Two nice upgrades

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by svessien, Apr 8, 2021 at 2:41 AM.

  1. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    So far this year, I have failed to add a new emperor in my «silver collection». I’ve done two nice upgrades, though. This one came home on Tuesday:

    Diocletian argentus 1.jpg
    Diocletian AR Argenteus. Siscia, AD 294-295.

    Obverse: DIOCLETIANVS AVG, laureate head to right
    Reverse: VIRTVS MILITVM, four tetrarchs sacrificing over tripod before city enclosure with eight turrets; pellet in doorway.
    Reference: RIC VI 32a.
    Weight: 2.64g 6h. Diameter: 17,7mm


    If I have to asess the coin myself, I would call this a real gem. It was also a real bargain. I bought another Diocletian argentus less than a year ago, but just couldn’t turn this one down. Here’s the «old» Diocletian in AR coin, which even made my top 10 list last year:
    D95FC749-ADC7-4FB5-84D4-29C1443E94B9.jpeg
    Diocletian, 284-305 AD. Argenteus. Nicomedia.

    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
    Weight: 3.21 g. Diameter: 18 mm.


    I’ll probably keep both, at least for a while, as they represent the two major types of argenteii.

    The next upgrade was my Valentinian I silver coin. I’ve never been very happy with this one, typical bottom feeding purchase many years ago:

    Sear 19382 Valentinian.jpg
    Valentinian I, Siliqua, Rome, A.D. 364 - A.D. 367
    Obverse: D N VALENTINI-ANVS P F AVG: Bust of Valentinian I, pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed, right
    Reverse: VOT/V/MVLT/X within wreath Mint mark: L B
    Reference: RIV IX Rome 10b

    The new upgrade makes me smile every time I look at it, however:

    DB0C18B4-369D-4924-B278-6A237CC01B81.jpeg
    Valentinian I. AD 364-375. AR Siliqua, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, 2nd officina. Struck AD 364-367.
    Obverse: Pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right
    Reverse: Valentinian standing right, holding labarum with plain shaft and Victory on globe; SLVG.
    Reference: RIC IX 6a; Lyon 12; RSC 18-19†c.
    Size: 17.5mm, 1.96 g, 6h. Conservation: Toned, attached lamination flaw on reverse. Good VF.


    I’m still hoping to add one or two of the remaining emperors in the silver set this year, but I really enjoy these upgrades too.

    What about you? Have you had any upgrades on areas you are collecting so far in 2021?
     
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Ironically I actually like the "bottom feeder" ones more than the upgrades. Especially the Valentinian I. I find the chipped edge distracting over the better round flan of the first even though it's more worn.

    To each their own.
     
  4. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Indeed. The portrait matters more than the edge to me.
     
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  5. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Great upgrades! The same for me as well, I rather have a beautiful portrait with an clipped edge or a non-distracting test cut than a complete coin with a worn/less-artistic portrait (if that is what my budget allows).

    For the Diocletian I like both coins equally actually (But I guess it is because it is another type).
    The new Valentinian is a definite upgrade of the emperor, nice portrait.
     
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  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Some nice upgrades there.
     
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  7. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    What I like very much about the new Diocletian, is that it is an early issue of the argentus. Perhaps it’s even among the first ones made who knows? And it is truly in mint state, there is no sign of wear or bag marks. The patina is very light and thin, looking more like 1700 years of dust than 1700 years of sand.
    I imagine that it’s a coin that has been picked right out of production and taken care of, perhaps sent to a supervisor for inspection, or perhaps to the emperor himself? :) Yeah, that’s a fun thing about this hobby. It feeds the imagination.
     
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  8. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    All nice coins but those two Diocletian's are absolute beauties'.
     
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  9. nicholasz219

    nicholasz219 Well-Known Member

    @svessien Those are all excellent coins. Eventually I will buy myself an argentus from Diocletian with the tetrarchy. I hope to find as nice of one as either of yours. I’m very lacking in late silver. Cheers.
     
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  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    @svessian, I think all of those coins are great. I would very much like to own a silver argenteus. I recently attempted to buy one of Maximian I, but it turned out to be already sold, according to the dealer. One of these days!
     
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  11. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Donna and Nicholas: When I started collecting ancient coins, back in 2003-04, I remember being very fascinated by the argenteii that I saw for sale. They would usually sell for about 4000 NOK, about 400€ or 475$ (plus premium). I never imagined paying that much for a coin, but I remember thinking that perhaps it would be worth it to own an argentus like the first one in the thread.
    Interestingly, those two coins were 360€ and 220€, bought in a market that has been described as «crazy». Some times, following auctions with patience and self control pays off.
    The money spent on the new Diocletian was meant for Constantius I, though. The only original tetrarch that I still haven’t got. So now I need to find another way to fund that:)
     
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  12. nicholasz219

    nicholasz219 Well-Known Member

    @svessien I hear what you are saying. I try to keep an eye on many items even if they don’t fall in my current specialty in case opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately it seems to be the thing now for many of us so even if a lot is sleeping for weeks on end before the auction it seems that everyone tries to pull the trigger a day before. Still, I am lucky in finding some good coins that are undervalued. Or at least under what I think I would pay it up against a wall.
     
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  13. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Great upgrades! Even better, all 4 are great coins.
     
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  14. IMP Shogun

    IMP Shogun Well-Known Member

    Nicely done!

    CNG had a nice selection of Valentinian-era siliqua in this past auction (I'm more of a "bottom-feeder"!). Your siliqua is of particularly fine style.
     
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