When Is A Duplicate Coin Warranted?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Gary R. Wilson, May 28, 2020.

  1. Gary R. Wilson


    I just bought a duplicate coin from the recent Roma auction. I hadn't planned on bidding on this coin but when I saw the current bid I just couldn't resist. What's interesting is the fact that I just purchased the same type coin from John Anthony. The other coins I bid on went to higher bidders except for one besides the one I have talked about. So, when do you think getting a duplicate coin is warranted? Please post your examples.


    Galba (Augustus)
    Coin: Silver Quinarius
    SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M T P - Laureate head right
    VICTORIA GALBAE AVG - Victory, draped, standing right on globe, holding wreath and palm.
    Mint: Lugdunum (68-69 AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 1.74g / 15mm / 8h
    Rarity: Rare
    RIC 132
    BMCRE 244
    King 1
    RSC 317
    Roma Numismatics
    Acquisition/Sale: Roma Numismatics Internet E-Sale 71 #875 $0.00 05/20
    Notes: May 28, 20 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection

    Struck circa November AD 68-15 January AD 69.

    Galba Silver_quinarius 14.8mm. 1.587g.png

    Galba (Augustus)
    Coin: Silver Quinarius
    SER • GALBA • IMP • CAESAR • AVG • P • M • T • P • - Laureate head right.
    VICTORIA GALBAE • AVG - Victory standing right on globe, holding palm frond and wreath.
    Mint: Lugdunum (68-69 AD)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 1.59g / 14.8mm / 240
    Rarity: R2
    RIC I 132 (Lugdunum)
    King 1
    RSC I 317
    BMCRE I 244
    BnF III 63
    Beast Coins
    Forvm Ancient Coins
    the Sallent Collection
    Acquisition/Sale: JAZ Numismatics CoinTalk 158 #7 $0.00 03/20
    Notes: Mar 27, 20 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection

    Struck circa November AD 68-15 January AD 69.
    Ajax, ancientone, Ryro and 16 others like this.
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  3. cwart

    cwart Senior Member

    For me the only criteria for deciding if I will add a duplicate to my collection is if I like the coin, but I am not overly concerned with having dupes. That said, among my ancients my only duplicate so far has been an accident. I have 2 Constantine Iovi Conservatori, one from Siscia and the other from Cyzicus (OK, so not exact dupes but the same design.)

    AM-0029obv.png AM-0029rev.png AM-0042obv.png AM-0042rev.png
  4. Kevin Mader

    Kevin Mader Fellow Coin Enthusiast

    Well...I've purchased duplicates when I can't remember the status of a set/album/coin and sometimes because the coin is too nice for the price being asked. I like bargain hunting so I'm never out a great deal even if the coin isn't quite what I expected...or not better than the coin I already had. I figure I have it for trade at worst. So feel good about your purchase as I'm sure, it isn't the last duplicate you are going to buy.
    Sulla80 and Gary R. Wilson like this.
  5. Alegandron

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

    I like your Galba Quinarii, @Gary R. Wilson !

    Ours must be buddies:

    RI GALBA 68-69 BCE AR Quinarius Lugdunum mint laureate r Victory globe stdng left 15mm 1.5g RIC 131 scarce
    Ex: @Brian Bucklan

    I NORMALLY do not buy duplicates. HOWEVER, a couple times I ended up WINING duplicates of coins that I bid simultaneously in the same auction. Kinda wanted them... and, well, my bids were successful...

    I actually won all THREE as I was bidding in the auction, but gave one to SteveX6 as an Saturnalia Gift.

    These were all struck by Hannibal during the 2nd Punic War occupation of Bruttium.
    Bruttium Carthage occup 2nd Punic War AR Half-Shekel 216-211 Tanit Horse SOLAR-O HN Italy 2016 SNG Cop 361-3

    Bruttium Carthage occup 2nd Punic War AR Half-Shekel 216-211 Tanit Horse SOLARdisc HN Italy 2016

    Bruttium Carthage occup AR Half-Shek 216-211 Tanit Horse punic-O HN Italy 2016 SNG Cop 361-3 TO SteveX6 CT Xmas 2016
  6. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Q: So, when do you think getting a duplicate coin is warranted?
    A: What is a duplicate? My collection of all 171 obverse dies for Crawford 450/2 is progressing very slowly...
    Albinus Brutus x2.jpg
    D. Junius Brutus Albinus, 48 BC, AR Denarius
    Obv: PIETAS, head of Pietas right
    Rev: ALBINVS BRVTI F, two clasped hands holding winged caduceus
    Ref: Crawford 450/2
    Note: Caesarian propaganda of moderation and reconciliation during the Civil War
    Marsyas Mike, TheRed, Bing and 10 others like this.
  7. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    It depends on the purpose of your collection. Maybe it's warranted if you're a specialist collector of coins from all the different dies for the issue like @Sulla80 .

    Sometimes I will buy a duplicate for the purposes of upgrading and sell the less attractive coin. I don't like clutter in my collection - I want it to tell a concise story.
    Theodosius and Gary R. Wilson like this.
  8. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    By my definition I don't consider two coins of the same type from different mints to be duplicates.

    I bought this coin first but a full attribution was not possible due to the off-centre reverse strike.

    Septimius Severus denarius
    Obv:– IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, Laureate head right
    Rev:– MONET AVG, Moneta seated left, holding scales and cornucopiae
    Minted in Emesa, A.D. 194 - 195
    References:– RIC -, RSC -


    Some years later I managed to obtain the following coin from the same die pair that allows a complete attribution. I didn't need to own the coin to confirm the attribution but it was a great justification to have to buy it.


    Somehow I can't bring myself to part with either.

    Finding coins with die links to these is just another facet of the way that I collect.

  9. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    And then if you look at that last coin I have more duplicates of that type from different dies with different legend breaks etc.


    I all comes down to how we each like to collect.

    In another thread I share the following coins which share the same obverse die and the same reverse type but come from two different reverse dies.

    I don't consider these duplicates within my collection.

  10. Aaron Apfel

    Aaron Apfel Active Member

    I buy a lot of uncleaned ancients so end up with a fair number of duplicates, particularly common follis. I will probably end up getting rid of a lot of my duplicates, but I do enjoy seeing the various differences and characteristics each coin has.
  11. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I have a complete set of $2.50 Indian gold coins in a Capital Plastics holder. They range from AU to low end Unc. I wanted a certified, high grade piece for my type set. So I have two 1925-D coins, one in the raw coin set and a second in an NGC MS-65 holder. I also a 1908 $2.50 in a PCGS MS-64 holder because I thought that piece was unusually attractive.
  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I don't purposely seek out duplicates, but if I happen to obtain them, I don't go out of my way to get rid of them. If the British museum can have two or three examples of a coin, so can I. Moreover, no two coins are alike, so is there truly duplication?

    Hadrian P M TR P COS III Fortuna Denarius.jpg Hadrian Fortuna Denarius duplicate.jpg
  13. Alegandron

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

    I like these.

    I separately bid on a few of these in an Auction, and won two of them.

    "Good, now I have a couple":

    Carthage AE Trishekel Tanit Horse 220-215 BCE 2nd Punic War 30mm 19.7g Lot 36

    Carthage AE Trishekel Tanit Horse 220-215 BCE 2nd Punic War 30mm 17.6g Lot 35

    Then, a few years later, absent mindedly, saw this Trishekel, "forgot" that I already had a couple, (still love this type), Bid, and WON again.

    Uh-oh... well, have it sent to the Office so Wife does not see my "mistake".

    Carthage AE 31mm Trishekel 220-215 BCE 2nd Punic War Tanit Horse Palm Pumic th SNG COP 342

    BUT, HEY! These are ALL from the 2nd Punic War with Hannibal! YEAH, it's all good!
  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Is ther a case where a die duplicate is better than a different coin? I say yes. When the second coin confirms a reading of a rare type or completes a reading when both coins are off center in opposite directions as in maridvnvm's example, the dupe is a real plus in my book. Of course some of us get carried away. In the image below, each coin is an obverse die link with the one beside it.

    Another plus comes when there is a die break that is getting progressively worse with time. My Syracuse tetradrachm has a bad die break damaging the reverse:
    I would love to have the following coins that show different states of this die (Boehringer R481) one before mine and the other after.

    The chance of me buying more tetradrachms is decreasing as the market rises but I would probably enjoy owning one of these coins as much as I would a completely different one at the same price.
  15. Two Dogs

    Two Dogs Active Member

    I don't see a problem with having duplicates. I like nice looking coins. I would rather have two nice 1881-S Morgans for example than limit myself to one and settle for another coin that is not as pleasing in order not to have a duplicate.
  16. harley bissell

    harley bissell Well-Known Member

    At some point in any form of collecting you only need the rarest pieces. When those are not available for purchase they are available for trade. I buy ANY duplicate rarities and use them to trade for unobtainable things that I want. If your entire circle knows what you have and what you are looking for they are extra eyes looking for what you want. At the end of your run extra rarities increase the profits from your close out collecting sales or your estate sales for your heirs.
    Gary R. Wilson likes this.
  17. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    When there are a different number of poppies sticking out of a modius.



    All are technically RIC 980. Flyspecking at its worst.
    DonnaML, Alegandron, Bing and 2 others like this.
  18. Bob Evancho

    Bob Evancho Active Member

    When you are Obsessive Compulsive and you want two OR MORE of a coin or set. When you want to upgrade a coin in your collection and you don't have the heart to dispose of the first coin you bought, found, were given, etc.. I would post coins but I have too many duplicates to choose from. A happy coin collector.
    Gary R. Wilson and Two Dogs like this.
  19. H8_modern

    H8_modern Attracted to small round-ish art

    Sometimes you just like them


  20. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  21. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    I've had a longstanding problem with buying duplicates, mostly because I often delude myself that the coin being purchased is somehow better than the one I currently have, when in fact that isn't always the case. Perhaps this is due to the environment of the auction, where bidding often becomes the sport, as misguided approach for sure.

    But I have another problem, a chronic disease, really, that has afflicted me since the 1980s - "Owlitis". This disease is characterized by a deep seated drive to acquire owls (coins of Athens) from all periods, but mostly mass production owls, which really don't vary much from one to the other.

    There are definitely consequences from the aberrant behavior, as described below:

    A House Full of Owls

    How alluring and beguiling,
    Are these coins with Athena smiling.
    Through the door they come,
    One owl, two owls, three owls won.

    The years fly by,
    In the wink of an eye.
    Till the place is most fowl -
    A house full of owls!

    They perch where they may,
    In perfect peace throughout the day.
    Under mattresses and in drawers
    On tables by the score -
    You tell them to scoot!
    But they don’t give a hoot.

    In the kitchen they flock,
    On the counter, by the clock.
    They reside in places most obscure -
    Even in the middle of one’s coiffure.

    So buy these wondrous coins,
    A joyful pastime for you to join.
    But please, dear collector be beware!
    You might find an owl in your underwear.
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