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  1. Acquiring an aureus is a big commitment, similar to buying a second-hand car or an expensive bike. It largely depends on one's budget. Based on your coin, I think the price you paid was appropriate. There are generally two types of aureus buyers: those who want to add an aureus, ANY aureus to their collection and those with deep pockets who collect and specialise in aurei like others do with denarii. I think your coin falls in the middle, while it's certainly expensive to be an entry-level aureus, it might not be the first option to collectors who regularly spend five figures on aurei. If you plan to keep the coin, there’s no issue. However, if you intend to sell it, then you may need to look into where to consign it, to a house that attracts the high-enders or one that attracts collectors from every budget. I've always wanted an aureus. My collection has evolved from adding multiple inexpensive coins to focusing on fewer, higher-quality pieces. A couple of years ago, I acquired my first ancient gold coin, a Justinian solidus, to check off Roman gold from my list. However, it never fully satisfied me, despite the solidus itself being fine. Every time I handle a denarius, I've always wondered how dense and 3D-like the portraits would look on an aureus, and not to mention the primal allure of gold. I considered various options for ancient gold coins, like a gold stater of Mithradates, which is much cheaper than a Nero aureus, but the artwork didn't appeal to me. The Koson stater is another option, but it lacks a portrait and has murky attributions. Bosporan Electrum staters are affordable, but their artwork and metal composition are issues for me. Greek fractions in gold are another inexpensive option, but I don't want to spend hundreds or thousands on a tiny, artless piece of incused gold, especially since I already have a Sri Vijayan gold Massa that looks like a Hekte. Ultimately, I wanted a coin I’d be happy to own, not just to check off a list, and decided on an aureus. Even for a budget aureus, I wanted a problem-free coin issued under any emperor or empress up to the Severan era. While aurei from the crisis period are interesting, they are scarce and expensive. In fact I'd love to own a severely underweight aureus (1-3g) of Gallienus! but the coin I wanted needed to weigh more than 7g, not be drastically off-centered, and have uniform wear without distracting scratches, preferably with an interesting reverse. Initially, I considered a Nero aureus, but none met all my criteria until I found a newly listed one on MA-Shops that I liked, despite it being slightly off-centered, and priced at 3k AUD, the cheapest I've seen for a problem-free coin on retail. I also saw the coin I eventually purchased listed for 4k AUD from the same seller. Although it was over my budget, I instantly fell in love with its reverse and also the well-centered obverse, meeting all my criteria. Additionally, it had recently been sold by HD Rauch and had multiple reverse die-matches, including a coin from the Boscoreale hoard, which convinced me to buy it. I could have bought many coins with that budget, like completing a 12 Caesars set, upgrading my Attica or Alexander tetradrachms, or adding other high-quality tetradrachms or denarii. However, I chose this aureus because it felt like the right time. I had enough interest, knowledge, and funds to make such a purchase. I thought, "If not now, when?" I was fine with this one large purchase to my collection rather than adding various other coins and still having a large gap for an aureus. Additionally, with the rising price of gold, I felt that now was as good a time as any. It's no surprise that numismatic gold carry premiums multiple times their face value, but it does increase with the spot price. Seeing posts from people who bought a solidus for $45 in the 60s/70s or $100-$200 in the 90s or 00s further justified my decision. Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESPASIAN. Head of Titus, laureate, right. Rev: COS IIII. Bull butting right, lashing his tail, left. AD 75, 7.09 g, 20 mm. RIC II.1 780 (Vespasian), Biaggi 361 (same rev die), Calicó 731. Ex H.D. Rauch E-Auction 43, Lot 423. 3-7 Apr 2024.
  2. I only saw this coin on CoinArchives after it had been sold, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it listed by PGNUM on Ma-Shops. However, I found it even cheaper on their own site. Despite paying more than the auction price, I’m satisfied with the purchase, as I’ve been waiting for this coin for a long time! Last year, I saw the same type on eBay, but it had slashes on both sides and looked significantly worn. Luckily, its steep price deterred me from making an impulse purchase.
  3. Have you ever spent a long time searching for an elusive coin, only to unexpectedly come across it while browsing randomly? Although this coin is not extremely rare, it is certainly not as readily available as its copper counterparts. Most auction houses that feature them are based in India and do not ship overseas, while Western auction houses offer them only rarely, unlike the more common anonymous Kahavanu. Raja Raja Chola AV Kahavanu Chola Empire 985-1014 AD 20 mm, 4.24 g Ceylon type, period of Chola invasion. Obverse: The depiction showcases a standing king facing right, adorned with a pointed crown. The king holds a lotus in his right hand and points at the Shrivatsa symbol with his left hand. A degenerate coconut palm tree is situated on the far left. The king is attired in a wavy Dhoti, characterised by two curved lines on either side and one line in between the legs, resembling tentacles and earning the moniker 'octopus man.' The king stands on a lotus plant stalk with a small circle in the center, concluding on the left in a conch shell and featuring a lotus bud on the right. Five pellets to the right, meaning 'Pala-Panca', Panca meaning 5, denoting 5 Pala coins weighing 1.10g each. While 5 of those coins weigh more than the Kahavanu itself, earlier types have only 4 dots, that would make 4 Palas equal 1 kahavanu (Probably a result of inflation). Reverse: Seated king facing right, with his left hand resting on his left leg and his right hand holding a conch shell. His right leg rests on a couch or bed-like throne known as asana. On the right side of the field, a Devanagari legend is inscribed in three lines, reading Sri RA JA RA JA. Codrington 104; Mitchiner 729; Biddulph 5. Ex Heritage Auctions Europe, Auction 82, Lot 7499 (May 2024). Ex Podlaski Gabinet Numizmatyczny Marek Melcer, June 2024. A bit of a history: Raja Raja Chola I's invasion of Sri Lanka around 993 CE was a significant military campaign aimed at expanding the Chola Empire's influence, another reason being, the Sinhalese were an ally of the Pandyas, the arch nemesis of Cholas. He launched the invasion by swiftly capturing and destroying Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, marking its end. The capital was then shifted to Polonnaruwa (renamed Jananathapuram) as the new administrative centre under Chola control. The Chola forces continued their campaign southwards, subjugating the entire northern and central regions of Sri Lanka and capturing the Sinhalese ruler, Mahinda V. The Cholas established a well-organised administration, integrating the newly conquered territories into their empire. This included issuing coinage that imitated the local anonymous Kahavanu, as shown in my example below. With the Chola Empire now encompassing most of South India and Sri Lanka, and benefiting from trade with the Arabs and Chinese, it became one of the wealthiest empires of its time. This wealth funded grand projects, most notably the Brihadeeswara Temple, dedicated to Shiva, which was built in 1010 AD. Thank you!
  4. Some of my late Roman silver, they definitely hit different from the earlier denarii. Argentii of Maximian and Diocletian, the silique include a Gratian, a broken Valens, and a Julian.
  5. I haven't purchased any coins from Facebook, but I used to buy from Reddit's r/coins4sale. Nowadays, I mainly stick with Vcoins, MA-Shops, private online dealers, and eBay.
  6. I bet Romans who happened to come across Alexandrian coins (despite the closed economy) were just as amused as we are for its weird imagery. As always my favourite is the man-headed snake riding a horse, although mine's a humble example that cost me 1% of the hammer price that you posted.
  7. I’d rather have the stamp than that cursed coin! 👹 But, I’d sell the stamp and will go on an ancient coin buying spree!
  8. A fake Bactrian coin under the name of Menander. I wouldn't even call it a fake but a fantasy piece, as there're no such bronze issued under him. I got it at a flea market when I was 13 along with my Chola coins and a few other coins, they're my first foray into coins! Next- More fakes
  9. Aside from directly gaining knowledge about coins and their history, and identifying fakes or having an 'feel' for such coins, have you learned anything from your years of coin collecting that you apply to other areas of life? Some aspects that come to mind are pattern recognition, perspectives, understanding the market for other collectibles, identifying bubbles/bursts, and more.
  10. People often accuse Diocletian of ending the Principate, which by then was merely a facade, much like how the Republic was just a facade by the time of Augustus. However, Diocletian was necessary to restore order and eliminate any opposition to the throne in order to maintain stability by not only being a military commander, but also a proper administrator, a role Rome had lacked for nearly a century. Aurelian came close to fulfilling this need, but his efforts were cut short by the treacherous Praetorians. Here're my recent additions,
  11. I've always wanted to add a US gold coin (preferably pre-33) to my collection, but got into ancient coins since 2020, and my focus on modern coins took a backseat. Now that I believe I've completed my ancient coin collection with my current want-list coins, I'm refocusing on modern coins. Where I live, the $10 and $20 coins are out of my budget, and the $1 and $2.5 coins have very high premiums relative to their gold content, some even cost as much as a full sovereign! While I don't consider bullion value for collectible coins, I also didn't want to overpay, so the $5 coin seemed to be the perfect choice. Even though the coronet head $5 coins have lower premiums, I chose this type for its unique incuse design and the rustic appearance of the chief, which has always intrigued me.
  12. Added a couple of Argenteii to my collection, a short-lived denomination created by Diocletian, issued between 294 to 310 AD. Obv: DIOCLETIANVS AVG, laureate head of Diocletian facing right. Rev: VIRTVS MILITVM, the four Tetrarchs sacrificing over a tripod, before a Roman camp gate, E mint mark below. 2.18g, 286-305 AD. Kampmann 119.78. Ex Christoph Gärtner auction 45, lot 4098, Oct 2019. Initially, I was only interested in the Diocletian argenteus at an eBay auction, but I also had a look at a Maximian argenteus that had been available from another seller for a long time. After winning the Diocletian coin, I checked the site the next day for updates and, to my surprise, the other seller had sent me a discounted offer for the Maximian to just 85 AUD. How could I resist? At first glance, the coin appears to have a crack, but it is actually a die break causing a cud along his neck. Additionally, on the reverse, there is a die break running from 9 o'clock to 12 o'clock. Despite the wear, it's a solid coin. Obv: MAXIMIANVS AVG, laureate head of Maximian facing right. Rev: VIRTVS MILITVM, the four Tetrarchs sacrificing over a tripod, before a Roman camp gate. 3.15g, extensive die cuds on both sides. 286-305 AD Although they are the same size and shape as a denarius, I wonder if they had similar purchasing power!
  13. I made this map a few years ago, probably needs an update. The southernmost coin is from the Pandya dynasty, minted around the Sangam age (300 BCE - 300 AD). Korkai served as their harbour, facilitating trade with the Greeks, Rome, and China. The Madurai coin was minted after the Pandyas gained independence from the Cholas in the 13th century. The Chola gold coin from the 11th century illustrates their conquests over the neighboring kingdoms of Chera and Pandya, featuring the royal emblems: the Chola tiger flanked by the Pandyan twin fish on its right and the Cheran bow behind the tiger, all under a single umbrella symbolizing unified rule. This coin was minted in Thanjavur, located approximately 60 kilometers east of Uraiyur (though Thanjavur is not shown on this older map). Lastly, the Cheras, specifically the Kongu Chera clan from Karur, are represented with a bow and arrow.
  14. I do think it's real given the flow lines around the olive leaf and under the Owl's feet. Also, you have the test cut perfectly placed like a giant earing, doesn't take away anything from the eye appeal!
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