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XXI

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Roman Imperial Coins (RIC) Rarity Ratings

See Emperors and their RIC volumes if you are uncertain which volume below applies.

RIC I (1984)
Sutherland, C.H.V. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
C: Common to very common
S: Scarce
R: Rare
R2: [Rare] 11-15 known [in the collections examined]
R3: [Rare] 6 to 10 known [in the collections examined]
R4: [Rare] 2 to 5 known [in the collections examined]
R5: [Rare] Unique [only one in the collections examined]

RIC II (1926)
Mattingly H. & E. Sydenham. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. II: Vespasian to Hadrian. (London, 1926).
Unspecified, probably the same as RIC I

RIC II, Part I (2007)
Carradice, I.A. & T.V. Buttrey. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. II, Part 1: From AD 69 to 96. (London, 2007).
C2: Extremely common
C: Common
R: Rare
R2: Very rare
R3 - Unique [only one in the collections examined]

RIC III (1930)
Mattingly, H. & E. SydenhamThe Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol III, Antoninus Pius to Commodus. (London, 1930).
Unspecified, probably the same as RIC I

RIC IV (1986)
Mattingly, H.B., E.A. Sydenham & C.H.V. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol IV, From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Unspecified, probably the same as RIC I

RIC V-1 (1927)
Mattingly, H., E.A. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part I, Valerian to Florian. (London, 1927).
C: Common
S: Scarce
R: Rare
R2-R5: [Rare] increasing degrees of rarity [presumably R5 indicates they only knew of one example.]

RIC V-2 (1933)
Mattingly, H., E.A. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part II, Probus to Amandus. (London, 1933).
Same as RIC V-1.

RIC VI (1967)
Sutherland, R.A.C. & C.H.V. Carson. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VI, From Diocletian's reform to the death of Maximinus. (London, 1967).
C2: [Very] Common in every major collection
C: [Common] In every major collection
S: [Scarce] In most major collections
R: [Rare] 26-50 coins known [in the collections examined]
R2: [Rare] 11-25 coins known [in the collections examined]
R3: [Rare] 6-10 coins known [in the collections examined]
R4: [Very Rare] 2-5 coins known [in the collections examined]
R5: Unique [only one in the collections examined]

RIC VII (1966)
Bruun, P.M. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VII, Constantine and Licinius A.D. 313 - 337. (London, 1966).
C3: [Common] more than 41 coins known [to the writers when the book was written]
C2: [Common] 31-40 coins known [to the writers when the book was written]
C1: [Common] 22-30 coins known [to the writers when the book was written]
S: [Scarce] 16-21 coins known [to the writers when the book was written]
R1: [Rare] 11-15 coins known [to the writers when the book was written]
R2: [Rare] 7-10 coins known [to the writers when the book was written]
R3: [Rare] 4-6 coins known [to the writers when the book was written]
R4: [Very Rare] 2-3 coins known [to the writers when the book was written]
R5: Unique [only one in the collections examined]

RIC VIII (1981)
Carson, R., H. Sutherland and J. Kent. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VIII, The Family of Constantine I, A.D. 337 - 364. (London, 1981).
Unspecified, probably similar to RIC VI or VII

RIC IX (1933)
Pearce, J.W.E. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume IX, Valentinian I - Theodosius I. (London 1933).
C-C3: [Common with] increasing degrees of commonness
S: Scarce
R-R4: [Rare with] increasing degrees of rarity
R5: Unique [only one in the collections examined]

RIC X (1994)
Kent, J. P. C. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume X, The Divided Empire and the Fall of the Western Parts, AD 395 - 491. (London, 1994).
Unspecified, probably similar to RIC VI or VII

Notes:
- Although RIC rarity is often criticized, better ratings are not available elsewhere.
- RIC rarity is wrong for many individual coin types but overall they are fairly accurate.
- Some of the RIC volumes are quite old and the ratings are dated. These volumes have many types listed as rare that are scarce at best, yet overall they are still fairly accurate. Most R5 coins are not unique but are very rare. Most R4 coins are also quite rare.
- Older volumes were based on older collections that tended to have more Western mint coins and fewer Eastern mint coins. Since many coins are now found with metal detectors in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the rarity of Eastern mint coins is more likely to be overstated.
- Rarity of very interesting types and coins of very rare emperors are probably understated because extra effort was likely expended to acquire those types for the collections examined.
- For RIC volumes that list the rarity of types by each officina the accuracy of rarity for the whole type is usually more significant and the least rare officina considered. Specialty collectors may, however, disagree and an R5 coin for a particular officina is probably very rare even if the type is not.