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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Quality ▸ High GradeView Options:  |  |  |     

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.

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 (89.00)

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

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The Emperor was the Pontifex Maximus - the high priest of Rome, president of the colleges of priests, and the superintendent and judge of all matters related to the religion and sacred ceremonies of the Romans, whether in public or private. Coinage was often used to advertise that the pious Emperor was fulfilling his duties to the state and people, performing the sacrifices and ceremonies which, according to the superstitions of their religion, were essential to the welfare of the Roman Empire and Roman people.
RS76516. Silver denarius, RIC IV 81 (S), RSC III 357, BMCRE VI 463, cf. SRCV II 7899 (TR P V), Hunter III -, EF, cameo-like obv. with toned portrait and legend and bright fields, slightly frosty surfaces, somewhat irregular flan, weight 2.803 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, earlier part of 228 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P VII COS II P P, Alexander standing facing, head left, sacrificing from patera in right hand over lit tripod altar, scroll in left hand; scarce; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 280, Proculus, a Roman usurper, started a rebellion at Lugdunum (Lyon, France) and proclaimed himself emperor. Probus suppressed the revolt and Proculus was executed.
RA47769. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 104, Bastien IX 269, aMS, weight 3.473 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, obverse IMP C PROBVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse TEMPOR FELICI, Felicitas standing right holding long caduceus in right and cornucopia inwardly in left, I in exergue; full, solid silvering; $90.00 (80.10)

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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The reverse legend abbreviates Clementia Temporum, which can be translated "a time of peace and calm."
RS65435. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 921, Choice EF, weight 4.138 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), emperor standing right receiving globe from Jupiter standing left holding long scepter behind in left, A in center, XXI in exergue; $90.00 (80.10)

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

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This type with a longer reverse legend CONSER AVGG is attributed to Antioch. All examples with this shorter legend, CONS AVGG, are attributed to Siscia, and were only struck by the second officina.
RA72591. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 275, SRCV IV 12672, Cohen VI 284, Hunter IV -, Choice EF, nice portrait, well centered and struck, near full silvering, some reverse die wear, flan crack, weight 4.202 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 293 - 295 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI ET HERCV CONS AVGG, Jupiter (on left) standing right, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, receiving Victory on globe with right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; Hercules (on right) standing left facing Jupiter, Victory on globe in right his hand is offering wreath to Jupiter, club and lion skin in left hand, B in center above exergue line, XXI in exergue; $90.00 (80.10)

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 (80.10)

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 (80.10)

Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D.

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This type refers to Aurelian's defeat of Zenobia's Palmyrene Empire in the east. The captives wear Parthian caps and are typically attributed as Persians. The real captives were more likely Palmyreans. Typical of Roman propaganda, Zenobia's Sasanian supporters are depicted to glorify Aurelian's victory and mask that this was an internal revolt and civil war.
RA79584. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 1533, RIC V 151, Hunter IV 61, BnF XII 592 - 594, Venra Hoard 5005 - 5064, Thibouville 2213, Gloucester 275, Colonne 604, Komin 826, Choice EF, near full silvering, nice portrait, bold strike, weight 4.079 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 2nd emission, Jun - Sep 274 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ORIENS AVG, Sol advancing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, two bound captives seated flanking at feet, right foot on captive on left, captive on right looking back at Sol, star left, TXXT in exergue; ex Ancient Imports; $90.00 (80.10)

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 (75.65)

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 (71.20)



Catalog current as of Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
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High Grade Ancient Coins