My Favorite Coins

Crispus AE3 with EPWC mintmarks

This listing is not a single coin but a series that appeals to me. I buy them whenever I find one with the hope someday of having the complete set. The series includes two reverse types: this unusual seated Roma and a very ordinary Vota wreath. The Roma reverses are more rarely seen. The coins were made in the name of Constantine I and Licinius I as Augusti and Caesars Crispus, Constantine II and Licinius II. While I have coins of all but the younger Licinius, it happens that my two best looking ones are of Crispus. What makes the series interesting to me however is the mintmark.

The coins were struck at Rome in 320-321 AD. The first letter of the mintmark is R for Rome. The mintmarks end with initials P, S, T, Q for ordinals Primus. Secundus, Tertius and Quartus. The majority of these coins I have seen are a bit weak or missing on the ordinal letter. What makes the series interesting is the squiggles between the two sensible mintmark components. In Greek ligate script are the letters E (epsilon) P (rho) W (omega)and C (lunate sigma). That spells Eros - Greek for Love. If you translate Eros into Latin you get Amor. Now, if you spell Amor backwards you get Roma - the name of the mint city. Can you believe the mint officials had a sense of humor? Enough people do believe that these sell for a considerable premium over normal mintmark coins of the same types. I will be adding variations of this set as they become available for reasonable prices but the two shown here are what I'd call 'good enough' for my humble list.

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(c) 2013 Doug Smith