LEO I from a JUNK hoard

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by hotwheelsearl, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I got a large junk hoard of several hundred coins, most of them, well, junk.

    One of the few highlights this time around was a TINY nummus of LEO I!

    At about 9.5mm, it's quite small, but surprisingly detailed, at least as far as these tiny late empire coins go. These are also pretty dang expensive, with quite a high size-to-cost ratio, and examples tend to sell on eBay for $50 or so.

    I doubt it's even possible to find a full flan, full legend coin of Leo, but I am fortunate to have the letters EO show up clearly on the obverse.
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  3. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Leos are hard to find in the best condition since most fell from the dies looking pretty awful. We have to put up with what we find. My favorite type has the Lion reverse. Which reverse is yours?

    From a legend standpoint the one below is my most complete. While missing the mintmark, the substitution of a lambda for the L on obverse allows full ID. This coin has a natural hole all the way through the flan (now filled with dirt).
    furryfrog02, PeteB, Cucumbor and 5 others like this.
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Cool, @hotwheelsearl!

    This Leo is identifiable not by the obverse inscription, but by the figure of Verina on the reverse.

    Leo I, AD 457-474.
    Roman Æ Half Centenionalis, 0.82 gm, 10 mm, 6 h.
    Constantinople, AD 457-474.
    Obv: DN LEO, diademed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: b E, Verina standing facing, holding globus cruciger and transverse scepter.
    Refs: LRBC II 2272; RIC 714; Sear 21436; Vagi 3739; MIRB 30.
  5. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Lovely examples! I think mine has the emperor dragging captive reverse, but its sort of hard to tell...
  6. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Nice find!

    The great irony with these late 5th century AE4s is that a decent quality gold is very often cheaper than a decent quality bronze.

    Leo is the one that I haven't gotten around to getting a solidus of yet - this is currently my nicest Leo overall
    Leo I monogram CON.jpg

    I also have a decent lion type without much legend (and is Leo bearded?)
    Leo I Lion left CON.jpg

    I like the short and to the point obverse legend on this one with Verina - DN LEO.
    Leo AE4 Verina.jpg

    As an interesting aside, these were all part of presumably the same hoard, bought from CNG a few years ago - the hoard was mostly Marcian, Leo, and Vandal types, but also had a barbarous radiate and an AE9 from Aspendos, both with the same green patina, showing that anything small, metal, and round passed as money in those days.
  7. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    My only Leo I has a full flan, but due to wear and glossy patina, it's almost impossible to properly picture

    Leo I. (457-474 AD). AE2 - Constantinople mint ? ca. AD 457-474
    D N LEO PERPET AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    SALVS R PVBLICA, Leo standing right, holding labarum and globe, spurning bound captive.
    3.00 gr, 20-21 mm
    Ref : RIC X # 657. RC # 4339

    The following comment, copied from the description of the coin at Auctiones.ch, where I bought it from : "This rare issue, one of the last Roman Imperial bronzes of considerable size and neat workmanship, is almost exclusively found on the Crimea and has consequently often been attributed to the Cherson mint. The mintmark CON makes it possible, however, that the issue was struck in Constantinopolis and then shipped to the Crimea."

  8. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Wow, that’s incresivle. I never knew they still made them that big that late!
    Cucumbor likes this.
  9. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Nice AE2 @Cucumbor!

    I've never sprung for a late AE2, but they are fascinating and very, very rare! I've seen them from Valentinian III, Theodosius II, Leo, Verina, and Zeno - all *very* pricey!
    Cucumbor and hotwheelsearl like this.
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