Obverse die match for two different coins (RIC#)....Is this possible????

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Romancollector, May 29, 2020.

  1. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,

    I just had a general question. Is it possible that obverse dies (roman imperial) were used for more than one type (same denomination but different RIC number)?

    I'm a bit alarmed because the obverse of a coin I just won appears to be a die match to a completely different coin.

    Thanks for the help.
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  3. It does happen occasionally. Do you have any images?
  4. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    @Edward Dandrow

    Yes here are the images.

    My coin (NAC) RIC III 192d


    (CBG) RIC III 199var


    (CNG) RIC III 199var

  5. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    Not at all unusual.

    Barry Murphy
  6. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    Thanks for clearing this up! I was kind of nervous because this is a big purchase and I haven't encountered this before.
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  7. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Pour a stiff drink and enjoy that acquisition! It's amazing!
    svessien and Romancollector like this.
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My set has six using the same obverse die. I was once told of an obverse used with at least a dozen reverses but I do not have that photo or the coins to prove it. My best guess is that some mints secured dies overnight separately so that no one person would have access to both for 'moonlighting'. In the morning, the dies might be reissued to striking teams randomly. However this is just an idea, not a fact. It might also show, for unknown reason, a desire to make coins with many different reverses rather than waiting for a die failure to end production. What no one knows about the operations of ancient mints would fill a massive book that can never be written. There is a big difference between having evidence and theories and having facts. Scholars who confuse the categories are dangerous.
  9. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

  10. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Well said, Dougsmit.
  11. Jovian363

    Jovian363 Well-Known Member

    Let me offer the ultimate proof that it is possible. Constantine the Great obverse with two reverses from Ostia mint in one coin - Soli invicto comiti and SPQR optimo principi. ConstantineTwoReverses.jpg
    Romancollector and Bing like this.
  12. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Aurelian, combining SOLI INVICTO and ORENS AVG


    Septimius Severus, combining FELICITAS TEMPOR and VICTOR AVG

  13. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Very common when it comes to Roman provincial coins:

    Domna Marcianopolis Artemis.jpg Domna Marcianopolis Three Graces.jpg Domna Marcianopolis Three Nymphs.jpg
  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    As I recall there are even dies for Roman Provincials that were used for coins of more than one city. This would occur when coins were contracted to be produced for a neighboring city. We reall do not know if there were ancient mints that were in the business (rather like the American Banknote Company of the 19th Century) producing money for a fee on contract with the issuing authority.
    Romancollector likes this.
  15. svessien

    svessien Senior Member

    Is it also reasonable to believe that:
    1. Dies used for gold coins would have longer life, due to the softness of the metal, and
    2. If aureii dies would last longer, many obverse dies would «outlast» the relevance of the reverde and be used for different reverses?

    Great coin @Romancollector!
  16. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    It happens quite often in the Divi series

    Here's an example



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