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Dates of operation: c. 289 - 40 B.C. and 20 B.C. - 476 A.D. Mintmarks: R, RM, ROM, ROMA, ROMOB, VRB ROM, SMR.
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.
The name Ostia was derived from the Latin "ostium" - river mouth. At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport. Construction of the port facilities began under Claudius and was likely completed just before this sestertius was struck in 64 A.D. Trajan and Hadrian expanded the facilities. The port was abandoned due to silting and now lies 3 km from the sea. The site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics.SH86120. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC I 178, BMCRE I 131, Cohen I 37, Mac Dowall WCN 120, BnF I -, VF, well centered, nice portrait, near black patina, scratches on obverse lower right field, some porosity and tiny pitting, weight 26.031 g, maximum diameter 34.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 64 A.D.; obverseNEROCLAVDCAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust right, wearing aegis; reverse AVGVSTI above, S - C divided by POR OST below, bird's-eye view Ostia harbor: pharos lighthouse with Neptune statue on top at far side center; crescent-shaped pier with building and figure sacrificing at far end, crescent-shaped row of breakwaters or slips on right with figure seated on rock at far end, 7 ships within port; river god Tiber reclining left holding rudder and dolphin below; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 195 (7 Mar 2011), lot 405; $4210.00 (€3578.50)
Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.
In Feb 44 B.C. the senate named Julius Caesardictator for life. Fearing that he wished to become king, on the 15th of Mar, 63 senators assassinated him with their knives. His assassination plunged the Roman Republic into 17 years of civil war, after which it would re-emerge as the Roman Empire.SH82705. Silver denarius, Alföldi Caesar, type III, 115 (this coin); BMCRRRome 4147 (also I); Crawford 480/3; RSC I 34; Sydenham 1056; Sear Imperators 100; RBW 1678 (H) , gVF, toned, banker’s mark on obverse, areas of flat strike, attractive deep old cabinet toning, with hints of iridescence around the devices, weight 3.607 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, moneyer M. Mettius, Jan - Feb 44 B.C.; obverseCAESAR·IMP, wreathed head of Caesar right, cymbium (boat shaped cup used as a wine ladle) and lituus (augural wand) behind; reverse M METTIVS, Venus standing left, Victory in her extended right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, resting left elbow on shield which rests on globe, I (control letter) in lower left field; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 23 (9 Jan 2016), lot 376; ex Andrew McCabe Collection; ex CNG e-auction 237 (21 July 2010), lot 344; ex Professor L Fontana Collection; rare; $2000.00 (€1700.00)
Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.
The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.SH86121. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC I 37, BMCRE I 38, Cohen I 24, BnF II 50, Hunter I 15, SRCV I -, Choice VF, Tiberpatina, centered and struck, attractive young portrait, some marks and corrosion, weight 26.709 g, maximum diameter 33.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVSPON MTR POT, laureate head left; reverseS P Q R / P P / OB CIVES / SERVATOS in four lines within Corona Civica oak wreath; rare; $1740.00 (€1479.00)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.
Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honorAugustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity. SH82657. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC I 330, Cohen I 271, BnF I 417, Mac Dowall WCN 163, Hunter I 100, SRCV I -, BMCRE I –, gVF, excellent portrait, finestyle, dark green and brown patina, some corrosion, gently smoothed, weight 24.425 g, maximum diameter 34.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 66 A.D.; obverse IMP NEROCLAVDCAESAR AVG GER P M TR P P P, laureate head left with light beard; reverseRoma seated left on cuirass, one round and one oblong shield behind, wearing crested helmet, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, Victory offering wreath in Roma's extended right hand, her left hand rests on parazonium, ROMA in exergue, S - C (senatus consulto) at sides; Numismatica Ars Classica, auction 94 (6 October 2016), lot 127; ex Classical Numismatic Group 783132 ($1750); $1570.00 (€1334.50)
Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D.
The double sestertius, easily distinguished by its radiate crown, was also issued by Gallienus and especially by Postumus. This raredenomination, equal in value to the obsolete silver quinarius, was introduced with this issue. The c. 4g brass "semis" introduced at the same time, may well have been a "reduced as" half of the c. 8.5 gram dupondius, one quarter of the c. 17 g sestertius, and one eighth of this coin. Completing the sub-antoninianus denominations, a rare, small, silver coin of c. 1.6 g was a denarius. SH82658. Orichalcumdouble sestertius, RIC IV 115c & pl. 12, 16 (R); Cohen V 40 (30 fr.); Hunter III 46 & pl. 78; SRCV III 9395, gVF, attractively centered on a full flan, green and brown surfaces, minor roughness, small areas of light smoothing , closed flan crack at obv. 7:00, weight 37.403 g, maximum diameter 37.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 3rd emission, 250 A.D.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseFELICITAS SAECVLI (age of good fortune), Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, long caduceus grounded and vertical in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C flanking across field; ex CNG e-auction 410 (29 Nov 2017), lot 379; $1440.00 (€1224.00)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.
Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honorAugustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity. SH83947. Silver denarius, RIC I 55 (R), BMCRE I 83; RSC II 257, Hunter I 19, BnF II 224, Mac Dowall WCN 59, SRCV I 1944, Nice VF, excellent portrait, attractive toning, light bumps and scratches, areas of mild porosity, weight 3.281 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 65 - 66 A.D.; obverseNEROCAESARAVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverseRoma seated left on cuirass, shields and grieve, helmeted, right leg drawn back and right foot on helmet, Victory offering wreath in her right hand, left hand on parazonium, ROMA in exergue; ex Münzen & Medaillen auction 46 (15 Feb 2018), lot 700; ex Forum (2017); $1000.00 (€850.00)
Didius Julianus, 28 March - 2 June 193 A.D.
193 A.D. - The Year of Five Emperors. On 1 January, the Senate selected Pertinax, against his will, to succeed the late Commodus as Emperor. The Praetorian Guard assassinated him on 28 March and auctioned the throne to the highest bidder, Didius Julianus, who offered 300 million sesterces. Outraged by the Praetorians, legions in Illyricum select Septimius Severus as emperor; in Britannia the legions select their governor Clodius Albinus, and in Syria the legions select their governor Pescennius Niger. On 1 June Septimius Severus entered the capital, put Julianus put to death and replaced the Praetorian Guard with his own troops. Clodius Albinus allied with Severus and accepted the title of Caesar. Pescennius Niger was defeated, killed and his head displayed in RomeSH86628. Orichalcumsestertius, RIC VI 14 (R), BMCRE V 20, Hunter III 8, Cohen III 3, Cayon III 1, SRCV II 6075, nice F, attractive portrait for grade, legends not fully struck, encrustations on reverse, edge crack, weight 19.044 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 28 Mar - 2 Jun 193 A.D.; obverseIMP CAES M DID SEVER IVLIAN AVG, laureate head right; reverseCONCORD MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), Concordia Militum standing half left, head left, legionary aquila (eagle) standard in right hand, signumstandard in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field below center; rare; $970.00 (€824.50)
Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D.
Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Diadumenian, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.SH82699. Silver denarius, RSC III 21b; RIC IV 117; SRCV II 7450; BMCRE V, p. 510, 93 var. (from front) and 94 var. (no cuirass); Hunter III 4 var. (no cuirass), Choice EF, excellent portrait, translucent look drapery, light rose tone on luster, excellent centering and strike, tiny edge cracks, but for slight obv. double strike it would be FDC, weight 3.000 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, as caesar, Jan - May 218 A.D.; obverse M OPEL ANT DIADVMENIAN CAES, bare-headed, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseSPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes advancing left, flower in right hand, raising skirt with left hand; $800.00 (€680.00)
Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.
Vitellius' children, portrayed on this denarius, thought to have been named VitelliusGermanicus and Vitellia, were born to his second wife, Galeria Fundana. When Vitellius was made emperor by the senate, his son, who was about six years old, was sent to Lugdunum to meet him upon his arrival from Germany. The boy may have perished with his father, others say he was executed in 70, on orders of the praetorian prefect Licinius Mucianus. Vespasian arranged an excellent marriage for Vitellius' daughter and provided her with a wedding gown and dowry. Vitellius had another son, Petronianus, by his first wife. He died long before Vitellius became emperor. It was widely believed that Vitellius had poisoned him. SH86480. Silver denarius, RIC I 103, RSC II 2, BMCRE I 29, BnF III 62, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, F, toned, tight flan, obverse slightly off center, scratches, weight 3.090 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, late Apr - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVSGERM IMP AVGVST TR P, laureate head right; reverseLIBERI IMP GERM AVG, confronted draped busts of Vitellius' son (on left) and daughter (thought to have been named VitelliusGermanicus and Vitellia); very rare; $720.00 (€612.00)
Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.
From 114 to 117 A.D. the Jews of Cyprus revolted and massacred gentiles in great numbers. After the uprising was put down, every known Jew in Cyprus was killed and a law was passed forbidding any Jew, even from a shipwreck, to set foot on the island. Nevertheless Jewish residents remained on the island and in 610 A.D. they were sufficiently numerous to participate in an insurrection against Heraclius. In 646, and again in 1154, Cyprus was devastated by Arabs.RB86780. Orichalcumsestertius, Woytek 534v, RIC II 672, BMCRE III 1023, Hunter II 375, Cohen II 352, Banti 106, SRCV II 3192, BnF IV -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, nice portrait, brown tone, nice surfaces, minor bump on cheek, weight 24.276 g, maximum diameter 34.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, winter 114 - early 116 A.D.; obverseIMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC P M TR PCOS VI P P, laureate and draped bust right; reverseSENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS, Felicitas standing slightly left, head left, caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $700.00 (€595.00)