My most expensive coin is.... an Aelius??

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by hotwheelsearl, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Aelius? Who? Before I bought this coin for the kingly sum of $40 USD, I had never heard of this name. Why would I ever pay so much for someone I never knew about? Beats me. I guess the bidding war got to my head. After the purchase, turns out that coins of Aelius are actually rather expensive, so I think I got a decent deal overall. I'm especially stoked on how clear the L AELIVS is on the left of the portrait, especially considering that most of the legend on both sides is worn away.

    Turns out, Lucius Aelius was a rather important guy, so much so that Hadrian adopted and appointed him as successor. Unfortunately, Aelius died before Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius ruled in his stead.
    Aelius is also known as being the father of Lucius Verus, someone I am just a bit more familiar with, and who is known to me as being who's hard to tell apart from Marcus Aurelius on coins.
    This is an As, RIC 1071v.

    I was initially drawn to this coin as having the longest exergue text I've ever seen - PANNONIA. Previously, my longest exergue was VRB*ROM on a small bronze of Julian II.

    It's definitely got one of the most cluttered reverse texts I have, with a surrounding legend, S-C across fields, and a stupid long exergue.

    ^^Anybody know why PANNONIA is in the exergue instead of...somewhere else...
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Aelius is one of the pricier personalities on second century coins.

    The Antonine period was one of prosperity and coins circulated for decades. Coins of Aelius and the Antonines, particularly the bronze denominations that participated in the most transactions, are usually well-worn. Here's a typical Aelius AE:

    Aelius Spes sestertius.jpg

    Verus is the one who looks like Bob Ross.
  4. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Nice coin @hotwheelsearl ! Aelius is definitely one of the lesser known members of the second century.

    Here is my Aelius denarius which I am very fond of.

    Aelius: The Emperor Who Wasn’t
    Roman Empire
    Aelius as Caesar (AD 136-138)
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck AD 137
    Dia.: 17 mm
    Wt.: 3.24 g
    Obv.: L AELIVS CAESAR Bare head right
    Rev.: TR POT COS II Felicitas standing left holding caduceus and cornucopia
    Ref.: RIC II 430 (Hadrian) Scarce
    Ex Pars Sale 3, lot 357 (Oct. 2019), Ex Numismatik Naumann 75, lot 643 (Mar. 2019), Formerly slabbed by NGC
  5. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Hadrian's second beard:
    share4664841476067502333.png share4865332921674394698.png
  6. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice!
    I have a pretty rough sestertius of this particular party animal..
    I do like the ghost-like images of Fortuna and Spes ..obviously disapproving of his lifestyle ..

  7. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

    Hi All,

    Aelius is also the only one whose Alexandrian coinage uses the Roman system of dating on the reverses, but in Greek of course: ΔHM•Є - ΞOY - YΠAT• (= TR POT COS II). This coin was from Antioch Associates, who apparently got it from Frank D Arnold (CA, USA) in April 1993 (their ticket included).

    Refs: Emmett-1353.ud; Geissen-1272 var: Rev legend arrangement; Dattari-2078; : M-1556


    - Broucheion
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  8. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Nice! And it isn't the "traditional" Spes reverse, so that's a bit more special! And like RC said, they are often well used.

    Aelius as Caesar, AE As
    Struck by Hadrian in 137 AD, Rome Mint

    Obverse: L AELIVS CAESAR, Bust of Lucius Aelius Caesar, bare head right.
    Reverse: TR POT COS II, Spes, draped, advancing left, holding up flower in right hand and raising skirt with left, S-C across field.
    References: RIC II (Hadrian) 1067
    Size: 26.5 mm, 9.23 g
  9. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Nice catch, and yes he is the scarce one of the 'good emperors'. Even though he didn't live long enough to become emperor, one can add this guys when building a 'good emperor' set.

  10. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  11. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ...thats a purdy nice'un...he's one i've been after a while but haven't scored yet...
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  12. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Mine is not perfect either, but the eroded spots on the obverse that made it affordable do not ruin the nice portrait, so it will be a keeper.

    Bildschirmfoto 2020-11-28 um 13.39.11.png
    L AELIVS CAESAR - Bare head of Aelius right
    TR POT COS II SC - Spes advancing left, holding flower and lifting drapery of dress behind
    Sestertius, Rome mint, 137 A.D.
    31,37 mm / 25,87 gr
    RIC 1055, BMCRE 1914, Cohen 56, Sear 3986, Banti 33 (34 specimens)

    The Sestertii of Aelius are certainly not common. They seemingly only made up a mere 2,5 % of the Sestertii struck during the age of Hadrian, if we take into account
    the Guelma hoard which included just 7 specimens of his next to 263 Sestertii of Hadrian, 16 of Sabina, and 2 of Antoninus Pius as Caesar.
  13. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    AE As
    OBVERSE: L AELIVS CAESAR - Bare head right
    REVERSE: PANNO-NIA S-C across field, TR POT COS II,
    Pannonia standing right, head left, holding vexillum in
    right hand and pulling swath of drapery across legs with
    left hand
    Struck at Rome, 137 AD
    23.5g, 30mm
    RIC 1071 (Hadrian), S 1217
  14. Alegandron

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


    RI Aelius Caesar 138 CE AE As 26mm Rome mint Fortuna-Spes cornucopia and rudder
  15. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the lesson for today, very interesting posts.
  16. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Finding a pristine example of his may be tough and pricey. Well done for the price. I only have a denarius of his

    Aelius, Denarius - Rome mint, AD 137
    L AELIVS CAESAR, bare head right
    TR POT COS II, Spes standing left holding flower and lifting skirt
    3.25 gr
    Ref : Cohen # 55, RCV # 3977

  17. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    A large provincial:
    AELIUS, Caesar. 137 AD. Philippopolis, Thrace. (Æ 33; 21.34 gm)
    Obv: Λ AIΛIOC KAICAP, cuirassed bust of Aelius, r., bare head, with paludamentum seen from rear. Rev. (ΦIΛIΠΠOΠO) - LEITΩN, Female figure wearing polos standing l., holding patera in r. hand and poppy and two ears of corn in l. hand; on l., river-god (Hebrus) reclining. BMC__ ; SNG Cop.__; Moushmov__; Varbanov 643; RPC III, 753.
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