What's your (realistic) ancient collecting holy grails?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by nerosmyfavorite68, Jan 26, 2022.

  1. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    What are your (realistic) collecting holy grails? I.e. what individual coins are you looking for the most over the years? Decrepit placeholders count.

    I've done most of mine; I still want a Sulla portrait denarius (how much does a decent Fine one go for nowadays?), a Constantine III siliqua (on the edge of realistic), a Carausius Denarius/Argentius (a few years ago, one turned up on vcoins for c. 700 - I should have bought it!) a Eugenius and an Alexandrian Hadrian Drachm with a smooth, glossy chocolate patina. Oh, and I'm probably mangling the Italian title, but the book Le Preziose Patina. I remember reading it at my college library (the librarian is a Byzantine expert (hopefully he's still with us :)). Perhaps someday a decrepit Priscus Attalus AE3 will turn up at auction (Judy Tenuda voice; it could happen!). That's somewhat outside the bounds of realistic, but weirder things have happened.

    Although it's a tiny subset, patina collecting is one of my collecting interests.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Mine would probably be a respectable bronze of Cleopatra, a gold Byzantine coin or two, & a few other empresses.
  4. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    Any Roman gold up to the reign of Heraclius.
  5. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Any Hindu Kashmir ruler that I don't have....There are still a great deal out there but I can't seem to snag em!
    ominus1 likes this.
  6. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    A (somewhat) realistic goal would be to compile a complete set of all of the Gallienus Zoo coin reverse types on large round flans, with complete legends, of nice style, well struck, with nice surfaces. Some may say this is impossible... but I believe! I have many of them that are quite nice... but none of them have all of these attributes.
  7. Cinco71

    Cinco71 Well-Known Member

    A good portrait denarius of Julius Caesar. Preferably one of the ones shortly before his death. They're out there and readably available, but a bit too pricey for me right now.
  8. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Mine would be a MS AV Demi Noble from Brabant/ Flanders dated 1488:D
  9. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight Well-Known Member

    Any rare late, post-Valentinian III western emperors that I don’t have yet, like Anthemius, Romulus Augustus, Petronius Maximus, Julius Nepos, etc. In bronze, silver, or in gold it doesn’t matter to me. Priscus Attalus, Constantine III, Constantius III, Sebastianus, and Maximus of Spain as well (they are before Val III). And any gold Ptolemaic coin. Also, a coin of Aistulf (an 8th century Italian Lombard king), and also a coin of Charlemagne.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2022
    panzerman, ominus1 and DonnaML like this.
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    My holy grail for a long time was an aureus of any emperor or empress -- which one didn't matter, as long as the reverse was reasonably interesting. I captured that grail at the beginning of the month with my Vespasian aureus with a reverse depicting Victory on a cista mystica, complete with a documented 1910 provenance. I haven't thought of a new one yet!
  11. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Well-Known Member

    One of these elephant carpentum sestertii of Faustina II.

    Etcherman, Hrefn, svessien and 17 others like this.
  12. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

    My main grail is creating a "link" between my Hellenistic coins and my Roman ones. Ideally I'd like to go through the Antigonid lines, but given my love of tets, that would require some pricy ones. The Doson, Perseus, Philip V, and First Meris coins have all been going higher lately. Still, if by some miracle I manage to pick up a Doson tet for a reasonable price, I would probably go after the others.

    I could also go through the Seleukid or Ptolemaic lines, but there are a number of rulers and so I expect the cost would be even higher.
    Ryro, panzerman, DonnaML and 2 others like this.
  13. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..you have this one yet? :D.. kashmir.jpg
    Voldemort and Roman Collector like this.
  14. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ...i didn't know there was such a critter...but i must say, i wanted one of his coins for many a year & it was a grail coin...2021 was paydirt x2...:) IMG_0654.JPG IMG_0655.JPG
    Mr.MonkeySwag96, Hrefn, Limes and 9 others like this.
  15. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    My holy grail will be a nice archaic Attica tetradrachm. I love archaic Athena portraits, which bring me into collecting ancients. No luck last year, as the one I saw had problems here and there. Retail examples are beyond my budget. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    My other holy grail would be a Faustina II aureus, which I captured last year. I even added a Faustina I. Maybe I should look for a Lucilla to form a "mini-set", if budget allows. :)
  16. Mr.MonkeySwag96

    Mr.MonkeySwag96 Well-Known Member

    The “grail coins” i’d like to save up for are denarii of Julius Caesar, Galba, and Otho, which would most likely be low grade but with clear portraits. I’d love to own a solidus of Justinian the Great as my first ancient gold coin.
  17. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    A quarter-siliqua of the last Gothic king Theia/Tejas. I have a half-siliqua (see below).
    Why this coin?
    1. The quarter-siliqua would complete my collection of Ostrogothic silver coins.
    2. Theia is an interesting figure. He was raised on the shield (i.e. by acclamation) after the lost battle of Busta Gallorum, where his predecessor Totila had been killed. He gathered the last remaining Gothic warriors to make a last stance against the Byzantine Eunuch Narses in the battle of Mons Lactarius, where Theia was killed and the Gothic kingdom collapsed.

    Screenshot 2022-01-27 at 08.17.26.png
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
  18. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member


    - I'm missing only Gordian II and Constantine III to complete the full set of officially recognized (by the Senate and/or other emperors) Roman emperors from Augustus through Valentinian III (West) and Zeno (East). As a bucket list Holy Grail coin once my house is paid in full, my kids are put through college, and I get my wife a nice placating gift, I dream of one day owning a solidus of Majorian or Julius Nepos, IMO the only two of the ~dozen last puppet emperors who are interesting enough to justify the price. Sadly I don't ever see myself being able to afford a Romulus Augustulus.

    - Uranius, Laelianus, Vaballathus, Julian I, Domitianus, Alexander, Martinian, Nepotian, Eugenius, and Jovinus are all usurpers that I could theoretically get with some planning and careful budgeting.

    - I'm missing only Statilia Messalina, Cornelia Supera, and a number of the rare late empresses from a full empress set (Minus Constantia, Zenobia, and Dryantilla, who I do not consider to be obtainable)

    - I'm missing Titus (by Domitian), Nerva (by Trajan), Trajan (by Hadrian, with a portrait), Commodus (by Severus), Pertinax (by Severus), Julia Domna (by Elagabalus), Caracalla (by Macrinus?), and Nigrinian from a complete set of deified emperors by their immediate predecessors/family

    - I eventually plan/hope to build a full set of Restoration issues under Titus, and "Best Emperors" set under Decius

    Indo Sassanian:

    - I have not yet found a Chittaraja for sale (king who made Gadhaiya with his name on the reverse).

    - I have only found a Hammira AE (with Gadhaiya reverse) for sale at an auction house that positively will not ship overseas.

    - I am missing several styles of very early (Series 0/1.1) types that I know are out there, but haven't hit the market since the year before I started collecting them.

    - I am missing at least a handful of very early Pratihara types (specifically early imitations with VA, JA, or trident)

    - I am missing a few Malwa omkara types, all particularly rare eye symbols

    - My seller offered one of my Holy Grail Sri Ma intermediate types in a group lot that I couldn't splurge on because I would be buying about 50 coins I didn't at a price that I wouldn't be able to de-stash the rest. Patiently waiting on that one to get listed on ebay so I can snatch it up.

    - There are always surprises with this series, so I'll know it when I see it!
    Volodya, Marsyas Mike, Limes and 8 others like this.
  19. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    My grail coin(s) would be Gordian I and II. Already have a Balbinus and Pupienus, Aemilianus, Quietus/Macrianus so I've pretty much got coins of all the 3rd century personages outside of the extremely rare and ephemeral usurpers (Jotapian, Regalianus). Also Domitius Domitianus is on the bucket list.
    Marsyas Mike, Edessa and DonnaML like this.
  20. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    I am quite modest in my holy grail coins.
    I do not have unrealistic goals (unrealistic for me) such as, I don't know, aureii or ultra rare coins such as Titus with Colloseum. Or decadrachms or whatever.

    I was inspired enough to buy coins I wanted a lot and managed to get them quite easily - not extremely rare but simply coins that were on my wish list since I started.
    I am not interested anymore in completing a 12 Caesars set (my wallet approves this).

    Holy grail coins remain
    - interesting RR coins (particular designs)
    - a Julius Caesar coin, preferably with his portrait
    - Trajan coins related to Dacia.
  21. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    Perhaps they're not exactly a "holy grail," but I did think of a couple of Roman Republican coins from the same moneyer that fit the definition in the sense that I would very much like to own them, and have attempted more than once to buy each of them at auction, but have failed miserably each time: the M. Volteius denarii with reverses depicting Ceres driving a snake biga, and Cybele driving a lion biga. (Even though they look more like very large dogs!) While I'm at it, I would also love to have the Julia Domna denarius with a reverse showing Cybele driving not a biga but a quadriga of lions! (That actually look like lions.) But that, too, has proved elusive (and too expensive) to date.

    I certainly wouldn't mind having a coin of Otho and a portrait coin of Julius Caesar -- I'd rather have that than the Caesar elephant denarius. With my bronzes of Caligula and Claudius, that would give me a mix-and-match 12 Caesars set. (I have no great desire to spend the money required for Caligula and Claudius denarii.) But neither the Caesar nor the Otho are coins that I want in the same visceral sense that I want the snake and lion coins I mention above.

    The same for solidi of Theodosius I and Theodosius II, given that I already have Arcadius and Honorius: I'd like to own them someday to sort of complete the family, but they're not burning ambitions.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page