Featured Of Fausta - what price rarity?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by lrbguy, May 16, 2018.

  1. lrbguy

    lrbguy Well-Known Member

    Now that the battle is over I have grown pensive and wish to mull over what I've been seeing. First the battle I lost.

    Here is perhaps the most magnificent follis of Fausta I have ever seen, still in possession of its original silver.


    CNG offered it in their sale 108, and I started gearing up for it a bit more than a week ago. As I contemplated how much armor to bring to the fray, I noticed a formidable bid from one of our other list members. I needed the type for my own workup, so should I go over him? Well, all's fair and all that, but he pulled the trigger first, and I did not have the heart to try for it and risk taking it away from him. Instead I decided to settle for this and bide my time:


    Ewwww! Well, she has a nice personality and only cost me $45, and is the only one available except for the forbidden fruit. Now I was ready to see how the sale would turn out. Going into the final 5 minutes, our compatriot was still leading at $650. 4...3...2...1 - END and his name was still on the board along with his price. I was all set to congratulate, and refreshed the screen

    WAIT!!! Another bidder (NOT Clio) had jumped in and took it at $900 hammer price. That beauty hammered at 20 times the price of my dog. Add the 20% for the house and shipping and it comes to about $1100. I'm sure the seller is happy with that. But my dalliance with Fausta today does not stop there.

    Here is another follis of hers that is being offered at $475:


    In explanation the seller added this note from CNG about a similar coin which sold in Eauction 205 lot 424:
    Neither RIC nor LRBC record an issue for Fausta with the pellet before the mintmark. There is an issue recorded for Helena with the pellet, but RIC dates this issue to AD 327-329. With this coin for Fausta, the issue for Helena should probably be re-dated to AD 326.

    That final sentence hints at the importance. And, sure enough, another seller is offering a similar item at $350:

    This seller quotes the same note from the CNG sale. However, neither of them mentions the realization from CNG. Here is what CNG sold for a $272 hammer price plus 15%:


    Since I do consider myself to be seriously interested in the coins of Fausta, I figured I should ante up and get one of these. I did, but none of these three is mine. I found a fourth seller I have known for many years, who I know is savy to the realities of market. Here's what he sold me for 90 bucks, shipped:
    Now you've got to admit it shows off the dot in the mm rather well, and, a little flatness notwithstanding, it stands up to the others rather well.
    Did he mess up, or is he the one who got it right?
    So, what do you think; should I get me some spray paint, cut a stencil, and dress this one up like the others, or would it be better to leave it as is? I think it gets the point across about the dot in the mint mark. That was the point, wasn't it?

    Which deal would you have preferred?

    BTW if you have an interesting Fausta follis, by all means show it here.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Alegandron

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

    LOL, @lrbguy nice write-up about the Horse Races!

    RI Fausta 325-326 CE AE3 Spes stdg 2 infants SMHA 20mm 3.48g scratch over eye
  4. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    I think I shared my Fausta on the Mother's Day thread, but here she is again. I'll be deaccessioning her soon.

    roman43obv.jpg roman43rev.jpg
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    That first Sirmium mint Fausta is as high grade as I can imagine but I do not find the portrait style all that appealing. The reverse is much better and as well struck as any I have ever seen.

    All too often when I am asked A or B my answer will be C. Mine are Fausta but not interesting to the auction crowd.

    All this reminds me of the day I bought two of my Faustas. The seller had two Faustas of the same mint and style. Both were unevenly struck to extreme. My coin was the cheaper of the two by a factor of 4x. That is appropriate because the uneven strike removed much hair detail from the portrait and made the PLON mintmark so weak as to be hardly legible. The expensive version had full hair and bold mintmark but almost no detail in the bust drapery and the reverse figure was headless. Had the two been the same price, I probably would have taken the other mostly because of the mintmark but the dealer saw them as 1x and 4x. The last time I saw him, he still had the other one but I'm sure it will find a home if it has not already.

    My Siscia mint example is evenly struck but in no way exceptional. I do like the portrait style. It was half the price of the London coin and purchased from the same dealer on the same day at Baltimore. You really get a discount when you drop to this level. Well, you should anyway.

    The Heraclea below has lousy surfaces but is evenly detailed and has a rather bland expression. It was only 1/6th the price of the London but that was a few years back so it might be worth 1/4 taking that into account.

    That is where I stand at present on Fausta. The three coins totaled $167 which is roughly the buyer's premium for the Sirmium super coin. I usually find myself in the minority when it comes to paying the difference for EF over VF and enjoy having the three different styles here more than making a down payment on the Sirmium. I hope the buyer of the $1k coin enjoys the coin. I don't collect Fausta so I am not tempted to buy more ---- unless, of course, I run across one of better style, different mint one in the bargain sections of one of my favorite show sellers.
  6. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..wow!...i'd say out of the bunch you got the best deal..these aren't inexpensive..i got my Fausta follis many moons ago but had misplaced her and up until two weeks ago, when my son was looking thru some old stuff in a drawer and found her, she was MIA..i don't have any idea how she managed to slip into the drawer of antiques, but she did and now is happily back on the table o coins where she belongs :) Fausta's back! 003.JPG Fausta's back! 005.JPG Fausta's back! 001.JPG
  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    @lrbguy, if I could that first coin for the amount you paid for your "dog", well, it would be coming home with me. But alas, at $1100 it so far out of my league it might as well be sitting on the moon. Anyway, I like you "dog". Here is mine with a dot at the end of mm:
    Fausta 2.jpg
    OBVERSE: FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right
    REVERSE: SPES REIP-VBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, head left, holding two infants in arms; SMKA•
    Struck at Cyzicus 325-326 AD
    2.8g, 20mm
    RIC VII 40
  8. jamesicus

    jamesicus pachydermicus Supporter


    • Killingholme Hoard (Trier Mint) - 324 to 325
    • O: Fausta bust right - FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG
    • R: Fausta holding two infant sons - SALVS REIPVBLICAE
  9. Ryro

    Ryro Another victory like that will destroy us! Supporter

    Very nice! Congrats on the double upgrade! Mine has patina to spare if you want some...

    Fausta 307-326 CE Follis 18 MM Thessalonika 326/8. Av.: FLAV max FAVSTA avg, draped bust right. RV.: Spes rei PVBLICAE, Salus stands on the left holds two children. Ric: 161. F. Vzgl.

    and a bonus coin...
  10. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Near perfection is worth a great premium, as the OP shows and US coin collectors insist. Here are a couple of mine that are good enough for me:

    Silvered 19 mm. 3.52 grams.
    Again, with the dot to the left of the mintmark. RIC may have not mentioned it, but we have several coins confirming it now.
    Close to RIC Antioch 77 (no dot) and 69 (no dot) and the mintmark is of the next issue which is without Fausta in RIC and attributed to 328-9, page 691, but these coins show the date of that issue is really earlier since Fausta was executed in 326.
    ex CNG 324 (April 9, 2014) lot 474 at $60+fees (I bought it later, not directly from CNG).
    (Anyone who pays an extra $300 for a "rare" dot deserves what they get.)

    The one has Fausta with a large hairdo. I got it for the style (Okay, the condition was part of it too). SMTSB.
    RIC Thessalonica 161. What a portrait!
  11. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..that's a very nice one jamesicus..good to C u again sir! :)
  12. lrbguy

    lrbguy Well-Known Member

    @Alegandron Thanks for showing that coin. I had never seen Gort in drag before, but your coin offers proof positive that this famous out-of-this-world cyborg was already known for what he is to the ancients.

    @Carausius Mother's Day or not, always a delight to see that beauty. But when you are seriously ready to "deaccession" her, please keep me in mind. Seriously!

    @dougsmit If your numbers add up and he still has the London at $450 get me in touch by all means. And your Siscia is a nice coin. I'm a sucker for the hair treatment. As for the Heraclea, when I see a visage like that I think of violin music - don't ask me why.

    @ominus1 Your coin table has a lot in common with my dining room table at the moment. The land of the lost in 4x10 feet.

    @Bing Cyzicus #40, off A Yours has a nicer smile than mine. Most charming, really.

    @jamesicus It is the most common mint for her but I have only one coin from Trier and it is of the same series, reverse legend, and officina as yours, but without the pedigree and not as nice. Yours has a nicer obverse too. Some guys have all the luck. Glad to see you on the list.

    @Ryro As long as we're looking at distinctive items from Thessalonika, try this one on for size. Notice anything peculiar? Look carefully.

    @Valentinian Thanks for showing that Antioch officina I. Great hair. It is the first I have seen which is not an officina H (despite the fact that the "H" is being called an "A" by practically everyone). But for the associated series Bruun notes three officinae A,H, and I. Go figure. I still have to see an unambiguous "A" that looks similar to the "A" just 3 characters to the left. And the hair on your Thessalonika is fantastic. How do you like this one?
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  13. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..wow!..that's what my coin table used to be..(i still eat on a magazine there occasionally)^^
  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I don't know how interesting these two humble examples are, but they're all I've got -- two different reverse inscriptions.

    Fausta SPES REIPVBLICAE Centenionalis Siscia.jpg
    Fausta, AD 307-326.
    Roman billon centenionalis, 2.92 gm, 19 mm.
    Siscia, AD 324-26.
    Obv: FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, bare-headed and draped bust, r.
    Rev: SPES REIPVBLICAE, empress standing, facing, head l., holding two infants (Constantine II and Constantius II); •BSIS• in exergue.
    Refs: RIC-205; LRBC-730; Cohen-17; RCV-16570.
    Notes: Ex Henry Clay Lindgren.

    Fausta SALVS REIPVBLICAE Centenionalis Treveri.jpg
    Fausta, AD 307-326.
    Roman billon centenionalis, 2.73 gm, 20 mm.
    Treveri, AD 326.
    Obv: FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, bare-headed and draped bust, r.
    Rev: SALVS REIPVBLICAE, empress standing, facing, head l., holding two infants (Constantine II and Constantius II); STR(dotted crescent) in exergue.
    Refs: RIC-483; Cohen-7; RCV-16545.
  15. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  16. Ryro

    Ryro Another victory like that will destroy us! Supporter

    Peculiarities abound on this lil beauty. Her hair, head band and jewellery jump out as very unique! As well, the reverse is unlike any other I've seen (same theme but very different design). I may need a clue to what is not unique in this one...
  17. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    You definitely got the best dot! The right choice, I think.

    Here's my objectively ho-hum example Nicomedia. But it isn't ho-hum to me since it was a Christmas present from my kids. :)

    Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 10.32.35 PM.jpg
  18. lrbguy

    lrbguy Well-Known Member

    It's rather subtle, but where have you seen that obverse before? Three mints each had a single issue in which this was done, all of them in the year of her death (326); Rome, Ticinum, and Thessalonika. The first two you rarely see, with but a single officina at Ticinum (an R5 appearance in the reference group) and two at Rome (R3 and R4). But the issue from Thessalonika, from three officinae, comes by often enough if you know what to look for. This one is officina gamma (#3), the others are A and B. I know of one other, unlisted, but that's for later.

    Have you figured it out yet?
    Ryro likes this.
  19. Ryro

    Ryro Another victory like that will destroy us! Supporter

    Well, the obverse does look more like Helena then Fausta, to me?
    Severus Alexander likes this.
  20. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    The first coin is this thread is spectacular, especially the reverse-- I see why you wanted it. As others have said, the finest examples come with huge premiums. There are many wonderful examples of the type shown in this thread.
    Ryro likes this.
  21. lrbguy

    lrbguy Well-Known Member

    @Ryro give yourself a gold star!!! Yes, in 326 three mints issued coins for Fausta, bearing her name, which were styled to look more like Helena. It is likely that this was done after the order to blot visage her from public life had been given. Why those three mints and no others continued with her name for one more issue is not clear, but RIC lists the bust type for these as E10, the same as for Helena, whereas the normal bust style for Fausta is A6.

    Good catch!
    Severus Alexander and Ryro like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page