HWE's Top Ten 2021 (SUPER Budget Edition)

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by hotwheelsearl, Nov 29, 2021.


Pick Up To Three!

  1. Northern Song 10 Cash

    4 vote(s)
  2. Licinius Follis, Jupiter

    2 vote(s)
  3. Caracalla Radiate, Fortuna

    6 vote(s)
  4. Claudius II Plated Ant, Consecratio

    3 vote(s)
  5. Gallienus Ant, Neptune

    3 vote(s)
  6. Quintillus Ant, Felicitas

    5 vote(s)
  7. Hadrian As

    4 vote(s)
  8. Maximinus II, Apollo

    19 vote(s)
  9. Philip I, Tyche

    21 vote(s)
  10. Postumus, Hercules

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Today is the day that I was supposed to have started Navy OCS. However, due to the holiday week and everybody taking leave, I’ve been delayed until the actual dead of winter in January. The good news is that now I can post my Top Ten of 2021!

    This was a great year to really narrow down my collecting interests. I used to just buy whatever was cheap, and half-heartedly tried to get a full emperor set. These days, I specialize mainly in late antoniniani and large provincial bronzes. You can find great coins for great prices in these two categories, and I’m happy to stay in this price range. Of course, if I find something that I like, I’ll always get it no matter if it fits into my poorly-enforced “categories.” Here's a super-budget top ten list, with only one coin costing more than $20.

    In chronological order of acquisition…

    1. Northern Song Hui Zong AE 10 Cash, 30mm

    Jan 12
    Hui Zong Northern Song 10 Cash.JPG

    I don’t collect Chinese coins at all, but sometimes something comes by that you have to get. The minerals on this one are really second-to-none. The absolutely beautiful malachite, combined with beautiful crystallized azurite really make this one an eye-popper.

    2. Licinius I AE Follis, Siscia, 22mm

    Apr 3
    Licinius I RIC VI Siscia 227a.JPG

    There’s nothing too special about this Licinius, but I absolutely love the interesting portrait. Most Licinius coins have a rather meatheaded-looking bust, but this one is unusually naturalistic. A bit of an uneven strike on the reverse, but I’ve never seen a more detailed victory and eagle on this type of coin.

    3. Caracalla AE radiate, Sardes, 25mm

    May 6
    Caracalla Sardes Mionnet Sp VII 501.JPG

    Group lots are a great way to get coins for an individually low price. This particular lot had a slew of awesome coins, and I think my favorite was this coin. Although its low grade and unremarkable, the interesting radiate obverse and the good honest wear make this a keeper. I also like the patina contrast, making this a sort of “circ-cam.”

    4. Claudius II Plated Antoninianus, 20mm

    May 28
    Claudius II RIC 266.JPG

    Claudius II coins exist in extraordinary abundance, but it’s very, very difficult to find them with any level of silvering/plating intact, let alone a coin with about 90% of it left! This coin looks virtually as-struck, and retains so much of the original plating that it is easy to see just how attractive these coins would have looked back in the day. Although the silver content was so low, any consumer using these extremely shiny coins would probably have overlooked the lack of silver and appreciate the abundance of shine.

    5. Gallienus Billon Antoninianus, Antioch, 21mm

    May 28
    Gallienus BI Ant RIC Antioch 603.JPG

    There are about a million different reverses for Gallienus, and it’s always fun to find one that really speaks to you. I always liked the pose where somebody is standing with their foot on something – a stool, an omphalos, a captive… This one features Neptune with foot on the prow of a ship, which is super cool. The blue-green malachite(?) encrustations on the reverse really fit with the ocean theme of the coin, and the VIIC in exergue is interesting. The coin is also heavy, and has what seems to be a rather decent level of silver to boot.

    6. Quintillus Billon Antoninianus, 21x18mm

    Jun 21
    Quintillus RIC 76.JPG
    There are a few cool features on this coin. First and foremost is the rather beautiful, delicate blue toning around the portrait. The good strike and high grade let you see Quintillus’s curls and barbarian moustache in great detail. I especially like the abstract nature of the reverse figure, with a line-drawing style that reminds me of reverses of Postumus.

    7. Hadrian AE As, 27mm

    Jul 8
    Hadrian AE As RIC 616a.JPG

    This is just a regular old Hadrian as, but what makes it special to me is the lovely, dark green patina. The streaks in the green look very much line veined green marble, and especially like the serpentine stone that was very commonly used in opus sectile floors and walls in Roman buildings.

    8. Maximinus II AE ¼ follis, Antioch, 15mm

    Jul 8
    Maximinus II Van Heesch Antioch 3S.JPG

    Apollo isn’t very well represented on coins, so it's always nice to see one in such great price (from a group lot, of course) and the very high state of preservation make this one a real winner. The sand patina highlights give the coin a sort of cameo appearance, and despite the small size this one is really impressive.

    9. Philip I AE octassarion, Antioch, 30mm

    Jul 29
    Philip I AE30 BMC Antioch 527.JPG
    The second I saw this coin I knew it would be on my top ten list of the year. I love the strong strike and great details. While some may see the environmental damage as a major defect, I actually like it more because of it. The crescent-shaped areas of damage indicate that this coin was submerged in what was likely a saltwater environment. The reverse may have been buried in sand, while the obverse had another coin laying on it in such a way to exposure just that sliver on the left to the environment. I think this damage tells a more interesting story than an otherwise undamaged specimen.

    10. Postumus Silvered Antoninianus, Cologne, 21mm.
    Nov 23
    Postumus RIC Cologne 64v.JPG
    I always like Postumus coins as the silver is usually relatively good, and the reverse have this lovely abstract style where everybody has spaghetti-arms. Here, Hercules has my favorite Stretch Armstrong limbs. He also has not one, but three things in hand: a club, a bow, and a cloak, reminding me of when I try to carry all the groceries from the car in one go.

    And that’s it! I made some purchases in the second half of the year, but for some reason all of my top picks were centered around a couple good buying sprees. Here’s to another great year of collecting, and see you all in 2022.
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Nice haul at low, low prices. The anonymous Apollo issues often go for far north of $100...
  4. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Coingrats on some really fun and diverse coinage!
    Very cool Maximianus II with good detail.
    Here's mine for comparison (also purchased in the ten buck range):

    The artistry on the reverse of your Quintillus is spooky cool.
    And my third and most favorite is your Philip I with a very fun depiction of Tyche.
    Thanks for sharing a affordable and desirable to ten!
  5. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Good bunch, and I must say, more on the economic side than me. Top 3 for me are Postums, Quintillus and Caracalla.
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  6. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    deal of a lifetime for this one. I somehow got my coin in a lot of Constantius II, Constans, and Roma/Constantinople commemoratives!
    DonnaML likes this.
  7. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    The Maximinus II and Philip I are both fantastic. I also voted for the very nice Quintillus.

    I am particularly impressed with the price you paid for the so-called "persecution issue" of Maximinus II, now preferably referred to as "anonymous civic coinage"; see the article at http://allcoinage.com/anonymous_civic.php. I don't remember exactly what I paid for mine, but it was a lot more than $8.98!

    Maximinus II persecution issue AE16 Antioch (Tyche-Apollo), McAlee 170, Sear 14927  jpg issue.jpg

    Good luck at Navy OCS. I hope you still have time to post here now and then! Pardon my ignorance, but does one already have to be in the Navy to go to OCS?
  8. wittwolf

    wittwolf Well-Known Member

    Nice additions, mine was something of a budget list itself ;)
    My favorites here are the Gallienus, the Quintillus and the Philip I. from Antioch. I really need to get a better Quintillus too!
  9. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Very confused as to why folks are saying these are pricey. They are easy to find and cheap coins. I got mine from Savoca for 12 euro. I recall @dougsmit mentioning there being a few variants. Maybe folks are talking about another variant...either way yours is in good shape.
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I looked mine up (see above) and I paid about $80 for it from Aeternitas in Spain. Here are the search results at VCoins, ordered from highest to lowest price:


    Even if you throw out the different, more expensive varieties, they're not all dirt cheap.
    hotwheelsearl and ominus1 like this.
  11. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your kind words! I think paying 9 bucks for a persecution issue in that condition is nothing short of astonishing! I think one would be hard pressed to find an example like the one I have, in the same high grade, for any less than $50. Of course, deals abound, as evidenced by my costs for all my coins this year!

    OCS is mainly for civilians joining fresh into the Navy, but there are also prior enlistees going for officer training. I have no prior service :)
    ancient coin hunter and DonnaML like this.
  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

  13. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Good luck. My Dad went to OCS in the 1960's and then Viet Nam, where he got to command a ship with 110 sailors and 12 officers at something like the age of 27.
    DonnaML and hotwheelsearl like this.
  14. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    ominus1 and DonnaML like this.
  15. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    dougsmit, ominus1 and hotwheelsearl like this.
  16. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    That's pretty insane, isn't it? I won't have ship command potential (I honestly don't mind that) but it should still be fun!
    DonnaML likes this.
  17. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Very nice coins. I like #6, #8 and #9.
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  18. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Hang onto it for sure. It was a great deal.
  19. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Nice top 10 for '21. Best of luck in OCS. January, burrrrrrrrr...
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  20. Spaniard

    Spaniard Supporter! Supporter

    Really cheap but nice pick ups @hotwheelsearl....Agree with the above posts referencing the Max II WOW!.....Super coin!......Really love the colouring on the 10 cash coin too!.....Congrats
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  21. ominus1

    ominus1 ...BE SEEING YOU! Supporter

    ..hey, if you wanna join my sales club, you have to sell 3 coins....:p:D:jawdrop::rolleyes:
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
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