Morphing Portraits: when a new Roman emperor takes power, the coins take a while to establish a new portrait style, and the early coins often look a bit like their predecessor(s) e.g. Gordian as Balbinus, Aurelian as Claudius Dealer attributions: I used to think that dealer attributions were mostly right, now that I have been looking more closely and checking, I have swung full pendulum and I assume that they are generally wrong in detail and/or out of date and require confirmation with sources and careful inspection. Calibrating on multiple dealer attributions doesn’t help much either as there is a lot of copying of misattributions, especially when it gets tricky e.g. Maximian, Maximinus II or Galerius Flyspecking/See Detail: I didn’t know this word before joining CT, and several posts, especially Flavian-related have raised my apprecation for the value of subtle variants as clues to specific dates, historic events, and the minting process. I have been pleased to discover some coins that I purchased blindly have features that I see with new eyes. e.g. misattributed, breast or wreath, left-right facing. Die matches: I have more experience recognizing die matches and a better appreciation for how these die matches can support and refute a hypothesis about mints, dating, and sequencing of rulers and coins. Fairly often die matches show up between coins posted on CT e.g. partian diobol, Septimius V over C, RR Quinarius Provenance: thanks to advice from CT members, I am seeing things like dealer codes, hand written tags, catalog references, and other information on tickets and notes associated with coins, that I did not see before e.g. old references and codes I'll stop there, although one of the lessons I am still unable to learn: no one likes a long winded post. This post is my first "Top 10" post - a year end tradition that, as a newbie, I didn't participate in last year. Although there is some possibility that one more coin will show up before the end of year, these will be hard to top. Most of these have been shared before in other posts, and a couple are posted for the first time. As inevitably there is a book that goes with the coin, I've included references for several of my Top 10. #10 180 Obverse Double Strike While I don't usually seek out mis-strikes and errors, this coin was too unusual to pass up: two-coins-in-one where someone at the mint tried to fix a mistake. Roman Republican, AR Denarius, C. Considius Paetus, 46 BC. More info on this coin here. Book: my favorite purchase and most used printed book - a first stop for most of the coins below - M. Crawford's RRC which was reprinted this year! #9 Coins of Arbia Felix: Himyarite Kingdom Starter Kit Three coins that I would call "distractions" from primary interests made my list (non-Parthian, non-RR). This "quinarius", an under-appreciated series with many mysteries from Arabia Felix, a trading partner with Rome. Himyarite Kingdom, Amdān Bayān Yuhaqbiḍ, AR "Quinarius", 100-120 BC. More info on coins from the Himyarite Kingdom here. Book: Coinage of Arabia Felix: The Pre-Islamic Coinage of the Yemen by Stuart Munro-Hay #8 Civil War Scipio with African Elephant A nicely toned coin from the Civil War between Caesar and Pompey. After the death of Pompeius his followers gathered in Africa and Q. Metellus Scipio struck this coin with Jupiter on the obverse and an elephant on the reverse. A coin that still deserves a write-up on its own - the elephant associated with the Metellus family from consul L. Caecilius Metellus' defeat of Carthaginian armies led by Hasdrubal at Panormus during the First Punic War (250 BC). Q Metellius Scipio, AR Denarius, RRC 459/1, AR Denarius, Crawford 459/1 47-46 BC Book: Clare Rowan, “From Caesar to Augustus (c. 49 BC-AD 14)”, 2018, Cambridge University Press #7 Hostilia with Provenance This coin is my coin with oldest provenance - dated March 28th, 1910, when it was cataloged in an undetermined collection. L. Hostilius Saserna with disheveled portrait and fierce Artemis. A favorite issue, well struck, good metal, good style, light wear and toned over many years. Gallia and Artemis referencing: Caesar's Siege of Massilia in 49 BC OR "Pallor, the goddess of paleness, as indicative of Fear, is represented by the countenance of a woman, with long dishevelled hair, from the Hostilia moneyer."* A reference to Tullus Hostilius, third king of Rome and the ancestor of L Hostilius Saserna OR All of the above #6 Early Cistophoric Coin with Leopard While I might have bid anyway - the leopard made this coin irresistible. Ephesus, AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm, 166-160 BC for more on this coin read here. Books: The Early Cistophoric Coinage by Fred S. Kleiner and Sydney P. Noe, ANS, NY, 1977 William E. Metcalf, The Later Republican Cistophori. Numismatic notes and monographs, 170. New York: American Numismatic Society, 2017 #5 Lentulus Clodianus at the end of the Social War Another coin with the "old collection" toning that I find attractive. Well designed despite the flaw on the reverse. Roman Republic, AR Denarius, Cn. Lentulus Clodianus, 88 BC for more on this coin read here. #4 A Denarius of Mark Antony & Lepidus A very hard to find coin in any condition, Crawford counts <30 obverse dies. This coin was minted in Cisalpine Gaul - the land north and south of the Po River on the Italian side of the Alps. On 30-May-43 Mark Antony and M. Lepidus declared that they had joined forces and both names are on the coin - this declaration defines the earliest date for this coin. AR Denarius, M. Antonius with M. Lepidus , 43-42 BC for more on this coin read here. #3 Phraatakes Shore 312 (this coin) This year, I purchased two parthian coins that were plate coins Fred Shore's book "Ten Dragons" (317 and 312) in separate auctions - neither was labelled as plate coin, both referenced CNG 36. Both were candidates for the top 10, and in the end the tetradrachm won out as #3. Parthian, Phraatakes, AR Tetradrachm, 2 BC - AD 4, for more on both coins read here. Book: Parthian Coins and History: Ten Dragons Against Rome, 1993, Fred B. Shore #2 Bankers' Marks & the Celator's tools T. Carisius, 46 BC, AR Denarius, Rome mint, for more on this coin read here. #1 Foreshadowing the Ides of March This is perhaps the only coin that I own that I would call FDC - it seems to me to be a perfect example of type from an old collection. This coin from Brutus, highlighting his maternal and paternal tyrannicidal ancestors and foreshadowing his role in the murder of Caesar (10 years in advance). Roman Republican, M. Junius Brutus, 54 BC, for more on this coin read here. Book: by far my favorite and most referenced on-line book (second stop for most of the coins above), Babelon, Ernest, "Description historique et chronologique des monnaies de la République romaine vulgairement appelées monnaies consulaires", Paris, Rollin et Feuardent, 1885-86. Overall, a coin foreshadowing Brutus' betrayal of Caesar, a coin from Caesar's First Civil War, a coin from the eve of the Second Triumvirate, a Parthian plate coin, an interesting error coin, a coin from the end of the Social War, a coin that features the tools of the celator on the reverse, a few distractions...2019's adds have enough history to keep me entertained for a while. Comments on or corrections to any of the above are always appreciated. Vote for your favorites, and/or post anything you find interesting or entertaining.