When Patina and Wear Combine for Good Eye Appeal

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by David Atherton, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Although this dupondius has considerable wear, I find it quite attractive. One can almost argue that its worn state gives the piece 'character'. The beautiful emerald green patina is like icing on the cake too. I think the combination of these two elements elevates the eye appeal of an other wise common coin. A true FDC (fleur de circulation). :angelic:

    And of course it didn't break the bank!

    Æ Dupondius, 12.31g
    Rome mint, 77-78 AD
    Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN COS VIII; Head of Vespasian, radiate, l.
    Rev: CERES AVGVST; S C in field; Ceres stg. l., with corn ears and poppy and sceptre
    RIC 999 (C). BMC 735. BNC 772.
    Acquired from Dr. Boris Kaczynski, October 2019.

    During the last several years of Vespasian's reign both the precious metal and bronze coinage featured reverse types with agrarian themes. It is not known why there was a special emphasis on such types, perhaps it was an effort to advertise a new agricultural programme. This dupondius features the popular standing Ceres reverse, which was shared with Titus and Domitian and also struck on the gold and the silver. It is one of the most common types from this issue.

    Share your beautifully worn coins!
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  3. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I love this phrase! :D :D :D

    I've shown this coin frequently lately in other "show your worn coins" threads but here it is again:

    SYRIA, Laodicea ad Mare. Septimius Severus & Julia Domna
    CE 193-211
    Æ, 31 mm 18.8 gm
    Obv: jugate draped busts right of Septimius Severus, radiate and cuirassed and Julia Domna, set on crescent; countermarks: 1) C(AΓ) within rectangular incuse; 2) COL within rectangular incuse
    Rev: Marsyas standing left, right hand raised, holding wineskin over his left shoulder
    Ref: SNG Righetti 2114; Howgego 581 and 586
    Ex E.E. Clain-Stefanelli collection

    Dozens of my Egyptian drachms fall into the new Ancient FDC definition.

    EGYPT, Alexandria. Antoninus Pius
    Regnal year 8, CE 144/5
    AE drachm, 33 mm, 23.2 gm
    Obv: [legend]; laureate draped bust right
    Rev: Serapis, wearing modius, standing facing; flanked by the Dioscuri who are also standing facing, heads turned towards Serapis, and each holding a flagellum ; [L] H in exergue
    Ref: Dattari 2864 (RY2); Dattari-Savio plate 148 coins 2864 and 8724; Emmett 1670.8; Not listed in Milne.
    Ex X6 Collection


    EGYPT, Alexandria. Antoninus Pius
    Regnal year 17
    AE drachm, 33mm
    Obv: laureate bust right
    Rev: Serapis-Agathodaemon standing erect right
    Ref: Dattari 2829; Emmett 1678.17
    Ex Robert L. Grover Collection of Roman Egyptian Coinage, previously held by the Art Institute of Chicago (1982.1988, G.781)

    EGYPT, Alexandria. Antoninus Pius
    year 5, CE 141/2
    AE drachm, 20 gm
    Obv: Laureate draped bust of Antoninus Pius right
    Rev: Radiate and draped bust of Serapis-Pantheos right, wearing calathus and horn of Ammon; trident and cornucopia behind; L-Є in right field
    Ref: Emmett 1676.5, R1

    EGYPT, Alexandria. Antoninus Pius
    year 8, 144/5 CE
    AE drachm, 33 mm, 22.9 gm, Zodiac series, "Venus in Taurus"
    Obv: Laureate draped bust of Antoninus Pius right
    Rev: bull butting left; above, diademed and draped bust of Aphrodite left; star before her; L H (date) in exergue
    Ref: Emmett 1450.8

    EGYPT, Alexandria. Antoninus Pius
    year 8, 144/5 CE
    AE drachm, 32 mm, 22.43 gm, Zodiac series, Helios in Leo
    Obv: Laureate draped bust of Antoninus Pius right
    Rev: Helios (Sun) in Leo: Lion leaping right; above, radiate and draped bust of Helios and six-pointed star; [L H below]
    Ref: Köln 1495-6; Dattari (Savio) 2968; K&G 35.278; Emmett 1530.8
    Ex Thomas Bentley Cederlind

    etc :D
  4. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    I do like "Fleur De Circulation" too

    Excellent Vespasian @David Atherton

    I love that worn Lucilla sestertius, despite its wear, because of a wonderful portrait style, and the fading, almost vanishing Venus on reverse


  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I, too, love a circulated coin with a smooth, glossy patina. I'll show off a couple of sestertii from this husband/wife duo:

    Antoninus Pius Annona Sestertius.jpg
    Antoninus Pius Annona Sestertius Sulzer listing.JPG

    Faustina Sr AVGVSTA Vesta standing sestertius.jpg
    Faustina Sr AVGVSTA Vesta standing sestertius Sulzer listing.JPG
  6. tenbobbit

    tenbobbit Supporter! Supporter

    Most of my collection falls into your FDC classification.
    Here is one that I wasn't sure about buying but am so glad I did, the bust & river god stand out in a lovely chocolate colour -

    Macrinus - Nikopolis ad Istrum
  7. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, a well-worn coin can still be very attractive. A couple of examples from my collection:

    A Vespasian bronze from Alexandria:
    Vespasian Isis.jpg
    Lucilla sestertius:
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    There are two kinds of worn, patinated coins. We prefer coins with wear that got that wear in antiquity and were iced by time with a smooth green. This Claudius as was too worn to convince me to keep it and too pretty on the obverse to give it away.

    Caligula is the more worn of my two Vesta asses but by far the best due to the surfaces.

    On the other hand, Nero lost much of its patina from the high spots to wear in recent times. Was this from cleaning, use as a pocket piece or something else? I like the coin because it illustrates red copper used in asses and how patina can obscure the metal color.
  9. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    Great coin, David! I appreciate some healthy wear too. The slight darkness on the patina and brightness of the wear on this Commodus help highlight its devices.

    Commodus, Ruled 177-192 AD
    AE Sestertius, Struck 179-180 AD, Rome Mint

    Obverse: L AVREL COMMODVS AVG TR P V, Bust of Commodus, laureate, cuirassed, right.
    Reverse: IOVI VICTORI IMP III COS II P P S C, Jupiter, half draped, seated left, holding Victory in extended right hand and sceptre in left hand.
    References: RIC III 291f, Cohen 264, BMC 1720
    Size: 31mm, 27g
  10. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I was just examining this coin a few days ago. It's attractive, but quite worn, especially the reverse.
    AR Drachm
    OBVERSE: Head of Apollo facing slightly to the right
    REVERSE: Zeus standing right, holding labrys and spear
    Struck at Caria 377-353 BC
    3.50g, 14mm
    Sear 4956
  11. Numisnewbiest

    Numisnewbiest Well-Known Member

    I love a coin like this because the face is so distinct. I can live with the rest of the head being worn if the face is still as clear and expressive as it is on your coin here. The whole draw for me is a coin having been handled in ancient times as it was meant to be - that's the connection to the common people - and it's a big plus if the coin still retains the expression in the emperor's face. I love the clearly readable legend, too.

    I've seen a lot of Lucilla coins that are the same - very worn, but her facial expression is still clear, and I love those (and used to have one):

  12. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    First sestertius I ever bought... worn to a pretty pleasing Good Fine.

    Antoninus Pius - Sestertius Pietas 1st new 020.jpg ANTONINUS PIUS
    AE Sestertius. 27.24g, 32mm. Rome mint, AD 158-159. RIC III 1002; Cohen 620. O: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII, laureate head right. R: PIETATI AVG COS IIII, Pietas standing facing, head left, globe extended in right, child in left arm, flanked by a child on each side at her feet; S - C across field.
  13. tartanhill

    tartanhill Well-Known Member

    Each Christmas I give each of my five grandchildren an ancient coin. This year they are receiving a sestertius of Hadrian. This is the last one I purchased of the five. Enough green highlights for you?


    Hadrian (117-138). AE Sestertius, 134-138. D/ Head right, laureate. R/ Providentia standing left, holding wand over globe and scepter and resting on column. RIC 772. AE. g. 25.46 mm. 32.00 Green patina. About VF/Good F.
  14. Alegandron

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

    I REALLY LIKE FDC / Fleur-de-Circulation coins! Makes you appreciate where they had been and what were they spent on. Big fun.

    A few of my FDC Sestertii:

    RR Anon AR Sestertius 211-208 BC Roma Dioscuri S 46 Cr 44-7.jpg
    RR Anon AR Sestertius 211-208 BCE Roma Dioscuri Sear 46 Craw 44-7

    RI Maximinus Thrax JUNIOR 236-238 AE Sestertius Rome mint priestly emblems.jpg
    RI Maximinus Thrax JUNIOR 236-238 AE Sestertius Rome mint priestly emblems

    RI Didius Julianus 193 CE - 9 weeks - AE Sestertius.JPG
    RI Didius Julianus 193 CE - 9 weeks - AE Sestertius

    RI Aurelius Marcus 161-180 AE Sestertius S-C.jpg
    RI Aurelius Marcus 161-180 AE Sestertius S-C

    RI Pertinax 193 BC AE Sestertius rome mint LAETITIA RIC 17 C 21.jpg
    RI Pertinax 193 BC AE Sestertius rome mint LAETITIA RIC 17 C 21

    RI Paulina w Maximinus I D before CE 235 AE sestertius 30.77mm 19.66g 2nd emiss of Maximinus I CE 236 Peacock RIC IV 3 R
  15. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Another nice pick up David, my giant FDC an Pius Ephesos, three temples centre Artemis. 3qSKZC2a7Jm8sn4P6Eyp9c9B55CbfA.jpg
    Ephesus Antoninus Pius with three temples and Artemis central. 35.6mm, 19gm, RPC Online, Volume IV, 8474. Rare.
    Obverse inscription Τ ΑΙΛ ΚΑΙСΑΡ ΑΝΤΩΝƐΙΝΟС
    Obverse design laureate head of Antoninus Pius, r.
    Reverse inscription ƐΦƐСΙΩΝ ΔΙС ΝƐΩΚΟΡΩΝ
    Reverse design temple with four columns enclosing statue of Artemis of Ephesus standing, facing, wearing kalathos, having supports; between two temples, each in perspective, with two frontal columns and an enclosed imperial statue
  16. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    That's an attractive portrait on your Vespasian dupondius.

    I don't mind a bit of fleur de circulation either, especially on larger bronzes:

    Rom – Caligula, As, Vesta (neues Foto).png
    Caligula, Roman Empire, As, 37–38 AD, Rome mint. Obv: C CAESAR GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, bare-headed head left. Rev: VESTA, Vesta seated left holding patera and sceptre. S–C. 28 mm, 10.18 g. Ref: RIC I, 38.

    Rom – Faustina I, sesterz, Aeternitas.png
    Faustina I "the Elder," Roman Empire, AE sestertius, 141 AD, Rome mint. Obv: DIVA AVGUSTA FAVSTINA; draped bust of Faustina I r. Rev: AETERNITAS; Providentia standing l. holding globe and sceptre; in fields flanking, S-C. 31mm, 21.11g. Ref: RIC III Antoninus Pius 1108a.

    Rom – Faustina II, sesterz, Juno.png
    Faustina II "the Younger," Roman Empire, sestertius, ca. 161–164 AD, Rome mint. Obv: [F]AVSTINA AVGV[STA], diademed portrait right. Rev: IV[NONI] REGINAE, S-C, Iuno standing left with patera and sceptre, peacock left. 30mm, 27g. Ref: RIC III, 1651.

    Rom – Otacilia Severa, Sesterz, Pudicitia.png
    Otacilia Severa, Roman Empire, AE sestertius, 244–249 AD, Rome mint. Obv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AVG; bust of Otacilia Severa, diademed, draped, r. Rev: PVDICITIA AVG; Pudicitia, draped, veiled, seated l., r. hand drawing veil and holding sceptre in l. hand; in exergue, SC. 31mm, 17.62g. Ref: RIC IV, Philip I 209.
  17. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ...ahh...David has 'coined' a phrase to me own (and most of us's) liking...^^..nice coin(s) David and all...:).. licinius and unknown follis 004.JPG licinius and unknown follis 005.JPG Caracalla provincial
  18. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Wonderful coins!....I must admit when I first started collecting ancients I went purely for detail money allowing. This was probably a knock-over from many years of collecting British colonial coinage...But know I find that nice wear with a good patina or tone much more drawing...
    1-normal_1-Pq3EL2XdbJ9QF5pkPxE6f89ZTY4gn7.jpg ANTONINUS PIUS. 138-161 AD. Æ Sestertius (33mm, 26.75 g.)
    Struck 159/160 AD.
    Obverse..ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXIII, laureate head right
    Rev. PIETATI AVG COS IIII SC, Pietas standing left holding globe, Faustina Junior as Pietas standing left, between Faustina Minima, Lucilla & holding baby Fadilla.
    RIC III 1031 1-normal_1-sabina_tog__1_-removebg-preview.png
    Sabina AR Denarius 18/19mm..3.21gr
    Obverse- SABINA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right, hair in queue down neck
    Reverse- IVNONI REGINAE, Juno standing left holding patera and sceptre.
    RIC 395a, RSC 43.
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