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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Geography||View Options:  |  |  |   

Geography

Every ancient coin is associated with a place, at the least where it was minted. Rarely, but occasionally, we learn where a coin was found. Many ancient coins depict the personification of a nation, province, city, or river. Every coin has some tie to geography. Of course collecting every coin is not a theme, so geography must be narrowed down in some way. Collecting the coins of one mint, city or region is popular. Hadrian's famous "travel series" would make an excellent geography theme collection. Another is the travels of Paul. Or you could collect coins from all places you simply find captivating.

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

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.|, |aureus|
The rabbit on the reverse is in reference to the Roman province of Hispania Baetica and the issue is an appeal for the aid of the gods as during Hadrian's first travels around the empire, leaving Rome in 121. On this example, Minerva is shown in her "peace-giving" aspect versus her more often seen guise of war.
SH34690. Gold aureus, Calico 1309 var. (obv legend break), RIC II 70 var. (same plus portrait and spear vice scepter); BMCRE III 117 - 118 var. (same); SRCV II -, VF, some circulation marks, weight 7.129 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 119 - 122 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HA-DRIANVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right from behind; reverse P M TR P COS III, Minerva standing facing, helmeted head left, long scepter in left hand, right hand pointing to Spanish olive tree on left, rabbit right at the base of the tree; ex Munzhandlung Basel, 6 March 1936 (Dr. H St. S & Prince Waldeck); very rare; SOLD


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

|Claudius|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.|, |aureus|
Nice early portrait of Claudius. Claudius inherited a nearly bankrupt treasury from his nephew Caligula. A large gold statue of Caligula was probably melted to provided the gold for Claudius' first issue of aureii.
SH33184. Gold aureus, SRCV I 1831, RIC I 15, Cohen 34, BMCRE I 16, BnF II 30, VF, weight 7.644 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P, head right wearing oak wreath; reverse EX S C OB CIVES SERVATOS within Corona Civica, an oak wreath awarded "for saving the lives of citizens"; impressive portrait and attractive reddish tone, similar to that of the Boscoreale Hoard found near Pompeii, small spot of rim filing at 2:00, a few small scratches and dings; rare (R2); SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Ptolemy I, Satrap of Egypt, 323 - 305 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Ptolemy| |I,| |Satrap| |of| |Egypt,| |323| |-| |305| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great|, |stater|
In 332 B.C., Alexander the Great marched into Egypt, where he was regarded as a liberator and crowned pharaoh in the Temple of Ptah at Memphis. On either 10 or 11 June 323 B.C., Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, in Babylon, at age 32. While Alexander's funeral cortege was on its way to Macedonia, Ptolemy I stole Alexander's body and carried it to the heart of the Temple of Ptah, where he had him embalmed by the priests. Alexander's body was laid in a gold anthropoid sarcophagus that was filled with honey, which was in turn placed in a gold casket. Ptolemy claimed that the king himself had officially expressed a desire to be buried in Egypt. More likely, he was motivated by the custom that kings in Macedon asserted their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Ptolemy II later transferred Alexander's sarcophagus to Alexandria, where a royal tomb was constructed. Ptolemy X Alexander replaced Alexander's gold sarcophagus and casket with glass and stuck coins with the gold. The exact location of Alexander's tomb has been lost.
SH68257. Gold stater, Svoronos 11, Price 3975, Müller Alexander 6, SNG Cop 643, EF, weight 8.554 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Egypt, Memphis mint, reign of Philip III, c. 323 - 316 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake, hair in ringlets; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Nike standing left, wreath in right hand, stylus in left, thunderbolt left, small ∆I at feet on left; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 215, lot 775; SOLD


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

|Claudius|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.|, |denarius|
The reverse inscription abbreviates Senatus Populusque Romanus Ob Cives Servatos, meaning "[Awarded by] the senate and the Roman people for saving citizens." 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.
SH76407. Silver denarius, RIC I 41 (R2), RSC II 87, BMCRE I 45, BnF II 59, Hunter I 16, SRCV I 1848, aEF, nice portrait, some die wear, nice surfaces with some light marks and areas of mild porosity, weight 3.745 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 270o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 46 - 47 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P VI IMP XI, laureate head right; reverse S P Q R / OB / C S in three lines within the Corona Civica, an oak wreath awarded "for saving the lives of citizens"; from the Jeff Michniak Collection, the first example of this type handled by Forum; very rare; SOLD


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
"At the mouth of the Tiber River, Ostia was Rome's seaport. Ostia means mouth in Latin. This coin was issued to commemorate the completion of an artificial harbor at Ostia, begun under Claudius in 42 A.D. and completed under Nero in 64 A.D.

The earliest known post-diaspora house-synagogue was at Ostia. In 387, St. Augustine stayed in Ostia with his mother, who died there.

Ostia began to decline in the Severan period. By the Constantine Dynasty, Portus was the main port for Rome. Earthquake damage at Ostia was left uncleared. At the end of the fifth century the aqueduct stopped functioning. In 537 with the area under attack from the Goths, the remaining inhabitants retreated to the theater, which they turned into a little fortress. Early in the ninth century Ostia was captured by the Saracens and abandoned.

Ostian marble was reused in the cathedrals of Pisa, Florence, Amalfi and Orvieto. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was entirely built of material from Ostia. Despite all this, Ostia today is known for its well preserved ruins and magnificent frescos.
SH32118. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 440, BMCRE I 323, Mac Dowall WCN 420, Cohen I 251, BnF II 75, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, Choice VF, pourous surfaces, weight 24.599 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head right, globe at point of bust; reverse bird's eye view of the Port of Ostia, eight ships in the harbor, statue of Neptune on lighthouse at top, river-god Tiber reclining holding rudder and dolphin below, all flanked by colonnade ending in temple on left and boat slips on right, S - C above, PORT AVG below; nice portrait, ex Stack's Coin Galleries; rare and historic; SOLD


Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D.

|Tiberius|, |Tiberius,| |19| |August| |14| |-| |16| |March| |37| |A.D.|, |aureus|
The "Gold Tribute Penny." The Gospel of Thomas 100:1-4 (excluded from the New Testament) tells a slightly different version of the "Tribute Penny" story.."They showed Jesus a gold (coin) and said to him:  Caesar’s agents demand taxes from us.  He said to them:  Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar; give to God what belongs to God, and give to me what is mine."
SH43071. Gold aureus, Giard Lyon, group 1, 143; RIC I 25 (R2); BMCRE I 30; SRCV I 1760; Calico 305d (S.1); Cohen 15; SRCV I 1760, aVF, nicely centered, weight 7.523 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, early 'plain' fine style, c. 15 - 18 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF MAXIM (high priest), Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with plain legs set on base, long scepter vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, no footstool; rare (R2); SOLD


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.|, |sestertius|
A decursio was a military exercise, by which Roman soldiers were taught to make long marches in a given time, under arms and without quitting their ranks. They sometimes consisted of a mock fight between two divisions. Augustus and subsequently Hadrian ordered that the infantry and cavalry were to march out three times a month ten miles from the camp and ten miles back, fully armed and equipped. Decursio on this coin probably refers Nero's participation in mock military maneuvers in the circus.
SH38174. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 436, Mac Dowall WCN 418, BMCRE I 312 ff., gVF, weight 27.255 g, maximum diameter 37.1 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust right, globe at point of bust; reverse DECVRSIO (in exergue), Nero and a companion on horseback prancing right, Nero holds spear in right hand, companion holds vexillum in right over shoulder, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; superb portrait; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Germanicus Reverse

|Caligula|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Germanicus| |Reverse|, |denarius|
Issued under Caligula in honor of his deceased father. Germanicus inflicted serious defeats on the barbarian tribes in Germania and recovered the legionary standards lost by Varus. He was to be Tiberius' successor but died of an unknown cause. His tremendous popularity helped his son Caligula obtain the throne after Tiberius died.
SH37588. Silver denarius, RIC I 18, BnF II 28, BMCRE I 19, RSC I 2, SRCV I 1813 var, gVF, surface roughness, weight 3.313 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, struck under Caligula, 37 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR POT, laureate head of Caligula right; reverse GERMANICVS CAES P C CAES AVG GERM, bare head of Germanicus right; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C.

|Cleopatra| |VII|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |VII| |Thea| |Philopator,| |51| |-| |30| |B.C.|, |diobol|
Cleopatra VII originally shared power with her father Ptolemy XII and later with her brother-husbands Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. Her relationship with Julius Caesar led to sole rule. After Caesar's assassination, she aligned with Mark Antony. Her reign marks the end of the Hellenistic Era and the beginning of the Roman Era. She was the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.
SH91436. Bronze diobol, Svoronos 1871; Weiser 183; Noeske 380; SNG Cop 419; SNG Milan 428; BMC Ptolemies p. 123, 4; Hosking 166 (obol); Malter 284; SGCV II 7955, Choice VF, well centered, attractive red-brown toning, a little weakness in strike, weight 19.907 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 50 - 31 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra right, with characteristic melon coif hairstyle; reverse KΛEOΠATPAΣ BACIΛICCHC (Queen Cleopatra), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, cornucopia left, Π (80 drachms) right; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |IV| |Philopator,| |221| |-| |204| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
An apparently unique tetradrachm with the Akko mintmark and the two letters perhaps associated with Sosibius, advisor to Ptolemy IV.

Ptolemy IV's surname Philopator means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.
SH64462. Silver tetradrachm, unpublished, cf. Svoronos 786 (Ptolemy II, different monogram), SNG Milan -, SNG Cop -; BMC Ptolemies -, Noeske -, Hosking -, VF, weight 13.792 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Galilee, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 205 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, ΠTο monogram at left, retrograde ΣΩ right; perhaps unique; SOLD




  




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