Top 10 of 2016 (zumbly's list)

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by zumbly, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    I've been really enjoying everyone's lists... it looks like it's been a good year all around! My final list ended up being a good representation of my collecting interests - some silver, some bronze, a bit of Greek, and a mix of Roman Republic, Provincial and Imperial. I really surprised myself with some of the coins I had to leave off this list of ten, and maybe sometime later I'll get around to posting those also-rans because I honestly love them as much as many of these...

    #10. GAUL, Nemausus. Augustus & Aggripa. AE As. 12.0g, 26.4mm
    10 Augustus Agrippa - Crocodile Col Nim.jpg
    It's slightly crude and crusty, but I do love this coin without qualification. Two distinctive features - the crocodile's horned snout and the reverse legend reading COL NIM rather than COL NEM - helped to nudge it into my Top 10 of the year. In hand, the surfaces appear less rough, but photographs do not lie, they just tend to accentuate every wart and blemish. It's a good thing then that I really like this coin's warts and blemishes :).

    #9. COMMODUS. AR Denarius. 3.33g, 18mm
    09 Commodus - D Juno Sospita.jpg
    This Commodus denarius is average in every way except one, its rarity. In and of itself, rarity is no big deal when it comes to ancients, but this one is a little more special for being a rare issue with a reverse type rare for its period. Fairly common on coins of the Republic, Juno Sospita was very infrequently featured on coins of Imperial rulers. This was her last appearance on Roman coinage, struck to recognise her patronage of Commodus's birthplace, Lanuvium. It was really this small numismatic detail that struck my fancy and made the coin a 'must win' for me.

    #8. MACEDONIA, Eion. AR Obol. 0.83g, 12.4mm
    08 Macedon Eion - Trihemiobol.jpg
    I had wanted one of these charming little Greek obols of Eion for some time, and not only did this example speak to me, I was also able to win it at a price that was a veritable steal. It's nicely toned and the excellent metal quality was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. One of the smaller coins I bought this year, but one that has made an outsized impression on me.

    #7. CONSTANTIUS CHLORUS. AR Argenteus. 3.35g, 19.6mm
    07 Constantius I - Argenteus Campgate.jpg
    This minty silver argenteus looks and feels like it just rolled off the anvil... but I've decided not to hold its grade against it :). To my mind, it exemplifies the aesthetics of Diocletian's reformed coinage - simple designs with clean lines, high production standards, and uniformly business-like busts. A bit of a renegade, Constantius managed to get his beard curls featured on some of his portraits for a touch of individuality.

    #6. DIVUS MARCUS AURELIUS. AR Sestertius. 25.61g, 31.9mm
    06 Marcus Aurelius - Sestertius Divus.jpg
    We have portraits of Marcus Aurelius on coins from the time he was a youth of seventeen to his death at the age of fifty-nine. I've always had in mind that a series showing his gradual aging would be a nice set to put together, with a posthumous issue certainly one to include. This handsome one in everyone's big n' green format came along and I was very happy to add it to my collection for my future set.

    #5. BRUTTIUM, Kaulonia. AR Nomos. 7.97g, 21.8mm
    05 Bruttium Kaulonia.jpg
    I've always found these coins of Kaulonia intriguing and attractive... what they may lack in Classical artistry I think they make up for by being distinctive and enigmatic. It's really the small features that make it for me - the little stag on the obverse standing in the background on its own exergual line, the odd stick-man daimon running along the length of Apollo's arm, the name of the town KAVΛ almost playfully replicated in retrograde on the reverse. The discussion on Kaulonia's relatively short-lived coinage is also an interesting read. I'm hoping next year will bring me one of the earlier incuse types.

    #4. ROMAN REPUBLIC. C. Piso. L.f. Frugi. AR Denarius. 3.72g, 17.6mm
    04 RR - C Piso L F Frugi.jpg
    I'm a total dabbler when it comes to RR coins, but that doesn't stop me from eagerly looking out for interesting pickups in this area. The next two coins were easy inclusions in my Top 5 this year. This C. Piso Frugi is plenty worn, but also plenty eye appealing and plenty rare (for the leftie bust of Apollo)... a combination of irresistible and in-budget :).

    #3. ROMAN REPUBLIC. L. Plautius Plancus. AR Denarius. 4.03g, 18mm
    03 RR - Plautius Plancus New.jpg
    Since I first saw one, a nice Plautius Plancus has been very high on my want list. I love how the the design on each side occupies almost every bit of available flan space, and also find interesting the various theories offered for why these types were chosen. A well-centered and well-struck reverse was important to me, and even though this coin has some slight faults, I don't see an upgrade anywhere in the near future, nor am I even looking for one, actually. Now an example of the variety with a snake-tressed Medusa, that'd be another story...

    #2. CALABRIA, Tarentum. AR Nomos. 7.75g, 22.3mm
    02 Tarentum Nomos - Prow.jpg
    This is one of those coins in my collection that just awes me with its beauty... I still occasionally think it's too nice to be one of mine :). It's gorgeously toned, almost perfectly centered (not at all a given for coins of Tarentum!), and wonderfully detailed. I bought my first Tarentum nomos earlier this year, but this second one wasted no time bumping that one off my favorites of the year list. Fortunately, this is a series with a good many variations to collect - my third one just arrived last week. I believe Doug says you're allowed to buy a dozen or so of these for good coverage, so I still have at least nine to look forward to collecting :D.

    aaaand lastly....

    #1. CRETE, Gortyna. AR Stater. 11.77g, 29.8mm
    01 Crete Gortyna - Stater 1.jpg
    Yep... this Beast beat out the Beauty to the #1 spot. I'm sure that it looks like a plain ugly mess to most, but it's really a perfect mess to me. It combines a type that was right at the top of my want list (Gortyna stater with Europa sitting in a tree) with an undertype that's at the top of my unattainable dream list (Knossos stater with Minotaur and Labyrinth). Maybe next year (or the next decade?) will bring me one with a less worn Europa, or a clearer Minotaur head and Labyrinth, but as it stands, this is already two coins that came together in one that I never expected to own, and it's the sort of find that thrills me to no end.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
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  3. Alegandron

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

    Wow @zumbly , what a great set of 2016 captures! I will take them ALL! Congrats on a great year.
    zumbly likes this.
  4. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Killer picks. I like that portrait of Commodus.
    zumbly likes this.
  5. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    You never let us down with your awe inspiring coins, you should be very proud of them you've done well this year congrats.
    zumbly likes this.
  6. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Fantastic coins, Z, and great stories! I'm a bit surprised your Apollonia Nymphaeum isn't on the list :)

    I like all of them but, perhaps oddly, #4 keeps catching my eye. It's such a perfectly worn coin and I just want to touch it. The strike must've been unusually deep to begin with to have so much device remaining yet the edges so worn. Great color, too!

    Your Gortyna stater wins the Best Surprise of the Year award. It's a pretty incredible coin, even in its ugly state :).

    The Tarentum is one of the most appealing "stubbier Phalanthos" examples I've seen. Good centering is hard to find on these Tarentum dolphin rider coins. Combined with a deep strike and lovely toning, it's a total winner.
    zumbly likes this.
  7. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Z-Bro => you have awesome coin-taste, so it is very difficult for me to pick an overall favourite ... but I did

    => #5 ... the sweet Bruttium Stag party is my favourite!!


    However, the amazing RR denarius (#3) was battling for the title and obviously your #2 and #1 examples are two fricken yummy chicken dinnas!!

    You had a great year (congrats)

  8. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Honestly, I hadn't even thought of adding it! It was part of a mixed lot I bought last year that arrived in the first few days of 2016. Even though I only saw it when it arrived, I still consider a 2015 purchase. But yeah, I love it... it's certainly in the Top 20 of either year, and possibly even the Top 10.

    I think this series had a high relief obverse to begin with, but you're right about the deep strike on this one... you can even see the concavity of the reverse.
  9. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Thanks, Steve... and thanks also for adding the pic of your favorite... I do love Liking my own coins :D. Yup, 2016 was a great coin year... perhaps too good, actually. 2017 is very likely to now be austerity coin year.
  10. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I knew when you posted your top for 2016, I would be jealous. Those are wonderful!
    zumbly likes this.
  11. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Wow! Numbers 10, 6 and 4 are my favourites, but all of them are excellent choices. A very good year for you!
    zumbly likes this.
  12. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Congrats on all 10! A very nice 2016.
    zumbly likes this.
  13. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    A truly wonderful group!!! I still find it hard to pick which I love the most of all your winners!
    zumbly likes this.
  14. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    All are nice but I'm seriously liking #5 & #2.

    2016 was good to your collection.
    zumbly likes this.
  15. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis

    A really nice group of coins. I am quite partial to the Constantius Chlorus argenteus and the L. Plautius Plancus denarius. You've obviously had a great year coin-wise.
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  16. ab initio

    ab initio Well-Known Member

    I find it unusual but also interesting for someone to collect such a wide range of ancients. What amazes me is that every coin you show is remarkable and special in some way. You seem really gifted in the ability to pick up each coin's special features and to explain to your "audience" their importance to you. I am particularly impressed by the clear detail of the Caulonia and the Tarentum. But perhaps because I never look at Roman coins more than just cursorily, the fine points of those have escaped me. The rarity of your Cretan coin is indeed something that justly awards it the number one position. A perfectly struck EF one of those probably does not exist and if it does the overstrilke charm would be lost. Would it be too much to ask you to put a dollar cost price next to each one? Then we could vote for the one that was the best bargain, comparatively.
    zumbly likes this.
  17. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Great coins, Z. I happen to like 9, 5, 2 best.
    zumbly likes this.
  18. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    fantastic group! again, any one of these would have made number 1 on my list...pretty easy.

    i really can't pick a fav, but i think if i had to i'd agree with stevex and do 5...what interesting sytle!
    zumbly likes this.
  19. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    A great group of coins. You definitely had a great year. I love the look of that Piso.
    zumbly likes this.
  20. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Thanks for all the kind words, gang. I look forward to coining with you all in 2017!
  21. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Thanks for the nice compliment, it means a lot!

    Not at all... as is inevitably the case, I think I did well on some, overpaid on others, and okay on the rest. I generally feel that value is in the eye of the wallet holder (and sometimes his wife :rolleyes:), but it'll be interesting for me to hear your thoughts on the prices or that of anyone else. The prices in the list below are inclusive of all fees and shipping.

    #1. CRETE, Gortyna. AR Stater ($417)
    #2. CALABRIA, Tarentum. AR Nomos ($723)
    #3. ROMAN REPUBLIC, L. Plautius Plancus. AR Denarius ($550)
    #4. ROMAN REPUBLIC, C. Piso L.f. Frugi. AR Denarius ($360)
    #5. BRUTTIUM, Kaulonia. AR Nomos ($870)
    #6. DIVUS MARCUS AURELIUS. AR Sestertius ($950)
    #7. CONSTANTIUS CHLORUS. AR Argenteus ($736)
    #8. MACEDONIA, Eion. AR Obol ($125)
    #9. COMMODUS. AR Denarius ($225)
    #10. GAUL, Nemausus. Augustus & Agrippa. AE As ($166)
    stevex6, Orfew and red_spork like this.
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