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

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

  1. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    I've been waiting for an antoninianus of Proculus to turn up in an eBay lot, but have so far been unsuccessful in finding one

    I would also be pleased to get my hands on one of the scarcer usurpers, such as Jotapian, Regalian, Pacatian or Julian of Pannonia

    jotapian 3.jpg regalian.jpg pacatian.jpg julian of pannonia.jpg

    A slightly more realistic grail for me would be something like a CARAVSIVS ET FRATRES SVI (Carausius and his brother emperors), obviously in worse condition than this one
    caravsivs et fratres svi.jpg
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  3. savitale

    savitale Well-Known Member

    I don't know that this coin ever sold at auction. It is from the Tyrant Collection. If it did sell, my estimate would be $500k.

    But that's one nice thing about fantasies, they're equally available to everyone.
    panzerman likes this.
  4. Gallienus

    Gallienus coinsandhistory.com

    I have both the Sulla portrait issue, struck by his nephew/or grandson in 54 BC + the non-portrait issued by Sulla himself ca. 99 or 100 BC.

    This piece is a full EXF but the "COS" part of his legend "SULLA COS" is off the flan. This cuts the price in half. I've recently seen them with the full legends but in lower grade. Nice ones with the full legend are a little hard to find.

    Both pieces are ex-Stack's bought at the same sale. The non-portrait is fully EXF with no issues but nobody cares about that one, so I haven't yet bothered to photo it.
  5. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I would like to purchases a couple more aureus coins, but that is a major investment. I have one of Antonius Pius, but his gold pieces are the most common from what I know.

    Antoninus Pius Aureus An O.jpg Antoninus Pius Aureus An R.jpg

    I would also like to find a decent looking Julius Caesar coin that was issued during his lifetime. I have damaged and slabbed ones sell for close to $2,000, but I know they would not please me. The piece I have now was issued 11 months after his death.

    Julius Caesar All.jpg
  6. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    An affordable Sestertius of Britannicus, Agrippina II, Marciana, Matidia or Plautilla in any (!) grade as long as it is does not have a dark patina.
    panzerman likes this.
  7. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Edit: Hmm, my reply keeps getting trapped in the quote, no matter how many times I lop off the last /QUOTE.
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  8. Gallienus

    Gallienus coinsandhistory.com

    Sulla portrait denarii are historically important as Sulla was a Dictator who ruled the Roman Republic from 82-79 BC according to David Vagi. I thought it was longer from another reference?. He retired, lived in his villa near the shore, and had a stroke yelling at a wagon-driver blocking the road? I believe. You could Google to check the exact history and his career is very well documented.

    Sulla also issued one of the first Roman Imperatorial coins. This is a modern style Athenian tetradrachm issued when he was in control of the city.

    The portrait denarii are appreciably rarer than J Caesar denarii but since Shakespeare didn't write about him he doesn't get the credit or price that Julius does. Fine is often a problematic grade in ancients: coins with decent designs generally start at VF.

    I'd guess that today, in Fine, a Sulla portrait could be $400 - $600, in low VF perhaps $1,500. A super VF with full legends and a nice portrait could be $2,500+.

    I've been looking for a Constantine III coin since losing one at auction around 2015/16. Just last week I won a realistic??? portrait one at well below what I was prepared to pay out of Gorny & Mosch. Heritage just sold one 2 weeks ago but I called to get an eyes-on for the coin (it was in a details slab) and they told me it was heavily brushed. Thus I put in a low bid on that one and was happy to lose it. I've also bid on a few Con-III solidii but not nearly enough.

    Some of my reasons for wanting Constantine III are that I like late Roman, he was co-Emperor during the 1st Sack of Rome in 410 AD, & my son's name is with a III, thus I've told him he has to change his name to Constantine.

    See my new Constantine III siliqua here. I haven't even paid for it yet!
    A compositional analysis of silver Roman imperial coins using XRF
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2022
  9. corvusconstantius

    corvusconstantius Active Member

    Constantius II side profile Solidus where he's got a nice mullet going on.

    I've yet to break the £120 barrier on a coin so I am unsure if this will ever be done.

  10. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Well-Known Member

    This M. Aurelius Cota denarius with biga of centaurs has been near the top of my want list for years. These are easy to come by in weak condition. I want one that has a well defined, well centered reverse, and with the fine style obverse (RRC 229/1b)
    A nice one will put me back $2-3K and I'm willing, but they just don't come up for sale in this condition very often.
  11. LukeGob

    LukeGob Well-Known Member

    This coin. Screen shot of me loosing it at auction (grrrr). Seriously hope that whoever got it knows what they have. It's a rare Valentinian III from the East, Trier. (Possibly also struck at Constantinople, I think anyway) This is the 3rd I've ever seen; other 2 were in reference works. The Re Leg (just to correct the listing) is a gargled GLORIA ROMANORVM.
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  12. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    For Marcus Antonius' First Legion, rather than a simple Roman numeral “I,” part of the number is spelled out: LEG PRI for Legio Prima. This is by far the rarest of all the coins in the series, with only three genuine examples recorded in the CoinArchives Pro database
    Homer2, Struck7 and Broucheion like this.
  13. ArtDeco

    ArtDeco Well-Known Member

    If I can get my hands on any decent Carthaginian silver Shekel I would be a happy man.

    I'm willing to sell half of my collection or trade for some silver shekels.
    Ancientnoob likes this.
  14. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Well-Known Member

    I guess my obsession with the lifetime coinage of Alexander would for me be the most logical place to look for "grail coins" I cannot say how obtainable any of these are. NONE OF THESE ARE MY COINS But here goes
    1. Alexander III Stater Tarsos Mint Triton XXIII Lot 205 Photo CNG
    Triton XXIII CNG 2.jpg
    I cannot say that this coin is even obtainable given the price of gold coin these days and my preference would be a lifetime stater from Babylon Note: No pic there is a reason. The only reason that I would try to get one of these is that it could be the first gold minted in the name of Alexander..... That is if the first staters were not minted at Tyre. Need to figure that one before i take the plunge.
    2. Alexander Tetradrachm from the mint of Sidon Year 9 325 BC Price 3485 Leu Numismatik
    leu numismatik 2021.jpg
    No doubt most of you will note the crossed legged image of Zeus on the reverse. Yes this is the first and only crossed legged image on a tetradrachm minted during the lifetime of Alexander. However so far of the ones tat I have seen, I did not like but maybe.....
    3. Alexander Tetradrachm from Tarsos 332-327 BC CNG 87 Lot 331
    CNG 87 Lot 331.jpg
    This is most likely the most doable The Balakros issues from Tarsos are frequently encountered and can be be found in reasonably decent grade PLEASE NOTE: NONE OF THESE ARE MY COINS.
    PS If you see any of these guys and are interested in them you may want to contact me if only just to see if I am interested in them as well. If I am not and I did not see them I will stand aside. But if I am neither of us may like the eventual price.
    happy_collector, Bing and Clavdivs like this.
  15. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    How confident are we of the scholars attribution? Over the years I've seen some coins change whom they are assigned to. I'm not familiar enough with lifetime issues to know, just curious.
  16. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Well-Known Member

    In response to @david@PC. We can be about as confident as possible though we must be always be aware that much of the dating of ancient coins especially the Greek series can be problematic. Some of these series have not been studied in decades and thus the underpinning evidence for their dating criterion may have changed. But in the main the chronologies are reasonably solid. With Alexander, the publication of Price's monumental book in 1991 sparked a flood of new research into the subject of his coinage. This flood of new research done by Le Rider, Troxell, Taylor and others has substantially deepened out understanding of his coinage. True there are some debates, as noted in the comment on the stater from Tarsus mentioned above. THIS IS NOT MY COIN
    Stater of Tyre 332-327 BC Leu Numismatik
    leu numismatik.jpg
    The early staters from this mint are undated. It should be noted that at the most the fight is over first place and may effect the dating by perhaps as little as 1-2 years.
    panzerman and Bing like this.
  17. Croatian Coin Collector

    Croatian Coin Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Until I bought one recently, it was the Roman Gold Solidus of Julian II:

    s-l1600 (1).jpg
    s-l1600 (2).jpg

    While now it is the full crest version of the Athenian silver tetradrachm from the 5th century BCE in good condition, so this is more or less what I am looking for:

  18. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I would love to get a MS Eugenius Solidus 94a25c364ceaa0b4a850345f0450aed6.jpg
  19. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    I've achieved most of the major ones I had set out for ("plate" coins from Sear Roman and Byzantine, quite a few of the SNG catalogs, and lot of other books & articles; one-coin-per-10-BCD Collection catalogs, John Quincy Adams coins, and a lot of other notable old collections).

    Still aiming for:

    Gonzaga-Este Collection:
    Ex Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara (1476–1534) and Isabella d'Este (1474-1539), who is also one candidate for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. (From the maybe-Mona Lisa's own coin collection!)
    Any coin with this "aquiletta" stamped into the surface of the coin:
    (CNG gives some more background here.)
    Until then, I'll have to content myself with my copy of the book, graciously sent to me by the author:
    Si Tiene Pegno in Guardaroba Este Collection.jpg

    Apostolo Zeno (1668-1750) Collection
    Any ancient coin illustrated in the catalogs.
    Even the auction catalogs are a bit pricey (usually >100 EUR each, at least a couple hundred Euros for a set, occasionally cheaper if lucky). Once I have the catalogs, I feel there's a good chance I'll quickly enough (within a few years) find one that's lost its provenance:
    apostolo zeno dorotheum covers.jpg

    One from every Naville Ars Classica sale of Ancients
    This is the hardest. From 1921 to 1938 Jacob Hirsch held the 18 historic Ars Classica sales (only 17 included ancient coins, Ars Classica IX was Swiss).
    https://rnumis.com/house_auctions.php?house=ARS&db_minyr=1844&db_maxyr=2024&dbcountry=All Countries

    So far I think I've only got coins from 3 of 17:
    Ars Classica I (Pozzi, 1921, 2 coins), VII (Bement, 1924), and XV (EP Warren, 1930).

    Basically I just have to multiple that by about five or 6.... (which will start getting harder for certain catalogs).

    This is my life-long collecting goal. Twenty or thirty years to go.

    Naville Ars Classica Collection.jpg
  20. Gallienus

    Gallienus coinsandhistory.com

    Well I've got 2 of them anways!

    Rome, L.C. Sulla denarius, Stack's 2008, lot# 257, I think it was around $2,750. at the time. Having a full "COS" after the "SVLLA" would double the price for this grade I believe. Still a nice portrait and a choice EF or virtually MS in modern vernacular.

    Rome Constantine III siliqua, Gorny & Mosch Auction 484, lot 1117, maybe around 2022?
    I forget what I paid for it but recall that it wasn't too bad.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2024
  21. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    Sword and helmets
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