How to collect the middle emperors?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by savitale, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. savitale

    savitale Well-Known Member

    As I'm planning out my Imperial Roman collection, I'm struggling with the mid-third century ones from Philip I (r. 244-249 CE) to Carinus (r. 283-285 CE). The antoninianii appear to be just dismal coinage for the most part. Aureii seem to be five-figure coins and I can't afford that. So what's a person to do?
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  3. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    I just try and get the best antoniniani I can! That is my collecting field though, so I don't really have any other option...

    Some of the earlier emperors minted sestertii, so you could try getting some of them?
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  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    It depends on your collecting goals. If your goal is simply one of each emperor and the members of his family, exceptionally well-preserved antoniniani are the way to go. If you're trying to go into depth, acquiring an extensive collection of Postumus, for example, then you'll have to settle for ugly if you desire any sense of completeness.

    These things aren't Morgan dollars; they were produced hastily by slave labor when the empire was under extreme economic distress. The coins simply range from the eyesore to the barely collectable.
  5. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    Maybe we have different definitions of "dismal" but you can find plenty of these Emperors in great condition and the added bonus is that they can be super affordable. A few of Philip-- are these "dismal"?



  6. savitale

    savitale Well-Known Member

    Some are not dismal, including the examples you showed. I believe early on (like your Philip I examples) the coins were made mostly of silver and with some quality of workmanship but they rapidly degraded from there.

    Maybe there are excellent examples from all the emperors and I just haven't found them yet. Doesn't seem promising in some cases though.
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  7. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Actually the "Gallic Empire" coinage are beautifull/ just cannot afford them:(
    Philip and Family struck really nice material. Some of the Aurei are affordable too, as this one I got from Leu. 00272q00.jpg IMG_1257.JPG IMG_1258.JPG
  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Here's a cool aureus of Postumus. He had at least one talented engraver working for him.

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  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    With antoniniani struck between 260 and the 290's try to find the best examples you can afford.
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  10. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean. Many of those ants are undersized, underweight, ugly, or otherwise "dismal," like you said.

    However, one just gotta make do.
    Here are two Claudius II that are on the high end for quality.
    They have small, undersized flans but you gotta make do.
    Claudius II Milan RIC 261 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
    Claudius II RIC 98 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG

    Sometimes, for emperors like Gallienus, the coins run the gamut from very conventionally attractive:
    Gallienus AR Ant RIC 178 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
    And sometimes you just gotta appreciate the ugly:
    Gallienus Siscia RIC 572 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
  11. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    Here's a pretty nice looking and nice metal Postumus...

    And @JayAg47 just posted a rather nice Gallienus. I believe there are nice quality coins of those emperors you seek out there, but you might have to hunt a bit for them, pouring through ones that you don't fancy.
  12. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Gallic emperors tended to have rather dismal coins, but for these I like to either appreciate the lovely rendering of the obverses:
    Tetricus I Laetitia reverse (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG

    Or admire the abstractness of the reverses too:
    Postumus RIC 89 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).jpeg
  13. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Beautifull coin!
    I would rate the Aurei from Postumus/ Victorinus/ Laelinus way nicer then Imperial Roman of same era.
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  14. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Here's an aureus of Gallienus..."Peace everywhere" reverse, exact opposite of what was happening at the time. Vocative case as well.(not in my collection)

  15. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Nice antoninianii of the Crisis emperors are tough to find, but they are out there- just be prepared to either fork out a lot of money, or troll through thousands of coins in large lots.

    All of these came from large lots from major auction houses

    Philip I antoninianus Aeqvitas avg.jpg Trebonianus Gallus Libertas.jpg Volusian Genius of Senate.jpg Gallienus victoria avg.jpg Claudius ii victory milan.jpg Quintillus AE Antoninianus Providentia.jpg Aurelian Concordia.jpg Tacitus MARS VICTOR.jpg Florian antoninianus providentia deor.jpg Probus antoninianus adventvs avg.jpg
  16. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Also don't forget that every emperor up until Gallienus issued sestertii, which are mostly common, often better executed than the silver, and don't seem to have been hit -too- hard by the price mania
    Philip I sestertius saecvlares wolf.jpg
    Trajan Decius sestertius victory.jpg trebonianus gallus sestertius mars.jpg
    Gallienus sestertius Mars_compress74.jpg
  17. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Also provincials are pretty cheap and nice looking, and often rather large.
    27mm and cost like $4 in a group lot.

    Trajan Decius AE27 Moushmov Dacia 10 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
  18. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Here's a $10 Philip, 28mm!
    Philip I AMNG 100.JPG
  19. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The Gallic emperors form a fun little set, and have interesting history.

    Postumus got it started. From what I've read, his coins had more gold or silver in them that the pieces the empire was issuing at the time.

    Postumus Anton All.jpg

    Marius was the black smith who hit the big time for a few days or a couple of months depending on whose history you believe. This coin is on the tough side. One story says he was killed with one of the swords he made, but that's probably just a spiced up version of the truth.

    Marius Anton All.jpg

    Victorinus may have been egged on by his mother. He was great general, but he had a weakness for the ladies. He hit on the wrong woman, and her jealous husband killed him. I bought this piece for obverse. The reverse came along for the ride.

    Victorinus Anton All.jpg

    Tetricus I was one of those rare birds who manged to live after his empire crumbled. He may have made a deal with Aurelian. He put up with same days of humiliation and then he and his son got to live out their days in peace ... with a state job no less. This coin has a funky shape, but the wording is readable.

    Tetricus Anton All.jpg
  20. aleppo

    aleppo Member

    philip i and philip ii have nice provincials. this is one of mine i got this year 1571357_1607291662.jpg
    Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Hexastyle temple, containing Zeus Kataibates seated facing, holding thunderbolt and sceptre, eagle to left; above, ram leaping right.

    RPC 7844; Butcher 21c.
  21. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    That’s incredible.
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