Vespasian letter significance??

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Steven Michael Gardner, Jul 5, 2022.

  1. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    I used RIC 247 for reference & noticed that the numeral III on my coin has a defined
    line topping over each of the numbers, however the RIC 247 coin does not... What
    is the significance of that line???
    Mine defiantly is a Sestertius at 33.1mm & 25.1gm.
    My guess is it simply defines a numeral instead of say three letter I's since coin printing
    can be less readable because of their size for many people??

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  3. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Something rubs me wrong about this coin, not sure why.
    Evan Saltis likes this.
  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I agree. When I first looked at it, I said the dreaded F word; however, I'm not an expert. Something seems off to me.
    Evan Saltis likes this.
  5. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    Can you provide more photos of the coin please? Including reverse and rim?

    Agree with the comments above.

    Where did you buy it?
  6. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I narrowed it down to The font for the letters P, and the eye, all look weird.
  7. Ricardo123

    Ricardo123 Well-Known Member

    You are right, lines only to distinguish numbers from letters
  8. ArtDeco

    ArtDeco Well-Known Member

    Everything is too sharp? Looks like the legends/inscriptions are way too pronounced and sharp. I'm trying to look at the surface of the coin and it looks unatural too.

    I might be incorrect though.
  9. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I don’t know if anybody who has such a veristic portrait on their coins. The surfaces seem porous. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be a Paduan
  10. romismatist

    romismatist Well-Known Member

    The coin definitely seems pressed rather than struck. The surfaces seem too even and there are no metal flow lines around the letters or the portrait that you would get from striking the coin with dies. The portrait also seems off to me; not only the eye, but the entire profile. I would say it's a fake.

    With regards to the line above the Roman numerals, I have seen this as well on other coins, but have no idea what it means.
  11. RichardT

    RichardT Well-Known Member

    There is no image of the reverse and I don't know enough about sestertii in any case.

    Having said that, just in case you are really having doubts about this coin. There are other examples (first image) with the "strange" letter "P".

    The style of the bust seems normal too. Compare with the second image below. I would not condemn this coin based on style.

    If you want to look at other sold examples, you can search

    Otherwise... many of the more experienced members have left. Sorry but you may not get a very authoritative opinion.

    560864.m.jpg 3133231.m.jpg
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  12. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    I found your listing on eBay for this coin:

    You spelled 'Monetary' wrong.

    Well... I find it odd that you provide a COA, but are coming to this board with questions about legends and your attribution.

    As per your COA...

    RIC II 199's and BMC 777's legend reads:

    And this is correctly stated on your COA.

    However, your coin reads:

    This legend is found on RIC II 247 and BMC 568.

    Beyond all that...

    On first glance, the coin makes the hairs on my neck flare. I'm not ready to outright condemn it, but it does make me take initial pause. As suggested above --- Possible Paduan? Tooled?
    Theoderic, Oldhoopster and Bing like this.
  13. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    Yes it may be Tooled as the obverse is very clean, however they did not Tool the reverse which I thought odd.

    I wish to thank you, you are the first to notice the misspelling for "Monetary"
    I've gone almost 2 years with such a mistake, however it's fixed now..!

    Yes I to noticed the differences in the legend for "Vespas" as you can see I
    did catch it also as I noted RIC II 247 in my first original question post, & changed it on my COA however simply never got around to uploading it to my listing, but thank you for noticing that as well..!

    By the way my COA is simply an informational guide for the buyers of my coins,
    many customers are not nearly as well versed about ancient coins as those here on this forum, so what may seem odd to you is quite appreciated by many I'm told.. About my questions, I surely have never claimed to know all and yes I was not sure what specifics the line above the numbers may have that I did not know about, it seems I did not get any answers to that question other than what I had suspected in the first place, but I sure did get a lot of interest into my coins authenticity???
    Herodotus likes this.
  14. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting those two examples of this coin, I too saw these when I was researching this coin, and I quite agree with you and your opinion..!
    Some posters enjoy throwing unasked for comments about...
  15. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    The line above the III indicates that this is a numerical value.
    Carl Wilmont likes this.
  16. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that response, that was my first guess, however one never knows what other meanings it may have had in Ancient times, so I thought I would ask...
    octavius likes this.
  17. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Well-Known Member

    I think it's likely that the reverse of your coin has been somewhat re-engraved to more sharply define the leading edge of Mars.

    Compare your coin with another of somewhat similar circulation wear:

    Vespasian 1.jpg

    Vespasian 2.jpg

    Normal circulation wear would result in the rounding of any very sharp edges of the devices, as shown in the second coin's circled areas. However, in your coin, Mars' leading edge is very sharp in this area, which is extremely unlikely based on the amount of circulation your coin has experienced; any sharp edges simply would have worn down.

    Your coin's obverse is well centered but many other Vespasian sestertii exhibit similarly good centering so I don't think that this per se makes it more likely that your coin is a forgery. Personally, I see no obvious indicators that your coin isn't genuine, although I strongly suspect the devices and legends have been enhanced by more than just aggressive smoothing.
    Bing likes this.
  18. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    You have a great eye, It has not been physically tooled or engraved, however my original photo was quite light and I used some filters in PS to define the leading edges & sharpen the Blacks, so yes this is my fault....
    I frankly did not have any fears of this being a forgery except for my doing, My grandad had many ancient coins for decades that he passed to me in the last few years, well before modern replicas & fakes hit the market!
    Thanks for your eagle eye..!
  19. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Good eye Joe. I thought the eye on the portrait looked a little non standard, but the sharpness of Mars is definitely a thing I didn’t notice.
  20. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    I should have responded when you posted as you hit the nail right on its head...
    You have a great eye, It has not been physically tooled or engraved, however my original photo was quite light and I used some filters in PS to define the leading edges & sharpen the Blacks, so yes this is my fault....
    Thanks again!
  21. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Well-Known Member

    I was under the impression that the picture below, posted by Herodotus, is the original listing from EBay and has not been filtered by you to enhance the edges:


    If this is actually a picture that you personally enhanced using Photoshop, please post a picture of the original, unenhanced coin so that we can view the edges of the Mars figure on the reverse. I have personally viewed coins that exhibited similarly sharp edges on the devices, in the company of my dealer, who confirmed that the edges had been re-engraved.
    Bing likes this.
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