Post the largest and the smallest denarius in your collection!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by JayAg47, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    Going by diameter, my Salus Vespasian is the largest at 20mm, while Vesta Julia Domna is only 15mm! if you have chunky denarius and a one thin as a foil, feel free to post them as well.
    large 20,small 15.png
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  3. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I do not have this Antony in hand today but it is only 3.0g and thin. I suspect it was struck on an earlier coin that had been hammered flat.

    Small coins require deciding if the size is original or the result of wear or damage. Your Julia Domna come from a period known for sub-standard size coins. My is large for these and odd for the reverse SANCTAS spelling. Official?
  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    An interesting question I've never thought about, and the answers I found (by scrolling through my personal coin catalog) surprised me a little.

    Largest in diameter: Julia Paula (21 mm) and Julia Mamaea (20.5 mm.) Oddly enough, they're both very much on the light side (2.49 and 2.88 g., respectively), although not my lightest.

    Julia Paula, first wife of Elagabalus. 219-220 AD. AR Denarius (2.49g, 6h)_.jpg version.jpg
    Julia Mamaea AR Denarius.jpg

    Smallest flan in diameter: L. Roscius Fabatus serrate denarius (Juno Sospita/Maiden feeding snake), 16 mm. (but 3.93 g.) It looks like it was probably clipped around the rim.
    Roscius Fabatus denarius 59 BC - jpg version.jpg
    Heaviest in grams: L. Piso Frugi (Apollo/horseman) (4.02 g.) and Aulus Plautius (Cybele/Bacchius Judaeus with camel) (4.25 g.).

    L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi AR Denarius p. 1.jpg

    Plautius-Camel jpg versioin.jpg

    Lightest in grams: I have a half-dozen between 2.49 and 3.0 g., but the two lightest by quite a bit are my denarii of Macrinus (1.58 g.) and Maximus Caesar (son of Maximinus Thrax) (1.7 g.) Both are 19 mm. in diameter.

    Macrinus jpg version.jpg

    Detail Maximus AR denarius, PIETA AVG (2).jpg

    @dougsmit and @JayAg47, does any of this have any significance? I have no idea, although I remember wondering when I bought the last two why they were so light.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  5. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    The largest you will find will almost certainly come from the very first issue during the Second Punic War. They were a nominal 4.5g or 4 scruples.

    The Story of the Coin Struck to Fight Hannibal: The First Denarius and its Influence
    Roman Republic
    Second Punic War (218 – 201 BC)
    Anonymous AR Denarius, Rome Mint, struck ca. 211 BC
    Wt.: 4.2 g
    Dia.: 20 mm
    Obv.: Helmeted head of Roma right. X in left field
    Rev.: Dioscuri galloping right. ROMA in exergue and partially incuse on raised tablet
    Ref.: Crawford 44/5. Sydenham 167. RBW 169.
    Ex Numismatic Ars Classica Auction 100 Part II, Lot 1368 (May 30, 2017)

    My lightest coin that could unambiguously be called a denarius is probably this one.

    Roman Empire
    Geta as Caesar
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. AD 198-200
    Dia.: 18 mm
    Wt.: 2.33 g
    Obv.: L SEPTIMIVS GETA CAES. Bareheaded and draped bust right.
    Rev.: FELICITAS TEMPOR. Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopia.
    Ref.: RIC IVa 2

    Ex AMCC 1 (Dec. 1, 2018)

    However, the 3rd century crises brought with it a lot of coin debasement and strict denominations become more complex to identify. These debased “denarii” if we can call them that can be pretty light sometimes.

    ALL Ancient Coins are Worthy of Study
    Roman Empire
    Aurelian (AD 270-275)
    AE Denarius, Rome mint, 1st officina
    Dia.: 18.5 mm
    Wt.: 2.2 g
    Obv.:IMP AVRELIANVS AVG; Laureate, draped bust right.
    Rev.: VICTORIA AVG; Victory walking left, holding wreath and palm, captive at food left. A in exergue
    Ref.: RIC V-a 73

    Roman Empire
    Aurelian (AD 270-275)
    Dia.: 18.2 mm
    Wt.: 1.5 g
    Obv.: Radiate, draped bust right.
    Rev.: IOVI CON-SER (?); Emperor standing right, (holding sceptre?), receiving globe from Jupiter, standing left holding sceptre.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  6. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    The coin pictured below is not in my collection, however, it caught my attention last week in CNG 115 auction, lot 553. The coin is 19 mm in dia., but weighs 4.65 gm :jawdrop:! It sold for $720.00.

    CNG 115, lot 553_1.jpg
    Roman Republic, C. Antonius Balbus, 83-82 BC, AR Denarius, Rome Mint.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  7. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Here's a 6.9mm diameter difference in a pair of denarii.

    One is 3.87 grams
    The other is 3.88 grams.

    One is 15.4 mm
    The other is 22.3 mm.

    One is
    L. Julius L.f. Caesar, 103 BC, AR denarius
    Obv: Helmeted head of Mars left; retrograde B• above
    Rev: Venus Genetrix driving biga left, drawn by two Cupids; lyre before them, retrograde B• above
    Ref: Crawford 320/1; Sydenham 593a; Julia 4a
    L. Julius L.f. Caesar
    • a relative of Julius Caesar the dictator
    • one of the earliest members of the family to attain the consulship
    • governor of Macedonia in 94 BC
    • consul during the Social War
    • passed the basic law which offered Roman citizenship to the Italian allies
    • opponent of Marius
    • killed when Marius returned to Rome in 87 BC
    • grandfather of Mark Antony
    The other is
    Lucius Caesius, 112-111 BC, AR Denarius, Rome mint
    Obv: Youthful, diademed and draped bust of Vejovis left, seen from behind, hurling thunderbolt with right hand; monogram to right
    Rev: Two Lares seated right on rock, each holding a spear in left hand; dog between them, the Lar on right petting head of dog with right hand; head of Vulcan and tongs above; (E retrograde)R monogram to right; L • CÆSI in exergue
    Ref: Crawford 298/1; Sydenham 564; Caesia 1

    Little Big Denarius.jpg
    Both are RR denarii from the end of the 2nd century BC.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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