My Favorite Coins

Carausius antoninianus overstruck on Victorinus
When you have reviewed all of my choices for favorites you will realize that I like coins with technical oddities. This includes overstrikes. I like these when, and only when, it is possible to identify the coins that contributed to the mess. This one is relatively common and also one of a kind. It is common because there seem to be quite a few coins of Carausius overstruck on earlier coins but the exact way the two designs merge on the one flan will be unique for each specimen. On the obverse starting at 9 o'clock we see IMPCVI. There are a few spikes from Victorinus' crown growing out of Carausius' head but most of the obverse belongs to Carausius. At about 1 o'clock we see VSIVSPAVG and the profile of the face of Carausius is clear.

Beyond Carausius' shoulder at 8 o'clock is a bold I and weak M from Carausius' IMP legend. The Carausius reverse was PAX AVG but all we see is the very bottom of the X and a bold AVG. I show the reverse upside down for the Carausius strike to make it easier to see the Victorinus component. Salus, from Victorinus, is standing to the right and holding a snake whose head is touching the A of SAV (1 to 3 o'clock). Often it helps in understanding overstrikes if you have a coin like the undertype for comparison so I show a similar example. Certainly it would be better to have a coin from the same dies but finding this would take a lot of luck. Even a coin of the top strike can be illustrative. Having looked at Carausius' coins illustrated online, I suspect that my coin has the field letters P - O showing. Style suggests it is London mint. Is the stroke left of Salus' head part of the mintmark from the Carausius coin? Perhaps I also need to shop for a London mint Carausius Pax with field letters P - O. Instead on this being two coins in one, it seems to be only the first of a set of three. That is collecting as I know it.

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(c) 2014 Doug Smith