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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Quality>EyeAppeal PAGE 1/7«««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!

Syracuse, Sicily, Second Republic, 466 - 405 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Following Heron's death, democracy was restored in 466 B.C. Similar to at Athens, the polis was governed by a council and popular assembly with an executive consisting of elected generals or strategoi. Syracuse fought against Athens 427 - 424 B.C. and again 415 - 413 B.C.; ultimately Syracuse was victorious. With further reforms by Diocles, the democratic nature of Syracuse's political structure was further strengthened.
SH70877. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer 509 (V268/R362), SNG ANS 162 (same dies), VF, attractive Arethusa, obverse die worn, edge flaw, weight 16.852 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 460 - 450 B.C.; obverse charioteer driving slow quadriga right, reins in both hands, Nike flying right above crowning horses, ketos swimming right in exergue; reverse ΣYPAKOΣON, diademed head of Arethusa right, hair rolled and tucked under diadem, wearing earring and necklace, four dolphins swimming around clockwise; $2250.00 (€1687.50)

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)

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 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)

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)

Kamarina, Sicily, c. 420 - 410 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GB69171. Bronze onkia, Calciati vol III, p. 47, 7 (same dies); Westermark-Jenkins 180; BMC Sicily p. 40, 41 var (A rev right); SNG Mün 414 var (no kernel); HGC 2 552 (R1), EF, light cleaning scratches, weight 1.295 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kamarina mint, c. 420 - 410 B.C.; obverse gorgoneion, tongue not protruding, smooth neat hair tied with ribbon, symmetrical locks on forehead; reverse KAMA, owl standing right, head facing, lizard in left claw, barley kernel (control symbol) right, pellet in exergue; $450.00 (€337.50)

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Ptolemy IV's surname, Philopator, means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.
SH70924. Bronze drachm, Svoronos 1125; Noeske 140 ff.; SNG Cop 199; Weiser 49 (Ptolemy II, 253 - 249 B.C.); BMC Ptolemies p. 57, 106 ff. (Ptolemy III); Hosking -, VF, weight 70.894 g, maximum diameter 41.9 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, ∆I between eagle's legs; a massive 71 gram Ptolemaic bronze!; $450.00 (€337.50)

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Catalog current as of Wednesday, September 03, 2014.
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Eye Appeal