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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Rarities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Rare Roman Coins
Nero and Poppaea, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero| |and| |Poppaea,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
RPC Online I notes, "The date does look like L IB, but the coin is very battered." and "Confirmation required. Poppaea died in AD 65, so it seems unlikely that coins should have been made for her in year 12." This is the Dattari Collection plate coin and Dattari identified it as year 12. In Alexandria, Nero's year 12 began on 29 August 65 A.D. According to Suetonius, one day in the summer of 65, Poppaea quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. She was pregnant with her second child. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. This coin suggests her death was likely on or after the 19th of August. It would have taken 9 days or more for the news of her death to reach Alexandria. This coin may have been a trial strike or perhaps one of very few struck during the first days of the new year.
RX93590. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari-Savio pl. 7, 199 (this coin!); RPC Online I 5289A (this coin!, the only spec.), aVF, brown tone, corrosion, scratches, rough, weight 7.834 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 29 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AYTO, radiate bust of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust of Poppaea right, L IB (year 12) lower right; from the Kreuzer Collection, ex Naville Numismatics auction 51 (21 Jul 2019), lot 301; ex Dattari Collection; this is the only known example of this type dated year 12!; unique!?; $540.00 (€442.80)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Tyre,| |Phoenicia||dichalkon|
Romans refounded Tyre as a colony in 64 B.C., when Pompey annexed Phoenicia to the Roman Empire. Tyre flourished under the Rome and remained a Roman port city, even under the Byzantine Empire, until the 7th century when it was taken by Muslim conquest.
RP96396. Bronze dichalkon, BMC Phoenicia p. 289, 465 var. (murex shell on right); Rouvier -; Baramki AUB -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -, F, rough dark green patina, earthen deposits, weight 16.345 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL TVRO METR, river-god (Adonis?) standing facing, head left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right hand dropping incense on flaming altar at her feet on left, long grounded reed vertical in left hand, murex shell on left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1971 Caesarea Maritima surface find; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; extremely rare; $400.00 (€328.00)
 


Numerian, February or March 283 - October or November 284 A.D.

|Numerian|, |Numerian,| |February| |or| |March| |283| |-| |October| |or| |November| |284| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Consular busts are scarce for this dynasty.
RA93244. Billon antoninianus, Bastien 562 (3 spec. cited), RIC V-2 -, Cohen VI -, SRCV III -, Hunter V -, La Venèra -, Choice aVF, well centered, flow lines, tiny encrustations, scattered light porosity, weight 3.080 g, maximum diameter 22.85 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 6th emission, c. 284 A.D.; obverse IMP C NVMERIANVS AVG, radiate bust wearing imperial mantle right, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse MARS VICTOR (Mars the Victor), Mars advancing right, nude except for helmet and cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over left shoulder in left hand, C in right field; very rare; $370.00 (€303.40)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Apollonia Salbace, Caria

|Other| |Caria|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Apollonia| |Salbace,| |Caria||AE| |30|
This coin is an obverse die match to a coin struck by the neighboring city, Alabanda, Caria, SNG München 464, RPC Online VI T5384. Dies shared by more than one city in the region were first discovered by Konrad Kraft in 1972. Groups of smaller cities in Anatolia shared traveling mints, which would sometimes use the same obverse dies for more than one city.
RP92646. Bronze AE 30, Apparently unpublished; RPC Online -, SNG BnF -, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Caria -, F, porous, turquoise and earthen adhesions, reverse flatly struck, weight 11.787 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, die axis 180o, Apollonia Salbace (Edremit, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AYP CEY AΛEΞAN∆PO-C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CTPA AΓAΘEINOY TOY IH AΠOΛΛΩNIATΩN (strategos Agathinos, son of Hie.(?), Apollonia), Zeus standing slightly left, head left, wearing himation and chlamys, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare, this is the only specimen of the type known to FORVM; $300.00 (€246.00)
 


Otacilia Severa, Augusta, February or March 244 - September or October 249 A.D., Pella, Macedonia

|Pella|, |Otacilia| |Severa,| |Augusta,| |February| |or| |March| |244| |-| |September| |or| |October| |249| |A.D.,| |Pella,| |Macedonia||pentassarion|
Pella is an ancient city located in Central Macedonia, Greece, best known as the historical capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon and birthplace of Alexander the Great.
RP93126. Bronze pentassarion, RPC Online VIII U68748 (4 spec.), Moushmov 6494, Varbanov III 3764 var. (obv. legend, R5), SNG ANS -, BMC Macedonia -, gVF, striking bold portrait, brown patina, small deposits, light marks, central dimple on reverse including circular lathe marks, weight 9.489 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 90o, Pella mint, Feb/Mar 244 - Sep/Oct 249 A.D.; obverse M OTACIIL SEVERA EY (Y upside down), draped, bust right, wearing stephane; reverse COL IVL AVS PELLA, Fortuna seated on ornamented chair left, holding hand to mouth, left arm resting on back of chair; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $240.00 (€196.80)
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Mallos, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Mallos,| |Cilicia||AE| |38|
There were no specimens on Coin Archives, or the many websites we searched. We know of only one other specimen of this type, an ex FORVM coin, RP23043, 21.344g, but only 32.3 mm diameter. SNG Levante 1283 and 1284 were struck with the same obverse die, but the reverse depicts the city goddess Tyche seated on rocks over a river god swimming below.
RP92558. Bronze AE 38, Apparently unpublished; BMC Lycaonia -, SNG Levante -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, Ziegler -, Lindgren -, RPC Online -, et al., aF, green patina, earthen deposits, porosity, spots of corrosion, legends mostly weak or worn, small edge splits, weight 21.520 g, maximum diameter 37.5 mm, die axis 180o, Mallos mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAIC MAPK OΠEΛ CEYHP MAKPEINON CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, countermark behind: S C in a round punch; reverse MAΛ IEP ΠOΛ ΘEOY AMΦIΛOCOY (Mallos holy city of god Amphilokos), Zeus seated half left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; huge 37.5 mm bronze!, from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare; $180.00 (€147.60)
 


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

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||denarius|
Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RS96928. Silver denarius, RIC IV 298 var. (star rev. left), RSC III 535c var. (same), BMCRE VI 1014 var. (same); SRCV II 7926 var. (same), Hunter III -, VF, superb portrait, light toning, flow lines, spotty dark deposits, die wear, off center, flan split/cracks, weight 3.093 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS PVBLICA (health of the public), Salus seated left on throne, feeding snake coiling up from altar from patera in right hand, left elbow resting on throne; Salus without star from Antioch (limited 223 A.D. issue) is missing from all the primary references but we know of a few other specimens from auctions; very rare; $170.00 (€139.40)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Ephesos, Ionia

|Ephesos|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||AE| |25|
Agonistic "urns" or "crowns" were awarded to winners at ancient Greek games, similar to modern trophies. They are called "crowns" because they may have been placed on the head of the victor.
RP95365. Bronze AE 25, Karwiese 1131(a1) (O13/R95); SNG Munchen 260; SNG Hunterian XII 1749; SNG Cop 519; SNGvA 7889; SNG Tub -; BMC Ionia -, gVF, well centered on a broad flan, obverse die wear and minor die breaks, weight 6.759 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, Aug 253 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse AYT K ΠO ΛIKI ΓAΛΛIHNOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse EΦECIΩN A D• NE•Ω•KOPΩN, agonistic urn (prize crown) containing palm fronds, band across the crown is marked EΦECIAI; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $140.00 (€114.80)
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Tyana, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Tyana,| |Cappadocia||AE| |29|
Under Caracalla the city became Antoniana colonia Tyana. After having sided with Queen Zenobia of Palmyra it was captured by Aurelian in 272, who would not allow his soldiers to sack it, allegedly because Apollo appeared to him, pleading for its safety. The ruins of Tyana are at modern Kemerhisar, three miles south of Nigde. There are remains of a Roman aqueduct and sepulchral grottoes.
RP97247. Bronze AE 29, SNGvA 8732, SNG Cop -, BMC Galatia -, Ganschow -, F, mild smoothing, small edge crack, weight 17.290 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tyana (Kemerhisar, Turkey) mint, 212 - 213 A.D.; obverse A KAI M AYP ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right; reverse ANT KOΛΩNIAC, emperor, radiate and togate, globe in extended right hand, plow in left hand, plowing left, marking the pomerium (sacred boundary) to found the new colony, TVANΩN / ET Iς (year 16) in in two lines in the exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 87 (1 Mar 2020), lot 345; this is the first example of this type handled by FORVM; only five sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades, including the Naumann auction for this coin; very rare; $140.00 (€114.80)
 


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Laodicea ad Mar, Seleucia and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Diadumenian,| |Mid| |May| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mar,| |Seleucia| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||AE| |31|
Laodicea ad Mar (Latakia, Syria) has been inhabited since the second millennium B.C. It was on the Via Maris, a coastal road that ran south from Antioch to Damascus and Beirut. The city was renamed by Seleucus I Nicator in honor of his mother, Laodice and was a major port for the Seleukid Kingdom. Laodicea flourished under Rome and was second only to Antioch in the region. Herod the Great, king of Judaea, furnished Laodicea with an aqueduct, the remains of which stand to the east of the town. The Legio VI Ferrata was probably based in Laodicea.
JD97397. Bronze AE 31, Lindgren-Kovacs 2099, BMC Galatia -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Righetti -, aF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, porosity/corrosion, edge split, weight 13.695 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, as caesar, 11 Apr 217 - mid May 218 A.D.; obverse IM M OP ANTONINOS NOB CAES, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right seen from the front; reverse ROMAE FEL, she-wolf right suckling Romulus and Remus; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; very rare; $140.00 (€114.80)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l?Empire Romain. (Paris, 1880 - 1892).
Estiot, S. "L'Or romain entre crise et restitution (270-276 apr. J.-C.). I. Aurélien" in Journal des Savants 1 (1999), pp. 51-148.
Giard, J., P. Besombes & S. Estiot. Monnaies de l'Empire romain. Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998 - ).
Göbl, R., et al. Moneta Imperii Romani. (Vienna, 1984 - present).
Mattingly, H. & E. Sydenham, et al. The Roman Imperial Coinage. (London, 1926 - 2020).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. (London, 1923 - 1963).
Monnaies de l'Empire Romain / Roman Imperial Coinage AD 268-276 (RIC V Online) http://www.ric.mom.fr
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow. (Oxford, 1962 - 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values. (London, 2000 - 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

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