Gordian III AR Denarius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Magnus Maximus, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    My grandmother gave me a Roman denarius of Emperor Gordian III way back in 2013/4, which got me hooked on ancients. I have 2 large purchases in the upcoming months, so I decided to get myself a cheap snack to satisfy my collecting urge in the meantime.
    I still find it amazing that a beautiful denarius or antoninanus of Gordian III can be easily had for under $75 USD. Even average condition denarii/antoninianii of his, regularly retail between $30-$50 USD.

    I suspect that the reason little Gordian was so prolific in his silver coinage was due to the army's salaries which were raised from 900 denarii to 1800 denarii by Maximinus Thrax in 235. To my knowledge, Gordian nor any other succesive Emperor lowered legionary pay while there was still decent coinage in circulation.

    Anyhow, the silver purity of Gordian's denarii aren't too terrible, roughly 43% silver which was the standard from the reign of Elagabalus nearly fifteen years earlier. I am actually impressed that Gordian's administration was able to continue to use that silver standard, given how chaotic 238 CE was. The average weight of Gordian III's denarii are 3.14 grams with 1.359 grams of actual silver weight per coin.
    33393_33393_c.jpg
    Gordian III. 238-244 AD. AR Denarius (3.24 gm).
    Obverse:
    IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed
    bust right
    Reverse:
    AETER-NITATI AVG, Sol radiate, standing
    half-right, head turned left raising right hand and
    holding globe.
    RIC IV 111; RSC 39.

    Feel free to post your Gordian III denarii!
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
    Alegandron, Pavlos, octavius and 23 others like this.
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  3. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight I AM the Senate! Supporter

    Just this one, and just the obverse photo (it’s a Salvs Avgvsti reverse) since that’s all I posted a while back to get information on what that corrosion-looking area on his head is.

    955C1038-F59A-4BA1-BADD-33B2F646F5FD.jpeg

    It was around $11, so for a Gordian denarius I thought it was good enough as a snack.
     
  4. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    GordianIIIDenSol.jpg
    Gordian III. 238-244 AD. AR Denarius (20mm; 3.63 gm; 6h). Rome mint, 1st officina. 8th-11th emissions, 240-243 AD. Obv: Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Sol, radiate, standing left, raising hand and holding globe. RIC IV 111; RSC 39.
     
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Salus with die crack on portrait
    ro0520bb1814.jpg
    Gordian on horseback
    ro0525bb3056.jpg
    Venus Victrix
    ro0635fd0643.jpg

    The legend says Pax but the figure is Liberalitas. The style is barbarous and the metal is plated.
    ro0630bb0213.jpg
     
  6. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    Nice coins, all.
     
  7. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  8. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Same as one above but it's my only GIII...
    normal_gordhrec.jpg
    Gordian III AR Antoninianus 23mm/4.28gr Toned..
    IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate draped bust right / VIRTVTI AVGVSTI, Hercules standing right leaning on club set on stone and holding lion skin
    Rome mint: AD 241-243 (9th, 10th, and 11th Issues, 4th Officina) RIC 95, RSC 404
     
  9. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    Nice new addition! Gordian III's denarii are a bit more scarce than his abundant antoniniani. Mine is the same type as the one Doug has shown above:

    Rom – Gordian III, denar, Adventus-Typ.png
    Gordian III, Roman Empire, AR denarius, 240–241 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG; bust of Gordian III, laureate and draped, r. Rev: P M TR P III COS P P; Gordian III on horseback riding l., raising r. hand and holding spear or sceptre in l. 20mm, 2.66g. Ref: RIC IV Gordian III 81. Ex Auktionen & Münzhandel Dr. Christoph Stadler (Bremen); ex Münzbörse Stadtwaage (Bremen).
     
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Amen-Ra-Hotep

    You make a good point about the Roman economy/prevalence of silver to strike coins. Gordian cranked them out to the extent that we call them roaches. One can imagine that the empire was not too impacted by inflation yet, which apparently kicked in around the time of the end of Gallus' reign. Gallienus and Valerian started out OK but within a few years had to severely debase the coinage. Meanwhile the bronze coins (and provincial bronzes) disappeared with the exception of closed-economy Egypt.

    Antoniniani.

    gordian3.jpg

    gordian4.jpg

    gordian6.jpg

    gordian7.jpg

    aeternitas.jpg
     
  11. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Gordian III - Pietas
    image.jpg
     
  12. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    Hahahahaha!!!
    That’s hilarious.
     
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  13. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Do you think this was the reason that Gordian brought back the Antoninianus functioning as a double denarius so that he could pay the troops with that but shave off a bit of actual silver?

    I've got a couple of both denominations that I've gotten so far this year:

    [​IMG]
    Gordian III, Ruled 238-244 AD
    AR Denarius, Struck 241 AD, Rome Mint

    Obverse: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: VENVS VICTRIX, Venus, draped, standing left, leaning on shield, holding helmet in right hand and sceptre in left hand.
    References: RIC IV 131
    Size: 20.5mm, 2.74g


    [​IMG]
    Gordian III, Ruled 238-244 AD
    AR Denarius, Struck 241-243 AD, Rome mint

    Obverse: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: P M TR P III COS II P P, Emperor in military attire, standing right, holding transverse spear in right hand and globe in left hand.
    References: RIC IV 115
    Size: 20.5mm, 2.5g


    [​IMG]
    Gordian III, Ruled 238-244 AD
    AR Antoninianus, Struck 238-239 AD, Rome or Antioch mint
    Obverse: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, bust of Gordian III, radiate, draped, cuirassed, right.
    Reverse: PAX AVGVSTI, Pax, draped, standing front, head left, holding branch in extended right hand and transverse sceptre in left hand.
    References: RIC IV 3 or 189
    Size: 22mm, 5.16g


    [​IMG]
    Gordian III, Ruled 238-244 AD
    AR Antoninianus, Struck 243-244 AD, Rome mint

    Obverse: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: FORT REDVX, Fortuna seated left, holding rudder and cornucopiae; wheel beneath.
    References: RIC IV 143
    Size: 24mm, 4.29g
     
  14. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice coins here - I like Gordian III silver coins because they are affordable in decent condition, and are generally attractively-done.

    Here are the three denarii I have.

    VENVS VICTRIX with a Jimmy Durante schnozzola on the boy-emperor:
    Gordian III - Den. VENVS Jan 2017 (0).jpg

    PIETAS - a find at my local coin shop for $18. Usually his ancients are pretty salty, but I thought this was a good deal. It is one of the few Gordians I have with toning:

    Gordian III - Den. PIETAS Jul 2017 AZ (0).jpg

    IOVIS on a ragged flan:

    Gordian III - Den. IOVIS June 2018 (0).jpg
     
  15. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    @Justin Lee
    I think you are right. The denomination was brought back by Pupienus and Balbinus as an emergency measure to pay for the war against Thrax. Gordian’s administration would have been forced to continue to pay the army 1800 denarii per year(per legionary), or else they would have been killed. All that would explain why his coins, and every other mid to late 3rd century Emperor’s, coins are very common.

    I wonder how long Gordian’s denarii stayed in circulation? By the time of Decius and Gallus the antoninianus had roughly the same amount of silver in them as Gordian’s denarii did. So the question we all gotta ask is: were Gordian’s denarii hoarded or retariffed as antoninianii?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I have a couple of Gordian III denarii, as well as an antoninianus and a provincial coin on which he appears with Tranquillina.

    Gordian III AR Denarius, 240 AD [TRP III]. Obv. Laureate head right, IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG / Rev. Gordian on horseback left, holding spear downwards in left hand & raising right hand, PM TR P III COS PP. RIC IV-3 81, RSC IV 234 (ill. p. 7 & on book jacket), Sear RCV III 8678. 18 mm., 3.59 g.

    Gordian III Denarius - jpg version.jpg

    Gordian III AR Denarius, 241-242 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped, & cuirassed bust right, IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG / Rev. Diana standing facing, head right, holding flaming long torch right with both hands, DIANA LVCIFERA. RIC IV-3 127, RSC IV 69, Sear RCV III 8673 (ill.). 20 mm., 2.7 g., 6 h. (Issued in celebration of marriage of Gordian & Tranqullina, 241 AD. See Sear RCV III 8673 at p. 123.)

    Gordian III-Diana Lucifera denarius jpg.jpg

    Gordian III AR Antoninianus, 242-243 AD [TRP V], Rome Mint. Obv. Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG / Rev. Apollo seated left, bare to waist, holding branch with right hand & resting left forearm and elbow on lyre, PM T-R P V COS II PP. RIC IV-3 89, RSC IV 261, Sear RCV III 8648. 22.65 mm., 4.67 g.

    Gordian III Ant. - Apollo reverse - jpg version.jpg

    Gordian III with wife Tranquillina, AE 26 mm., 241-244 AD, Thracia, Anchialus [Pomorie, Bulgaria]. Obv. Confronted busts of Gordian III right, laureate, draped and cuirassed, and Tranquillina left, draped and wearing stephane; ΑVT Κ M ANT / ΓOPΔIANOC AVΓ clockwise around; CEB TPAN // KVΛΛINA in exergue; border of dots/ Rev. Apollo standing left, holding patera in right hand; left arm resting on column; ΟΥΛΠΙΑΝωΝ / ΑΓXΙΑΛEωΝ clockwise around; border of dots. Moushmov 2939 [H. Moushmov, Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula (1912)], Varbanov II 668 [Ivan Varbanov, Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Vol. II, Thrace (from Abdera to Pautalia) (English Edition) (Bourgas, Bulgaria 2005)], AMNG II 656 [F. Münzer & M. Strack, Die antiken Münzen von Thrakien, Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands Vol. II (Berlin, 1912)]. 26 mm., 11.91 g.

    Gordian III - Tranquillina Anchialus (Thrace) - jpg version.jpg
     
  17. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Nice one, and the reverse is scarcer as a denarius than as an antoninianus. It's listed as rare, although I would say scarce is more accurate.

    Gordian III Denarius Sol Aeternitati.jpg

    The strange thing about mine is that Sol is missing the spikes on his radiate crown - almost like the engraver was told not to put radiate crowns on denarii, and took that rule too far!
     
  18. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    It's not that easy to find a nice GIII denarius. They are often struck from worn dies, are in poor style, or have other problems. That's a nice one, congrats!

    Antioch, IMO. If you want to be sure, find Roger Bland's thesis on these. Nice coin!

    Interestingly, Antioch didn't issue any denarii, and their ants generally had a higher silver content. The Antioch issues at the end of the reign were huge, presumably to pay the soldiers going on the Persian expedition.
     
  19. I agree, and I enjoy adding one to my collection from time to time, as it seems many do around here!

    It's been a while since my last post on CT but I thought I'd stop lurking in the shadows and step out to share a Gordian III I picked-up last year:

    RIC 002 RSC 105 SEAR 8614.jpg

    Gordian III
    AR Antoniniaus, 4.71g
    Obv: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG; Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev: IOVI CONSERVATORI; Jupiter standing left holding thunderbolt and scepter, Gordian standing at his feet.
    Mint: Rome, 238-239 CE
    References: RIC IV 2, RSC 105

    Here's one I've shared previously:

    RIC 001 RSC 086 SEAR 8609.jpg
    Gordian III
    AR Antoniniaus, 4.29g
    Obv: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG; Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev: FIDES MILITVM; Fides standing left, holding standard and scepter.
    Mint: Rome, 238-239 CE
    References: RIC IV 1, RSC 86
     
  20. cmezner

    cmezner Supporter! Supporter

    Romae Aeternae with a different obverse legend than the ones shown by Andres2 and Ancient Coin Hunter:
    Antoninianus, Rome, 240 AD
    21 x 23.5 mm, 4.834 g
    RIC IV Gordian III 38;

    Ob.: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev.: ROMAE AETERNAE, Roma, helmeted and in military dress, seated left on shield, holding Victory and spear

    upload_2020-7-7_19-8-56.png upload_2020-7-7_19-9-39.png
     
  21. Gary R. Wilson

    Gary R. Wilson ODERINT, DUM METUANT — CALIGULA

    Gordian_III_AD_238-244-removebg-preview.png

    Gordian III (Augustus)
    Coin: Silver Denarius
    IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG - Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    IOVIS STATOR - Jupiter standing front, head right, holding thunderbolt & scepter.
    Mint: Rome (240 AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 2.86g / 19mm / 6h
    References:
    RIC IV 112
    RSC 113
    Sear 8674
    Provenances:
    Savoca Coins
    Acquisition/Sale: Savoca Coins Internet 4th Blue Auction #990 $0.00 07/19
    Notes: Jul 14, 19 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection


    Gordian_III-removebg-preview.png

    Gordian III (Augustus)
    Coin: Silver Antoninianus
    IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG - Radiate draped bust right
    P M TR P V COS II P P - Apollo, nude to waist, seated left, holding branch in extended right hand and resting left elbow on lyre.
    Mint: Rome (242 AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 5.10g / 24mm / 5h
    References:
    RIC IV 89
    RSC 261
    Provenances:
    Savoca Coins
    Acquisition/Sale: Savoca Coins Internet 30th Blue Auction #1876 $0.00 03/20
    Notes: Mar 22, 20 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection

    Minted-10th emission, AD 242
     
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