Your Most Interesting Coin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Marsman, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. Marsman

    Marsman Well-Known Member

    It's been a while since I opened a new thread.
    Going through my collection, I wonder, if I had to choose the most interesting coin in my collection, which one would I pick......

    Then I thought, maybe a fun question to ask all of you. I'm always looking for new, interesting coins.....

    So, please show one coin from your collection (not two, not ten, just one!) and explain why this coin is of so much interest to you. There can be lots of reasons, and of course, you decide...

    I'll start with this one. The coin is struck at Rome by Caligula to commemorate the recovery from the Germans by his father, Germanicus, of the standards of the lost legions of Varus. I love this part of history about the 'Schlacht im 'Teutoburger Wald'. It was also a game changer cause the Romans ended abruptly the period of triumphant expension. But they came back.....
    Netflix started a brand new (german) serie about this period in time, called 'Barbarians'.

    Looking forward to see your coin :)


    RIC 57
    13,66 g. 30 mm.
    Obv. GERMANICVS CAESAR, Germanicus in quadriga right.
    Rev. SIGNIS RECEPT DEVICTIS GERM S-C, Germanicus standing left with eagle-tipped scepter.
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  3. Penny Luster

    Penny Luster Supporter! Supporter

    All my life I have collected Mercury dimes. We used to get them in change when I was a kid. I have quite a few but all very worn. I often wondered what they had looked like when they were new. Outside of b&w photos I had never seen one in mint state. IMG_20201016_201610 - Edited.jpg IMG_20201016_201700~2.jpg
    I recently got this one..ms67.. I always thought they were beautiful coins but the sight of this one knocked me out. The luster and detail! I feel joy when I look at it.
  4. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    I don't find much mystery in ancient coins. So labeling an ancient coin as interesting is a sort of a stretch... NOT!!!
    HOW DARE YOU!? Only allowing ONE:rage:
    EVERY ancient has some interest and or intrigue about it:artist::pompous:
    But if I must then I'll go with this tiny little rarity from (?) Aaand depicting (??) On the obverse... or wait, is that the reverse (???)
    Mysia. Kyzikos (?) Uncertain. Tetartemorion (Circa 5th century BC).
    Obv: Crescents in triangular arrangement; pellet in one and between two. Shield (?)
    Rev: Head of roaring lion left within incuse square.
    Condition: Good very fine.
    Weight: 0.09 g.
    Diameter: 6 mm.
    Ex: Savoca
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    This one because of the perspective art attempt on the reverse to me is the most interesting.

    COMMAGENE, Zeugma.

    Philip I the Arab. 247-249 AD.

    Æ31, 19.2g; 6h

    Obv.: AYTOK K M IOYΛI ФIΛIΠΠOC CЄB; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.

    Rev.: ZЄYGM-ATЄΩN; Peribolos containing grove of trees, seen in perspective; tetrastyle temple in distance, draped figure within (Zeus?); in exergue, capricorn to right (symbol of Legion IV Scythica, based in Zeugma.

    Reference: Butcher 31c; BMC 35.



    from @John Anthony
  6. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    There are a quite some interesting coins in my collection, but I will just pick out randomly one of those:

    Alexander I Balas (152/1-145 BC). AE Tetrachalkon. Ekbatana mint, 150-147 B.C.
    Diademed and draped bust of Alexander Balas right.
    Reverse: BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞANΔPOY ΘEOΠATOPOΣ EYEPΓETOY (“of King Alexander, Son of a Divine Father and Benefactor”). Elephant standing right; ΔX (Tetrachalkon) monogram above.
    Reference: SC 1876; HGC 9, 894.
    6.28g; 21mm
    Extremely rare.

    It is the only known coin issued after Antiochos IV that used the chalkous denomination system, with the visible tetrachalkon (ΔX) monogram on top.
    See the write up here:
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Of my half dozen or so specialties is one shared by rather few of you: technical coins. These are coins that illustrate some point about the manufacture of coins at that particular time and place. It includes but is not limited to errors. On my website and in various online venues over the last few decades I spent a lot of effort denying the existence of restruck brockages - that is brockage errors that were 'corrected' by a second strike. The vast majority of those coins sold as restruck brockages were actually what we term die clashes. Those interested in the arguments can read my 1997 webpage on the subject.

    In 2012, I was forced to amend the page to show a coin that proved that there was such a thing as a restruck brockage. I copy that amendment below. I consider this my most interesting coin. It is not my finest, my favorite or my most valuable coin but it is the one that made me change my mind. I might add that I still have not seen another coin I believe to be a restruck brockage but now I am open to the possibility that they exist.
    2012 Update:
    I was Wrong!!!

    Again thanks to an Internet friend who traded me this coin, I now must admit that there is such a thing as a restruck brockage. This AE2 of Magnentius at first glance appears to be a flip over double strike. The obverse shows a clear portrait bust and a good portion of the reverse design so the coin received two strikes from the dies and flipped over between strikes. Flipover double strikes are not uncommon. What makes this coin special is that the first strike was a reverse brockage. After one strike the coin had two reverses - one normal and one incuse. It then flipped over (intentionally by a mint worker or accidentally???) and was struck again producing a normal obverse on what had been a normal reverse and a normal reverse on what was the incuse reverse. The enlarged image at the left shows some details of the VOT / V / MVLT / X side by side with the normal on the left and the reversed incuse on the right. The coin is a bit of a mess but the longer you look at it the more details from both strikes become apparent. I said that I did not believe in the existence of a restruck brockage but this coin does appear to be one. I was wrong!

    For those who are not familiar with the type shown it is an AE2 of Magnentius with the reverse (here struck three times (twice normally and once incuse) showing two Victories holding a shield. They are nice coins even when normal.
  8. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    My "most interesting"(to me) changes pretty frequently. It could be monthly, weekly, or even daily; depending on my level of attention span.

    I recently acquired this coin, and have posted it in a couple of threads already, yet it is still maintaining a high-level of interest for me atm. It really gets my imagination firing on all cylinders.

    Related to the OP's coin/theme, both literally and figuratively I might add; this guy's preliminary incursions into Germania were responsible for the abduction of a Cherusci chieftain's young son(s). The boy Arminius, being raised in Rome and taught the tactics of the military; both contributed to his gaining the insight on how to eventually deceive Varus, and successfully ambush and defeat the three legions under Varus' command in the battle of the Teutoburg forest.

    Drusus' brother was an emperor, his son was an emperor, his grandson was an emperor, and his great-grandson was an emperor.

    That is a whole lot of emperor right there.

    This coin was struck under Claudius(Germanicus' brother) in commemoration of his(their) father.

    Nero Claudius Drusus. Died 9 BC. Æ Sestertius. Rome mint. 36mm, 28.05 g. Struck under Claudius, AD 42-54.
    O: Bare head left
    R: Claudius seated left on curule chair, holding branch and scroll; below, weapons and armor on either side of globe.
    RIC I 109 (Claudius)
  9. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..i reckon, to me anyway, my most interesting coin(right now anyway:p) is this bronze Celtic tet...we call it barbarous, i guess because they used the Greek Macedon coinage of Phillip ll as an inspiration for this coin, but i feel that if they'd wanted to, they could have copied it exactly, rather than the abstract artwork we see and admire on it today :) celtic phillip ll 002.JPG celtic phillip ll 003.JPG
  10. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    This is one that doesn't have the historical interest of many of the ones shown but it is my most interesting ancient. It's one of those that I keep coming back to, to examine again and again.

    To my eyes, the almost cartoonish horse is very appealing.

    Celtic 25-38 01.jpg

    CELTIC, Iceni. Ecen. Circa AD 25-38. AR Unit (15mm, 1.15 g). Ecen Symbol (Icenian J) type. Two opposed crescents with pellets between, superimposed upon band of three lines surrounded by two lines of pellets / Horse leaping right; six pellets on shoulder; rosette of five pellets to upper left; trace of EC[E] below horse. Van Arsdell 764-1; ABC 1663; SCBC 445. Toned, some porosity, double struck. Good VF.

    From the Matthew Curtis Collection.
  11. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    As others have stated, most interesting doesn't necessarily mean most expensive or rarest. In my case, it is my little gorgon. I find it very interesting that they put so much effort into the art of such small coins and also that they chose the grotesque image of a gorgon to begin with!

  12. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    I'd say mine is this commemorative coin of Rajendra Chola.
    Rajendra Chola, son of Raja Raja Chola, 1/8 Kahavanu (1014-1044 AD). 9mm, 0.45G.
    While his father conquered all of South India and most of Sri Lanka, Rajendra not only finished the job started by his predecessor but also went as far as South East Asia, subjugating various kingdoms including the Sri Vijayan Empire to primarily control the trade with China!
    While Cholas had so many countries conquered, they mostly took pride in having their neighbors Cheras and Pandyas under control. The bitter-sweet relation between these three Tamil kingdoms goes back all the way since 300BC when they all banded to prevent Ashoka from marching any south! COIN MAP.png
    The coin commemorates Rajendra's conquer of the neighboring Cheras & Pandyas, it depicts Chola's royal emblem tiger in the middle, flanked by Pandya's Twin Fishes, and the Chera's bow (off-centered line behind the tiger) all under a single umbrella. Rev says Yudhamalla aka one who's strong in battle. 11th.jpg
    Rather than depicting the enemy symbol tiny compared to the tiger or degrading (like Roman coins featuring captives/mourning), it shows all three kingdoms being equalized in the eyes of the Cholas, in part because all three of them shared the same religion (Hinduism), and language (Tamil).
  13. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Iron Age Briton/ Iceni
    AV Quarter Stater ND struck 30-10BC
    Really weird coin!
    Obverse: Horse/ Clover Leaf
    Reverse: Goofy Face with smile
    Trefoil type 590a4b17-d663-4008-904d-aa9500b467bf.jpg ba638915-2897-498b-88b3-aa9500b5a391.jpg
    eparch, jamesicus, Seated J and 21 others like this.
  14. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    The interpretation of that reverse is controversial. In Butcher, Coinage in Roman Syria, the cited ID number describes it as "tetrastyle temple containing statue of Zeus (?) facing, on a rocky hill, buildings at base and colonnade or steps up the sides, Capricorn right or left in exergue." [page 465]

    So, it is a hill with a smaller top than bottom, not perspective viewing a courtyard from above with the far side depicted shorter.

    I have been paying attention to perspective on ancient coins and coin that use the modern conception of further away is smaller are very few and far between.

    In this thread on perspective:
    most of the coins do not have vanishing-point type perspective. Seeing something at an angle is not the same as "further away is smaller." Something, like a building or chariot can be viewed not square on, but at an angle, in order to give an impression of depth. But it still might not use the modern "vanishing point" idea of expressing depth which is what is normally called "perspective."
  15. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Well, Except, @Valentinian, you don't need a full-on, post-Renaissance version of linear perspective, replete with vanishing points, to get an impression that the phenomenon, never mind the concept, was sitting there in people's heads well before that. ...Or that people, even in this medium, weren't gropingly trying to represent it.
    ...This will diverge a little, but I cant help thinking of two examples from modern art that kind of 'anticipate' this, albeit very much in reverse time. Cezanne's penchant, especially in the late landscapes, for 'aerial' perspective is one. Another is the American artist Romare Bearden's acknowledgement that he took inspiration from what he characterized as (...Not an oxymoron) 'Ikonic space' in his otherwise often neo-Cubist collages and paintings.
    Neither of those examples translates directly to ancient coins, but in that context, you can get the distinct impression that people were moving toward linear perspective, however discretely.
    ...At which point, Oops, Busted, I'd have to cite the same thread you did.
  16. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    This is a very hard question to answer, but after a lot of thought, I think it's this one. It's interesting because it had never before been described in the numismatic literature and it took a lot of effort -- and help from other CT members -- to attribute it. See this thread. It's now the "plate coin" at RPC:

    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman provincial Æ 5.84 g, 22.0 mm, 7 h.
    Bithynia-Pontus, Apamea.
    Obv: FAUST[INAC AUG], draped bust of Faustina II, right.
    Rev: UЄNU[S ... C]ICA dd, Venus seated right, head left, on dolphin swimming left, resting right arm on dolphin, uncertain object in left hand.
    Refs: RPC IV.1, 11815 (temporary); Waddington RG --; BMC --; Sear --; Mionnet Suppl 5 --; Lindgren --; Wiczay --.
    Notes: Previously unpublished. Obverse die match to Waddington RG, pl. XXXIX.1, which has a Neptune reverse type.
  17. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    I guess it would have to be this guy. For years there has been a debate as to whom is depicted on the obverse. The three main contenders were Alexander the Great Seleukos I Nikator or the god Dionysos. Current the consensus appears to be that of Seleukos. This is unfortunate as the image is quite striking. The reverse is also something of note as a very similar reverse was created about the same time in Syracuse under the aegis of Agathocles. This reverse became the inspiration for the reverse on the Roman Victoriatus an onkia of Capua and later the Roman quinarius.
    Okay the coin Tetradrachm of Seleukos I 305/4-295 BC Mint of Susa. Obv. Portrait of Seleukos in horned helmet right. Rv Nike crowning a trophy right Marest-Caffrey Group 1.11 16.97 grms 26 mm Photo by W. Hansen SKseleukosI-2.jpg
  18. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Yes. I have read an article (""Perspective Systems in Roman Second Style Wall Painting, by Philip Stinson, available on JSTOR) which showed some large frescos c. 100 BC and later had local perspectives in the sense that a part of it did have something close to a vanishing point perspective and so did other parts, but different vanishing points for each part. But, further away was smaller in each part. Actually to me that seemed like a good idea because the frescos were so large you couldn't look at the whole thing at once anyway. Why should the vanishing point for the view at the top be the same as the one for the view at the bottom?

    On the other hand, I went to an exhibit of frescos from Oplontis (another city buried in the eruption of Vesuvius) where some pictured rectangular furniture had the far sides longer than the near sides!

    So, some Roman artists knew at least something about perspective, but it is rarely used on coins.
  19. Edessa

    Edessa Supporter! Supporter

    I'd say this one. Jim Bulmer sold it on eBay many years ago as an "Unknown Celtic". I tried several times over the years but have never been able to improve on that attribution.

    Celtic, Unknown tribe and area. Æ19 (3.94g). Obv: Head of youth, right. Rev: Eye (?). Ref: ?. Good Fine, nice dark patina, irregular flan.

    Any ideas?

    GARY R COYIER Active Member

    I will say my first error coin I found and posted about when I joined coin talk, my avatar. DSCN2073.JPG DSCN2070.JPG DSCN2178.JPG
  21. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    A mixture of ancient and modern nice. Thanks everyone be safe.
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