10. Roger II Tari Norman Italy - Sicily Roger II, r. 1130-1154 (1140-1154) Palermo mint, AV Taris, 12.66 mm x 1.1 grams Obv.: Outer Cufic legend denoting date and mint, inner Cufic legend al-malik Rujar al-mu’tazz bi-llah, pellet in center of dotted circle Rev.: Outer cufic legend denoting date and mint, in center, cross potent on shaft with pellet between IC XC NI KA Ref.: NCKS 240, [MEC 14.202]; De Wit 3796 This is actually the first gold coin I bought for myself, and my first medieval gold. The Norman Taris are a fascinating little series, particularly since they are dated. As of right now, the date on my coin is illegible, but I suspect with enough research I could probably figure it out (and this will probably be my next avenue of study once I find the time). 9. Plautilla Denarius Imperial Rome Plautilla, r. 202-205 A.D. Rome Mint, AR Denarius, 18.82 mm x 3.15 grams Obv.: PLAVTILLAE AVGVSTAE. Draped bust right, hair coiled in vertical ridges and fastened in bun on back Rev.: CONCORDIAE AETERNAE. Caracalla standing left, clasping hands with Plautilla standing right Ref.: RIC IV-1 Caracalla 361, p. 269 I have slowly been working on a portrait series of denarii for each year of Caracalla’s reign (with crisp portraits, and preferably interesting reverses). I hadn't considered adding one of his wife, but this came up in one of Ken Dorney’s auctions for an excellent price, and I had to nab it. While Caracalla is technically on the back, it’s really the striking portrait which attracted me to this coin. 8. Sabinus Denarius Republican Rome L Titurius Lf Sabinus, 89 B.C. AR Denarius, 17.86 mm x 3.9 grams Obv.: Bare head of King Tatius, SABIN behind, palm branch below chin Rev.: Tarpeia facing, buried to waist in shields, with raised hands she tries to fend off two soldiers who are about to crash their shields onto her, star and crescent above, L TITVRI in exergue This would be my first Roman Republican coin. I’ve admired Republican coins for some time, and was always fascinated by the story of the Sabine women (which probably stems from my love of the artist David…), so naturally this coin appealed to me. I would love to have its friend with the Sabine women being stolen away on the reverse, but this one came up first for a good price and detail. 7. al-Ḥasan b. Sulaymān Fals East Africa - Kilwa Sultanate al-Ḥasan b. Sulaymān, r. 1310-1333 Kisiwani mint, AE Fals, 19.01 mm x 1.7 grams Obv.: احسن بن / سليمان / عزذصز (al-Hasan ibn / Sulaiman / yathiku (May his victory be glorious!)). Inscription in three lines Rev.: يتق / بالواحل / النان (trusts / in the One (God) / the Bountiful). Inscription in three lines Ref.: SICA 10, #615, Freeman-Grenville 1954, pg. 223 no. xv, Walker obv: XVII, Rev.: XXIII, Album 1183, Zeno 112574 Note: found on Kilwa island in 1982 I managed to snag three of these ugly but fascinating coins in February. They are one of the very few sub-Saharan coins in Africa from the Middle Ages. The city of Kilwa may have also been a spot visited by Marco Polo during his journeys, but it is hard to say for certain due to the vagueness of Polo’s description. I spent quite a bit of time researching these coins, and will hopefully get to share more in an upcoming article. The 6. English Henry I Penny England Henry I, r. 1100-1135 (1125-1135) Bury St. Edmunds AR Penny, 17.16 mm x 0.8 grams Obv.: +hEN[R]I[CVS]. Bust facing crowned and diademed, head three-quarters left, sceptre in right hand Rev.: [+]G[ILEBE]RT[:ON]:E[DM]N. Quadrilateral with incurved sides and lis at each angle over cross fleury Ref.: North 871, SCBC 1276, De Wit 3186 I snagged this penny right at the beginning of the year. Good Henry I pennies are hard to come by at affordable prices, but this one was u dear $200, has a clear portrait, and had just enough detail left on the reverse to fully attribute the mint and moneyer. That was enough for me! Maybe in the future I will upgrade this coin with something nicer and pricier, but I'm pleased to have this example. 5. Tancred Follis Crusader - Antioch Tancred, Regent, r. 1101-1103, 1104-1112 AE Type 2 Follis, 20.3 mm x 3.3 grams Obv.: Bust of Tancred facing, wearing turban, holding sword Rev.: Cross pommetée, fleuronnée at base; IC XC NI KA in quarters Ref.: De Wit 4079 Note: Overstruck on a First type follis of Tancred I haven't delved too much into crusader coins (I don't even own a book on them! Gonna need to fix that…), but I have admired these issues of Tancred from Antioch which show him wears my middle eastern dress. I love the little mixing of cultures (similarly with the Roger II Tari). 4. Norman Henry I Denier French Feudal, Normandy Henry I, r. 1106-1135; AR Denier, 19.53 mm x 0.9 grams Obv.: +NOR[M]MANIA. Short Cross with pellets in each quarter Rev.: Short cross with annulets and bars on either side, triangle above and below Ref.: Dumas XX-13, Roberts, 4837 reverse I bought this denier of Henry I not long after acquiring the penny from England. There are not many Norman coins available after the reign of Richard I, and these coins begin a very interesting devolution in style following the reign of Richard II. While the ‘crude’ types such as this are nearly impossible to peg down to a particular ruler (see my post on this and the penny here), the inclusion of the ‘I’ in ‘NORMMANIA’ makes this a particularly interesting issue. 3. Durotriges Starter Celtic Britannia The Durotriges (58 B.C.-43 A.D.) Cranborne Chase Type AR Stater, 19mm x 5.95 grams Obv.: Wreath, cloak and crescents Rev.: Disjointed horse left, rectangular head, body of crescents, four vertical legs, three roughly horizontal lines for tail, pellet below, twelve pellets above Ref.: SCBC 366, SGCV 172 This was one of my pricier purchases of the year, but I really wanted one of these coins after a trip my wife and I took to England in the summer of 2016 (See post here). There was a lovely museum in Salisbury that had a nice little hoard and my interest was piqued. I’m not sure I’ll collect any other Celtic coins, but I like having such an iconic one in my collection (at last I think it’s iconic - these are what come to my mind when I think ‘Celtic coin’). 2. Roger I Trifollaro Norman Italy - Calabria Roger I, r. 1072-1101 (1098-1101) Mileto Mint AE Trifollaro, 28.04 mm x 8.3 grams Obv.: ROG [ERVS] COME +S. Roger, mounted left wearing Norman helm, holding kite shield and striped banner Rev.: + MARIA [MATE]R DNI (’N’ retrograde). Enthroned nimbate Virgin Mary holding on lap Christ child, nimbate and in swaddling clothes right Ref.: NCKS 131var., De Wit 3789, [MEC 14, 93] These are probably one of the most iconic coins of the Normans in Southern Italy. I had been looking for reasonable examples of these for a while, and was completely surprised to see this lovely example show up in JA’s auction! I’ll admit I still feel bad about outbidding my competition on this one, but if I’m placing it this high in my tops ten, you can tell how much I wanted one of these things! 1. Caracalla Provincial AE30 Provincial Rome - Phrygia Caracalla, r. 198-217 A.D. Hieropolis, AE30, 30 mm x 12.36 grams Obv.: AV K M AVP ANTΩNΕINO/C. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right Rev.: ΙΕ POΠ ΛEITΩN. Nemesis, wearing polos, standing facing, head right, holding rein or halter. To right Serapis, enthroned left with Cerberus at feet. Ex Group CEM This was an unexpected purchase. I put in the minimum bid, and instantly regretted it just because the cost was a little high for my normal tastes. However, I loved the portrait and the fascinating reverse with so many figures. Once it was in hand, I did not regret the purchase - I felt like the coin was worth the cost. All and all, I think I had a stellar year; I’m just sad it cut off at the midway point! Oh well, work will calm down in time, and I’ll get back into the swing of things I’m sure. EDIT: fixed a spelling error and included links I forgot to put in.