My First Sestertius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by KSorbo, May 23, 2019.

  1. KSorbo

    KSorbo Well-Known Member

    This just came in the mail today, a Hadrian sestertius that caught my eye due to having nice smooth surfaces that at least according to NGC haven’t been messed with. The weight, being almost 30 grams, also was a factor in my choosing this coin. I’ve wanted a sestertius for a long time and I’m not disappointed now that I have it in hand. I would love to see other Hadrian sestertii, and any info on the legends would be appreciated!

    Hadrian Slab.jpg Hadrian Obverse.jpg Hadrian Reverse.jpg
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  3. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper Supporter

    I don't know if I'd say surface is 4/5 and strike is 4/5. It is missing some patina and most of the legend is missing due to weak strike on reverse, and there is some weakness in strike on the obverse too. That being said, it's still a nice and honest well used 2nd century sestertius. It is a nice addition to any collection. The portrait has a very fine style. Well done!

    I don't have Hadrian in sestertius form, only in silver. I'd love to add a nice one like yours someday to my collection. I do have a Marcus Aurelius sestertius though...I guess that's close enough...


    Are you going to crack it open or leave it in the holder?
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  4. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Love it! You always remember your first!

    Here's my first:

    Gordian III, AD 238-244
    AE, sestertius, 25.46g, 32.5mm; 12h; Rome, AD 238-239
    Obv.: IMP CAES MANT GORDIANVS AVG; laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
    Rev.: VICTORIA AVG; Victory advancing left, carrying wreath and palm; S-C

    Are you going to free Hardian or is he to stay in the plastic? ;):D
  5. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    Congrats @KSorbo , a lovely coin!

    I am yet to get mine.
    KSorbo likes this.
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    This was my first sestertius. I fell in love with its smooth black patina and it resulted in a lifelong Faustina fascination!

    Faustina Sr AVGVSTA Vesta standing sestertius.jpg
    Faustina Senior, AD 138-141.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 24.57 g, 32.0 mm.
    Rome, AD 147-161.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: AVGVSTA S C, Vesta veiled, standing left, holding palladium and scepter.
    Refs: RIC 1124; BMCRE 1519; RCV 4617.
  7. KSorbo

    KSorbo Well-Known Member

    He’s been dead and buried for going on 1900 years so I’m going to leave him protected in his fine plastic tomb :)
  8. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Hoping to figure this out eventually....

    Excellent coin ... great first sestertius!!

    Here is my Hadrian sestertius.. well used and well loved.

  9. Agricantus

    Agricantus Allium aflatunense

    Here’s my 2-in-1 sestertius. Hadrian is also on the reverse, facing Italia. Adventi Avg Italiae
  10. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter


    My first Sestertius was also a Hadrian:

    Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-24 um 08.12.05.png

    Sestertius, Rome 130
    22,65 gr / 32 mm
    RIC 708, BMCRE 1418, Cohen 851, Sear 3604

    I regret having sold it, but have since replaced it with these two:

    Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-24 um 08.16.36.png
    Sestertius, Rome 131
    23,79 gr / 30,88 mm
    RIC 703k

    Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-24 um 08.18.50.png
    Sestertius, Rome, AD 123
    23,5 gr / 33 mm
    RIC 586c; BMCRE 1196; Cohen 974; Sear 3611
  11. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Congrats. I think it is a pleasing example with pretty nice surfaces. Impressive coins, aren't they?

    One of the few decent sestertii I've owned was also a Hadrian, as it happens.

    This one ranks around #4 on my "top seller's remorse" list. I miss it quite a bit, but I do still get to see it about once a year when I visit its new owner.

    (Acquired from @AncientJoe - traded to @Aethelred. @Ken Dorney might have ended up with it, had @Aethelred not had prior right of refusal.)

    Roman Empire: orichalcum sestertius of Hadrian, struck ca. 134-138 AD

    Obverse: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate bust of Hadrian right, slight drapery on far shoulder.
    Reverse: AE-QVI[TAS] A[V]G, S C across field, Aequitas standing facing, head left, holding scales and scepter.

    Struck at Rome ca. 134-138 AD. RIC 743; BMC 1481. 31 mm approx, 23.4 g. Ex-Colosseo Collection, 6/6/2015. Prior provenance to Boston Museum of Fine Arts, cited in Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles Auction 81, Lot 1567, September 2014.

    This Galba sestertius was one of my first - if not my very first - sestertius, back in the days of my first Roman collection, circa 2007-08.

  12. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter

    Your coin:

    (Laureate bust of Hadrian right, with light drapery on far shoulder)
    (Jupiter seated left, holding Victory and sceptre)
    RIC 561a; BMCRE 1146; Hill 149; Sear 3621; Banti 599 (30 specimens)
    Struck at Rome, AD 119
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    philologus_1 and KSorbo like this.
  13. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    My only sestertius of Hadrian.

    Hadrian - Sestertius Hilaritas 1114.jpg HADRIAN
    AE Sestertius. 20.76g, 33mm. Rome mint, AD 128-132. RIC II 970c. O: HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, laureate bust right, draped on left shoulder. R: HILARITAS P R, Hilaritas standing left, holding long palm branch upright in right hand and cornucopiae in left; at her feet, on left, a small naked boy standing right, touching palm; on right, a small girl standing left, touching dress of Hilaritas; COS III in exergue, S - C in field.

    I believe "std" is short for "seated"
  14. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter

    You must be right. I thought it was short for "standing" :)
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  15. KSorbo

    KSorbo Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the attribution!

    I noticed that my coin has a significantly higher weight than most of the other ones posted. Is this part of normal variation, or were there larger planchets during certain time periods? I would think that the large coins would have been more likely to get melted down at some point.
    Julius Germanicus likes this.
  16. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    Once upon a time I collected only bronzes of Hadrian, but sadly I have only three sestertii left:

    4000631.jpg x3906.jpg Hadrian Salus.jpg
  17. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

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  18. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    Yea, I forgot about that one but its a Maximinus. I wonder if it is still there? I tried to tone down two Greek fibulae and lost them somewhere. Imagine what an archaeologist might think a thousand years from now excavating my house...
  19. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Tribunicia Potestas

    Nice OP coin - now you should consider freeing it up from its slab!
  20. Limes

    Limes Well-Known Member

    Nice coin, nice addition! I have two sestertius, not of Hadrian though... One of my collection goals is all the adoptive emperors and caesars in sestertius. I have two now.

    Here is my first sestertius. Not the pretiest one, but its my first and - also because of that fact - i like it very much.

    13 Marcus Aurelius sestertius.jpg

    My second one is a nice one of Commodus. I like the green color, which is a darker green in hand:

    18 Commodus sestertius.jpg
  21. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I like the look of your MA sestertius, actually. Even a tiny bit more than the Commodus (which is also nice).
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