Transit of Mercury

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Today the planet Mercury crosses the sun in an eclipse of sorts called a transit. This happens every 13 years. The next occurrence will be November 13, 2032. You may read about it here.


    In honor of the day, here's a coin of Mercury!

    Gallienus, AD 253-268.
    Roman silvered billon antoninianus, 4.25 g, 21.3 mm, 11 h.
    Antioch, AD 267.
    Obv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: FIDES AVG, Mercury standing right, holding marsupium (purse) and caduceus; PXV (=TR P XV) in exergue.
    Refs: RIC 607F; Göbl 1667k; Cohen 219; RCV 10212; Hunter p. lxx.

    Post your coins of Mercury or Sol in honor of today's celestial event!
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  3. kaparthy

    kaparthy Well-Known Member

    I bought this for the obverse and reverse.
    Mercury Ulysses.jpg
    I have been Mercury online under one name or another since the late 1980s.
    Now, I am mike49mercury@gmail.

    When I was a citizen of Nova Roma, I was Gaius Marius Mercurialis.

    (I have several ancient Greek Hermes coins, also. The bronze is harder to capture and, really, Hermes is not Mercury, only an analogy, as is the Egyptian god Thoth.)
  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Severus Alexander 11.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
    REVERSE: P M TR P X COS III P P, Sol, radiate. standing left with raised hand and globe
    Struck at Rome, 231 AD
    3.4g, 20mm
    RIC 109
    Aurelian 2.jpg
    OBVERSE: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate cuirassed bust right
    REVERSE: ORIENS AVG, Sol standing left with hand raised, foot on one of two bound captives, XXIP in ex.
    Struck at Serdica, 274 AD
    3.4g, 23mm
    RIC 63f, Venera 1008, C 145
  5. Sulla80

    Sulla80 Well-Known Member

    @Roman Collector an interesting idea for a thread. While I have no Mercury to show - Edit: I do have a Sol:
    Gordianus III Oriens.jpg
    Gordian III AR Antoninianus, Antioch AD 243-244
    Obv: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG - Radiate bust right, cuirassed.
    Rev: ORIENS AVG - Sol standing left, right hand raised in salute and left hand holding out a globe.
    Size: 4.97g 22.5mm Ref: RIC IViii, 213

    On the planetary theme, here's a tiny bit, ~8mg, of another planet in the form of primitive Mars volcanic magma aka light-grey, olivine-basaltic shergottite, from a meteorite, NWA 4468.
    Mars NWA 4468.jpg

    and my favorite depiction of Mars on a denarius:
    Cn_Lentulus Blu.jpg
    Roman Republican, Cn. Lentulus Clodianus, 88 BC, AR Denarius, Rome mint
    Obv: Helmeted bust of Mars (Corinthian Helmet) seen from behind, wearing balteus (legionary sword belt) over right shoulder with parazonium, vertical spear behind left shoulder
    Rev: Victory in biga holding reins in left hand and wreath in right hand, in exergue, CN LENTVL, border of dots.
    Size: 4.03g 18mm
    Ref: Crawford 345/1; Sydenham 702; Cornelia 50
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  6. kaparthy

    kaparthy Well-Known Member

    Nice coin and the meteorite, Mars (the god of war) nonetheless being somewhat opposite in intention to Mercury (merchants and travelers).

    Mercury 1985.jpg
    Mardi Gras Doubloon Krewe of Mercury 1985.

    Einstein on a 5 pound Israeli 1968 because his special theory of relativity explained the precession of the perihelion of Mercury.

    curacao_MERCURY copy.jpg
    Mercury on a 1 Gulden from Curac,ao
    Mercury French Commerce Medal Silver
    Mercury Stan Lee.jpg
    Mercury by Stan Lee
    (for those who collect comics)
    rrdenarius, galba68, Sulla80 and 8 others like this.
  7. Alegandron

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


    RR Anon AE 19mm Semuncia 217-215 Mercury Prow Sear 620 Craw 38-7.jpg
    RR Anon AE 19mm Semuncia 217-215 Mercury Prow Sear 620 Craw 38-7

    RR C Mamilius 82 BCE AR Den Serrate Mercury caduceus Ulysses Dog Argos Sear 282 Craw 362-1.jpg
    RR C Mamilius 82 BCE AR Den Serrate Mercury caduceus Ulysses Dog Argos Sear 282 Craw 362-1

    WAY COOL, @Sulla80 ! Here is mine:

  8. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    ROMAN REPUBLIC, M. Piso M.f. Frugi
    58 BCE (redated from Crawford's 61 BCE by Hersh and Walker, 1984)
    AR denarius, 20 mm, 3.94 gm
    Obv: terminal bust of Mercury right, wearing winged diadem; calix below chin; to left, star above wreath; dotted border
    Rev: M·PISO·M·F / FRVGI above secespita (sacrificial knife) and patera; all within laurel wreath
    Ref: Crawford 418/2b; Sydenham 825; Calpurnia 23
    formerly slabbed, NGC

    The Greek counterpart of Mercury:
    THRACE, Sestos (sometimes spelled Sestus)
    c. 3rd-2nd century BCE
    AE 16.6, 2.35 gm
    Obv: Head of Hermes left, wearing petasos; dotted border
    Rev: chelys; ΣH downward in right field; dotted border
    Ref: von Fritz, Nomisma 1, 15 (coin 29 on plate 1 in that book)
    ex x6 Collection
  9. SeptimusT

    SeptimusT Well-Known Member

    Here's a Mercury and a Hermes:

    Overstruck Sextans copy.png
    Anonymous Sextans, Roman Republic - Sicily, 211 - 208 BC, 5.78g, 20mm
    : Head of Mercury right, two pellets above (undertype of Hiero II Zeus or Poseidon visible in hat)
    Reverse: Trireme right, ear of wheat above, KA monogram on right, ROMA below

    Istros, Thrace - 250 - 200 BC. 7.6g, 24mm
    : Bust of Demeter (?) right, countermarked with oval incuse containing bust of Hermes wearing petasos
    Reverse: Sea-eagle carrying dolphin
  10. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    My two favorite hobbys, astronomy and numismatic, in one thread !
    Two coins I’ve never posted here :

    Gordian III
    Sol raising right hand in salute & holding globe
    RIC 83

    Sol draped and holding globe
    RIC 611
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Gallienus, one of Sol's horses (most likely not Pegasus)


  12. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    You can talk about it all you want, but better to see it for oneself

    IMG_20191111_134953428.jpg IMG_20191111_135032787.jpg

    Got it cited in on my scope.... Here's the sun finder. Sadly I don't have a camera for this telescope so I will not be able to take an actual photo of what I'm seeing...


    What I saw: The transit ended at around 1:00PM, and there are currently no sunspot activity, and only a small prominence at the 2 o'clock position. The transit was visible as a tiny dark dot on the face of the sun. Very small but quite visible on the solar telescope. I continue to be disappointed that despite my $1200 investment in solar observation, the sun has remained unremarkable for the last year. Hardly any sun spot activity, and only slight prominences. But that is to be expected as we are between Solar Cycles.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    kaparthy, ominus1, Orielensis and 2 others like this.
  13. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    And here's a coin of Mercury to comply with OP's request.

    Roman Republic, Second Punic War, 215 - 212 BC
    AE Sextans, Sardinia (?) Mint, 17mm, 2.37 grams
    Obverse: Head of Mercury right wearing winged petasus.
    Reverse: Prow of galley left, ROMA above, two pellets below.

    Also, pleas note that regular telescopes are not made for solar observation (without special solar filters). You should never use a telescope or binoculars to look at the sun. It will mean instant blindness. I'm using a specialized solar telescope that is 100% made for that purpose. Using improper equipment for solar observation is dangerous. Do not try what I did without proper certified purpose-built equipment and always carefully follow instructions. Also, never look at the sun directly with your eyes either.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  14. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    Well, I tried to watch it through some cheapskate diy solar eclipse glasses made from layers of old photographic film, but mostly failed to see anything... @Sallent 's approach is much safer and more viable.

    A Herennius Etruscus with a Mercury reverse from AMCC 2 is on its way. Until it arrives, I still have these two Republicans:
    Römische Republik – Semuncia, Merkur und Bug.png
    Roman Republic, anonymous issue, AE semuncia (post-semilibral standard), 215–212 BC, Rome mint. Obv: head of Mercury r. Rev: prow r.; above, ROMA. 20mm, 6.97g. Ref: RRC 41/11. Ex Artemide, eLive Auction 6, lot 307 (their picture – I don't quite manage taking a decent picture of this coin).

    The second one arguably shows Mercury. And Apollo. And Neptune. All as the same person...
    Römische Republik – Denar, L Julius Burso, Genius or Apollo:Quadriga.png
    Roman Republic, moneyer: L. Iulius Bursio, AR denarius, 85 BC, Rome mint. Obv: male head r., with attributes of Apollo, Mercury and Neptune; behind, control-mark (grapes). Rev: L.IVLI.BVRSIO; Victory in quadriga r., holding reins in l. hand and wreath in r. hand; in field, controlmark (FI). 21mm, 3.76g. Ref: RRC 352/1c.
  15. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Yeah, that won't cut it. What I'm using is barely adequate to see solar prominences and other solar storms. It's a Coronado PST 45MM H-Alpha solar telescope. I can see the sun the size of a golf ball. Although sun spots stand out beautifully, solar prominences are quite small and require careful observation. I sometimes use a Barlow x2 lense, which helps make out the details of solar prominences a little better. Don't expect NASA quality photos. Everything is small and requires a good eye and patience to resolve properly, but seeing your patience rewarded with a glimpse of a solar storm is thrilling. Still, that's as good as you can do for solar observation for under $1000. The telescope typically runs $750. I do have a $500 filter extension that helps to just resolve solar filaments, but that was not necessary for the observations I did today, plus if you buy it all at once the entire package is $1,200 instead of $1,350 if you buy them separate.

    A better H-Alpha solar telescope will run around $1,600 ($2,100 if you add the additional filter for shorter H-Alpha wavelength) and at that price you'll be able to see the sun the size of an orange, and it will be a lot easier to make out filaments and prominences... but you probably have to invest another $300 just to get a proper stand for it....and $1,900 (or $2,400 with additional filter) was not in my budget at the time.:( Sadly H-Alpha solar observation is expensive. As an alternative you could always try a $50 solar filter on your regular $200 or $300 astronomy telescope, but all you'll be able to see with that is the visible light spectrum, so its only for sunspots. It won't let you see any prominences or filaments, or any other solar storms, so you'll miss out on 2/3 of the fun of solar observation.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  16. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..i'm using an old fellow Missourian's telescope meself...Hubble...:D.....ya know, i never paid too much attention to my ancient coin reverse's till i got here with you all in Cointalk....before then, i totally bought the coin for the obverse emperor/ruler...i believe this to be Sol on this Gordian a bonus bronze ring with Sol and cross( and it's leaning against a vintage Minvera table lighter i'm working on as added irony:p)...and there's supposed to be great balls o fire tonite from a the remains of a comet too.. Gordian lll antoninius 001.JPG Gordian lll antoninius 003.JPG panter cat and Roman Sol cross bronze ring 004.JPG
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  17. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    I made a camera obscura to observe. Just made out a tiny dot
  18. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    That's one telescope I'm going to miss when it stops working in two or three years. Probably the best bang for our buck mission that NASA ever did when you consider that the telescope was a leftover CIA spy satellite repurposed as a space observatory.
    Roman Collector and ominus1 like this.
  19. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    i'm with ya on that...i think we should save it...maybe start a go fund it... for that's opened up the universe for should stay in orbit forever i think...
  20. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    Hubble is to home telescopes (including the $multi-thousand ones) as the British Museum is to my collection 50 years ago. Sometimes I think I should sell my collection and spend the rest of my life looking at pictures of coins I'll never see. Mark you calendar. There is a Transit of Venus in 2117. I became aware of them while collecting old photos and saw some of the expedition to Tasmania in 1874. That was when I lost all interest in astronomy. What those people went through was amazing.
    kaparthy and Roman Collector like this.
  21. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    .that's true...but there's something to be said for 'hands and eye's' on tho, wouldn't you say?....:)
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