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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.


Carinus, First Half of 283 - Spring 285 A.D.

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A sum of Greek numerals E (5) and ∆ (4) is used to indicate the 9th officina in order to avoid using Θ (9). Because they sound alike, theta (Θ) was associated with Thanatos, the daemon personification of death. Theta used as a warning symbol of death, in the same way that skull and crossbones are used in modern times. It survives on potsherds used by Athenians voting for the death penalty. Also, after a funeral "Nine Days of Sorrow," were solemnly observed by the family. Romans avoided the use of theta, as we avoid the use of the number 13 today.
RA84211. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 325; Cohen VI 184; SRCV III 12362; Pink VI/2, p. 52; Hunter IV -, aEF, much silvering, well centered and struck on a tight flan, weight 3.684 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 4th emission, May - June 284 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Emperor standing right, short scepter in left hand, facing Jupiter (or Numerian) on right, standing left, with right hand offering Victory on globe, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, E∆ in lower center, XXI in exergue; $90.00 (76.50)


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.
RL84284. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 63 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Trier 435, Cohen VII 487, SRCV IV 16284, Choice EF, well centered and struck, traces of silvering, edge cracks, some die wear, weight 3.199 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st 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, PTR crescent in exergue; $90.00 (76.50)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 281 A.D., Probus returned to Rome, where he celebrated his triumph over the Vandals and the usurpers (Bonosus, Julius Saturninus and Proculus).
RA72830. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 215; Cohen VI 739; Hunter IV 54 var. (IMP...); SRCV III 1205 var. (obv. legend and bust); Pink VI-1, pp. 57 - 58, aEF, excellent centering, most silvering remaining, light corrosion, weight 3.956 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Rome mint, emission 6, 281 A.D.; obverse PROBVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory walking left, raising wreath in extended right hand, trophy of arms in left hand, R thunderbolt ς in exergue; $85.00 (72.25)


Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D.

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In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RA73892. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 212, Bastien IX 533, Pink VI-2 p. 22, Cohen VI 8, SRCV III 12339, gVF, nice portrait, well struck, some silvering, weight 3.774 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 283 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AEQVITAS AVGG (equity of the two emperors), Aequitas standing slightly left, scales in right hand, scepter in left hand, A (1st officina) right; ex Harlan J. Berk; $85.00 (72.25)


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.
SH62614. Silvered antoninianus, Alfldi Siscia V type 96, n 79; RIC V-2 811 var. (bust type), EF, sharp, near full silvering and centering, weight 3.665 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 180o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 278 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), Mars walking right, nude but for cloak flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over shoulder in left, XXIVI in exergue; $80.00 (68.00)


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

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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79129. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 244 (R2), LRBC I 187, SRCV V 17318, Cohen VII 122, Choice EF, perfect centering, some luster, dark patina, weight 2.663 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 225o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 331 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate 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, PLG in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (68.00)


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.
RL79185. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V 1 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Trier 530, LRBC I 59, SRCV IV 16444, Cohen VII 22, Choice EF, broad flan, weight 2.277 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st 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 hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, TRP in exergue; $80.00 (68.00)


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.
RL79229. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 542, LRBC I 65, SRCV IV 16488, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V 1 var. (1st officina), Choice EF, full circles strike on a broad flan, porosity, small edge split, weight 2.689 g, maximum diameter 19.0 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; $80.00 (68.00)


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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In the 12th century, Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that Constantine's mother Helena was a Briton, the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole's daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess.
RL79452. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17500 ff. (various mintmarks), EF, nice sharp portrait, attractive glossy green patina, tight flan, edge cracks, areas of slight porosity, weight 1.271 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, [...]TR[...] in exergue; $80.00 (68.00)


Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.

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On 20 May 325, Constantine I summoned an ecumenical council of bishops in Nicaea (the First Council of Nicaea). The Nicene Creed declares that the members of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) are equal. The council also decided that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the 21st of March.
RL84296. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 452, LRBC I 16, Cohen VII 125, SRCV IV 16792, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, some silvering, slightly clashed reverse die, weight 3.590 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), campgate with two turrets, no door, star above, PTR in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (68.00)




    



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High Grade Ancient Coins