My Top 10 for 2020

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by 1934 Wreath Crown, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    I have to say at the outset that I’ve seen better years than 2020 and it is one I’d sooner cross out from memory. The uncertainty, fear, disappointments, panic and tensions are best put behind us. Let’s hope and pray that 2021 ushers in a more positive and upbeat mood for everyone. Understandably, it was a fairly quiet and lean year and one where I’ve decided to downsize my collection and concentrate on few but hopefully better quality, more meaningful stuff. So here’s what I managed to get this year:

    10. SICILY, Syracuse. Philistis, wife of Hieron II. 275-215 BC. AR 16 Litrai – Tetradrachm (26.5mm, 13.12 g, 1h). Struck circa 240-218/5 BC. Diademed and veiled head left; star to right / Nike driving slow quadriga right; star above, K to right. CCO 119 (D8/R29); BAR Issue 65; HGC 2, 1556; SNG ANS 880 (same dies).

    Described as - Light marks, minor double strike, some roughness on obverse. Good VF.

    From the James Barry Collection. An impulsive buy so probably not my most sensible purchase but I liked the fact that most of the legend and details were on flan.


    SICILY Syracuse. Philistis, Tetradrachm Rev.jpg

    9. Mongols - Great Khans. Chingiz (Genghis). AH 602-624 / AD 1206-1227. AV Dinar (25.5mm, 4.11 g, 11h). Badakhshan type. Uncertain mint. Dated AH [6]18 (AD 1221/2), so definitely a lifetime issue. Typical weak strike. Unfortunately NGC didn’t mention the date as it is only partially legible. But until I can afford a better example, this will do nicely, thanks!!!

    Chingiz Khan Dinar Obv.jpg

    Chingiz Khan Dinar Rev.jpg

    8. Great Britain 1664 Gold 2 Guineas with Elephant below Bust S-3334 NGC XF-45 (AGW = 0.4923 oz.)

    Not really an ancient but the 2 guinea is hard to find, particularly problem free, with an even strike as many of these were worn as jewellery. Add to that the elephant below the bust and that is a coin to hang on to, if I can.

    1664 GB 2 Guineas Elephant Obv.jpg

    1664 GB 2 Guineas Elephant Rev.jpg
    7. Delhi Sultanates - ‘Ala al-Din Muhammad Khilji. AH 695-715 / AD 1296-1316. AV Tanka (25mm, 11.03 g). Dar al-Islam mint. Dated AH 709 (AD 1309/10). NGC graded MS 65. NGC don’t have a population table for older coins but this could well be the highest graded example at MS65. Always wanted to have a good coin from the Sultans of Delhi.

    Ala Al-Din Khilji Tanka MS 65 Obv.jpg

    Ala Al-Din Khilji Tanka MS 65 Rev.jpg

    6. Ancient Phoenicia, Sidon Year 5 (c.107-106 B.C.) AR Tetradrachm. NGC Ch AU Strike 5/5 Surface 3/5

    Turreted head of Tyche right; Reverse: Eagle standing on prow left, date and monogram in left field.

    I like Phoenician coins anyway but for me this tetradrachm from Sidon represents an artistic issue from a city which was overwhelmed by its more powerful neighbor making it scarce and very difficult to find in such good condition. And when Doug calls it ‘a very special coin’, it’s got to be VERY special.

    Phoenicia Sidon Tetradrachm Crop Obv.jpg

    Phoenicia Sidon Tetradrachm Rev.jpg
    Five more to follow.....
    svessien, singig, panzerman and 20 others like this.
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  3. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    5. Augustus AV Aureus. Lugdunum, 8 BC. AVGVSTVS DIVI F, laureate head to left / C•CAES AVGVS•F, Gaius Caesar (Grandson of Augustus) on horseback, galloping to right, Aquila between two legionary standards in background.

    Described by the auctioneer as - Near Very Fine. Of the Greatest Rarity; only one other example offered at auction in the past 20 years.

    I was lucky to get this knowing now that another CT member was also hunting for it. Since you all on the Ancients forum as so knowledgeable about your subject, it has to be a good purchase.

    Augustus Aureus Obv.jpg

    Augustus Aureus Rev.jpg

    4. Ancient Roman Empire, Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161) c.A.D. 155-156 AV Aureus (7.35 gms) Rome Mint NGC MS Strike 5/5 Surface 4/5

    Laureate head of Antoninus Pius right; Reverse: Victory advancing left holding laurel wreath.

    A mint state Antoninus Pius Aureus, always very much in demand not just by me :)

    Antoninus Pius Obv.jpg

    Antoninus Pius Rev.jpg
    3. Hadrian AV Aureus. Rome, AD 134-138. HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, bear-headed, draped bust right / COS III P•P, Hadrian on horseback galloping to right, holding couched lance, cloak billowing behind.

    Good Very Fine; with unusual metal feature at 12 'clock resembling an inverted trident-head within incuse area. Previously NGC graded XF 5/5 4/5 (4371784-003). Apparently quite rare with only 2 other examples on CoinArchives. A CT member pointed out that this could be a mule (No No not the animal he is riding) because of the PP on both, the obverse and reverse. Some pointed out that it was common to use an old reverse with a new obverse die…..but I prefer believing it is a mule :)

    Hadrian AV Aureus Obv.jpg

    Hadrian AV Aureus Rev.jpg

    2. Julius Caesar AR Denarius. Rome, January-February 44 BC. P. Sepullius Macer, moneyer. Wreathed head of Caesar to right; star of eight rays behind, CAESAR•IMP downwards before / Venus Victrix standing to left, holding Victory in outstretched right hand and with left, resting on vertical sceptre set on star; P•SEPVLLIVS downwards to right, MACER upwards to left.

    Extremely Fine; somewhat weakly struck on reverse (the clothing of Venus) but her head and face features are a lot clearer than on many coins I’ve seen.

    From the Andrew McCabe Collection, with collector's ticket included, so quite a nice acquisition and decent quality metal. I liked the toning and the quality of Julius Caesar’s portrait, almost smiling, probably didn’t know what lay ahead.

    Julius Caesar Portrait Sepullius Macer Obv1.jpg

    Julius Caesar Portrait Sepullius Macer Rev1.jpg

    1. Arab-Byzantine, Umayyad Caliphate Æ Fals. Uncertain mint, AD 638-643. Pseudo-Byzantine type, imitating the types of Heraclius, Heraclius Constantine and Martina. Three standing imperial figures facing, each wearing crown surmounted by cross and holding globus cruciger / Large M; cross above, Γ below, AII to left, XB(retrograde) to right, ΩNO(sic) in exergue.

    Why did I include this as the last in my top 10? It is by far the cheapest of the lot. Actually I was bidding on one that was AH 1-30 but lost out to someone who realized the true worth of that coin and wanted it more badly than me. This coin to me resents values and flexibility that we (as humans) appear to have lost or forgotten over the centuries and the rigid beliefs that we have entrapped ourselves in. Struck during the very early days of Islam, (AD 638-43; AH 16-17 to AH 21-22) it demonstrates the Islamic world’s flexibility in recognizing the need to produce coins which were acceptable to their more powerful neighbours and trading partners. It bears images, a Cross (On an Islamic coin??!!), globus cruciger etc. etc. Yet fast forward just a few decades and all images disappear. To me this coin represents a level of acceptability and tolerance that the world so desperately needs today.

    Islamic Umayyed Khalifate Fals.jpg

    Wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a Peaceful and Healthy New Year and a blessed festival whichever you choose to celebrate!!!

    Best wishes to you all from Dubai.
    TIF, Valentinian, svessien and 45 others like this.
  4. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Awesome coins! I love the artistic style of the Julius Caesar denarius, that's a standout for me.
    Fugio1 and 1934 Wreath Crown like this.
  5. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I liked them all, but #7 stands out to me. Very interesting coin.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  6. Alegandron

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

    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  7. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    Gorgeous selection! I´m especially jealous about that Julius Caesar and those Aurei!
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  8. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Great Coins, I like JC denarius.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  9. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    So many to like. That Augustus is really something to behold.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  10. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Najib (1934 Wreath Crown), You had a sensational year :D! My favorite would be the gold aureus of Antoninus Pius, followed by the gold aureus of Hadrian. Both of these coins are finely engraved & in choice condition. My 3rd favorite would be the denarius of Julius Caesar, because of the fine portrait & great rarity of the coin :cool:.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  11. Robidoux Pass

    Robidoux Pass Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing. Always interesting to see what fellow collectors have enjoyed obtaining. I like your British 2 Guineas with Elephant. It's a good looking specimen.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  12. kazuma78

    kazuma78 Supporter! Supporter

    Excellent list of some fantastic coins! I love that Julius Caesar. Those Chingiz Khan coins are super expensive when the date and everything is legible.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  13. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Great coins, enjoyed the learning lesson. Thank you
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  14. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

  15. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Really thoughtful explanation of #1. Enjoyed the whole list.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  16. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Great coins! Thanks for sharing their background stories.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  17. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Amazing group! My favorite is the Julius Caesar, but I think the three gold aurei are also wonderful, as is the tetradrachm from Syracuse. And, as a former collector of British gold, I love the Charles II two guineas. Especially the elephant!
    Pellinore and 1934 Wreath Crown like this.
  18. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    All wonderful coins, but that JC portrait is fantastic. Congrats.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  19. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Beautiful coins, lovely aureii and that JC is especially appealing. But I understand why your no.1 is your no.1 coin and I absolutely agree to what you say. Great words, a valuable life lesson is behind that coin.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  20. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    A great year despite the challenges! The style of your Hadrian puts it as my favorite: a beautiful coin.
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
  21. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    A wonderful group. The 16 litrai of Philistis is beautiful, and that incuse trident on the obverse of the Hadrian aureus is intriguing!
    1934 Wreath Crown likes this.
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