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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Rarities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Rare Roman Coins
Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

|Gordian| |III|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.|, |aureus|
Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.
SH94301. Gold aureus, RIC IV 23 (R), Calicó 3213, Cohen IV 195, SRCV III 8579, Hunter - (p. lxxxiii), gVF, well centered and struck, flow lines, bumps, light scrape on obverse, weight 4.732 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Rome mint, special emission, early 239 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for two years, consul, father of the country), Providentia standing left, globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left; scarce; $4700.00 SALE |PRICE| $4230.00
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.|, |denarius|
Honos was the Roman god personifying honor. He was closely associated with Virtus, the goddess of manliness, or bravery, and the two are frequently depicted together. Honos is typically shown wearing a wreath of bay leaves, while Virtus is identified by her helmet.
SH95113. Silver denarius, RSC I 429, RIC I 313, BMCRE I 55, BnF I 196, Choice EF, attractive style, nice toning, well centered, banker's mark on cheek, thin flan cracks on reverse, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.894 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 90o, Italian (Rome?) mint, moneyer M. Durmius, 19 - 18 B.C.; obverse M DVRMIVS III VIR HONORI, bare head of Honos right, with idealized features of Augustus; reverse CAESAR AVGVSTVS, slow quadriga right, modius-shaped car, three grain ears on top, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex Superior Galleries, The Moreira Sale, part 2 (10-11 Oct 1988), part of lot 2305; very rare; $1900.00 SALE |PRICE| $1700.00
 


Roman Civil War, Vitellius, c. 69 A.D.

|Civil| |War| |of| |68| |-| |69|, |Roman| |Civil| |War,| |Vitellius,| |c.| |69| |A.D.
|, |denarius|
This coin is M71 in Butcher, K. & M. Pointing, The Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage: From the Reform of Nero to the Reform of Trajan (Cambridge, 2015). There is a tiny drill hole on the edge where silver was extracted for testing. This was an important coin in the study, with test results indicating 93.9% silver bullion and Gallic isotope ratios strongly suggesting similarity with other Vitellius coins from Gallia, not coins minted for Galba.
RS86684. Silver denarius, Butcher-Pointing M71 (this coin), RIC I Civil Wars 121, BMCRE I 65, RSC I Galba 363, BnF I 75, Martin 7, EF, toned, tight flan, light corrosion, test drill hole on edge, weight 3.127 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Southern Gaul(?) mint, c. 69 A.D.; obverse clasped hands, FIDES above, EXERCITVVM below; reverse clasped hands, FIDES above, PRAETORIANORVM curving along the edge below; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Helios, auction 4 (Munich, 14 Oct 2009), lot 270; ex Coll. A. Lynn collection; ex Classical Numismatic Group, auction 54 (14 June 2000), lot 1484; ex P. DeVicci collection; rare; $1170.00 SALE |PRICE| $1053.00
 


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D.

|Trajan| |Decius|, |Trajan| |Decius,| |July| |249| |-| |First| |Half| |of| |June| |251| |A.D.|, |double| |sestertius|
The rare double sestertius denomination, distinguished by its radiate crown, was introduced with this issue. The denomination was also issued by Gallienus and especially by Postumus.

Trajan Decius, a general under Philip I, was sent to crush the revolt of Pacatian but was forced by his troops to declare himself emperor. He defeated Philip in a great battle at Verona. Decius spent the rest of his short reign combating barbarians. In June 251, Trajan Decius and his son Herennius Etruscus became the first Roman emperors to die in battle against a foreign enemy.
SH94035. Orichalcum double sestertius, RIC IV 115(a) (R), Hunter III 42, Cohen V 39, SRCV III 9395, NGC XF, strike 5/5, surface 2/5 (3762223-007), removed from NGC holder, flaws on obverse, edge crack, weight 34.843 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder (as normal for similar busts, not described in references except in Hunter); reverse FELICITAS SAECVLI (era of good fortune), Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, grounded long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking at center; ex Pegasi sale 154 (21 Aug 2018), lot 425 ($2950 on tag, $2500 estimate, unsold), big 35 mm DOUBLE Sestertius!; NGC| Lookup; rare; $1130.00 SALE |PRICE| $910.00
 


Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, 4 B.C. - 39 A.D.

|Herod| |Antipas|, |Herod| |Antipas,| |Tetrarch| |of| |Galilee| |and| |Perea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |39| |A.D.|, |quarter| |denomination|
Herod Antipas is best known for his roles in the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth and the beheading of John the Baptist. When Augustus divided the kingdom of his father, Herod the Great, Antipas was made Tetrarch of Galilee, Peraea, and Jewish Trans-Jordan. His divorce from Phasaelis, the daughter of King Aretas IV of Nabataea, led to war with in which he was defeated. His marriage to his sister-in-law and niece Herodias was condemned by John the Baptist, for which he had the preacher executed. Pilate sent Jesus to him for judgement, but Antipas sent him back to Pilate's court. In 39 A.D., he was accused of conspiracy. Caligula exiled him to Gaul, where he died at an unknown date.
JD95782. Bronze quarter denomination, Hendin 1201, Meshorer TJC 77, RPC I 4920; BMC Palestine p. 230, 9, VF, dark green patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, obverse a little off center, weight 4.013 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 315o, Tiberias mint, 20 - 21 A.D.; obverse TIBE/PIAC (Tiberias), within wreath; reverse HPW∆OY TETPAPXOY (of Herod the tetrarch), reed standing vertical, L - K∆ (year 24) in fields; ex Athena Numismatics, very nice for this rare type!; rare; $1000.00 SALE |PRICE| $900.00
 


Britannicus, Son of Claudius and Messalina, b. 12 February 41 - d. 11 February 55 A.D., Alabanda, Caria

|Other| |Caria|, |Britannicus,| |Son| |of| |Claudius| |and| |Messalina,| |b.| |12| |February| |41| |-| |d.| |11| |February| |55| |A.D.,| |Alabanda,| |Caria|, |AE| |23|
Of this type, RPC I notes, "Uncertain. This coin was published by Mi 3.307.22, and is known from a Mionnet cast. The coin [the Mionnet specimen] has been tooled ('médaille retourchée') but may perhaps represent a genuine denomination." Our coin allays the RPC I doubts. The denomination is 1/3 of 18.5g RPC I 2818.
SH88430. Orichalcum AE 23, RPC I 2821 (= Mionnet III, p. 307, 22), F, porous, weight 6.496 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alabanda (Doganyurt, Aydin, Turkey) mint, 50 - 54 A.D.; obverse KΛAV∆IOC BPETANNIKOC KAIΣAP, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverse AΛABAN∆EΩN, Apollo Kissios standing left, nude, bow in right hand with raven on top, sheep standing left at feet on left ; ex Forum (2013), ex J. S. Wagner Collection; of greatest rarity; $990.00 SALE |PRICE| $891.00
 


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Otho,| |15| |January| |69| |-| |17| |April| |69| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt|, |hemidrachm|
Otho ruled for just a few months. The mint of Alexandria struck coins with his name, though the portrait bears little resemblance to those of the other mints. It is possible that Alexandria produced coins without having an image of the new emperor.
RP84745. Bronze hemidrachm, RPC I 5364 (3 spec.); Geissen 257; Dattari 336; BMC Alexandria 217; Milne 376; SNG BnF 710; Kampmann-Ganschow 18.13; Emmett 189 (R4); SNG Milan -, F, attractive brown tone, flan crack, light scratches, smoothing, weight 16.768 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 15 Jan 69 - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, beveled edge; reverse bust of Nilus right, wearing papyrus diadem, cornucopia behind right shoulder, date LA (year 1) before; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $750.00 SALE |PRICE| $675.00
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.|, |as|
The title of Dii Auspices (the gods-protectors) was given to the deities in general, and to each of them in particular, acknowledging their special protection, and sacrifices were offered to them accordingly. This legend and type help confirm what Dion states, that Severus built a grand temple to honor Hercules and Bacchus. When Septimius Severus advanced into the East against Pescennius Niger, he chose Hercules and Bacchus as his patrons, probably because ancient traditions designated the two as the first conquerors of that region.
RB95802. Copper as, RIC IV 666, BMCRE V 501, Cohen IV 117, Hunter III -, VF, nice coin, attractive brown-green patina, excellent portrait and reverse style, tight flan, areas of porosity, weight 11.884 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP II, laureate head right; reverse DIS AVSPICIB TR P II COS II P P, Hercules and Bacchus (Liber) standing slightly left, side by side, nude, heads left, Hercules with the Nemean Lion's skin on his left arm and resting his right hand on his grounded club, Bacchus holds a cantharus in his right hand and rests his left on a thyrsus, a panther sits left at his feet, S C in exergue; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 8 (29-30 Jun 2019), lot 1180; ex Kress sale 116 (28 Oct 1960), lot 959; rare; $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00
 


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D., Judea Capta

|Titus|, |Titus,| |24| |June| |79| |-| |13| |September| |81| |A.D.,| |Judea| |Capta|, |sestertius|
Judea Capta issue On 14 April 70 A.D., Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D. Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date.
RB94481. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 151 (R2), BnF III 156, Hunter I 41, Cohen I 109, Hendin 1593, BMCRE II 164, SRCV I -, aF, Tiber patina, corrosion, smoothing where corrosion has been treated and removed, weight 20.680 g, maximum diameter 32.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 80 - 81 A.D.; obverse IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII, laureate bearded head left; reverse palm tree in center, morning Jewess on left seated left on pile of shields, her head propped on her left hand, Jewish captive on right standing right with hands bound behind, arms on the ground, IVD - CAP (Judaea capta) divided across upper field, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from an Israeli collection, ex Jean Elsen (Belgium); very rare; $660.00 SALE |PRICE| $594.00
 


Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D., Parium, Mysia

|Parium|, |Galba,| |3| |April| |68| |-| |15| |January| |69| |A.D.,| |Parium,| |Mysia|, |AE| |22|
The capricorn, a symbol of Augustus, was adopted as a symbol of Parium, probably after an Augustan refoundation of the colonia.
RP94043. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online I 2267.3 (this coin, 3 specimens), SNG Fitzwilliam 4202, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Mysia -, VF, the nicest of three known specimens, dark green patina, some legend weak, scratches, spots of corrosion, weight 8.606 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Parium mint, 3 Apr 68 - 15 Jan 69 A.D.; obverse GALBA CAESAR, bare head of Galba (or Augustus?) right, star below chin; reverse capricorn right, head reverted, cornucopia over shoulder, AVGVSTVS / D D in two lines in exergue; ex CNG mail bid sale 64 (24 Sep 2003), 601; ex Lanz auction 109 (27 May 2002), 334; ex CNG e-auction 456 (13 Nov 19), 286; Coin Archives records only the sale of one specimen in the last two decades - this coin; extremely rare; $600.00 SALE |PRICE| $540.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l?Empire Romain. (Paris, 1880 - 1892).
Estiot, S. "L'Or romain entre crise et restitution (270-276 apr. J.-C.). I. Aurélien" in Journal des Savants 1 (1999), pp. 51-148.
Giard, J., P. Besombes & S. Estiot. Monnaies de l'Empire romain. Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998 - ).
Göbl, R., et al. Moneta Imperii Romani. (Vienna, 1984 - present).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham, et al. The Roman Imperial Coinage. (London, 1926 - 2020).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. (London, 1923 - 1963).
Monnaies de l'Empire Romain / Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276 (RIC V Online) http://www.ric.mom.fr
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow. (Oxford, 1962 - 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values. (London, 2000 - 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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