How doable is a complete set of imperial silver denarii?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Volante, Feb 15, 2023.

  1. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    Philip I is the most difficult.


    Barry Murphy
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  3. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    And if you include usurpers, don’t forget Uranius Antoninus and clodius Macer…..


    Barry Murphy
  4. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    Oops, forgot the photo above … And Clodius Macer

  5. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    And after many years, Carausius struck silver denarii again

  6. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Well-Known Member

    Wow on those denarii.

    I think when it comes to coins, @Barry Murphy might be like the guy that when you tell him you like a band, he plays you a song from the b side of a record that was only sold in Japan under a fake band name with 10 copies going out. In other words, he knows coins that we mortals have heard about in whispered tales. Those coins in that condition are really tough pieces.
    Volante likes this.
  7. El Cazador

    El Cazador Well-Known Member

  8. El Cazador

    El Cazador Well-Known Member

    @johnmilton Can you please share your Vitelius, now i am curious:)
  9. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    It will have wait until Monday.
    El Cazador likes this.
  10. Volante

    Volante Well-Known Member

    Is Philip I even attainable? Can find very little about his denarii online.

    Good catch, will add those two. Wikipedia and some other sources don't recognize Clodius Albinus as a legitimate emperor, I guess because he declared only after Septimius Severus declared? I will probably skip the other usurpers though, including Caurasius.

    And yeah, I did a more formal price estimate through coinarchives and came up with $21k as an absolute best-case scenario and $30k as a more reasonable number.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2023
    mrbreeze likes this.
  11. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Well-Known Member

    I would tend to agree with your $30k+ number.
  12. A Philip I denarius is coming up for auction next week!


    Some info from the listing below, including context on how/when Philip minted denarii. Will be interesting to see how much this one goes for.

    Philip I AR Denarius. Rome, AD 244-247. IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust to right / ADVENTVS AVGG, emperor on horseback advancing to left, raising hand and holding spear. RIC IV 26a; RSC 5. 3.56g, 21mm, 6h.

    Extremely Fine. Extremely Rare; only one other example of this type has been offered at auction in the past 20 years (Lanz 109, May 2002, lot 738 [hammer: EUR 6,000]).

    Ex Heritage World Coin Auctions, ANA Signature Sale 3101, 25 August 2022, lot 34107.

    Maximinus I (235-238) was the last reigning emperor to have struck the denarius as the principal silver denomination intended for regular circulation. The reign of his successor Gordian III (238-244) saw the 'Antoninianus' or double-denarius become, virtually overnight, the mainstay of the Roman currency, due to the inflationary pressures of the early third century in part caused by ever greater military expenditure and associated successive debasements of the coinage. The denarius, though not yet relegated to the status of a mere unit of account, was now a critically endangered species.

    Issued sporadically throughout the reign of Gordian III, mass production of the denarius came to an end with the fourth issue at Rome in 241-243. By the time of Philip I's accession in 244 the common use of the Antoninianus was well entrenched; Philip himself issued only three denarius types, ADVENTVS AVG (RIC IV 26a), PIETAS AVGG (RIC IV 43a) and SECVRIT ORBIS (RIC IV 48a). Of these, the first two may securely be said to represent ceremonial coins produced for the arrival of Philip at Rome in the late summer of 244, and for the elevation of his son Philip II to the rank of co-Augustus in 247. A possible occasion for the third type may be found at the beginning of Philip's reign in early 244, when he was required to negotiate peace with Shapur I of the Sasanian Empire in order to return to Rome to secure his position.
  13. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    AND it's an Adventus type, very cool coin! (Here's the ACSearch record of its Heritage appearance last year.)

    If we're counting the later AE ones issued intermittently, there's also Probus and, especially, Aurelian. (And even Diocletian. A few others, I presume.) I've got a few of the Aurelians in my "Barbarians & Captives" coll., which are actually fairly common and come in many different sub-varieties:

    Aurelian AE Denarius Victory Captive Ex Solidus.jpg

    I've even seen the small module Tetrarchic AEs described as "1/4 Follis or Denarius" (but usually in French or German!), like this otherwise forgettable Constantius Chlorus (and its awful draft photo I took when inventorying "group coins" not individually cataloged).

    But I have yet to track down what evidence or argumentation actually supports calling them "Denarius" (or any other specific term, other than some generic like "nummus"):
    Constantius I Chlorus GENIO ROMANI 2e.jpg
  14. Alegandron

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

    I enjoy collecting different denominations, instead of just Denarri or Sestertii. I became interested in Quinarii... cool size, similar in size to Celtic coins, Victoratii, etc. Fun size and sometimes harder to find...

    RI Vespasian 69-79 CE AR Quinarius Victory seated wreath palm RIC 802 Rare.PNG
    RI Vespasian 69-79 CE AR Quinarius Victory seated wreath palm RIC 802

    RI GALBA 68-69 BCE AR Quinarius Lugdunum mint laureate r Victory globe stdng left 15mm 1.5g RIC 131
  15. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Sorry, @El Cazador, I got distracted. Here it is.

    Vitellius All.jpg

    Denarius of Vitellius, Obverse, A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TRP, (“Aulus Vitellius Germanicus, Emperor, Augustus Tribunicia Potestate” (tribune of the Roman people - their representative in government.) Reverse, LIBERTAS RESTITUTA (“freedom restored”) Libertas standing.
    Dafydd, Cucumbor, Valentinian and 4 others like this.
  16. El Cazador

    El Cazador Well-Known Member

    Really nice one, congratulations on a fine acquisition
    johnmilton and Curtis like this.
  17. Gallienus


    One of my more recent Imperial denarii was one of Claudius II (268-270 AD). This one isn't silver but purely bronze. I got it as I wanted to show a range of denarii and this is one of the last ones issued. It was around 5K I recall. "Roman Silver Coins" goes to Postumus (Usurper 260-269 AD).

    A complete or even a near-complete set sounds like a wonderful idea. Maybe you can get a raise at work to help?
    Orange Julius likes this.
  18. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Oooh, those are rare! I have dreams of finding one of those unidentified in a cheap lot. Can we see it?
    Gallienus likes this.
  19. Gallienus


    Certainly. Actually I got it in 2019: not exactly recently?

    Claudius II Gothicus, 268-270. Denarius (Orichalcum, 17 mm, 3.64 g, 12 h), Mediolanum, September 268-mid 269. IMP CLAVDIVS AVG Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Claudius II to left, seen from behind. Rev. MARTI PROPVGNATORI Mars advancing right, holding transverse spear in his right hand and shield in his left. Cohen -. RIC -. RIC V online -. Unpublished and unique. A wonderful piece, beautifully struck on a very broad flan and with superb portrait of fine style. Extremely fine.
    Leu Numismatik Auction #4, 25 May, 2019 lot# 721, realized 4,600 Swiss Fr. not incl commission.

    This photo and writeup by Leu.

    I got the Claudius-II, not because I like or need a Claudius-II but because I like to document currency debasements in general. Thus I also have coins from the Monedas Feble crisis in Latin America (1830-1852) and have been after German hyper-inflationary (1923) coinage.

    Also I like the Roman Military Crisis of the 3rd century.

    I just saw that one coin I tried to get but lost from that auction was a beautiful sestersius-sized (AE34) Provincial of Gallienus, my namesake. My avatar is not a Gallienus as I really don't have any decent coin of him. Had I gotten that piece, it would undoubtedly been my avatar but there are always limits as to what one can buy.
  20. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    That's a heck of a coin in many ways. I didn't watch that auction (I started watching all the Leu's with sale #6, "Kleinkunst"), but this is a coin I would've remembered.

    I love the broad "medallic" flan. It certainly gives the impression of a more "ceremonial" issue (the centering and good strike, and large size of the flan relative to the dies), rather than a coin intended for usual circulation -- which is something I've heard about some of the rare later bronze denarii.

    I have a thing about the line or bead borders. Once you start looking, it's surprisingly hard to find complete, unbroken, and centered ones on Roman Imperial coins -- especially to have it on both sides! (Or on most other Greek, Roman, Byzantine types. Anyone can check their coins, any coin with complete borders usually stands out as especially impressive.)
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