Gallienus and Constantine I with temple countermarks

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Victor_Clark, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    It's very rare for LRB's to have been countermarked.

    Below are two coins that have countermarks of a tetrastyle temple, similar, though not exactly the same, to Howgego 286 from Panormus, Sicily.


    The Howgego 286 cm was applied to 1st century coins like Augustus or Tiberius...these two coins were struck considerably later.


    “Gallienus BI Antoninianus. Rome, AD 264/5. GALLIENVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; countermark: tetrastyle temple / SECVRIT PERPET, Securitas standing to left, leaning on column, holding sceptre; H to right. RIC 280; C. 961; MIR 595w; for countermark cf. Howgego, GIC 286 (Panormus). 2.99g, 22mm, 6h.”


    “Constantine I Æ Nummus. Rome, AD 312-313. IMP CONSTANTINUS P F AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right; countermark: tetrastyle temple / S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, legionary eagle between two vexilla, RQ in exergue. RIC 349a; for countermark cf. Howgego, GIC 286 (Panormus). 4.12g, 22mm, 6h.”

    Interestingly these two coins were issued about fifty years apart and have the same cm...maybe done around the same time or perhaps some fifty years apart. Both coins also have considerable wear. Maybe a bit worn before cm'ing or perhaps after they were cm'ed they wore down more from prolonged circulation.

    So several questions (who, what, where, when and why) with no answers…only speculation.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
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  3. David@PCC


    Never knew these existed. I have a hard time understanding why countermarks would be needed after provincial mints closed. I would assume they were stamped at the same time. Looks like the countermark made the split open up.
    finny, Victor_Clark and Ryro like this.
  4. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    That's a noodle scratcher. I'll take a guess just to keep the thread towards the top as I'd love to read other guesses or even a half hearted explanation.
    Maybe marks to assign them value as a gaming piece. Or something like a theater ticket or brothel token:troll:.
    Total shots in the dark, but I do love a good mystery. Thanks for sharing Victor:)
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  5. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    What about commemoratives?

    you go to the local temple, instead of getting an elongated penny, you get a temple stamped ant or follis!
    finny likes this.
  6. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..that's purdy neat Vic..:)
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  7. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    I wish I knew the find site for these two, if possible, but all I have is "From the inventory of a UK dealer." Maybe I will be able to find out more.
  8. Edessa

    Edessa Supporter! Supporter

    Oh, that one is simple. So all these slaves are sitting around the Ostrogothic mint, scratching "XLII" on all of these Vespasian era As coins. Then the boss comes up with the bright idea that the smaller 3rd and 4th century issues could be reissued as 5 Nummi. But every time the slaves tried cutting "IIIII" on these small bronze issues, the close work would result in sliced open fingers. Ancient OSHA regulations demanded an alternate solution, so a small stamp was ordered...
  9. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Dang, if only someone invented a different numeral for “5.”
    Edessa likes this.
  10. Edessa

    Edessa Supporter! Supporter

    Sure, but just anyone could cut a "V"!
  11. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..they could've put IV..but there was some kinda voodoo on doing that..on coins anyway..
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  12. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Those are SO cool... I wonder if someone was turning them into weights or gaming pieces?

    Screen Shot 2020-10-18 at 10.06.21 PM.jpg
  13. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Fascinating coins Victor and something I've certainly never seen. Cool.
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