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High Grade Ancient Coins

When first introduced to ancient coins, most people are shocked to learn that some coins remain in mint state and even more surprised to learn that they are not all in musuems. Ancient people did not have stocks, bonds mutual funds, or bank accounts. The primary implement for holding wealth was coins, often buried, and often buried in uncirculated or mint state condition. If an owner died without recovering their coins or telling an heir where to find them, they were lost. Millions of ancient coins have been recovered, and thousands have been found in superb condition.


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POP ROM dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RL77103. Billon follis, RIC VI Treveri 845b, Hunter V 5, SRCV IV 15191, Cohen VII 53, Choice EF, near perfect full circles strike, slight die wear, tiny edge crack, weight 4.217 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 310 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, T F at sides, PTR in exergue; $95.00 (80.75)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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Most references describe this bust as laureate and cuirassed. Hunter V breaks from tradition and correctly recognizes that the loop on the left shoulder indicates drapery, the paludamentum. To avoid confusion, we use the traditional description omitting "draped" from the description.
RL77105. Billon follis, RIC VI Londinium 209c, Hunter V 1, SRCV IV 15183, Cohen VII 53, Choice gVF, excellent portrait, well centered, green patina with coppery high spot on obverse, some reverse die wear, weight 4.183 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star right, PLN in exergue; $95.00 (80.75)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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This coin refers Constantine's victory in the Sarmatian war in 322 A.D. According to Zosimus (lib. 2), Constantine routed the Sarmatae and drove them back beyond the Danube where they rallied to renew the fight. He defeated them and again put them to flight, taking a great number of prisoners. Their king, Rausimodus, was left among the slain.
RL84285. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 65 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Trier 435, Cohen VII 487, SRCV IV 16284, aEF, well centered and struck, light porosity, edge split and edge crack, weight 2.792 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse SARMATIA DEVICTA (Samartia vanquished), Victory advancing right, treading on captive with left foot, trophy in right hand, palm frond in left hand, STR crescent in exergue; $95.00 (80.75)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101 - 106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town reached its peak during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty.
RP65521. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.26.54.24, AMNG I/I 2039, Varbanov I 3849, cf. BMC Thrace p. 51, 68 ff. (larger, bust, inscription arrangement), SNG Cop -, aEF, weight 2.273 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AY K M AYΠ ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse NI/KOΠ/OΛITΩN / ΠPOC IC/TPON, inscription in five lines within laurel wreath; ex Helios Numismatik auction 7, lot 464; $90.00 (76.50)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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This coin was dedicated to Jupiter, the defender, probably to ask for protection the emperor in his war against the Persians. As Jupiter was the king of the gods, he took more interest in kings and emperors than the common man.
RS75198. Silver denarius, RIC IV 238, RSC III 83, BMCRE VI 824, Hunter III 71, SRCV II 7871, EF, nice portrait, some reverse die wear, short flan crack, weight 3.238 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, with a short neatly trimmed beard, seen from the front; reverse IOVI PROPVGNATORI (Jupiter the Defender), Jupiter standing left in fighting attitude, head right, nude but for cloak flying behind, hurling thunderbolt with right, eagle in extended left hand; $90.00 (76.50)


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

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Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. The date 25 December was selected for Christmas to replace the popular Roman festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."
RS76202. Silver denarius, RIC IV 111, RSC IV 39, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, toned, porous, light marks, weight 3.115 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 1 Jan 241 - Jul 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse AETERNITATI AVG, Sol standing slightly right, radiate head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand; $90.00 (76.50)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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Constantine is best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor. He reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian, and issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious toleration throughout the empire. He is listed as a saint by the Orthodox Church. Although he is not a Catholic saint, he is revered under the title "The Great" for his contributions to Christianity.
RL77104. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 310, Bastien XI 526, SRCV IV 16065, Cohen VII 536, Hunter V -, Choice EF, excellent centering, good strike, sharp portrait, weight 4.408 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 309 - 310 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, celestial globe in extended left, F left, T right, PLC in exergue; $90.00 (76.50)


City of Rome Commemorative, 332 - 333 A.D.

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On 11 May 330, Constantine I refounded Byzantium, renamed it Constantinopolis after himself, and moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to his new city. The new capital was Christian, old gods and traditions were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostles on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. Generations later there was the story that a divine vision led Constantine to this spot. The capital would often be compared to the 'old' Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana, the "New Rome of Constantinople." Special commemorative coins were issued with types for both Rome and Constantinople to advertise the importance of the new capital.
RL79233. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 542, LRBC I 65, SRCV IV 16488, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 1 var. (1st officina), Choice EF, perfect centering, reverse strike slightly weak, light porosity, weight 2.704 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 332 - 333 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, two stars above, TRS in exergue; $90.00 (76.50)


Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.

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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79320. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 552 (R3), LRBC I 75, SRCV V 1834, Cohen VII 77, EF, excellent portrait, centered on a tight flan cutting off tops of letters on part of the reverse legend, some mint luster, edge crack, weight 2.277 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 333 - 334 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking two standards and wreath in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, TRP in exergue; rare; $90.00 (76.50)


Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.

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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79321. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 552 (R4), LRBC I 75, SRCV V 1834, Cohen VII 77, EF, dark near black surfaces with some mint luster, areas of light porosity, reverse slightly off center on a tight flan, some die wear, weight 2.656 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 333 - 334 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking two standards and wreath in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, TRS in exergue; very rare; $90.00 (76.50)




    



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High Grade Ancient Coins