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High Grade Ancient Coins

When first introduced to ancient coins, most people are shocked to learn that some coins remain in mint state and even more surprised to learn that they are not all in musuems. Ancient people did not have stocks, bonds mutual funds, or bank accounts. The primary implement for holding wealth was coins, often buried, and often buried in uncirculated or mint state condition. If an owner died without recovering their coins or telling an heir where to find them, they were lost. Millions of ancient coins have been recovered, and thousands have been found in superb condition.

Judaea (Yehudah), Ptolemaic Rule, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

|Greek| |Domination|, |Judaea| |(Yehudah),| |Ptolemaic| |Rule,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.||1/4| |drachm|
This is apparently only the second known specimen of this type. All the references given describe the same coin and the plates share photos of a single specimen from the S. Moussaeiff Collection. This coin was struck with the same obverse die but it appears to be from a different reverse die. See the Moussaeiff Collection coin here.
JD99501. Silver 1/4 drachm, Hendin 6088 (RRR); Lorber CPE 710; Gitler-Lorber II Group 7, 15; Deutsch Unrecorded 4; Meshorer TJC -; Mildenberg Yehud -, gVF, toned, deposits, obv. off center, edge splits, weight 0.876 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, probably 272 - 261/0 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, Aramaic, Aramaic (YHDH) on left, read right to left (upward); ex CNG auction 117 (19-20 May 2001), lot 328 (listed as a quarter ma'ah in error); $25000.00 SALE PRICE $22500.00


Marcus Junius Brutus, Most Famous of Caesars Assassins, 44 - 42 B.C.

|The| |Tyrannicides|, |Marcus| |Junius| |Brutus,| |Most| |Famous| |of| |Caesars| |Assassins,| |44| |-| |42| |B.C.||stater|
This type, traditionally attributed to an otherwise unknown Dacian or Sythian king Koson, was struck for Brutus, c. 44 - 42 B.C., with gold supplied by the Senate to fund his legions in the Roman civil war against Mark Antony and Octavian. The obverse imitates a Roman denarius struck by Brutus in 54 B.C. depicting his ancestor L. Junius Brutus, the traditional founder of the Roman Republic. The reverse imitates a Roman denarius struck by Pomponius Rufus in 73 B.C. The meaning of the inscription "KOΣΩN" is uncertain. KOΣΩN may have been the name of a Dacian king who supplied mercenary forces to Brutus, or BR KOΣΩN may have been intended to mean "[of] the Consul Brutus."
SL99231. Gold stater, BMCRR II p. 474, 48; RPC I 1701A (Thracian Kings); HGC 3.2, 2049; BMC Thrace p. 208, 1 (same); SNG Cop 123 (Scythian Dynasts), ICG MS64 (4944620127, Thracian kings, Koson, c. 54 BC), weight c. 8.45 g, maximum diameter 19 mm, die axis 0o, military mint, 44 - 42 B.C.; obverse Roman consul L. Junius Brutus (traditional founder of the Republic) in center, accompanied by two lictors, BR (Brutus) monogram left, KOΣΩN in exergue; reverse eagle standing left on scepter, wings open, raising wreath in right talon; ICG Verify ; $2600.00 SALE PRICE $2340.00


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Possible Lifetime Issue

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.,| |Possible| |Lifetime| |Issue||tetradrachm|
Ancient Arados, surrounded by massive walls on an island about 800 m long by 500 m wide, about 50 km north of Tripolis, was an important trading city with an artificial harbor on the east side toward the mainland. Its powerful navy and ships are mentioned in the monuments of Egypt and Assyria. The Biblical "Arvad" is noted as the forefather of the "Arvadites," a Canaanite people. Arados directly ruled some nearby cities on the mainland, such as Marat (Amrit today) nearly opposite the island, and held hegemony over the northern Phoenician cities from the mouth of the Orontes to the northern limits of Lebanon (similar to Sidon in the south). Under the Persians, Arwad was allowed to unite in a confederation with Sidon and Tyre, with a common council at Tripolis. In 332 B.C., Arados submitted to Alexander the Great without a struggle under her king Strato, who sent his navy to aid Alexander in the reduction of Tyre. The city received the favor of the Seleucid kings of Syria and enjoyed the right of asylum for political refugees. It is mentioned in a rescript from Rome about 138 B.C. in connection with other cities and rulers of the East, to show favor to the Jews. This was after Rome had begun to interfere in the affairs of Judea and Syria and indicates that Arwad was still of considerable importance at that time.Arados
SL99295. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3309, SNG Cop 796, Mller Alexander 796, HGC 3.1 943k (S), NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5, scratches (4285504-008), weight 17.26 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 75o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, lifetime or early posthumous, c. 328 - c. 320 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Atophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), (Arados monogram) under throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue; from a private collector in New Jersey, NGC| Lookup; scarce; $2500.00 SALE PRICE $2250.00


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

|Ephesos|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||AE| |36|
See this type online:
RPC Online VI
Asia Minor Coins
ANS Mantis (No photo on ANS, but photo of this specimen is available on RPC Online.)
SH87621. Bronze AE 36, Karwiese MvE 5.2 p. 164, 750b (O3/R3, only 1 spec. of this variety); RPC Online VI T4956 (5 spec.); ANS Mantis 1972.185.5, Choice EF, excellent centering, olive green patina, some legend weak, small flaw/punch on reverse, porous, weight 25.344 g, maximum diameter 36.3 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesos mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AYP CEB AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse M-ONΩN - ΠPΩTΩN - ACIAC, on left: cult statue of Artemis standing facing, wearing ornate kalathos, flanked on each side by a stag, arms with supports; on right: Demeter enthroned left, wreathed in grain, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical in left hand; EΦECIΩN in exergue; only the second known of this variety with stags flanking Artemis, fantastic HUGE 36mm provincial bronze!; $1900.00 SALE PRICE $1710.00


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |25|
After the defeat of Bar Kochba rebellion, Judea would not be a center of Jewish religious, cultural, or political life again until the modern era, although Jews continued to sporadically populate it and important religious developments still took place there. Galilee became an important center of Rabbinic Judaism, where the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in the 4th-5th centuries. In the aftermath of the defeat, the maintenance of Jewish settlement in Palestine became a major concern of the rabbinate. The Sages endeavored to halt Jewish dispersal, and even banned emigration from Palestine, branding those who settled outside its borders as idolaters.
JD99308. Bronze AE 25, Mildenberg 112 (O10/R76); SNG ANS 570 - 572 (same dies); cf. BMC Palestine p. 307, 31; Sofaer 144; Meshorer TJC 292a; Hendin 6464, gVF, dark green patina, light earthen deposits, weight 10.201 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 180o, year 3, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Shimon", seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "for the freedom of Jerusalem", five-lobed vine-leaf with strongly accentuated ribs, hanging from curved branch, short tendril right; from a private collector in New Jersey; $1100.00 SALE PRICE $990.00


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |25|
The Bar Kokhba revolt, led by Simon bar Kokhba, was the last of the major JewishRoman wars. The Roman army suffered heavy losses. It took six full legions, auxiliaries, and elements from as many as six more legions three years to crush the revolt. The Romans annihilated much of the Judean population. In 134, the they captured Jerusalem and Simon bar Kokhba was killed in 135. Legio VI Ferrata rebuilt the legionary fortress in Jerusalem and constructed a Roman temple at Golgotha. An altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple. The Jewish diaspora began as Hadrian barred Jews from Jerusalem and had survivors of the massacre dispersed across the Roman Empire. Many were sold into slavery. The Jewish people remained scattered without a homeland for close to two millennia.
JD99310. Bronze AE 25, Mildenberg 53 (O3/R18); cf. BMC Palestine p. 308, 48; Sofaer 70; Meshorer TJC p. 250, 260; Hendin 6436, VF, well centered, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, small edge split, weight 9.563 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 180o, year 2, 133 - 134 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: "S-M/A" (abbreviating Simon), seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Year 2 of the freedom of Israel", vine leaf on tendril; from a private collector in New Jersey; $1000.00 SALE PRICE $900.00


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |27|
After the defeat of Bar Kochba rebellion, Judea would not be a center of Jewish religious, cultural, or political life again until the modern era, although Jews continued to sporadically populate it and important religious developments still took place there. Galilee became an important center of Rabbinic Judaism, where the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in the 4th-5th centuries. In the aftermath of the defeat, the maintenance of Jewish settlement in Palestine became a major concern of the rabbinate. The Sages endeavored to halt Jewish dispersal, and even banned emigration from Palestine, branding those who settled outside its borders as idolaters.
JD99312. Bronze AE 27, Mildenberg 132 (O10/R96); cf. Meshorer TJC 292a; BMC Palestine p. 312, 80; SNG ANS 572; Hendin 6464, gVF, green patina, earthen deposits, slightly off center, weight 8.558 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, year 3, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Shimon", seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "for the freedom of Jerusalem", five-lobed vine-leaf with strongly accentuated ribs, hanging from curved branch, short tendril right; from a private collector in New Jersey; $1000.00 SALE PRICE $900.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius III, c. 96 - 87 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |III,| |c.| |96| |-| |87| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
The inscription on the reverse of this coin translates, "King Demetrios, the god, father-loving, savior." He was nicknamed Eucaerus ("the Timely") by the Syrian Greeks but was called Acaerus ("the Untimely) by the Jews. He defeated the Hasmonaean priest king Alexander Jannaeus but was forced to withdraw from Judaea by the hostile population. While attempting to dethrone his brother, Philip I Philadelphus, he was defeated by the Arabs and Parthians, and taken prisoner. He was held in confinement in Parthia by Mithridates II until his death in 88 B.C.
SL94920. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 2450(2); HGC 9 1305; cf. BMC Seleucid p. 101, 1 (SE 217, same controls); SNG Spaer 2863 (SE 219, different controls), NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (5771210-005), weight 16.501 g, maximum diameter 30.10 mm, die axis 0o, Damaskos (Damascus, Syria) mint, 97 - 96 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios III right, fringe of curly beard at jawline, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩS / DHMHTPIOY / ΘEOY - ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ / ΣΩTHPOΣ, cult image of Atargatis standing facing, holding flower, barley stalk behind each shoulder, two monograms (controls) outer left, date CIS (Seleucid Era year 216) in exergue, ∆H monogram (control) in exergue on right, laurel wreath border; from the Ray Nouri Collection, NGC| Lookup; scarce; $800.00 SALE PRICE $720.00


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

|Constantius| |II|, |Constantius| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |3| |November| |361| |A.D.||siliqua|
VOTIS XXX MVLTIS XXXX abbreviates Votis Tricennalibus Multis Quadragennalibus advertising that Constantius had completed his vows (prayers) to thank God for the 30th anniversary of his rule and made more vows to God that he might help him successfully rule to his 40th anniversary.
RS99270. Silver siliqua, RIC VIII Sirmium 15, RSC V 342-3e, SRCV V 17936, Hunter V 61, Choice EF, sharp, light tone on luster, flow lines, flan crack, weight 2.907 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 30o, Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) mint, 353 - 6 Nov 355 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOTIS XXX MVLTIS XXXX in wreath, SIRM in exergue; scarce; $400.00 SALE PRICE $360.00


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D.

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|
Grapes, the vine and wine were an important part of the ancient economy and ritual. Grapes were brought to the Temple as offerings of the first-fruits and wine was offered upon the altar. The vine and grapes decorated the sacred vessels in the sanctuary and a golden vine with clusters of grapes stood at its entrance.
JD98803. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6365 (S); Meshorer TJC 326; Sofaer 23; RPC I 4963; BMC Palestine p. 254, 27 & pl. XXVII, 15, VF, well centered, ragged edge, pit on reverse, applied/enhanced patina, weight 1.925 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 135o, Jerusalem mint, 17 - 18 A.D.; obverse IOYΛIA (Greek: Julia), tendrils, leaf, and small bunch of grapes on branch; reverse amphora with scroll handles flanked by date L - ∆ (year 4 of Tiberius); from an Israeli collection; scarce; $350.00 SALE PRICE $315.00




  



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