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

Rare Roman Coins
Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 280 B.C.

|before| |211| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Anonymous,| |c.| |280| |B.C.||triens|
The triens (plural trientes) was an Ancient Roman bronze coin produced during the Roman Republic valued at one-third of an as. HUGE 50.5 mm and 83.3 gram bronze!
SH110921. Aes grave (cast) triens, Crawford 14/3 var. (pellets below dolphin); Thurlow-Vecchi 3a var. (same); Haeberlin pl. 39, 15 var. (same); HN Italy 270 var. (same); Sydenham 10, VF, dark green patina, earthen deposits, a few flan flaws, weight 83.342 g, maximum diameter 50.5 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, heavy series, c. 280 B.C.; obverse fulmen (thunderbolt), four pellets (mark of value) divided across field; reverse dolphin swimming right, four pellets (mark of value) above; ex CNG auction 90 (23 May 2012), lot 1278; ex L.C. Aes Grave Collection; this coin is the only specimen on Coin Archives and the only specimen known to FORVM with the pellets above the dolphin, HUGE 50.5 mm and 83.3 gram bronze!; extremely rare variant; $2250.00 SALE PRICE $2025.00


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Delphi, Phokis

|Phokis|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Delphi,| |Phokis||AE| |21|
Delphi is a town on Mount Parnassus in the south of mainland Greece. It's the site of the 4th-century-B.C. Temple of Apollo, once home to a legendary oracle. This extensive mountainside archaeological complex contains the remains of the sanctuaries of Apollo and Athena Pronaia, as well as an ancient stadium and theater. Delphi Archaeological Museum displays artifacts found among the ruins.
RP111645. Bronze AE 21, RPC III 429.6 (this coin, 7 spec.); BCD Lokris 394 (this coin); Svoronos p. 36, 55, pl. XXVII, 13; BMC Central p. 28, 25 pl. IV, 16; SNG Cop 156, VF, nice green patina, light roughness, weight 5.289 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Delphi (Greece) mint, obverse AY KAI TPAIANOC AΔPIANOC AYΓ (Imperator Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus), laureate bust of Hadrian right, bare chest (heroic bust), aegis on left shoulder; reverse ΔΕΛΦΩN, Apollo Citharoedus standing right, wearing long chiton and long chlamys, playing Kithara (lyre); ex Numismatica Ars Classica auction 55 (8 Oct 2010), lot 394 (price realized 1,500 CHF, plus fees); ex BCD Collection ; rare; $1800.00 SALE PRICE $1620.00


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Roman Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Egypt||drachm|
RPC I quotes Walkers surface analysis of Claudius billon at 21 - 26% silver, a significant drop from the 30% silver for those of Tiberius.

The ancients did not all agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. The general impression of the ancients seems to have been that by Serapis, was to be understood the beginning and foundation of things. Julian II consulted the oracle of Apollo for the purpose of learning whether Pluto and Serapis were different gods; and he received for an answer that Jupiter-Serapis and Pluto were one and the same divinity.
SH110653. Billon drachm, RPC I 5136 (4 spec.); BMC Alexandria p. 10, 78; Kampmann 12.25; Emmett 76/3 (R4); Geissen -; Dattari -; SNG Hunterian -, F, dark patina, earthen deposits, scratches, porosity, weight 3.330 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 42 - 43 A.D.; obverse TI KΛ KA CE AY, laureate head right, L Γ (year 3) right; reverse draped bust of Serapis right, kalathos on head; the best of this type known to FORVM; very rare; $1125.00 SALE PRICE $1013.00


Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D.

|Nerva|, |Nerva,| |18| |September| |96| |-| |25| |January| |98| |A.D.||sestertius|
The fiscus Iudaicus was an annual tax imposed on Jews after the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple. The amount was two denarii, equivalent to the one-half of a shekel Jews had previously paid to the Temple of Jerusalem. The tax applied to Jews throughout the empire and, while the tax paid for the Temple of Jerusalem was payable only by adult men between the ages of 20 and 50, the fiscus Iudaicus was imposed on all Jews, including women, children, the elderly, and even Jewish slaves. To add to the humiliation, the tax went to the pagan Temple of Capitoline Jupiter in Rome. Domitian strictly enforced the tax on those who attempted to concealed their identity to avoid the tax. Suetonius relates that an old man of 90 was stripped to see whether he was circumcised and therefore Jewish. This coin commemorates the fisci Iudaici calumnia sublata (abolition of malicious prosecution in connection with the Jewish tax) reforms eliminating the harsh policies of Domitian, but not the tax. It is not known when the tax was formally abolished. Some historians credit the emperor Julian with its abolition in about 361 or 362.
SL111602. Orichalcum sestertius, Hendin 6634b (R), RIC II 82 (S), BMCRE III 105, BnF III 97, Hunter I 45, Cohen II 57, NGC Ch F, 4/5, 1/5 (6155649-001), weight 23.27 g, maximum diameter 34 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse FISCI IVDAICI CALVMNIA SVBLATA, date palm tree (symbol of Judaea), S - C (senatus consulto) across field; ex CNG e-auction 487 (10 Mar 2021), 530; ex Gorny auction 267 (17 Oct 2019), 3624; ex Shlomo Moussaieff Collection (London, acquired between 1948 and 1980s); NGC| Lookup; rare; $520.00 SALE PRICE $468.00


Cornelia Supera, Wife of Aemilian, 253 A.D., Imitative of Parion, Mysia

|Cornelia| |Supera|, |Cornelia| |Supera,| |Wife| |of| |Aemilian,| |253| |A.D.,| |Imitative| |of| |Parion,| |Mysia||AE| |23|
Cornelia Supera is unknown to history, except through her coins. Her coins indicate she was probably the wife of Aemilian.
SL112773. Bronze AE 23, For prototype, cf. RPC Online IX 382 (11 spec.), SNGvA 7448, BMC Mysia -, SNG Cop -, SNG BnF -, NGC Ch F (6827718-003), weight 3.943 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 45o, unofficial mint, 253 A.D.; obverse G CORN SUPERA AVG (or similar), diademed and draped bust right; reverse Capricorn right, cornucopia on back, globe between legs, C G I H P (blundered, Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; NGC| Lookup; very rare; $500.00 SALE PRICE $450.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Nicomedia, Bithynia

|Nikomedia|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Nicomedia,| |Bithynia||AE| |22|
Nicomedia was the Roman metropolis of Bithynia. Diocletian made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system. Nicomedia remained the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Empire until co-emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324. Constantine resided mainly in Nicomedia as his interim capital for the next six years, until in 330 when he declared nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa near Nicomedia in 337. Due to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.
RP112810. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online IV T5599 (3 spec.) var. (laur. head); Rec Gen II.3 74; BMC Pontus p. 182, 17 var. (same); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, F, dark patina, high points and parts of legends weak, light deposits, rev. slightly off center, weight 6.872 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse AVT KAICAP ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse NIKOMHΔEIAC, galley with sail left, NEOKOPOY, in exergue; ex Leu Numismatik auction 25 (11-14 Mar 2023), lot 4116 (part of); ex European collection (formed before 2005); the only specimen known to FORVM with this bust variant; extremely rare; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


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, Phoenicia, 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; $280.00 SALE PRICE $252.00


Roman Syria-Palestina, Jewish, Lead Bulla Seal, 7 Branched Menorah, c. 5th - 6th Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman| |Syria-Palestina,| |Jewish,| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |7| |Branched| |Menorah,| |c.| |5th| |-| |6th| |Century| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
A bulla (plural, bullae) is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place, a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, revealing the tampering. Bullae depicting a menorah are known but very rare and not well documented. Dattari-Savio p. 327, 3 is a 1901 rubbing of a very similar menorah sealing. Michael Still lists two menorah sealings in his thesis on Roman seals, 1696 with a Latin inscription reverse, 1765 with a Hebrew inscription reverse. The recently published catalogue of the Vossen collection by Gert Boersema and Bill Dalzell, has two Menorah seals, numbers 181 and 182, both with blank reverses. There are also a few examples known from auctions. A FORVM member posted a bulla of this exact type from his collection on the Classical Numismatic Discussion on the Forum Ancient Coins website. We received three examples of this type on consignment, all with the same fire damage, suggesting they were found together.
JD98656. Lead bulla (tag seal), VF/Fair, light earthen deposits, raised bumps from exposure to an ancient fire that heated and expanded air bubbles within the lead, c. 5th - 6th century A.D.; obverse seven branched menorah with tripod base; reverse lulav, uncertain Syriac inscription (obscure); very rare; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Antiocheia, Pisidia

|Pisidia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Antiocheia,| |Pisidia||AE| |22|
A temple of Mn has been excavated at Antioch, Pisidia. Luna, the Greek moon-goddess, was female, which seems natural because the female menstrual cycle follows the lunar month. But Mn was a male moon-god, probably originally of the indigenous non-Greek Karian people. By Roman times, Mn was worshiped across Anatolia and in Attica. He was associated with fertility, healing, and punishment. Mn is usually depicted with a crescent moon behind his shoulders, wearing a Phrygian cap, and holding a lance or sword in one hand and a pine-cone or patera in the other. His other attributes include the bucranium and cock.
RP112809. Bronze AE 22, Krzyzanowska IX/10, pl. 8; SNG BnF -; SNG Pfalz -, nice gVF, attractive black patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, weight 5.740 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac, Turkey) mint, regnal year 4, 196 - 197 A.D.; obverse IMP C S-EV PERP AV-G IIII, laureate head of Septimius Severus right; reverse ANTIOCH - COLONIAE, draped bust of Mn right, crescent behind shoulders, wearing Phrygian cap ; ex Leu Numismatik auction 25 (11-14 Mar 2023), lot 4116 (part of); ex European collection (formed before 2005); first specimen of the type handled by FORVM, Coin Archives records only two specimens of the type at auction in the last two decades; very rare; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Akkilaion, Phrygia

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Akkilaion,| |Phrygia||AE| |24|
Accilaeum flourished in the Roman period. It is believed it was located east of Dorylaeum and Midaeum on the Tembris River in northern Phrygia.
RP111939. Bronze AE 24, RPC Online VII.1 675; SNGvA 3364; SNG Righetti 1116; SNG Mun 51; SNG Leypold II 1374; BMC Phrygia p.3, 3; vA Phrygien I 5; Weber 6969, Choice F, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 5.660 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Accilaeum (Cobankaya, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANTΩ ΓOPΔIANO C (Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from front; reverse AKKIΛAEΩN, Nike (Victory) standing left on globe, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; this is the first coin of Accilaeum handled by FORVM; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; very rare; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00




  



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REFERENCES|

Calic, X. The Roman Avrei. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l?Empire Romain. (Paris, 1880 - 1892).
Estiot, S. "L'Or romain entre crise et restitution (270-276 apr. J.-C.). I. Aurlien" in Journal des Savants 1 (1999), pp. 51-148.
Giard, J., P. Besombes & S. Estiot. Monnaies de l'Empire romain. Bibliothque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998 - ).
Gbl, 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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