Quant.Geek's Top Ten Coins for 2020

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Quant.Geek, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    So, here is my list from the coins I bought this year, where I don't cap the cost of the coin. It spans a wide range in my collecting themes, but each one is special, to me, at least. Like the previous post, there is no specific order of preference:

    Roman Republic: Anonymous (ca. 211 BCE) Æ Quadrans (Crawford 56/5)
    Overstruck on a unknown Sicilian bronze. This is such a lovely coin where the overstrike doesn't deter the beauty of the quadrans, while adding an unique character to the coin...

    Celtic, Eastern Europe: Imitation of Alexander III of Macedon (ca. 3rd-2nd century BCE) AR Tetradrachm, Unknown Mint
    The Heraklean obverse just reminded me of Captain Bligh from the 1935 file Mutiny on the Bounty played by Charles Laughton :D. It has such lovely "beady eyes" and the reverse is pretty sweet as well...

    Ujjain: Anonymous (1st Century BCE) Æ Unit (Pieper 340)
    A plate specimen from Pieper's Ancient Indian Coins Revisited, this particular coin has one of the boldest strikes I have seen.

    Ceylon: Anonymous Gold Kahavanu (Sri Lamka Vibhu Type III-B, MCSI-825)
    The common, Sri Lamka Vibhu Gold Kahavanu from Sri Lanka. I already had one before, but the strike on this is slightly better than the one I had, especially for some of the reverse devices, such as the lamp and lotus flower.


    Arab-Sasanian: Anonymous Æ Pashiz, Gorzawan? (Album 43)
    This design seems to imitates the Byzantine gold coinage of Heraclius and his son Constantine. But, at the end of the day, who doesn't like a Sasanian-headed dog :D

    Sicily, Kephaloidion: Anonymous (ca. 305-280 BCE) Æ Onkia (CNS 4; HGC 2, 653)
    A simple, yet pleasing coin that depicts the lion-skin wearing Herakles and Pegasus...

    Empire of Nicaea: John III Ducas-Vatazes (1222-1254) BI Trachy, Magnesia (Sear 2092; DOC IV, Type D 38; Lianta 226-27)

    Filling a gap in my Ducas-Vatazes collection of Byzantine coinage...

    Byzantine Empire: Michael I Rhangabe (811-813) Æ Follis, Syracuse (Sear 1625; DOC III.10)
    Michael I follis from Syracuse is always scarce to rare and I was happy to find this one. This Class 2 follis will go nicely with my Class I Michael I follis from Syracuse.

    Second Bulgarian Empire: Ivan II Asen (1218-1241) Æ Trachy, Ochrida?
    These trachy are always difficult to get in good condition, and the ones with decent strikes ends up going for big bucks, unfortunately. I was extremely lucky to find this one on ebay as an unidentified coin.

    Byzantine Empire: Heraclius (610-641) Æ Follis, Isaura, RY 8 (Sear 848; DOC II.183)

    My final coin in my list, but it was difficult to select among several contenders. This was issued during Heraclius' campaign against the Sasanians when he established a post in Isaura...

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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  3. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    That is a fine group with a lot of interest that will be lost on most people . I particularly like the overstrike shown first which reminds me of one sold when the X6 collection was dispersed but which I was not smart enough to buy. I suspect that some specialist in Sicilian AE would be able to identify the obverse if not the coin. My eyes are not seeing under-detail on the reverse.
    Quant.Geek likes this.
  4. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Thanks Doug! My eyes aren't as good as they used to be, unfortunately, so I haven't been able to determine the host coin either.
  5. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    A very nice list @Quant.Geek . My favorite is probably the Arab-Sasanian coin (imagine that), I still don't have that obverse type in my collection. Your coin is Gyselen 8. She gives the obverse inscription as "xvarrah abzud 'p'd" or "May xvarrah [royal splendor] increase" and a proper name that may be "Abay". The reverse inscription is "abad bishapur" or "may Bishapur be prosperous".
    Quant.Geek likes this.
  6. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    @Parthicus: Thanks for the attribution. I don't have Gyselen, hence the incomplete attribution. I am still waiting for Unicode to encode Book Pahlavi. So, once that is done, attributions would be a lot easier to visualize...
  7. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    A really great set of coins. You have a very wide range of collecting interests. I like the Kahavanu, the figures almost look like Simpsons characters. The coin has a great sense of rhythm and motion to it.

    DonnaML, Carl Wilmont and Quant.Geek like this.
  8. Alegandron

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

    The first Four are my favorites, @Quant.Geek . All are great, but the Quadrans, the Celt, Ujjain, and the Sri Lanka (Ceylon) are my types of coins! Congrats.
    Quant.Geek likes this.
  9. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    That's a great and diverse selection. I find myself liking even the coins that are in areas I don't collect. The one with the Sasanian-headed dog is quirky and wonderful. The Ceylon AV is very attractive, as is the overstruck RR quadrans. Also, excellent pics!
    Quant.Geek likes this.
  10. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Great selection @Quant.Geek, I particularly like the Sassanian-dog coin, the beady-eyed Celtic Alexander, and the overstruck quadrans is very interesting too. I am 65% confident in the undertype as I think I see a horse's leg on the right side of your reverse (and the die axis appears to work):
    upload_2020-11-29_19-41-30.png here's a relevant paper from @Andrew McCabe :

    "a great proportion of such coins are overstrikes on non Roman second Punic war era bronzes (of a variety of types, but predominantly Carthaginian Tanit / horse types), the overstrikes are certainly second Punic war coins. These undertypes are easily noticed due to the distinctive horse leg and tail being near the edge of flans."
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Yes! You have to love how the R of ROMA lines up with the horse's head making it cartoonlike. It is not Sicilian after all but historical using up surplus captured coins.
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  12. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    Nice overstrike, @Quant.Geek, and good detective work, @Sulla80.

    I was about to add a picture of one of mine, as it's the same type overstruck on probably the same or very similar type - mine is from a lot of 3 Roman coins overstruck on Carthaginian types, ex-Andrew's collection, from a CNG auction a couple of years ago/


    The horse's tail and a leg on my example start from the reverse edge at around 10 o'clock.


    For what it's worth, these are the other two from that lot:



  13. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    @Sulla80 and @akeady Outstanding sleuthing! I didn't even notice the horse's leg on the reverse. Definitely, a historically significant coin! Thanks.
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  14. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Oh, and just to clarify, that reverse on the Arab-Sasanian coin is a creature from Persian mythology called a Gopadshah, which has the body of a zebu (humped bull) and human head (which is wearing a Sasanian crown). Here's an example on my specimen of Gyselen 7, which I've shown many times before:
  15. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Parthicus. I knew it wasn't a dog, but didn't know it was a Zebu. BTW, that is an outstanding coin! I added a few others to the mix prior to getting that coin, including this one which is supposedly Gyselen-109

  16. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Great looking collection!...That gold Kahavanu is a beaut!...Congrats
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  17. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Excellent, I mean excellent selection.

    I'm extatic in front of that overstruck quadrans, it would be impossible to make a better use of the undertype

    Before reading your comment on the Alex III imitation, I was wondering who that portrait reminded me of, and you nailed it : Charles Laughton ! That's him ! Brilliant

    The Ujjain and Ceylon are among the best I've seen (I confess not being familiar to them, but they are beautifully struck)

    Well, that will be my choice and selection for today, thank you !

    Quant.Geek likes this.
  18. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Altough not my collecting field, a lovely and varied list, congratulations. I enjoy no. 2, the Celtic imitation and the thick eyes. It's not a very charming portrait, but that is exactly what makes this imitation charming!
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  19. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Great additions to your collection! Congratulations!!
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