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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!

Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 440 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |440| |-| |404| |B.C.,| |Old| |Style| |Tetradrachm||tetradrachm|
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SL110173. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, NGC Ch AU, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (6556678-005), weight 17.212 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 225o, Athens mint, c. 440 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, ΑΘΕ downward on right, all within incuse square; ex Classical Numismatic Group, NGC| Lookup; $1530.00 SALE PRICE $1377.00


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 440 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |440| |-| |404| |B.C.,| |Old| |Style| |Tetradrachm||tetradrachm|
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SL110170. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, NGC Ch AU, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (6556678-002), weight 17.189 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, c. 440 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, ΑΘΕ downward on right, all within incuse square; ex Classical Numismatic Group, NGC| Lookup; $1450.00 SALE PRICE $1305.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia, Matidia Reverse

|Cilicia|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Anazarbus,| |Cilicia,| |Matidia| |Reverse||diassarion|
Anazarbus was founded by Assyrians. Under the early Roman Empire it was known as Kaicare?n (Caesarea), and was the Metropolis (capital) of the late Roman province Cilicia Secunda. It was the home of the poet Oppian. Rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justin I after an earthquake in the 6th century, it became Justinopolis (525); but the old native name persisted, and when Thoros I, king of Lesser Armenia, made it his capital early in the 12th century, it was known as Anazarva.
RP111017. Bronze diassarion, Ziegler 114 (Vs1/Rs5), RPC III 3370, SNGvA 5477, SNG Levante 1385, SNG Cop -, SNG BnF -, gVF, attractive portraits, tight flan, obv. legend weak, light marks, weight 14.483 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 45o, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, 113 - 114 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAIC NEP TAPIANOC CE ΓEPM ΔA, laureate head of Trajan right; reverse KAICAPE ANAZAP MATIΔIAN CEB (PE ligate), draped bust of Matidia right, hair in a small bun behind neck, ET BΛP (year 132) low across field; scarce; $850.00 SALE PRICE $765.00


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||sestertius|
Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. On this coin she holds the caduceus, a symbol of peace, and the cornucopia, a symbol of prosperity.
SH110382. Orichalcum sestertius, Gbl 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; $810.00 SALE PRICE $729.00


Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D.

|Julia| |Maesa|, |Julia| |Maesa,| |Augusta| |8| |June| |218| |-| |224| |or| |225| |A.D.||denarius|
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was the finest quality that a Roman woman could possess. Romans gave their highest praise to women, such as Julia Domna, who had only one husband in their lifetimes. Few women obtained this distinction in Roman society, where girls married young, husbands often died while their wives were still young, and divorce was easy to obtain and common.
RS111525. Silver denarius, RIC IV 268, BMCRE V 76, RSC III 36, Hunter III 9, SRCV II 7756, Choice EF, well centered, flow lines, edge splits/cracks, weight 2.589 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, draped bust right, flat chignon at back of head; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia seated left, veiled, drawing out veil with right hand, short transverse scepter in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 907 (part of); $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Julia Soaemias, Augusta 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

|Julia| |Soaemias|, |Julia| |Soaemias,| |Augusta| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.||denarius|
Venus (Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden apple inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named Paris, would decide. Each of the three finalists offered Paris a bribe. Hera promised he would rule the world. Athena said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the king of Sparta. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled Paris to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.
RS111520. Silver denarius, RIC IV 243, RSC III 14, BMCRE V 56, Hunter V 7, SRCV II 7720, Choice gVF, well centered, light tone, luster in recesses, flow lines, weight 2.963 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 220 A.D.; obverse IVLIA SOAEMIAS AVG, draped bust right; reverse VENVS CAELESTIS (heavenly Venus), Venus diademed seated left on throne, apple in right hand, scepter in left hand, child at her feet raising arms; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 881 (part of); $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV and Phasael, 5 - 4 B.C.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Aretas| |IV| |and| |Phasael,| |5| |-| |4| |B.C.||AE| |14|
Possibly struck in the year of Christ's birth! Jesus was born sometime between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. Matthew describes King Herod as the ruler during the time of the Nativity, and Herod died in 4 B.C. Later, in order to kill Jesus and eliminate him as a rival king, Herod ordered the "Massacre of the Innocents" - the killing of all male children in Bethlehem aged two years and under. This means that Jesus may have been up to two years old already by that time, and this also sets the Nativity between 6 and 4 B.C. The normal issue of this type has the monograms of Aretas (heth) and his son, Phasael, (peh sade).
GB110807. Bronze AE 14, Meshorer Nabataean 63A var. (monograms); Barkay CN 117 var. (same); Al-Qatanani 185t9 var. (same); Schmitte-Korte 1990 49 var. (same, VF, attractive dark green patina with reddish earthen highlighting, light scratches, weight 1.898 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 5 - 4 B.C.; obverse laureate head right; reverse two parallel cornucopias, tops left, tided with ribbon, palm frond on right; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D.

|Julia| |Maesa|, |Julia| |Maesa,| |Augusta| |8| |June| |218| |-| |224| |or| |225| |A.D.||denarius|
Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS111519. Silver denarius, RIC IV 263; RSC III 29; BMCRE V p. 541, 73; Hunter III 7, SRCV II 7754, Choice EF, well centered, luster, flow lines, edge cracks, weight 3.236 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 222 - c. 223 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, older draped bust right, hair in slight nearly vertical waves, looped plait at back; reverse PIETAS AVG (to the piety of the Emperor), Pietas standing half-left, veiled, dropping incense from right hand over lit and garlanded altar at feet, incense box in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 881 (part of); $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D.

|Julia| |Maesa|, |Julia| |Maesa,| |Augusta| |8| |June| |218| |-| |224| |or| |225| |A.D.||denarius|
Pudicitia, modesty and chastity, was the finest quality that a Roman woman could possess. Romans gave their highest praise to women, such as Julia Domna, who had only one husband in their lifetimes. Few women obtained this distinction in Roman society, where girls married young, husbands often died while their wives were still young, and divorce was easy to obtain and common.
RS111521. Silver denarius, RIC IV 268, BMCRE V 76, RSC III 36, Hunter III 9, SRCV II 7756, Choice EF, excellent portrait, well centered, some luster, flow lines, small edge cracks, weight 3.065 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse IVLIA MAESA AVG, mature draped bust right, hair in nearly vertical waves, and flat chignon at the back; reverse PVDICITIA, Pudicitia seated left, veiled, drawing out veil with right hand, short transverse scepter in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 881 part of; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

|Maximian|, |Maximian,| |286| |-| |305,| |306| |-| |308,| |and| |310| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
Maximian was emperor of the West in the Tetrarchy, abdicating with Diocletian in 305. In 306 he resumed the throne with his son Maxentius but was again forced to abdicate in 308. He took the throne again in 310 but this time he was defeated by Constantine the Great and forced to commit suicide.
RT111559. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Roma 194b (S), SRCV IV 13442, Cohen VI 75, Choice gVF, nice portrait, excellent centering, attractive brown toned surfaces, weight 5.664 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 307 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse CONSERVATORES VRB SVAE (Guardian of the city traditions), hexastyle temple on three steps, Roma seated facing within, head left, globe in right hand, spear in left hand, shield at her side right, R*S in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 946 (part of); scarce; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00




  



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