhodes had dies that were slightly convex so when they came together the centers were struck more completely than the edges which are substantially unstruck. In either case, the coin would have been better if it had been hit harder and forced more metal into all parts of the die. Perhaps the hammerman was tired that day. It required a lot of muscle to hammer out large bronzes.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page