Romancollector's top 20 of 2020

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Romancollector, Dec 4, 2020.


Which of the first top 10 is your favourite?

  1. Sabinus denarius

  2. Regulus denarius

  3. Octavian denarius

  4. Augustus denarius

  5. Claudius sestertius

  6. Antoninus Pius aureus

  7. Gordian III sestertius

    0 vote(s)
  8. Maximian follis

  9. Constantius I follis

  10. Honorius solidus

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone,

    This year has been challenging for me in many respects, but I am blessed to have an incredible support system in place. Like many of you, I found an escape in collecting and consider myself fortunate to be able to do so. While I lost most of the coins I bid on earlier this year, I have been more successful in the last few months. I came to realize that I would rather wait for a coin I am 100% happy with than buy something simply because it's available. I've also realized that I'm incredibly picky. Consequently, I sold off many of my coins, including the solidi I had purchased earlier this year. While they were 'good' coins (higher grade) on paper, I wasn't 100% happy with them for one reason or another. The same applies to many of the coins that were in my top 15 of 2019. In any case, I am happy with my purchases now and have a solid vision for my collection. As a student collector on a budget, I'm proud of what I accomplished this year.

    I've only attached 10 of the 20 coins because I'm still waiting for almost half of them to arrive, but I will update this thread when they do. If it takes me too long to photograph them all, I'll simply upload their auction photographs! Their order is strictly chronological and has nothing to do with their ranking. In fact, I have not come up with a ranking for them. You can decide their ranking!!! I am very curious how others would rank them. are my first 10/20!

    Roman Republic:
    L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus (89 BC)

    AR Denarius
    Sabinus denarius enlarged.jpg
    Date: 89 BC
    Obv: Head of Tatius right, palm below chin; SABIN behind, A.PV before.
    Rev: L TITVRI in exergue, Tarpeia buried to her waist in shields, fending off two soldiers about to throw their shields on her.
    Diameter: 17mm
    Weight: 4.0 grams
    Mint: Rome
    Crawford 344/2c
    Ex: Lugdunum Numismatik

    I was attracted to this coin because of its reverse, which depicts one of the most famous Roman myths, the death of Tarpeia. I've been looking for this type for some time, but I couldn't seem to find one with a reverse of this quality. When I was browsing Numisplace and I saw this coin, I immediately pulled the trigger.

    Roman Republic:
    L. Livineius Regulus (42 BC)

    AR Denarius
    Regulus denarius enlarged again.jpg
    Date: 42 BC
    Obv: Head of L. Regulus right.
    Rev: Curule chair, with three fasces on either side; L•LIVINEIVS above, REGVLVS below.
    Diameter: 19mm
    Weight: 3.94 grams
    Mint: Rome
    Crawford 494/28
    Ex: Roma Numismatics (Auction XX, 29 October 2020, lot 442), Andrew McCabe Collection, Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG (Auction 262, 13 March 2015, lot 7752), Numismatica Varesi S.R.L. (Auction 51, 23 April 2008, lot 284)

    This is one of those coins where photographs don't do it justice (at least my photos). It is such a beautiful coin in hand, as the portrait is incredibly crisp. The coin is something of an enigma because it seems to be our only evidence for L. Livineius Regulus (the moneyer), and from my understanding, it is uncertain who exactly is depicted on the obverse (potentially the moneyer's father?).

    Roman Imperatorial:
    Octavian (30-29 BC)

    AR Denarius
    Octavian denarius enlarged.jpg
    Date: Autumn 30-summer 29 BC
    Obv: Bare head right.
    Rev: IMP CAESAR on the architrave of the Roman Senate House (Curia Julia), porch supported by four short columns, statue of Victory on globe surmounting apex of roof, statues of standing figures at the extremities of the architrave.
    Diameter: 20.1mm
    Weight: 3.83 grams
    Mint: Italian mint (Rome?)
    RIC I 266
    Ex: Apollo Numismatics

    This type has been on my radar for quite some time, especially since it was referred to in my courses (Julio-Claudian history and Roman architecture) as evidence for the reconstruction of the Curia Julia. I've seen a few of these in auctions, but none were comparable to this particular example.

    Roman Empire:
    Augustus (27 BC-AD 14)

    AR Denarius
    Augustus bull denarius enlarged.jpg
    Date: 15 BC
    Obv: AVGVSTVS DIVI • F, bare head right.
    Rev: IMP • X in exergue, bull butting right, left forefoot raised, lashing his tail.
    Weight: 3.87 grams
    Mint: Lugdunum
    RIC I 167a
    Ex: Roma Numismatics (Auction XX, 30 October 2020, lot 552), collection of Professor David R. Beatty, C.M., O.B.E., CNG (Triton XXIII, 14 January 2020, lot 646) Classical Numismatic Review XXI.2 (Winter 2001-2002), no. 56.

    I wanted this coin when I originally saw it in Triton XXIII, but I did not prioritize it. In addition to wanting this type, I was attracted to the coin's beautiful iridescent toning. When I saw it pop up again in Roma XX, I knew that I had to have it! I've attached CNG's photo, where coin's toning is more visible. For some reason, I cannot capture the toning in a photograph!


    Roman Empire:
    Claudius I (AD 37-54)

    AE Sestertius
    Claudius sestertius enlarged.jpg

    Date: AD 50-54
    Obv: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP P P Laureate head right.
    Rev: E•X• S•C•P•P OB•CIVES SERVATOS in four lines within oak wreath.
    Diameter: 35m
    Weight: 28.61 grams
    Mint: Rome
    RIC I 112
    Ex: Roma Numismatics, Heritage Auctions, the Morris Collection

    I've always wanted a sestertius of Claudius, it was just a matter of finding the right example. Specifically, I wanted one with a wreath reverse. Though the surface is far from perfect, I was attracted to the coin's finely engraved portrait.

    Roman Empire:
    Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161)

    AV Aureus
    Antoninus aureus smaller.jpg
    Date: AD 150-151
    Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PI–VS P P TR P XIIII, laureate bust right, with drapery on left shoulder.
    Rev: COS IIII, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopia.
    Diameter: 20mm
    Weight: 7.34 grams
    Mint: Rome
    RIC III 192
    Ex: Numismatica Ars Classica, Heritage Auctions

    What can I say? It's an aureus, and a beautiful one to boot! If I were to pick a favourite, it would probably be this!

    Roman Empire:
    Gordian III (AD 238-244)

    AE Sestertius
    Gordian III sestertius enlarged.jpg
    Date: AD 243-244
    Obv: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev: FORTVNA REDVX, S C in exergue, Fortuna seated left, holding rudder and cornucopiae.
    Diameter: 30mm
    Weight: 19.17 grams
    Mint: Rome, 2nd officina
    RIC IV 331a
    Ex: CNG, the BLS Collection, Gorny & Mosch 169 (2008)

    This coin is not particularly rare or extraordinary, but it is finely engraved, and that is what drew me to it. It has a very glossy patina, which makes it hard to photograph.

    Roman Empire:
    Maximian (AD 286-305, 306-308, 310)

    AE Follis
    Maximian follis enlarged.jpg
    Date: AD 286-305
    Obv: IMP C MAXIMIANVS P F AVG; laureate head right.
    Rev: SACRA MONET AVGG ET CAESS NOSTR; Moneta standing left, holding scales in her right hand and cornucopia with her left; in exergue, ST·.
    Diameter: 27.4mm
    Weight: 8.51 grams
    Mint: Ticinum
    RIC VI 45b
    Ex: Apollo Numismatic

    This coin is actually an upgrade. I had a similar example, but it lacked silvering. In hand, this coin appears exactly as it is shown in the picture, which surprised me when I received it. While it is not expensive or rare, I still thought it deserved a spot on this list.

    Roman Empire:
    Constantius I (AD 305-306)

    AE Follis
    Constantius I follis enlarged.jpg
    Date: AD 301-303, as Caesar
    Obv: CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, laureate bust left, in imperial mantle, holding eagle-tipped sceptre.
    Rev: GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, Genius standing left, holding patera over lighted altar and cornucopiae, B to right. Mintmark PLC.
    Diameter: 26.5mm
    Weight: 10.37 grams
    Mint: Lugdunum
    RIC VI 146a
    Ex: CNG (Feature Auction 114, 17 September 2020, lot 716

    This was my only win from CNG 114. I was a bit shocked by its hammer price, but since I lost everything else, I was willing to bid higher. Having it in hand, I am very happy with it. For each of the tetrarchs, I have specific mints that I'm looking for; Lugdunum is one of them for Constantius.

    Roman Empire:
    Honorius (AD 393-423)

    AV Solidus
    Honorius solidus enlarged.jpg
    Date: AD 394-395
    Obv: D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev: VICTORIA AVGGG, Emperor standing right, holding labarum and Victory on globe, treading on captive to right; M-D across fields, COMOB in exergue.
    Diameter: 21mm
    Weight: 4.47 grams
    Mint: Mediolanum
    RIC X 1206a
    Ex: Roma Numismatics (Auction XX, 30 October 2020, lot 708)

    This coin is an upgrade for my previous solidus from the same mint. I wanted it when I originally saw it in a Heritage auction, but like the Augustus denarius, I passed it up. To an extent, I wasn't sure if I wanted to part with my previous example. This is actually my third solidus of Honorius, the first was from the Ravenna mint. Ultimately, I didn't like the style of the Ravenna mint, as I found it rather cartoonish. When I saw this solidus in Roma XX, I knew that it would be my final upgrade. It is such a beautiful coin in hand, but its lustrous surfaces make it incredibly difficult to photograph. My photograph certainly doesn't do it justice.

    I'd just like to say that CT has been an invaluable resource for me, as it has been for so many others. I've enjoyed watching your collections grow and learning from you all over the course of a year. Happy holidays and may 2021 bring you happiness, health and success!

    Hopefully part 2 will be added sometime next week! Stay tuned!!!

    TIF, dlhill132, Aidan_() and 48 others like this.
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Excellent spread of over 500 years of Roman rule:pompous:
    The RRs are amazing. And the toning on your Augustus is no bull:snaphappy:
    However, if I was to pick a fav it has to be that dazzling Ant Pius Aureus.
  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    A truly excellent group! I voted for the Regulus, the Augustus with the bull, and the superb Antoninus Pius aureus. All of them beautiful. If I had a fourth vote, it would go to the other RR, from L. Titurius
    Romancollector likes this.
  5. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Some excellent coins RC, I especially like your Curia Julia with its strong detail and beautiful toning. Congrats on a great year of collecting.
    Romancollector likes this.
  6. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Escellent coins, my favorites are Sabinus, Octavian and Constantius I.
    Romancollector likes this.
  7. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Eye-popping acquisitions this year! All worthy of a number one spot, but my favorites are the Augustus, the Claudius, and the Antoninus Pius aureus.
    Romancollector likes this.
  8. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ...a wowzer group Rc...with a touch of gold too!..:)
    Romancollector likes this.
  9. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Great group! I went for the Sabinus, love the reverse! And the Antoninus Pius.
    But all are really nice coins..Congrats on a good year.
    Romancollector likes this.
  10. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    On a budget ?
    I'm blown away by the quality of the coins and admire the taste and maturity in your choices

    Bravo Monsieur
    Romancollector likes this.
  11. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    I like your group. There are some very nice coins within. I am most impressed with the Octavian denarius with the Curia Julia reverse. I think at one point of time I was looking at that coin but didn't pull the trigger. It is one that I am looking for. Very good
    Romancollector likes this.
  12. Alegandron

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

    Very nice selection. Well done!
    Romancollector likes this.
  13. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Excellent group, some great new additions! My favorites are the Augustus denarius and the A. Pius aureus.
    Romancollector likes this.
  14. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    excellent coins - L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus details are outstanding, Octavian probably the top of the list for me, and i think the Constantius consolation purchase is also an exceptional coin.
    Romancollector likes this.
  15. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    The spoils of a good year for coin collecting. Of course I love the gold coins, but all 10 are great coins. You have a good eye, and perhaps you’ll end up as the Ancient Joe of your generation:)
  16. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Nice bull! I believe your lighting is too directional to show the toning. Try pointing all lights up and away from the coin (hope you have a white ceiling) and slow the shutter to restore proper exposure. The photo can be sharp if the camera is properly supported and the coin can be tipped a bit until you catch an angle that shows the tone.
    Curtisimo and Romancollector like this.
  17. nicholasz219

    nicholasz219 Well-Known Member

    Fantastic collection for the year or even a lifetime. Good job pouring your resources into pieces you are really happy with. It shows in these coins. Too many great coins in here. I would pick the Octavian Julia if I had to have one. I’m weak in that period and I wish I wasn’t. All are beautiful for their own reasons.
    Romancollector likes this.
  18. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    @Romancollector all ten are just extraordinary! Each one is one of a kind,:)

    The detail on the Honorius solidus is impressive - I had to vote for it.:cool:
    Romancollector likes this.
  19. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    I love the left facing bust of Constantius with the eagle-tipped scepter. Tetrarchic folles are so common, it really is a delight to see an unusually fine one.
    Romancollector and nicholasz219 like this.
  20. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    Not sure I could ever do that, but a guy can dream right? :D
    svessien likes this.
  21. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    Thank you everyone for your comments. They are very much appreciated, and I'm intrigued by your rankings of the coins posted so far. The Augustus bull denarius seems to be the clear winner, while the curia denarius is the runner up. Taking Doug's suggestion into account, I will attempt to rephotograph the bull denarius to capture its toning.
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