Trebonianus Gallus, AD 251-253. Roman AR antoninianus, 3.69 g, 22 mm, 12 h. Uncertain mint (Rome? Branch mint?), AD 251. Obv: IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right. Rev: LIBERTAS PVBLICA, Libertas standing facing, head left, holding pileus and transverse scepter. Refs: RIC 50; Cohen 69; Eauze 1006; RCV --. Notes: Scarce; only 3 specimens in the Eauze hoard. Coins with this reverse type are more commonly encountered with the shorter IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG inscription traditionally attributed to a branch mint at Mediolanum (RIC 70, Cohen 68). Reverse die match to Harlan J. Berk Buy or Bid Sale 201, lot 222, July 13, 2017. ~~~ I was the high bidder at auction today on this scarce issue of Trebonianus Gallus that defies easy explanation as to where it may have been struck. The controversy arises because of the existence of three slightly different obverse inscriptions on coins of this emperor, each one traditionally assigned to a separate mint. IMP CAE C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG -- Rome mint IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG -- controversial mint IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS P F AVG -- Antioch RIC assigns these inscriptions to Rome, Mediolanum, and Antioch, respectively. The controversy over where coins with the short obverse inscription may have been struck arises because of overlap in reverse types between those of the Rome mint and those of the Milan mint. This is an example of one of these "overlap" coins. RIC notes it bears the Rome mint obverse inscription but its "reverse properly belongs to Milan." The fact that many of these mules exist is the basis of Besley and Bland's conclusion that these coins do not come from Milan, but from Rome. However, there are problems with this interpretation as well, such as metallic composition differing between coins of the Rome and "Milan" mint as well as distribution of the coins among various hoards and artistic style. Other numismatists have concluded this mint was Viminaceum, not Milan, while others call it simply an unknown branch mint. I won't rehash the arguments here; @Terence Cheesman and I have previously discussed this here at CT. Basically, I agreed with RIC, David Sear, and Jérôme Mairat that there was indeed a branch mint separate from Rome that struck these "mule" coins and that the two mints simply coordinated the use of reverse types with the Rome mint, just as the Antioch mint did. In contrast, Terence sided with Besley and Bland that these "mules" prove that the coins struck with the IMP CC VIB TREB GALLVS AVG legend were struck in Rome and they simply bore an alternate obverse inscription. However, in the course of researching this particular coin, I discovered that there is yet another explanation. Curtis Clay of Harlan J. Berk considers my coin to be the "earliest issue of Gallus' branch mint, still using the Roman obverse legend beginning IMP CAE C, which was soon to be contracted to IMP C C only." The coin is scarce, with no examples at OCRE or Wildwinds and only three correctly attributed examples at acsearchinfo. One of these is the Berk example, a reverse die-match to my coin: Post any comments, coins of Trebonianus Gallus, or anything you feel is relevant!