Has a HOARD been discovered or what ?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, Mar 5, 2022.


How is it possible ?

  1. A hoard was discovered

  2. It’s only a coincidence

  3. You’re in a dream idiot and will wake up soon

  1. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    Not so long ago I wrote a thread about a coin of Victorinus with a special detail (the small leaf) and how happy I was to be able to finally get one. ( https://www.cointalk.com/threads/victorinus-with-hieroglyph.376044/ ). When I acquired mine, it was the first time I ever saw one for sale in my life, the 2 other specimens being in museum. But imagine my surprise when I saw another one for sale in Germany the next week ; couldn’t resist and had to buy it. But another example was again available the next week this time in an auction in Spain; tried to get it but didn’t succeed. Sadly, it was the nicest one of the three. Did you ever experience such a story ? You wait to find a coin for years without success, and finally 3 specimens appear in a month ? Has a hoard been discovered or what ? Maybe but the 3 coins were for sale in 3 different countries: UK, Germany and Spain. Only a coincidence? What do you think ? Here are the three coins :

    20mm 3.56g (sold in UK)

    18mm 2.76g (sold in Germany)
    The one I missed from Spain

    The first two coins are obverse die-matches. The reverses are very similar, but the leaves and the stars are clearly different. Same engraver or maybe the dies were « refreshed » ?
    I believe that coin # 3 and # 2 have reverses die-matching.

    Please show me twins or similar coins from your collection !
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  3. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    I agree the top two share an obverse die but I think they have three different reverse dies (unless one of the has been reengraved). I'm comparing the shape of the "leaf" and distances between devices and characters in the legend & believed I see differences that go beyond striking variations.

    Yesterday I took some quick camera phone shots of a few Gordian III Ants -- only afterwards did I realize the two on the bottom share an obverse die (surprising coincidence given the size of that issue):

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  4. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    Hoards turn up the all the time. I see on average one every week or two that make the news. Others of course aren't officially reported or not large enough to be newsworthy.
  5. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    You could suspect a hoard if the coins were completely unknown and unpublished ones, and all of a sudden not one but several specimens surfaced in public auctions. Or if the coins had been extremely rare and sought after for centuries, and suddenly several specimens appear in auctions with no provenance (or vague and unverifiable ones).

    It is the case, for example, with Lihyan drachms. These imitations of Athenian coins from Arabia, bearing a clear conspicuous Dadanitic letter on Athena's cheek, were completely unknown until 2018. Not a single one in a museum or a public catalogued collection, not a single one on the market, but since 2018 some 25 specimens have been auctioned by different houses. None has a pedigree or a real provenance (a vague provenance nobody could verify does not count). It is very likely that they are from a hoard being dispersed.

    Leu webauction15 860 13mm 2 11g 8h.jpg
    Arabian imitation of an Athenian coin, with a Dadanitic letter Dhal on Athena's cheek. Leu Web Auction 15, 860. AR 13 mm, 2.11 g. 4th c. BC.

    It is also the case with Decadrachms of Alexander. Before 2015, 15 or 17 specimens only were known, 8 of which had been traced by Martin Price from a large hoard found in Iraq in 1973. In 2015, suddenly, new unrecorded specimens started to surface on the market, more and more numerous: 1 in 2015, 1 in 2016, 5 in 2017, 10 in 2018... None with a provenance that could be verified. It is likely that these Alexander decadrachms came from a hoard found c. 2015, probably in Gaza because in 2017 the Israeli police seized 4 other specimens someone tried to smuggle into Israel out of the Gaza strip.

    In the case of the Victorinus antoniniani with the tiny leaf, it is less clear. Thousands of Victorinus antoniniani are in collections, in museum and museum deposits, in hoards still waiting to be published because they are enormous. The leaf is a small detail of the reverse type that could have been unnoticed by many, so I don't know if one can say there are only 3 specimens known. It would be interesting to check precisely published hoards containing Victorinus "Invictus" antoniniani. I have one, but it does not have the tiny leaf...

    Victorin 1.jpg
  6. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    With our advanced metal detectors today, many new hoards/ coins will be found. This is good, means a lot more of us will be able to afford coins that where unthinkable. Imagine if someone finds a hoard of 700 Postumus aurei in Germany/ prices would drop enough for some of us to get one.:happy:
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  7. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    I voted for coincidence.

    The exact same thing happened to me last year with a rare Ostrogothic coin. Theoderic the Great died on 30.08.526 without an obvious male heir. His daughter Amalasuntha assumed the role of effective ruler, but the Gothic elites insisted on a male successor. As an initial compromise her young son Athalaric was named successor, but without the title of king (REX). Hence, the first coins minted after Theoderic's death show the reverse legend DN ATHALARICVS (without REX/RIX). This issue was extremely small and until earlier last year I had never seen a coin for sale. So I was happy when a piece came up, albeit in ugly condition:

    Screenshot 2022-03-09 at 08.39.34.png

    To my amazement a second piece came up for sale a few months later, which I also bought:

    Screenshot 2022-03-09 at 08.39.54.png

    And to my even greater amazement a third piece was offered in excellent condition, which I also bought:

    Screenshot 2022-03-09 at 08.40.04.png

    The stupid thing was that the condition was getting better and better, so I ended up with three coins. Had the last coin come up first, I could have let the other two go.

    The reverse type was an innovation at the time. It replaced the well known Theoderic monogram. According to Metlich, the omission of the royal title was just a mistake, which was soon corrected. This interpretation is not implausible. After all, the title REX had also not been part of the Theoderic monogram.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
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  8. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    Sorry to bring back an old thread. But I just learned an interesting detail about the famous small leaf on Victorinus’ coins: 70 years later, the small leaf will become an officinae mark on an issue in Treveri for Constans and Constantius II.

  9. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    They say: " As common as a rare ancient coin ! ". That's it.
  10. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander find me at NumisForums

    @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, here's my small leaf Constans. It came in a group and I kept it because I liked the leaf! :D (I don't think you mean officina mark, though, since it's found on coins of different officinae. Control mark?)

    constans leaf.jpg
  11. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    You’re right, wrong translation of « marque d’une émission », which I think should be translated by « issue’s mark »(RIC call it a mint-mark).
    Last edited: May 13, 2022
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  12. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    I recently posted the coin pictured below after finally identifying it in Richard McAlee's 2nd supplement to his book The Coins of Roman Antioch. In his 2nd supplement he pictured an example from Mark Breitsprecher, & listed it as Ex. Rare. My coin is a double die match to the Breitsprecher example, & our coins are the only known examples. What are the odds of that happening again o_O?
    4885363-049, McAlee 1021A, AWK Collection.jpg
    McAlee 1021A comparison.jpg
  13. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Interesting coins!

    Here are my only *possible* die matches - these two Claudius II ants from Antioch (the L in CLAVDIVS is a little lower, the IV in CLAVDIVS is a little spaced apart, and the S in CLAVDIVS is "smudged")

    claudius ii sol avg 1.png

    claudius ii sol avg 2.png

    The reverse dies are definitely different, though (look at Sol's whip)

    Both of these coins came from the same Savoca auction (different lots).

    I do have a couple of INVICTVS ants of Victorinus, but unfortunately, no leaves.

    I would guess those three leaf ants came from different hoards - the patina is quite different on the last one especially
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