Featured When grade/condition doesn't matter -- Faustina dupondius with veiled bust

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Let's see your coins of Faustina I with veiled busts or anything you feel is relevant!


    Specialist collectors know that it makes no sense to hold out for "a better example," when a certain coin comes up for auction that is the only example. Such was the case with this dupondius of Faustina I when it recently came up for auction.

    Faustina Sr AETERNITAS Fortuna dupondius veiled.jpg
    Faustina I, AD 138-141.
    Roman orichalcum dupondius, 10.62 g, 28.1 mm, 7 h.
    Rome, AD 147-161 (probably AD 150/51).
    Obv: DIVA FAV-STINA, diademed, veiled and draped bust, right.
    Rev: AETER-NITAS S C, Fortuna standing left, holding globe and rudder.
    Refs: RIC 1160b; BMCRE4 1557 var. (bust); Cohen 9; RCV 4640 var. (bust); ERIC II 356.
    Notes: Beckmann (Diva Faustina: Coinage and Cult in Rome and the provinces. American Numismatic Society, 2012, pp. 63-69) makes an argument, based on die-linkage studies of Faustina's aurei, that a massive issue of coins in all denominations bearing the reverse legend AETERNITAS took place in AD 150/151 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the empress's death.

    As a general rule, coins of Diva Faustina I with a veiled bust are harder to come by than their bare-headed counterparts and this one is no exception. Examples of this middle bronze with the bare-headed bust are infrequently sold. None with either bust are currently for sale at V-Coins; Wildwinds has no examples of this coin with either bust; acsearchinfo reports that only two examples -- both bare-headed -- have sold in the past 15 years; CoinArchives notes an additional sale earlier this year, but it's the same one that sold at CNG in 2012 previously noted at acsearchinfo.

    In contrast, there is not a single copy of the veiled bust variety to be found online. The British Museum has only the bare-headed bust variety:

    Faustina Sr AETERNITAS Fortuna dupondius bare head BMC.jpg

    And no examples of the coin are to be found at Wildwinds, CoinArchives, acsearchinfo, OCRE, Coryssa, The Coin Project, CoinsCatalog, or at V-Coins. Basically, I am unable to find another example of my coin.

    The corresponding denarius also exists in bare-headed and veiled bust varieties, but each of these are much easier to come by than the middle bronzes.

    Faustina Sr AETERNITAS Fortuna denarius bare-headed.jpg
    Faustina Sr, AD 138-141
    Roman AR denarius, 3.83 g, 18.2 mm, 5 h.
    Rome, AD 150/151.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust, right.
    Rev: AETERNITAS, Fortuna standing left, holding globe and rudder.
    Refs: RIC 348a; BMCRE 360 ff; Cohen 6; RCV 4577.
    Notes: Overstruck on a previously issued coin; undertype not identifiable.

    Faustina Sr AETERNITAS Fortuna denarius veiled.jpg
    Faustina Sr, AD 138-141.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.23 g, 18.6 mm, 6 h.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust, right
    Rev: AETERNITAS, Fortuna standing left, holding globe and rudder
    Refs: RIC 348b; BMCRE 367; Cohen 7; RCV 4577 var. (bust).

    The coin was also issued as an aureus (bare-headed version only) and as a sestertius with both left- and right-facing bare-headed busts and in a right-facing veiled bust. I don't have these in my collection (yet).

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Good 'Ol Gallienus

    Roman Collector likes this.
  4. arizonarobin

    arizonarobin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Great coin, I love the veiled bust on Faustina I and II. On these rare coins, you can not "hold out" or you may never hold it at all! I have two examples of veiled Faustina I. My Dupondius has a lovely color but is not in great condition and the Aeternitas denarius I recently posted. The obverse is a bit blurry in my photo and I need to retake it - but I am terrible at coin photography!

  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Lovely coins! I still need one of those AETERNITAS star denarii for my Faustina I collection.
    arizonarobin likes this.
  6. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Great coins and write-up, RC. I just got a veiled Faustina I and Faustina II - both sestertii, budget examples. I'd wanted this portrait on a big AE and these fit my budget (and as you note, they are rather hard to find):

    Faustina I - Sest. Veiled Pietas Jan 2019 (0).jpg

    Faustina I Æ Sestertius
    (c. 141-146 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    DIVA AVGVSTA FAVSTINA veiled and draped bust right, wearing stephane / [PIETA]S [AVG], Pietas standing left, dropping incense over lighted altar and holding perfume box.
    RIC III 1146A (Pius).
    (22.48 grams / 30 mm)

    Faustina II - Sest Matri Cast Feb 19a (0).jpg
    Faustina II Æ Sestertius
    (176-180 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    DIVAE FAVSTINAE [PIAE], draped and veiled bust right / [MATRI CASTRO]RV[M] SC below, Faustina II seated l., holding globe w. phoenix and sceptre; two standards in l. field.
    RIC 1712; Cohen 163.
    (24.43 grams / 29 mm)
    TJC, arizonarobin, randygeki and 6 others like this.
  7. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Another great coin RR, they seem to just keep coming. My only veiled Faustina is a Sestertius of her temple in the Forum. 2015-01-07 01.07.50-18.jpg
  8. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    get'em while their hot!..(so to speak:p) Faustina l dupondius 002.JPG Faustina l dupondius 004.JPG Diva Augusta w/o veil, orichalcum As/dupondius
    TJC, arizonarobin, randygeki and 6 others like this.
  9. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    A worn denarius with Faustina I veiled - my only silver with this portrait:

    Faustina I veiled w peacock throne Jul 2018x.jpg

    Faustina I Denarius
    (141-161 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    DIVA FAVSTINA, veiled, draped bust right / AETERNITAS, draped throne against which rests scepter; in front a peacock standing right.
    RIC 353b; BMC 388.
    (3.14 grams / 18 mm)
  10. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

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