GAVIN’S TOP 10 of 2020

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Gavin Richardson, Dec 4, 2020.

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  1. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    So I fund my coin collection by playing in a rock band. (A hobby, thankfully, not a full-time job.) Perhaps if I were in a better band, I could afford better coins. At any rate, with COVID effectively eliminating indoor gigs, my already meager disposable income took a big hit. This left me doing some eBay bottom feeding and keeping my eye out for VCoins deals. Fortunately, my collecting interests lay in the LRBs of Constantine, and plenty of these can be had quite reasonably. So COVID can take my gigs, but it can’t take my collecting fun. Here are 10 coins that helped brighten an otherwise dark year:

    10. NERO AE AS; VICTORY
    NERO VICTORY SPQR RIC I 543.jpg
    One of only two non-LRBs on this list. It ain’t fleur de coin, but those Neronian curls were worth $65 to me. A dealer photo.

    9. CONSTANTINE GPR, TRIER
    CONSTANTINE RIC VI Trier 694.JPG
    I'm a sucker for large folles, and I especially like early coins of Constantine. This one checks both boxes. The tall, elegant Genius seems to have been distinctive of Trier.

    8. CONSTANTINE SOL ADVANCING WITH GLOBE
    CONSTANTINE RIC VI Lugdunum before 312 NOT IN RIC.JPG
    This is a coin only a specialist could love. In about 310, the mint at Lyon seems to have been working out exactly what kind of posture Sol should have for Constantine’s new SOLI INVICTO COMITI coinage, which would become ubiquitous in the West. Here’s an early variant, not in RIC, and languishing for about 20 euros in a VCoins dealer’s stock until I liberated it.

    7. CONSTANTINE BEATA; TRIER
    CONSTANTINE RIC VII Trier 369 ALT.jpg Before he founded Constantinople, Constantine made Trier his city of choice, so perhaps it’s not surprising that the die engravers at the mint of Trier were among the most skilled in the empire. Any number of coin types could illustrate the attention lavished upon the gold coinage and even the base metal coins. But this coin is one of my favorites. The oversized head and the tiny little T-Rex hands make this obverse portrait of Constantine resemble a carnival caricature. This photo is the dealer’s; the chocolate patina makes it hard for me to improve upon the dealer pic.

    6. GALERIUS GPR, LONDON
    GALERIUS RIC VI London 15.JPG A long-term project for me is to get a follis of each tetrarch from all mints, at least for the First Tetrarchy. I’ll never finish it. But I will collect some nice coins along the way, including this one from London. I find the London small bust / large bust distinction interesting. A quirky mint.

    5. DIOCLETIAN GPR, LONDON
    DIOCLETIAN RIC VI London 28a.JPG
    Here’s one representing the larger bust, type struck ca. 303.

    4. TITUS AE AS
    TITUS RIC II SECOND EDITION VESPASIAN 441.JPG Technically I completed my Twelve Caesars set last year with an Otho denarius. But my Titus really was a slug, so I upgraded with this As. This is the only coin on this list exceeding $100, and one of only two non-LRBs.

    3. CONSTANTINE GPR FROM HERACLEA
    CONSTANTINE RIC VI Heraclea 31.jpg
    I picked this one up from @Valentinian. As he noted on his site, early (ca. 306) folles of Constantine as Caesar are pretty scarce from the East. I'm sure Galerius was gritting his teeth when he was forced to strike this coin for the new Western Caesar. Large and nearly fully silvered.

    2. CONSTANTINE SOL WITH WHIP; LYON
    CONSTANTINE RIC VI Lugdunum 312.JPG Another variant of interest to collectors of Constantine’s Sol coinage: a scarce depiction of Sol striding with whip. For some reason these variants tended to come from Lyon. Purchased from Victor Clark.

    1. MAXENTIUS AETERNITAS; DIOSCURI WITH WOLF AND TWINS
    MAX OSTIA AETERNITAS.jpg
    I had always wanted one of these with the Dioscuri reverse, but I also wanted to hold out until I got one with the wolf and twins. I find the context for this coin fascinating: Maxentius is trying to position himself as the most Romanish Roman of them all so that he might rally support in the Eternal City against all comers, including, fatally, Constantine himself. Such an effort earned him a nice, long swim in the Tiber.

    THAT'S ALL FOLKS. HERE'S HOPING THE CONGREGATING, GIGGING, AND COLLECTING PICK UP ONCE WE CAN GET PAST THE WORST OF THE COVID YEARS. HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A FANTASTIC 2021!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
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  3. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Maxentius/wolf and Galerius/GPR with that fantastic green patina stand out in the lot. Quite a nice group despite the issues you have faced. Numismatics is a good medicine... :)

    Q
     
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  4. Cicero12

    Cicero12 Supporter! Supporter

    That maxentius is beautiful!
     
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  5. Alegandron

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

    Great job putting this together in 2020. Congrats, @Gavin Richardson ... it is a super set!
     
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  6. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    You have a great selection, Gavin. I like your #1 and #7.

    #7 obverse is very cool looking. The portrait with a smaller-sized hand gives a comical feeling.
     
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  7. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Great collection of coins Gavin, that Nero portrait is nice style and the Maxentius with the "lot" on reverse is fantastic, congrats on a great year of collecting.
     
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  8. AmishJedi

    AmishJedi Well-Known Member

    This may be a stupid question from a non-ancient collector: realizing these are extremely old coins, when the coins were struck, were they perfectly round/symmetrical? All of the ancients I see are "off-round" and elongated...is that just because of the environmental damage and aging process? Is it rare to find a coin that is considered "whole"?
     
  9. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    My favorites are numbers 1 and 7.
     
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  10. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    They were usually struck on irregularly shaped flans. The ancients didn't care too much about using technology to obtain a perfectly circular flans, although they did try. At some times, they did a better job than at other times.
     
  11. An amazing collection. I remember finding an old coin in the dirt while visiting Bali. There were few discernable writings on it and certainly no date. It's probably stuck somewhere with some of my other junk coins. It was copper or brass if I remember correctly.
     
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  12. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice.. I like each one for different reasons but enjoy 1, 4 and 7 the most.
    Really interesting - thanks for posting!
    I guess my 2021 will be partially spent searching for a Maxentius!
     
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  13. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Great coins, Maxentius is excellant and I like Constantine from Trier mint.
     
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  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Oh man! No wonder the Maxentius is your favorite! Very desirable reverse type and well-preserved, too!
     
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  15. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..great group!...imma Nero/Victory fan also...and i've yet to get Maxentius..yours is superb by any standard! :)
     
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  16. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Nice group!

    The patina on the Galerius follis is a standout, a really nice green/blue.

    The Maxentius is an excellent coin as well.
     
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  17. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    I like #2 quite a bit! Lovely whip on that Sol.
     
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  18. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Supporter! Supporter

    The Maxentius with Wolf and Twins is my favorite.
     
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  19. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    All are nice. Better gigs are ahead for you next year, I'll bet on it. Good luck and thanks for posting your top 10.
     
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  20. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Great selection. I love both of the London mint coins in particular, displaying the early style after the first few transitional issues with imported mint workers for Galerius and then the fully established style with the Diocletian.

    Also very interested in your Soli Invicto coin, and the superb Trier Beata.
     
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  21. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Very nice group!...#1 and #7 for me but I do find #8 intriguing! Congrats on some pick ups this year.
     
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