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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.


City of Constantinople Commemorative, 330 - 331 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.
RL72864. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 530, LRBC I 59, SRCV IV 16444, Cohen VIII 21, Choice EF, weight 2.070 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 330 - 331 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINOPOLIS, laureate and helmeted bust of Constantinopolis left, wearing imperial cloak, scepter over left shoulder; reverse Victory standing left, right foot on prow, scepter in right, resting left on grounded shield, TRS in exergue; $100.00 (88.00)


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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The labarum, was a type of Roman cavalry standard, a vexillum with a military ensign marked with the Christogram (Greek monogram of Christ). It was an object of religious veneration amongst the soldiers, who paid it divine honors.
RL76206. Billon light maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 90, LRBC II 2018, SRCV V 18231, Cohen VII 39, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, nice green patina, weight 3.284 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, 7th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 348 - 15 Mar 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left, globe in right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), emperor standing left, labarum (chi rho Christogram standard) in right, resting left on shield, two kneeling bound captives before him, Γ left, CONSZ* in exergue; $100.00 (88.00)


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

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In 331 A.D., Constantine I vigorously promoted Christianity, confiscating the property and valuables of a number of pagan temples throughout the Empire.
RL72841. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 526 (S), LRBC I 54, SRCV IV 16334, Cohen VII 254, EF, well struck and centered on a tight flan, weight 2.146 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 330 - 331 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, TRP in exergue; $90.00 (79.20)


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

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In early in December 316, to ensure his loyalty, Licinius elevated Aurelius Valerius Valens, the dux limitis (duke of the frontier) in Dacia, to the rank of Augustus. According to Petrus Patricius, when Constantine learned of this, "The emperor made clear the extent of his rage by his facial expression and by the contortion of his body. Almost unable to speak, he said, 'We have not come to this present state of affairs, nor have we fought and triumphed from the ocean till where we have now arrived, just so that we should refuse to have our own brother-in-law as joint ruler because of his abominable behavior, and so that we should deny his close kinship, but accept that vile slave [Valens] with him into imperial college.'" The treaty between Constantine and Licinius was concluded at Serdica on 1 March, 317. Whether it was part of that agreement is unknown, but Licinius had Valens executed.
RL73468. Billon follis, RIC VII Trier 102, SRCV IV 16063, Cohen VII 525, Choice EF, sharp detail, well centered, attractive bust, mintmark weak, weight 3.636 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 225o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 316 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI, Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, T - F flanking at sides, BTR in exergue; $90.00 (79.20)


Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

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Constantine II's younger brother Constans was born in 323. After their father's death, as the oldest son, Constantine II was made Constans' guardian. When the brother's could not agree on their fair shares of the empire, Constantine II invaded Constans' territory. In March or April 340 A.D., Constantine II was ambushed, defeated and killed near Aquileia by Constans' forces.
RL74450. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 4, RIC VII London 287, SRCV V 17149, Cohen VII 10, EF, weight 2.712 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 322 - 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN N C, helmeted and cuirassed bust left; reverse BEAT TRANQLITAS, celestial globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLON in exergue; ex William B. Porter Collection; $90.00 (79.20)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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Virtus is the personification of valor and courage. Valor was, of course, essential for the success of a Roman emperor and Virtus was one of the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult. During his joint reign with his father, Gallienus proved his courage in battle; but his failure to liberate his father from Persian captivity was perceived as cowardice and a disgrace to the Emperor and Empire. It was not, however, actually fear that prevented a rescue. While others mourned Valerian's fate, Gallienus rejoiced in his new sovereignty.
RA77437. Silvered antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1666k, RIC V S612, Cohen V 1245, SRCV III 10403, Choice EF, near full silvering with some luster, excellent centering, parts of legends weak, slight porosity, weight 3.567 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 267 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG, Soldier standing right, spear vertical behind with point up in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, PXV in exergue; $85.00 (74.80)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 278 A.D., Probus defeated the Alamanni, expelled the Franks from Gaul, reorganized the Roman defenses on the Rhine and resettled the Germanic tribes in the devastated provinces. He adopted the titles Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus.
RB64525. Billon antoninianus, Alfldi Siscia V type 23, 49; RIC, part 2, V 666; Cohen VI 163; SRCV 11967, EF, weight 4.546 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, emission 4, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse CONCORDIA MILIT, Probus, on left, standing right, Concordia standing confronted clasping hands, XXIQ in exergue; $80.00 (70.40)


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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Heraclea, the Greek city of Perinthos, later known as Heraclea Thraciea to distinguish it from Heraclea Pontica, is now Marmara Ereglisi in the European part of Turkey. The Roman mint was established by Diocletian shortly before his reform and was in use until the times of Theodosius II. Dates of operation: 291 - 450 A.D. Mint marks: H, HERAC, HERACL, HT, MHT, SMH, SMHT.
RB71753. Billon antoninianus, RIC V part II, 595; SRCV IV 13116; Cohen VI 54; Hunter IV -, Choice EF, much silvering, weight 4.220 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. 292 - 294 A.D.; obverse IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM, Maximianus standing right, in military garb, holding scepter and receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter, standing left, nude but for cloak on shoulder, long scepter vertical in his left hand, A between them, XXI in exergue; $80.00 (70.40)


Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D.

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On 1 March 293, Diocletian and Maximian appointed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesars. This is considered the beginning of the Tetrarchy, known as the Quattuor Principes Mundi ("Four Rulers of the World"). The four Tetrarchs established their capitals close to the Roman frontiers:
- Nicomedia (northwestern Asia Minor) became capital for Diocletian
- Mediolanum (Milan, near the Alps) became the capital for Maximian
- Augusta Treverorum (Trier, in Germany) became the capital for Constantius Chlorus
- Sirmium (Serbia, on the Danube border) became the capital for Galerius

RA71673. Billon antoninianus, RIC VI Cyzicus 306, Cohen VI 33, SRCV IV 12635, EF, well centered, sharp, some silvering, some legend weak, weight 3.947 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 293 - 294 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM, emperor standing right, holding parazonium or short scepter, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter standing left holding long scepter, B in center, XXI in exergue; $80.00 (70.40)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign, or on his return from a distance. They may also refer to his arrival in some other city or province of the empire. At their accession, emperors were not conveyed in a chariot nor in any other vehicle, but went on horseback or on foot when they made their first public entry into the capital of the Roman world.
RB72409. Silvered antoninianus, Cohen VI 37; RIC V, part 2, 157; Pink VI-1, p. 67; SRCV III 11953 var. (bust); Hunter IV 40 var. (3rd officina), aEF, excellent bust, nice centering and strike, some silvering remains, weight 4.163 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, 7th officina, Rome mint, 5th emission, 280 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ADVENTVS AVG, Probus on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, long scepter in left, bound captive seated left in front of horse below raised right foreleg, R wreath Z in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (70.40)




    



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High Grade Ancient Coins