An Unusual Radiate Crown



I'm not one for making too much out of slight variations in the design of third century coins, after all, its not proper numismatics but rather collector curiosity. In many instances they add nothing to an understanding of the coinage as a whole and that could be said about the coin featured here.

It is an antoninianus from the mint of Rome during the sole reign of Gallienus, c.260 through to 268 AD. Indeed it is from the penultimate substantive issue dating it to approximately 266-7AD. The Rome mint was producing a high volume of these coins at the time having just increased the number of workshops from six to twelve (with a possible nine workshop intermediate phase). The reverse is VIRTVS AVGVSTI and corresponds to RIC 330 and Göbl 636/686.

The portrait however is slightly odd. There is an apparent curl from under the crown to the front of the bust. On most, if not all other specimens that I have seen of Gallienus' sole reign Rome coins the hair is very clearly defined. The protrusion on this coin looks more in keeping with an addition to the radiate crown.

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© RJB 2003