Top Ten 2020 - svessien

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by svessien, Nov 30, 2020.


Which coins do you like best? Please vote.

  1. 1. Claudius II Gothicus BI Antoninanus

    3 vote(s)
  2. 2. Appius Claudius Pulcher, AR Denarius 111-110 BC

    9 vote(s)
  3. 3. Romanus IV Diogenes with Eudocia, Michael VII, Constantius, and Andronicus

    6 vote(s)
  4. 4. Bruttium, The Brettii. AR Drachm, 216-214 BC.

    5 vote(s)
  5. 5. Sicily, Syracuse, AR Tetradrachm

    2 vote(s)
  6. 6. Caligula, Caesarea in Cappadocia, Ar Drachm 37-38 AD

    6 vote(s)
  7. 7. Diocletian Argenteus. Nicomedia, 286 AD

    6 vote(s)
  8. 8. C. Pansa and Albinus Bruti f. 48 BC. AR Denarius

    11 vote(s)
  9. 9. Canute the Great, penny, Lincoln 1016–1035

    3 vote(s)
  10. 10. Claudius AR Denarius

    30 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Hi everyone. This is my top ten coins this year. I have been very busy with coins the last year, and have bought a lot of nice coins. Predominantly Roman and Greek, but I have also dabbled in new areas.

    10. Claudius II Gothicus BI Antoninanus:

    Sear 11370 Claudius II.jpg

    I like Claudius II Gothicus. He was the first emperor I bought after I had decided to collect ancient coins. He has a short and dramatic history. This is a pretty modest, but really beautiful little coin. The reverse is interesting; SALVS AVG, but the deity pictured is Isis. Claudius II had a whole SALVS AVG series with different healing deities, desperately fighting the plague. It didn’t help. But it left this lovely coin.

    9. Appius Claudius Pulcher, AR Denarius 111-110 BC

    Rep App Claud.jpg

    Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma right; quadrangular device to left.
    Reverse: T MAL AP CL Q VR. Victory driving triga right.
    Reference: Crawford 299/1b.
    Weight: 3.93g Diameter: 18mm Condition: VF

    I really like this design, and have always wanted the type. Both the portrait of Rome and the lively triga are well struck and centered. And it’s an Appius Claudius, what’s not to like?

    8. Romanus IV Diogenes, with Eudocia, Michael VII, Constantius, and Andronicus. 1068-1071. AV Histamenon Nomisma.


    Romanus IV, with Eudocia, Michael VII, Constantius, and Andronicus, AV Histamenon Nomisma. Constantinople, AD 1068-1071.
    Obverse: KѠN MX ANΔ, Michael standing facing, holding labarum and akakia, between Constantius and Andronicus, each holding globus cruciger and akakia; dotted exergual band below
    Reverse: +PѠMANS EVΔOKIA, Christ standing facing on footstool, crowning Romanus and Eudocia, each holding globus cruciger; IC-XC across fields. DOC 2; Sear 1861. 4.42g, 28mm, 6h.

    This is the year when I started looking into Byzantine coin. They’re fun! But this one is hard to photograph... Anyway, I like this coin, with all the people showing unity on it. It’s my first Byzantine gold coin, and the only gold coin I bought this year.

    7. Bruttium, The Brettii. AR Drachm, 216-214 BC.

    Bruttium, The Brettii. AR Drachm, 216-214 BC.
    Obverse: Head of Hera Lakinia right, diademed, veiled; behind, helmet.
    Reverse: Zeus standing left, right foot on Ionic capital, holding scepter; before, crab.
    Reference: GCV 515, BMC 1.14, HN Italy 1969. AR. g.
    Weight: 4.02g Diameter: 18mm Conservation: Toned. VF/About VF.

    I have a small collection of coins from Greek city states in Italy, which has taken forever to gather. This year I added three coins to that collection, among others this drachm from Bruttium, from the time of the second Punic war. The history of the cities in southern Italy in this period is interesting.
    I really love the obverse on this coin, a lovely portrait of Hera Lakinia. I can live with the reverse:)

    6. Sicily, Syracuse, AR Tetradrachm

    Syracuse tet.jpg

    Sicily, Syracuse, Second Democracy (466-405 BC). Tetradrachm, struck circa 450-439 BC.
    Obverse: Male charioteer, wearing a long chiton and holding a goad in his right hand and the reins in both, driving a walking quadriga to right; above, Nike flying left to crown the charioteer.
    Reverse: ΣVΡΑΚΟΣΙΟΝ. Head of Arethusa right, with hair in sakkos; four dolphins around.
    Reference: Boehringer 712 (V347/R481).

    This is my first tetradrachm from Syracuse, and although it could have looked better, I’m very happy with it. I like it better every time I look at it. That’s a promising numismatic relationship!

    5. Caligula, Caesarea in Cappadocia, Ar Drachm 37-38 AD


    Caligula AD 37-41 AD. Caesarea in Cappadocia, Ar Drachm 37-38 AD
    Obverse: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS, bare head right /
    Reverse: IMPERATOR PONT MAX AVG TR POT, simpulum and lituus.
    Reference: RIC 63, RSC 12, RPC 3624
    Weight: 3.45 gr. Diameter: 19mm. Conservation: good Fine, pitting in fields.

    My main collection is a Roman Imperial collection: One silver coin, denarius size, from every emperor. As far as I can get, anyway :) It has stood still for years, but in 2020 I have added 3 silver coins, which is inspiring. One was this Caligula, which I consider an arranged numismatic marriage, but I’m glad it’s there. It reminds me about «Always on my mind» by Willie Nelson.

    4. Diocletian Argenteus. Nicomedia, 286 AD

    Diocletian, 284-305 AD. Argenteus. Nicomedia, 286 AD
    Obverse: DIOCLETIANVS AVG. Laureate head right.
    Reverse: VICTORIAE SARMATICAE / SMNΓ. Camp gate, with four towers and star above open door.
    Reference: RIC 25a, RCV 12616

    One of the other silver coins added, this argentus from early in the reign of Diocletian was another auction win that actually felt like a victory. A budget argentus that still looks great. The reverse especially. Do I love this coin? Yes, I admit I do.

    3. C. Pansa and Albinus Bruti f. 48 BC. AR Denarius

    Albinus Bruti Vibius Pansa.jpg

    Moneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. C. Pansa and Albinus Bruti f. 48 BC. AR Denarius (16mm, 3.98 g, 6h). Rome mint.
    Obverse: Mask of bearded Pan right
    Reverse: Two right hands clasped and holding winged caduceus.
    Reference: Crawford 451/1; CRI 28; Sydenham 944; Vibia 22

    Well look at that. One of Caesars murderers, a fantastic bust of Pan, struck around «ground zero» of Roman history.... I always loved Pansas coins, and finally I got one myself. <3

    2. Canute the Great, penny, Lincoln 1016–1035

    Knut den Mektige penny.jpg

    Canute the Great, 1016–1035,
    Penny, Lincoln, Pointed Helmet, 1022–1029, moneyer Osgod,
    Reference: North 787, Spink 1158, Hild 1685
    Weight: 1.13 g 19mm Conservation: aEF, small flan crack

    I have had an increased interest in the European history around 1000 AD. I have added Byzantine and Islamic coins from that era in 2020, but the most significant one to me is this penny from Danish viking chieftain and English king Knut den Mektige.
    This is a really well preserved coin from his reign. It reminds me of my heritage. It’s a coin that I loved to add to the collection.

    1. Claudius AR Denarius


    Claudius Augustus, 41 – 54. Denarius, Lugdunum 41-42 AD.
    Obverse: [TI] CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P Laureate head r.
    Reverse: PACI – [AVGVST]AE Pax-Nemesis, winged, advancing r., holding with l. hand winged caduceus pointing down at snake and holding out fold of drapery below chin with r.

    When I started collecting Roman coins, I always looked at the priced realized in auctions with silver coins from Claudius and Caligula. I didn’t think in a million years that I would be crazy enough to ever spend such an amount on a coin, but imagined that it would have beeen pretty great to aquire such a coin. It was indeed.
    pprp, NLL, 7Calbrey and 41 others like this.
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  3. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    The Claudius certainly earns #1 and I hope that great feeling lasts a long time - I had to give my vote to #7. Bruttium, The Brettii. AR Drachm, 216-214 BC. Congrats on your 2020 additions and best wishes for 2021.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
    svessien likes this.
  4. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Lovely diverse group....I had to go with your Claudius but the Pansa was a close second!......
    svessien likes this.
  5. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic Supporter

    Some spectacular coins on that list! #1 is my favourite.
    svessien likes this.
  6. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    The Claudius is wonderful coin in every respect. All are excellent choices and very interesting coins. Congratulations.
    svessien likes this.
  7. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    That is an insane lineup:jawdrop: Wonderful selection:cigar:
    An AR Caligula is high on my want list and yours has a fantastic portrait.
    Big fan of the Bretti:singing:
    Your RRs are on point, though that Pansa and Albinus Bruti is mesmerizing...
    Almost as mesmerizing as that Kardashianesque Athena on your Claudius:shame:
    svessien likes this.
  8. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    Very diverse indeed! I even liked your Romans, and I am not normally into them. I really liked your Syracuse tet, but my vote has to go to the gold histamenon. I mean, 5 people on a coin (6 if you count Jesus), it is difficult to top that :jawdrop:
    svessien likes this.
  9. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    All excellent coins, but the Claudius denarius is BEHIND them all... ehm...
    svessien likes this.
  10. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    That's a very nice group.

    I love the portrait of Pan.

    The Claudius denarius showing Pax-Nemesis getting in some daily steps with the pet snake really intriguing.

    Also, the Claudius II Gothicus BI Antoninanus has a crisp, sharp strike for this type, a really nice coin.
    svessien likes this.
  11. Alegandron

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

    Great group, @svessien ... very cool. Excellent year.
    svessien likes this.
  12. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    That cheap little Claudius II ant beat some pretty nice coins to get on the list. :)
  13. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    A spectacular group! I voted for no. 1, but wish I could also vote for 10, 9, 4, and 3. I am envious.
    svessien likes this.
  14. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Thank you! I changed the vote to 3 alternatives now, was meant to be that way to begin with.
  15. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    It was the great Covid roll over. I sold a lot of modern coins that I have no interest in. And have bought several older ones:)
    Alegandron likes this.
  16. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice group indeed, I like a bunch of them but I can't go past the Pansa Denarius, congrats on a great year of collecting.
    svessien likes this.
  17. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    It was hard to vote since you numbered 5 & 6 reversed in the voting section. Claudius is some coin but my favorite by far is the Syracuse tetradrachm for a reason that will mean nothing to anyone but me (and hopefully a little to you). I am just a bit hurt, however, that I was not mentioned in your write up on the coin. I assume you have not read my page below where I discuss die R481 and show my coin using that same die.
    Boehringer 703 (V345/R481)
    Yours is repeated below for comparison.

    Our coins are very different when it comes to centering and strike. Yours has only the dolphin at the bottom which my coin lacks favoring the dolphins at top and right. The uneven angle of strike on my coin makes it hard to say which was struck first but the Boehringer numbers suggest that mine was first. I believe it was later. I find it impossible that they replaced the obverse die (twice?) before the reverse with that big chunk missing behind and above Arethusa's head. Perhaps Boehringer did not number the dies in the order of use???

    A little looking online shows that obverse 345 must have been later and still in use when the break had enlarged as shown on this CNG coin sold in electronic sale 118. I really wish I had seen it and I would have bid more than the realization for sure.

    Perhaps one of our more knowledgeable members can set straight my confusion. Please!

    Numerologists: The CNG coin sold was their number 68481. The reverse die was Boehringer R481. My coin has the catalog number as 480. Obviously I was supposed to buy one more coin before that day in 1991 when I got my coin.
  18. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    svessien, The Byzantine Histamenon Nomisma is my favorite, followed by the Claudius denarius, & Pulcher denarius. Great additions for the year :D!
    svessien likes this.
  19. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    Terrific top 10 @svessien !!! You've had a great collecting year. Like many others, my top pic would be your denarius of Claudius!
    svessien likes this.
  20. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Your coin selection, shows you have great taste in beautifull coins. All are works of art. Congrats on your fine additions for 2020.
    svessien likes this.
  21. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Like others, I think the Claudius is your best, but I like many of your coins and would have all of them in my collection.

    BTW here is my example of the Claudius which is not near as nice, but one of my favorites in my collection.
    Claudius 3a.jpg
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