Okay. This is perplexing. I'll set out the details and others can chip in their two cents' worth.
. This is the plate coin for RIC
905, from Guy Lacam
's massive book on the gold coinage
from the end of the Empire. This is Plate CXLIX, p. 612 of vol
. 2. Kent
's plate is also taken from this book. This is the best scan I can get of this since the actual photo is as wide as a piece of paper and my scanner won't let me reduce scans. Note that this is an early state of the die and the coin itself is in excellent condition with little wear. It is listed in RIC
as R5 (unique).
2. May 2015= and June 2016=. These are two photos of the same coin. They are much larger than the ones Flav V posted. 2015 is Monnaies d'Antan auction
17 lot 395 (23 May 2015) and the other is Numismatik Lanz
162 lot 415 (6 June 2016). d'Antan misidentified the coin as 910, but Lanz
recognized that this was a second specimen of 905—although that detail was lost in editing somehow and the coin was mistakenly listed as 'cf.
3633', which is a western issue—and offered it with an estimate of 3000 € (!; I don't know what they got for it). Note that both coins have what appears to be a pin hole in the left obverse field
that leaves no trace on the reverse
and a small ding between Zeno
's hand and neck, just above the cuirass
(as Flav V noted in his
last post). The obverse
die is at a later state than the Lacam
specimen: you can see the loss of detail in the helmet's crest and there is damage around the V and G. The reverse
die is different from the Lacam
's is a ς; this is an A).
3. March 2017. Again, this is a larger version of the same coin posted above. It was offered in Paoletti & Bernardi
E-Auction 1, Lot 9 (25 Mar
2017). This is the most suspicious of the bunch: its very soft and is very much like #2. It has the same ding just above the cuirass
and what appears to be a test punch from the reverse
out almost exactly where the pin-hole is on #2. The reverse
is from officina
4. June 2020. Again, a larger photo. This is Roma Numismatics
E-Sale 72 lot 1712 (25 June 2020). Here the die is at a slightly later state than #2: less of the crest is visible, the damage around the VG is greater, and the ZE are starting to break down. This specimen, too, has the ding above the cuirass
, although it seems to be fresher than that on #2, and perhaps a little smaller, and you can more clearly see the initial scrape just below the pit. It has the same A officina
as #2 and its die is at a later state as well, as can be seen from the expanding damage at the wing tips, the A, and the B of the mint mark
So what does all this mean? If it weren't for the duplicated ding on #2 and 4, I'd say that they were two new specimens of 905 and that #3 is a cast
of #2 with a different reverse
. But I can't explain the ding. It definitely seems to be a fault of the coin not the die.