Unique Coin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Nicholas Molinari, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    I was fortunate to be the winner of this coin, which I believe is unique. It appears to share an obverse die with the other variety I have, also unique, second picture, but with a different reverse (no letters between legs or in exergue on the new coin).

    Here’s my other, described as a possible Samnite imitation of a Campania bronze.

    Perhaps my new coin is an official variety from Suessa, like this unique coin from the Weber collection:


    All this makes the second coin posted all the more interesting. If it is an imitation, which the reverse suggests, why is the obverse die linked to a presumably official coin? If the second coin is official, what is the inscription on the reverse (variation of Nola?) and why is it paired with an obverse from Suessa? Maybe a shared mint?

    Share your unique coins, please.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Congrats on the unique coins! :)

    I don't see the obverse die match. Compare the noses, the fullness and slope of the chins, the ears, the angle of the earring coming off the ear, the locks of hair behind the ear, and the obverse legend. They look different to me and I couldn't get key points to superimpose in photoshop. Sometimes that can be due to differences in angle of photography but in this case I think they're just not from the same die.

    Maybe others will weigh in?

  4. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    I think you’re right, TIF. Very similar though.
    Justin Lee and TIF like this.
  5. altaycoins

    altaycoins altaycoins

    Congratulations on your new acquisition!

    I am not an expert on the ancient coins but IMHO first two coins are the same coins of different dies (which doesn't makes the coin different).

    I am personally very careful for the use of word "the unique" if the subject is coins. I would say "the only known example". Obviously, coins are minted in large quantities. There are pieces that didn't survive but our knowledge is limited to public collections, private collections that are published and internet. But I believe this is only the visible part of an iceberg.
    galba68 and 7Calbrey like this.
  6. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    I wish I could trot out a "unique" coin but I don't have any at the moment that I believe to be unique. Every time I believe I've found one and start really doing the research and discussing it with other collectors someone inevitably proves me wrong. One quinarius I bought earlier this year seemed to be of a completely different style for the issue and I thought I had something totally unique - until another collector sent me 7 other examples including a double die match in an unpublished hoard currently sitting in a drawer of some Sicilian museum. I tend to agree with @altaycoins especially with the Advent of the internet the number if truly "unique" coins seems to get smaller and smaller as more stuff gets published.
    Volodya, galba68 and Alegandron like this.
  7. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Ancient Coin Collectors Guild Supporter

    Nicholas, I couldn't help but notice the similarity of the reverse image to your avatar. Then I clicked on your avatar and checked out your birthday. AHAH! You're a Taurus. The sign of the bull is a great theme to collect. I never thought of collecting some ancients with images related to my birth sign. Maybe I will. There should be some archery related coins (Sagittarius)

    The two most important people in my life are Taurus—My mother and my wife
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    Theodosius and Alegandron like this.
  8. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    I always thought I was an Aries. Apparently the framework shifts depending on which system one uses. In which system am I a Taurus?
    Deacon Ray likes this.
  9. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    True, there are probably others in some junk box somewhere and I certainly cannot prove the non-existence of a thing. The reverse dies are different varieties in my opinion, so I could qualify and say "an apparently unique variety". If it were just a different die but both having the same reverse inscription I would not call it a unique variety. There are many cases in ancient coinage in which only one specimen of a variety is known.
  10. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    This is apparently the only known example of this coin. Although this reverse type is known for Septimius Severus, there isn't one of Julia Domna in Recueil général des monnaies grecques d'Asie mineure; it's not at Wildwinds, not at Coin Archives, not at acsearchinfo, not at CNG's archives, not in BMC, not in Sear Greek Imperial. It isn't in the ISEGRIM database either, which supposedly includes everything from Lindgren, Waddington, and the major SNGs for Nicaea.

    Domna Nicaea Eagle Assarion.jpg
    Julia Domna, AD 193-217.
    Roman provincial Æ (1 assarion?) 17.6 mm, 3.78 g.
    Bithynia, Nicaea, AD 193-211.
    Obv: ΙΟΥΛΙΑ CΕΒΑCΤΗ, bare-headed and draped bust right.
    Right: ΝΙΚΑΙΕΩΝ, eagle (or phoenix) standing right.
    Refs: SGI --; Recueil Général --; BMC --
  11. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Ancient Coin Collectors Guild Supporter

    The all knowing and all seeing—Wikipedia—says Taurus is April 20 – May 21

    I'm really only interested in the zodiac from an historical perspective and how it influenced the thinking of the ancients.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  12. altaycoins

    altaycoins altaycoins

    Sure but it also depends on how the variety is defined.

    For example the specimen below is a very common dirham of Uljaytu of Ilkhans.
    And here is a variety (the dolphin on the obverse center):
    It is the only or the second known specimen of this variety (because the source doesn't exactly tell where he saw his specimen, it might be the exact same coin)

    But there are other examples from different dies and the coins might look completely different in style and calligraphy but then we might drawn in varieties.

    And please don't think that I am trying to offend/accuse you or anybody else but I am just trying to be realistic although I am aware that people love to think that they own a unique piece that nobody had ever have. And also I am trying to understand what ancient coin collectors call a variety because it seems it is different than what the islamic coin collectors considers as a variety :)
    Deacon Ray and Alegandron like this.
  13. Alegandron

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

    Cool @Nicholas Molinari ! Nice capture!

    Here is one that you stated had very few known:

    Campania, Neopolis
    275-250 BCE
    AE 18, 4.99g
    Obv: Lareate Head of Apollo, NEOPOLITON (in Greek), Theta at r.
    Rev: Achelous advancing r, crowned by flying Nike, IOTA SIGMA under Achelous
    Ref: Sambon 663; HN Italy 589; SNG ANS 474
    Listed Potamikon pg 232 Plate 343 - 4th known

    Etruria, Populonia
    2 ½ asses 3rd century BC, AR 0.85 g. Radiate female head r.; behind, CII. Rev. Blank. EC 104 (misdescribed, Female head with an Attic helmet). Historia Numorum Italy 179.
    Of the highest rarity, apparently only the second specimen known.
    (One in the British Museum and...mine)
    Dark patina and about very fine
    From the collection of E.E. Clain-Stefanelli
  14. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    That explains it- my birthday is April 4th. I must have mistyped when I registered!
    Deacon Ray and Alegandron like this.
  15. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    If your dolphin coin is the same as that listed in Diler, I would have no problem calling it an apparently unique coin, though I think the "apparently" is implicit in these matters and not worth stating. But I would not call your dolphin coin a unique type, which is exceptionally rare, only a unique variety, which is not nearly as rare.
  16. David@PCC

    David@PCC Well-Known Member

    I have a few, but this one probably has the best chance of not being found elsewhere as well as unpublished as far as I know.
    Constans II
    647/648 AD
    Mint: Constantinople
    AE Follis
    Obvs: (ЄN T T)O (NIKA), Constans holding cross and gl. Cr.
    Revs: Cross bar on large M, NЄOζ right. Double exergual line, A below.
    19x22mm, 3.8g
    Ref: cf DOC 66b, SB --
    Note: A officina not listed, unpublished.
    Theodosius, Bing, Deacon Ray and 2 others like this.
  17. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Cilicia, uncertain. Obol, 0.54g. Unique?
    Obv: Gorgoneion facing, no tongue, close-cropped hair; within 7 (or 8?)-sided aegis, two rows of scales, sides curved and neatly tied.
    Rev: Three-quarters view of male head (bearded? satrap?), wearing headgear and headscarf.
    ex-CNG, e-auction 146, August 2006, lot 442 (part of), from the David P. Herman Collection of Facing Heads on Greek Coins.

    This coin seems to depict the head of a satrap in an unprecedented three-quarters view. The style of the gorgoneion within the aegis seems to match the gorgoneion on a unique satrapal bronze coin published by Imhoof-Blumer in Review Suisse Numismatik (1913), p. 93, #266; pl. 4 #2, with inscription Α Γ (which Imhoof-Blumer claimed abbreviated Agchialae in Cilician lettering). The depicted headgear also seems similar. I believe it is a product of the same mint and period as Imhoof-Blumer's coin.

    The coin dealer David Herman imagined the reverse as “Female or Queen’s head”. An anonymous Classical Numismatic Group cataloger described the reverse as a veiled female head.

    Assuming this example predates Alexander the Great’s conquest in 333 BC it’s an early depiction of an outspread aegis on a coin. The reverse is highly unusual -- usually satraps are depicted from the side on coins.
  18. Alegandron

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

    Now THAT is a cool one, Ed! Big fun having that one. I have a few Achaemenid coins, and I am beginning to get interested in some of the Satrapal coins...

    I understand that Tetartemorions can be "unlisted" possibly "unique" due to how hard they can be to find and/or their relative unimportance and being dropped during everyday market transactions.

    This one is a mystery (to me), that I have tried to get further attribution. Some great people on FORUM said the same that attribution may be ellusive. Fun to chase, though.

    (Seller's attribution)
    Uncertain of Western Asia Minor, ca. 5th c. BC, silver tetartermorion, 5mm, 0.15g
    Obverse: Young male (female?) head r.
    Reverse: Forepart of bull r. (No, it is not an MFB)
    Kayhan -
    Grading: VF+ , obv. o/c, slightly porous, toned, extremely rare
    Comment: This is an apparently unpublished type, with nothing matching the design in numerous references consulted. Lacking visible legends (and being almost certainly an anepigraphic type to begin with), the main clues would come from style, metrology and possible association with other types from the lot it came in. These are predominantly Western Asia Minor fractions (mainly in Attic or Milesian (hemi?)tetartemorion weight range) of the 5th c. BC. The forepart of bull with partly facing head is consistent with several types that K. Konuk in CNG Kayhan assigns to an "uncertain mint of Karia" - and more so than alternative depictions from, say, Magna Graecia or Cretan Gortyna - but they seldom appear facing right (cf. Kayhan 960) and even then invariably on larger denominations (cf. Kayhan 968). Above all, however, in those listings (which extensively cross-reference the related Keckman, Troxell, Rosen and Berry catalogs) there is no pairing with the present finely styled head, leaving this as another among the mysteries of Asia Minor fractional silver.
  19. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    I remember trying to attribute your coin. I suspect it is unpublished. It is not published in the usual places, nor in ISEGRIM. I did not reply on FORUM, but I think the first example posted by Altamura is from the same mint as yours.
    Alegandron likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page