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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Quality>EyeAppeal PAGE 1/9«««1234»»»

Ancient Coin Eye Appeal

The most important factor in determining the price of a coin is eye appeal. One coin of the exact same type as another can be priced ten times higher or more. So, what is this eye appeal?

It is beauty. . . It is classical fine art. . . It is a masterpiece portrait. . . It is sculptural high relief. . . It is a choice strike. . . It is a gem patina. . . It is Celtic abstraction. . .

It is . . . on this page!

Selinus, Sicily, c. 466 - 415 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Selinus was once one of the most important Greek colonies in Sicily. In 409 B.C., the Carthaginians attacked with a vast army believed to include at least 100,000 men. Selinus, with a population of about 30,000 excluding slaves, was unprepared and an auxiliary force promised by Syracuse, Agrigentum and Gela did not arrive. The Selinuntines defended themselves with courage, and after the walls were breached, continued to fight from house to house. After tens days the city fell. Of the citizens, 16,000 were slain and 5,000 made prisoners, but more than 2,600 escaped to Agrigento.
SL90860. Silver didrachm, SNG ANS 702 - 705 (same obverse die); BMC Sicily, p. 141, 34; SNG Lloyd 1243; SNG München 889 ff.; SNG Cop -, NGC XF, Strike 4/5, Surface 3/5, weight 7.64 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 90o, Selinus (Selinunte, Sicily) mint, c. 466 - 415 B.C.; obverse ΣEΛINOTION, nude Herakles advancing right, subduing the Cretan bull; reverse HVYAΣ, river-god nude standing left, holding phiale over canopied altar in right hand and branch in left; snake coiled around altar, heron under selinon leaf to right; ex Forum (2007); $1750.00 (€1312.50)

Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, Siculo-Punic, c. 320 - 289 B.C.
Click for a larger photo At the height of its prominence, Carthage's influence extended over most of the western Mediterranean. Rivalry with Rome led to a series of conflicts, the Punic Wars. The Third Punic War ended in the complete destruction of the city, annexation by Rome of all Carthaginian territory, and the death or enslavement of the entire Carthaginian population.
SH68473. Silver tetradrachm, Jenkins Punic, series 5a, 290 (O93/R238); SNG Cop 985; SNG München 1618, aEF, die break on horse's eye, toned, weight 16.743 g, maximum diameter 23.98 mm, die axis 180o, Sicily, military camp mint, c. 320 - 289 B.C.; obverse Melkart-Herakles head right wearing lion's skin knotted at neck; reverse horse head left, palm tree behind, Punic inscription below: MHMHNT (people of the camp); $1490.00 (€1117.50)

Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 449 - 413 B.C.
Click for a larger photo The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH71152. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., Kroll 8, SGCV I 2526, aEF, attractive coin, graffito (W?) on Athena's cheek, minor deposits on obverse, test cut on reverse, weight 17.187 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, 449 - 413 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; ex CNG Auction 329, lot 88; $1450.00 (€1087.50)

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Honos was the god of chivalry, honor and military justice. He was usually depicted in art with a spear and a cornucopia. He was sometimes identified with Virtus.
SH68901. Bronze dupondius, RIC III 802, BMCRE IV 1738, Cohen 415, SRCV II -, EF, beautiful green patina, well centered, weight 12.822 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 145 - 147 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P, radiate head right; reverse HONORI AVG COS IIII, Honos standing facing, head left, togate, branch in right hand, cornucopia in left; a very attractive coin!; $900.00 (€675.00)

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Bostra, Provincial Arabia
Click for a larger photo The camel was the sacred animal and symbol of Dusares, the main Nabataean god. Camels were sacrificed to him. The Romans made the camel their symbol of Arabia.
SH90321. Silver drachm, Sydenham Caesarea 204; Kindler Bostra pl. VI, 10 ff. var; BMC Galatia p. 54, 65 var (Caesarea, Cappadocia); SNG ANS 1159 var (all var bust), gVF, superb heroic portrait, weight 3.409 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Bostra mint, 112 - 117 A.D.; obverse AVTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANΩ APICTΩ CEB ΓEPM ∆AK, laureate, bare-chest bust right, with slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠA TO ς (COS VI), Bactrian camel, with two humps, walking left on exergual line; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins, extremely rare with this bust; $900.00 (€675.00)

Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.
Click for a larger photo When Larissa ceased minting the federal coins it shared with other Thessalian towns and adopted its own coinage in the late fifth century B.C., it chose local types. The obverse depicted the local fountain nymph Larissa, for whom the town was named, probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse depicted a horse in various poses.
GS68671. Silver drachm, Lorber-Shahar, Early Group 6, head type 25 (O118/R1); SNG Cop -, VF, fine style, well centered, a few marks, lightly etched surfaces, weight 5.483 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, hair floating freely. Small eyes. Round earring and wire choker well above the neck truncation; reverse ΛAPI above, horse grazing right; $810.00 (€607.50)

Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Without control symbols, attribution is made by comparing the fabric and style to attributed examples. We did not find any examples in our references similar enough to confidently identify the mint or date of this coin.
SH90222. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Price 844, Müller Alexander -, Choice aEF, scratch behind Herakles ear, weight 16.884 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, posthumous, c. 310 - 275 B.C.(?); obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, throne with high back, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, no control symbols; ex Savoca Coins (Munich); rare; $600.00 (€450.00)

Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In late October 97 A.D. Nerva adopted Trajan as his son and heir of the Empire. The previous emperor Domitian was a friend of the army and gave no consideration to the Senate, while Nerva was a very old senator. Trajan was perhaps the most popular and successful general of the time. The adoption reversed growing military opposition and brought concord with the army.
RB68481. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II 81, BMCRE III 122, Cohen 32, gVF, weight 14.365 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, radiate head right; reverse CONCORDIA EXERCITVVM S C, clasped hands holding a legionary eagle set on a prow; $570.00 (€427.50)

Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG III
Click for a larger photo This legion was probably Caesar's old III Gallica, which fought for Antony. Another possibility is III Cyrenaica, which was perhaps taken over from Lepidus. The III Augusta was probably an Octavian legion.
RR71035. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/15, Sydenham 1217, BMCRR II East 193, RSC I 28, VF, nice galley, toned, banker's mark, weight 3.321 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow, border of dots; reverse LEG - III, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, border of dots; $500.00 (€375.00) ON RESERVE

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
Click for a larger photo A most desired type with an excellent strike in fantastic condition.
SH65426. Bronze antoninianus, RIC V 904, Choice EF, nice patina, weight 4.002 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 276 - 282 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG, radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, spear in right over shoulder, shield decorated with horseman in left; reverse ADVENTVS PROBI AVG, Probus on horseback left, raising right, scepter in left; scarce; $460.00 (€345.00)

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Catalog current as of Sunday, September 14, 2014.
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Eye Appeal