IYO what is the most estically eye pleasing roman coins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by edteach, Mar 22, 2023.

  1. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Well-Known Member

    It has to be sestertii as the size of them allows for the engravers to show the best of their skills

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  3. edteach

    edteach Well-Known Member

    Yes, such detail
  4. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Most I cannot afford:( But here are some that I could... IMG_0072.JPG IMG_0073.JPG IMG_0021.JPG IMG_0024.JPG IMG_0635.JPG IMG_0634.JPG IMG_0690.JPG IMG_0694.JPG IMG_0687.JPG IMG_0688.JPG
  5. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I think that coins with an unexpectedly naturalistic portrait are winners in my book. Shiny gold does not a pretty coin make, IMO.
    Licinius I London RIC VII 3 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
    Licinius I RIC VI Siscia 227a.JPG
  6. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    When you have only a limited budget it is possible to create a much eye-pleasing collection of Roman coins by focusing on common coins, very common, but from elegant dies and in very good condition.

    For example, this antoninianus of Volusian :
    Volusian (251-253), AR antoninianus, Rome
    Obv.: IMP CAE C VIB VOLVSIANO AVG: Bust of Volusian, radiate, draped, cuirassed, right
    Rev.: VIRTVS AVGG: Virtus, helmeted, in military attire, standing left, leaning on shield, holding spear in right hand; in field, star
    RIC IV Volusian 187

    Such a coin has nothing particularly valuable : it is in much debased silver and is just grey, not shiny; it is not rare at all (these mid-3rd c. antoniniani have been found by the tens of thousands in innumerable hoards); this emperor is not an history star like Nero, Trajan or Commodus... In fact most people don't even know he ever existed, he is known only by specialists or coin collectors. He never did anything noticeable, was emperor only because his dad was already and was soon assassinated together with him by mutinous soldiers without even pronouncing any famous last words... He never led any military campaign when Goths and Persians were wreaking havoc in the Balkans and in Syria, never commissioned any monument in Rome or elsewhere, never did anything funny like making his horse consul or fighting as a gladiator in the Colosseum, never organized any orgy worthy of being recorded in the annals of debauchery or perversion, and I read in Wikipedia that in 3 years he co-signed with his dad two laws only. A poor resume indeed.

    But the coin is nice, every hair is still visible, I like that smile on his face...

    Another example of very common eye-pleasing coin is this one :

    Time of Constantine I: AE nummus of follis, Antioch
    Obv.: CONSTAN-TINOPOLIS, draped, helmeted and laureate bust of Constantinopolis left, sceptre on l. shoulder
    Rev.: Victory holding sceptre and leaning on shield advancing left on stylized galley, exergue S M AN I

    These small bronze coins minted under Constantine with the bust of Roma or Constantinople are probably among the least rare of all Roman coins. But its smooth surfaces, its good condition and the wonderful desert patina make it look like some black gem.

    Even more, this time, there is some history about it. The reverse celebrates the naval victory of Chrysopolis, a battle between Constantine's and Licinius' fleets on 9/18/324, won by Constantine who became the sole ruler of the previously divided Roman Empire. Immediately following this, he refounded the old Greek city of Byzantium, overlooking the battle site, and made it Constantinople, which became the new capital of the empire for the next 1600 years...
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