I don't like owning Ancient Coins - Constantius Chlorus

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by IMP Shogun, Jan 31, 2021.

  1. IMP Shogun

    IMP Shogun Well-Known Member

    Good Sunday everyone!

    As the title suggests I don't like owning ancient coins...as much as I like looking at varieties and finding ones I haven't seen or examined before myself. Out of

    i. hunting for variety in issue, mint, quality or syle (learning the history);
    ii. examining in hand;
    iii. taking photos, playing with lights;
    iv. cataloguing the collection, and
    v. owning the coin - why, financial gain, security for step ii?

    I like owning the least, yet it is the most expensive step in the collecting process (iii can get expensive although my setup is still modest all-in less than $400 and has been used for other photo endeavors) and not owning prevents step ii. This is very different than other types of coins or metal, I like owning gold, silver and platinum - don't so much need to touch it. With the exception of the recent performance at auction the transaction costs don't really justify the ownership part.

    I can see how this hobby becomes an obsession for some that need to own things that they see or like. When I feel like I need 2,000 of something, I just cook some rice with dinner ((119) Mitch Hedberg Just For Laughs - YouTube)

    This may not be an epiphany for anyone that has been collecting ancient coins, but it was for me in that this is purely a hobby, with very little expectation (by me) for financial gain. That realization takes the drive out of me to buy a lot of coins, or becoming obsessed with the next purchase.

    Speaking of the hunt, I've been looking for the right Constantius Chlorus coin for my LRB collection and I narrowed down my want list to an issue minted in Trier (his capital), London or Carthage (I don't have anything from that mint unless you count Ostia), without further ado:

    Constantius I as Caesar:

    Constantius I 305–306 A.D. follis as Caesar RIC VI 213a TRIER Genius minted 296-297 CONSTANTINVS NOB CAES / GENO POPV-LI ROMANI
    Genius standing Left holding patera and cornucopia with some silvering
    26.7mm 9.29g

    I may have looked at 1,000 Constantius Chlorus coins of varying mints and levels of quality and ended up buying the former from MRBcoins(a very good source), I did disregard my preference for an issue as Augustus.

    I've posted my other LRB's quite a bit but for reference but here is how I have Constantine I represented in my collection:
    Constantine I 307–337 A.D. follis RIC VII 4 Sol 313-315 in Lugdunum
    Sol standing left, raising hand and holding globe
    ex- 1970 Bourton-on-woods hoard
    21.5mm 4.56g

    Galerius as Caesar fractional-radiate:
    Galerius 305–311 A.D. fractional radiate RIC VI 16 Delta Jupiter 295-296 Heraclea
    Galerius standing right in military dress receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter leaning on scepter; Mintmark H Delta
    23.0g 2.60mm

    This one is from Victor

    If you cared to see the rest of my Tetrarchy collection here:

    Augusti of the Tetrarchy | Coin Talk

    And the Max' are here:

    Maximus | Coin Talk

    All that being said, I'd hate to sell these now that I've examined them, learned quite a bit about the time period, but the physical coins are now more than arms-length away in storage and likely won't be examined again for some time.

    Love to see what you have for Constantius I (and please if you have an Argentus I'd love to see those as that was a very close 2nd to the one I added above).
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    AE Follis or Nummus
    OBVERSE: IMP C CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, laureate head right
    REVERSE: FIDES MI-LITVM ("The loyalty of the military"), Fides enthroned holding a scepter in right hand and a military Ensign of the left hand; pellet right in field; TT in ex.
    Struck at Ticinum 305-306 AD
    9.15g, 28mm
    RIC VI 55a; Sear 14170

    Constantius I 2.jpg
    AE Follis
    OBVERSE: CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, Laurate bust, right
    REVERSE: SAC MON VRB AVGG ET CAESS NN, Moneta standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae. Star in right field. Mintmark RT
    Struck at Rome 302-303 AD
    8.8g, 27mm
    RIC VI 106a
    Constantius I 3.jpg
    AE Follis
    OBVERSE: CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate head right (large head type)
    REVERSE: SALVIS AVGG ET CAESS FEL KART, Carthago standing facing, head left, in long robe, holding fruits in both hands. Mintmark Gamma
    Struck at Carthage 298-299 AD
    7.41g, 28mm
    RIC VI 32a
  4. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    I agree that learning about them and looking for them can be more enjoyable than owning them. It's the 'thrill of the chase'. Bidding on them can be an exciting pastime, even if you have to pull away at the last minute after a month of admiring them. But like any relationship, once you're committed to them, you have to work harder at it ;)

    I have a couple of Constantius I, although not an argenteus:

    Constantius I as Caesar, 300
    London. Bronze, 28mm, 9.29g. FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB C. GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (RIC VI 14a).

    Constantius I as Augustus, 305-306

    London. Bronze, 27mm, 9.5g. IMP CONSTANTIVS P F AVG. GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI (RIC VI 52a).

    This second is from the Falmouth Hoard, found on 18 April 1865 by labourers named Tripp and Tallack. They were ploughing a field on Pennance Farm near Falmouth, Cornwall, England when they discovered 600-1000 Roman bronze coins (3-4th centuries AD) surrounded by black material that crumbled in their hands.

    The coins, including 110 of Constantius, were exhibited at the Polytechnic Exhibition in 1867. A small parcel from the hoard was owned by Lord Stewartby (MP), who studied the find. Christie's sold 584 of the coins in 1970, ‘The Property of Mrs Janet M.K. Fox of Falmouth’...‘all in a rather corroded state’ and ‘said to have been stacked in neat rows.’ This coin came in a Baldwin's paper envelope with annotations made by Lord Stewartby.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
  5. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Constantius as Caesar, 293-305
    Struck before the coin reform of c. 294, so only struck 293-294 for about one year.
    22 mm. 3.90 grams.
    Jupiter and Hercules, protectors of the Caesars

    As Caesar, A.D. 293-305.
    29 mm, 9.34 grams.
    Cyzicus, c. A.D. 297-299.
    Obverse: Laureate head right.
    Reverse: Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia
  6. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    I have many Constantius I folles & will post some of my favorites :happy:.

    constantius as caesar, rome mint..jpg
    Rome Mint, I think this one came from a John Anthony auction.

    Constantius as Augustus, Ticinum (2).jpg

    NGC 2491170-026.jpg
    Lyon Mint, Ex Freeman & Sear.

    r7305b_lrg (3).jpg
    Lyon Mint, Ex Freeman & Sear

    London Mint, 8.99 gm, RIC 22

    Sear 14047.jpg
    Ticinum Mint, 12.11 gm, 27 mm, 12 h
  7. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    I picked up my first Constantius I last year while I was taking a break and "not buying any coins".


    Constantius I, AE follis AD 302-303

    O: FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate head right R: GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI, Genius standing left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over shoulder, holding patera and cornucopia. Γ in right field. Mintmark TS. 27 mm, 10.7 g. RIC VI Thessalonica 24a; Sear 14060.
  8. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    this checks two of those boxes --an argenteus from Carthage

    Carthage_14a (1).jpg

    Constantius I
    AD 296- 298
    AR Argenteus
    18mm 2.7g
    CONSTANTIVS CAES; Laureate head right
    F ADVENT AVGG NN; Africa standing facing, head left, holding standard and tusk; at her feet, lion standing left, head right, with bucranium to left.
    In ex. T
    RIC VI 14a

    Ex-Charles Oman collection
  9. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Totally feel what you're saying on the anti climax of recieving something you've won (though some white whales still feel great to hold).
    Much like ATG, once he'd won it wasn't worth anything since he already had it. Fortunately, we still have many ancients to conquer.
    Here's my green Clorox with bleach (to bad we couldn't bleach it his son):
  10. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Supporter! Supporter

    We understand!...you're renting it! :D
    panzerman, Pellinore and chrsmat71 like this.
  11. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    Amassing coins has never been a preoccupation for me. I have used barter or trading to get the next coin of my interest and when that novelty wore thin, trading was the logical step for me. I never had more than 250 to 300 coins at any one time and after selling off the majority of my collection over the past couple of years, I have opted to assess the remainder and decide their fate. My foreign coins need attention, so they are next on my agenda.
    panzerman and IMP Shogun like this.
  12. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  13. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    I feel a little regret when I pay my invoices as buying this coin and this and yes, that oh and let's not forget this ... hurts my budget (oops, I did it again today).
    But I like the feeling when I open the envelope, examine the coins, add them in the album and I study them months or years after purchasing.

    My only Chlorus

    26.2 mm 11.13 g


    GENIOPOPV-LIROMANI [GENIO POPVLI ROMANI]; Genius stg. l., modius on head, naked but for chlamys over l. shoulder, r. holding patera, l. cornucopiae. B in left field, Γ in right field. TR in exergue.

    The shape of the coin doesn't allow me to be 100% sure the letter in left reverse field is A or B but I suspect this it is a B (it's difficult to say even in hand). If it's B, this officina is not listed in RIC. If it's A - RIC 196 Treveri, not the most common coin.
  14. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Some historians say that all the tetrarchs look alike. In some stylistic sense that is so, but in detail it is not. I happen to like coins of Constantius:


    When you have put this much study into the coins of that time period:


    then you can usually tell the emperors apart by their portraits.
    Constantius was the only one with a curly beard (and then, not on western-mint coins where they had reason to know what he looked like):


    Constantius as Caesar
    29 mm. 9.30 grams.
    FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate head
    B in right field
    •SM•SD in exergue
    RIC Serdica 4a "c. 303-304-5"
  15. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    An interesting perspective @IMP Shogun . In my experience though you can’t really separate the first 4 items on your list from the 5th in a practical sense. What I mean is;
    1. It’s hard to motivate yourself to look for varieties if you know you’ll never get to own or at least examine them in hand.
    2. Owning the coin is really the only way most of us have to handle a coin. Even at museums you can’t touch the coin and you usually can’t see both sides well.
    3. It’s hard to take high quality photos without owning the coin. Those of us who have tried at museum displays can attest to this.
    4. This is the real fun of owning coins to me. Organize, catalog and most of all STUDY! Even more so than that to make the coin / images / research available in some way to others. Sometimes it takes a long time to study a coin and that is best done with the knowledge that you have that coin available for reference in your collection.
    5. Owning the coin can generate long term rewards. Pick coins that you find interesting and I’ll bet if you revisit them again every few years / months for further study or rephotograph or re-cataloging you will get enjoyment out of the experience for a long time.
    Also great coins btw. Here is my favorite Constantius I... one of his invasion issues!
    Roman Empire
    Constantius Chlorus (Invasion Issue)
    AE Follis, silvered, Lugdunum/traveling mint, struck ca. AD 296
    Obv.: FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB C; Laureate bust right
    Rev.: GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; genius standing left holding patera and cornucopia
    Ref.: RIC VI 17a
    Ex James Pickering Collection
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
  16. Alegandron

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

    CONSTANTIUS CHLORUS (my only one)

    RI Constantius I Chlorus 293-306 CE DIVO AE Quinarius Thesalonika 317-318 Seated RIC VII 25 R5 RARE
  17. IMP Shogun

    IMP Shogun Well-Known Member

    That is nice!
  18. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    One with beard curls or a prominent hook nose would be my choice if I were to own only one coin of Constantius I.

    Constantius I - Argenteus Campgate.jpg
    AR Argenteus. 3.35g, 19.6mm. Serdica mint, circa AD 305-306. RIC 11a (R4), unlisted officina Γ=3. O: CONSTANTIVS AVG, laureate head right. R: VIRTVS MILITVM, three-turreted campgate with seven layers and no doors; •SM•SDΓ• in exergue.
    Valentinian, Bing, Curtisimo and 7 others like this.
  19. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Constantius Chlorus as Caesar:
    Constantine Chlorus from Lot Mar 2019 (0).jpg

    Constantius I Chlorus as Caes.
    (struck by Maximian) Follis
    (301 A.D.)
    Aquileia Mint

    CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate head right / SACRA MONET AVGG ET CAESS NOSTR, Moneta standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae, V in right field, mintmark AQΓ.
    RIC VI Aquileia 32a.
    (8.70 grams / 26 mm)

    Constantius Chlorus as Augustus, with green globules:
    Constantine Chlorus as Aug Aug 2018 (3).JPG

    Constantius I Chlorus as Aug.
    (struck by Maximinus Daia)
    Æ Post-reform radiate
    (305-306 A.D.)
    Alexandria Mint

    IMP C CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, Radiate, draped, cuir. bust rt. / CONCORDIA MILITVM, Constantius r. receiving Victory from Jupiter l., Δ /ALE.
    RIC VI Alexandria 59a.
    (3.68 grams / 20 mm)
    Valentinian, Bing, Curtisimo and 5 others like this.
  20. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    This is my favourite Constantius Chlorus. I like the relatively naturalistic portrait combined with this stylized big head and neck.
    The coin has a very thick planchet and weighs 11.1 gr.
    I wish I could say that looking at other people's coins would be just as satisfying as owning the coins myself. For me the hunt for a coin makes up much of the excitement of collecting. So investing both time and money to get a coin I know I will like and treasure is the essence of collecting. I bought the coin below for GBP 55 on ebay. I don't know and don't care if that is a good buy in absolute terms. All that matters is that I like the coin when I look at it (in hand).

    Screenshot 2021-02-01 at 09.28.34.png
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  21. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    Here is another Constantius Chlorus with "heroic bust" from my collection. For those of you in England or planning to visit England (after the pandemic), if you go to York you can see the place under the Cathedral were on 25.July 306 Constantine (the great) was proclaimed Augustus following his Constantius Chlorus' death on that day.

    Attached Files:

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