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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Quality| ▸ |Eye Appeal||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coin Eye Appeal

The most important factor in determining the |price| of a coin is eye appeal. One coin of the exact same type as another can be priced ten times higher or more. So, what is this eye appeal?

It is beauty. . . It is classical fine art. . . It is a masterpiece portrait. . . It is sculptural high relief. . . It is a choice strike. . . It is a gem patina. . . It is Celtic abstraction. . .

It is . . . on this page!

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

|Nerva|, |Nerva,| |18| |September| |96| |-| |25| |January| |98| |A.D.||denarius|
In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
SL113464. Silver denarius, RIC II 13, RSC II 6, BnF III 13, BMCRE III 24, Hunter I 9, SRCV II -, NGC Ch AU, strike 4/5, surface 5/5 (2400906-010), weight 3.32 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse AEQVITAS AVGVST (fairness of the emperor), Aequitas standing half left, head left, wearing stephane, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 20 Dec 2010, $2140); NGC| Lookup; $2000.00 SALE PRICE $1800.00


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

|Antoninus| |Pius|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Liberalitas coin types attest to occasions when the emperor has displayed his generosity towards the people by a distribution to them of money, provisions, or both. The first mention of Liberalitas was on coins of Hadrian. It was a type frequently repeated by the succeeding emperors. Indeed these instances of imperial generosity are more carefully recorded on coins than they are by history. Liberality is personified by the image of a woman, holding in one hand a counting board, or square tablet with a handle on which are cut a certain number of holes. These boards were used to quickly count the proper number of coins or other items for distribution to each person. In the other hand she holds a cornucopia, to indicate the prosperity of the state and the abundance of wheat contained in the public granaries.
SL113467. Silver denarius, RIC III 237 (R); RSC II 518; BMCRE IV p. 119, 821; Strack III 273; Hunter II -; SRCV II -, NGC Ch MS, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (2400906-011), weight 3.35 g, maximum diameter 18 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 153 - 154 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVII, laureate bust right; reverse LIBERALITAS VII COS IIII, Antoninus standing slightly left, bare head (with recognizable portrait!) left, togate, coin counting board in right hand, roll in left hand; from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 20 Dec 2010, $1650); NGC| Lookup; rare; $1650.00 SALE PRICE $1485.00


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D.

|Lucius| |Verus|, |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
In 162, Lucius Verus began war with the Parthians after Vologases IV invaded Syria and Armenia. The Romans would be victorious but the returning army would bring back a pandemic known as the Antonine Plague. The plague would significantly depopulate the entire Roman Empire.
SL113468. Silver denarius, RIC III p. 253, 482; RSC II 155; BMCRE IV p. 412, 202; Hunter II p. 368, 7; cf. SRCV II 5354 (TR P III), NGC Ch AU, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (3989805-005), weight 2.88 g, maximum diameter 17 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Dec 161 - Dec 162 A.D.; obverse IMP L AVREL VERVS AVG, bare head right; reverse PROV DEOR TR P II COS II, Providentia standing facing, head left, globe in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 21 Mar 2016, $995); NGC| Lookup; $980.00 SALE PRICE $882.00


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.

|Domitian|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.||denarius|
In 94 A.D., Domitian rebuilt and rededicated the Curia Julia, the meeting place of the Roman Senate, which had burned down in 64. Construction began in 44 B.C. but was interrupted by Caesar's assassination at the Theater of Pompey where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Augustus in 29 B.C. The Curia Julia is one of only a handful of Roman structures to survive to the modern day mostly intact, due to its conversion into the basilica of Sant'Adriano al Foro in the 7th century. Curia Julia
SL113463. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 761, RSC II 283b, BMCRE II 214, BnF III 191, Hunter I 85, Cohen I -, SRCV I -, NGC Ch AU, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (2400906-009), weight 3.53 g, maximum diameter 21 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 14 Sep 93 - 13 Sep 94 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIII, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P, Minerva advancing right, draped, wearing helmet with crest and aegis, brandishing javelin in right hand, round shield on left arm; from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 20 Dec 2010, $675); NGC| Lookup; $675.00 SALE PRICE $608.00 ON RESERVE


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||sestertius|
Virtus is the personification of valor and courage. Valor was, of course, essential for the success of a Roman emperor and Virtus was one of the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult. During his joint reign with his father, Gallienus proved his courage in battle; but his failure to liberate his father from Persian captivity was perceived as cowardice and a disgrace to the Emperor and Empire. It was not, however, actually fear that prevented a rescue. While others mourned Valerian's fate, Gallienus rejoiced in his new sovereignty.
SH110382. Orichalcum sestertius, GŲbl MIR 83s, RIC V-1 J249, Cohen V 1298, Hunter IV J33 var. (obv. leg. no P F); SRCV III 10495 var. (same), Choice VF, superb portrait, well centered on a squared unusually full flan, double strike, weight 22.146 g, maximum diameter 32.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder and back; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (the virtue of the two emperors), Virtus standing front, head left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, right hand resting on grounded oval shield, inverted spear in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across the field below center; ex Leu Numismatik auction 17 (14 Aug 2021), lot 2813; $720.00 SALE PRICE $576.00


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariarathes VII, c. 138 - 129 B.C.; In the Name of the Seleukid King, Antiochus VII, 138 - 129 B.C.

|Cappadocian| |Kingdom|, |Cappadocian| |Kingdom,| |Ariarathes| |VII,| |c.| |138| |-| |129| |B.C.;| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |the| |Seleukid| |King,| |Antiochus| |VII,| |138| |-| |129| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Oliver Hoover, in Coins of the Seleucid Empire from the Collection of Arthur Houghton, attributes this type to the Cappadocian Kingdom, c. 130 - 80 B.C. The symbols were used on Cappadocian royal coinage, the coins are found in Cappadocian hoards and a tetradrachm naming the Cappadocian King Ariarathes VII Philometor (116 - 99 B.C.) bears the obverse portrait of Antiochus VII. He notes they may have been struck to pay foreign (Syrian?) mercenaries who preferred the types of Antiochus VII.
SL113679. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2144.4, SNG Spaer 1862, Newell SMA 288, HGC 9 1068, NGC Ch XF, strike 4/5, surface 5/5 (3598726-018), weight 16.69 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, obverse diademed head of the Seleukid King Antiochos VII right, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY, Athena standing left, Nike in right, spear and shield in left, ligate ΔI / A left, small Δ inner right, Nike extends wreath into laurel wreath border; ex Stacks Bower auction (22-25 Aug 2023), lot 53174; NGC| Lookup; $630.00 SALE PRICE $567.00


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.

|Vespasian|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.||denarius|
The augur was an official and priest, whose main role was to interpret the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds: whether they are flying in groups or alone, what noises they make as they fly, direction of flight and what kind of birds they are. This was known as "taking the auspices." The ceremony and function of the augur was central to any major undertaking in Roman society, public or private, including matters of war, commerce, and religion. The Roman historian Livy stresses the importance of the augurs: "Who does not know that this city was founded only after taking the auspices; that everything in war and in peace, at home and abroad, was done only after taking the auspices?"
SL113461. Silver denarius, RIC II-1 356, RSC II 45, BMCRE II 64, BnF III 49, Hunter I 27, SRCV I 2282, NGC Ch VF, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (2400511-010), weight 3.44 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 72 - early 73 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII, laureate head right; reverse implements of the augurate and pontificate: simpulum (ladle), aspergillum (sprinkler), ewer (jug) and lituus (augural wand), AVGVR above, TRI POT below; from a Virginia Collector, ex Eastern Numismatics Inc. (Garden City, NY, 28 Jul 2010, $500); NGC| Lookup; $450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00 ON RESERVE


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

|Basil| |II|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |A3,| |Basil| |II| |&| |Constantine| |VIII,| |c.| |1023| |-| |11| |November| |1028| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
The emperor's name and portrait are not part of the design on the Byzantine types referred to as anonymous folles. Instead of the earthly king, these coins depict Jesus Christ, King of Kings.
BZ112683. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class A3; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 24; DOC III-2 A2.24, Wroth BMC 11 (Romanus III), Sommer 40.3.4, SBCV 1818, gem EF, very attractive, well centered, dark patina, highlighting deposits, tight flan, weight 10.262 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 90o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (romanized Hebrew - God is with us), facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, holding gospels with both hands, gospels ornamented with two pellets within a jeweled border, to left IC, to right XC; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornamentation above and below inscription; $400.00 SALE PRICE $360.00


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 MÍn 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 MÍn was a male moon-god, probably originally of the indigenous non-Greek Karian people. By Roman times, MÍn was worshiped across Anatolia and in Attica. He was associated with fertility, healing, and punishment. MÍn 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 MÍn 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


The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.

|First| |Jewish| |Revolt|, |The| |First| |Jewish| |Revolt,| |66| |-| |70| |A.D.||prutah|
Vespasian, along with legions X Fretensis and V Macedonica, landed at Ptolemais in April 67. There he was joined by his son Titus, who arrived from Alexandria at the head of Legio XV Apollinaris, as well as by the armies of various local allies including that of King Agrippa II. Fielding more than 60,000 soldiers, Vespasian began operations by subjugating Galilee. Many towns gave up without a fight, although others had to be taken by force. Of these, Josephus provides detailed accounts of the sieges of Yodfat and Gamla. By the year 68, Jewish resistance in the north had been crushed, and Vespasian made Caesarea Maritima his headquarters and methodically proceeded to clear the coast. -- Wikipedia
JD113008. Bronze prutah, Kadman III 12; Meshorer TJC 196a; Hendin 6389; SNG ANS 427; Sofaer pl. 222, 11, Choice VF, near full legends, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, rev. edge beveled, flan cuts, weight 3.812 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 90o, Jerusalem mint, year 2, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew: Year two, amphora with fluted body, narrow neck, broad rim, and two small curved handles; reverse Paleo-Hebrew: The freedom of Zion, vine leaf on small branch with tendril; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00




  



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