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Oof ... I bought a Duplicate!


David Atherton
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I've been doing a lot of travelling this summer and consequently do a wee bit of coining on the road. A recent purchase reminded me that it isn't always a good idea! Being away from my database and books makes it hard sometimes to figure out if I already have a certain type or not. Away from home I mainly rely on my coin gallery at Forvm Ancient Coins to lend assistance on figuring out if I need a certain coin type.

I saw the following coin listed on eBay and did a quick search of my FAC gallery and came to the conclusion I did not own a specimen.

 

RPC2511a.jpg.c20a3355bd1e5bf306c89b2c955a89e4.jpg

Domitian

Æ Diobol, 6.56g
Alexandria Mint, 85-86 AD
Obv: AYT KAIΣAP ΔOMITIANOΣ ΣEB ΓΕΡM; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: No legend: Apis-bull standing, r.; before altar; date LE above
RPC 2511 (10 spec.). Emmett 279.5. Dattari-Savio 576.
Acquired from eBay, August 2022.

 

The coin arrived last week and to my dismay I discovered I already had one! And a much nicer example at that.

 

RPC2511.jpg.1410f94d332dae3e6906715db8e69ef7.jpg

Domitian

Æ Diobol, 9.78g
Alexandria Mint, 85-86 AD
Obv: AYT KAIΣAP ΔOMITIANOΣ ΣEB ΓΕΡM; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: No legend: Apis-bull standing, r.; before altar; date LE above
RPC 2511 (10 spec.). Emmett 279.5. Dattari-Savio 576 (this coin).
Acquired from Praefectus Coins, April 2020. Ex Dattari Collection.

 

How did this happen? Well, for a start I didn't have my reference books at my disposal to determine if this reverse type dated LE had a variant lacking the altar in front of the bull. The specimen I already possessed clearly shows the altar, my new purchase does not. I assumed the variant sans altar was struck for the same issue. It was not - the altar on my new example was either worn away or weakly struck (or both!). So, now I have a duplicate, which isn't as nice as the original coin I acquired and with certain devices weakly struck. Hooray!

This isn't to say I won't collect duplicates, I do, but they have to meet certain criteria:

1. Upgrade in condition or strike

2. Engraved in a different style

3. A legend or type variant

My new duplicate meets none of those. Lesson learned!

Do you have a duplicate by accident or design? Please share it!

Thanks for looking!

 

 

Edited by David Atherton
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This has happened to me more than once. 
But I usually keep both coins anyway. After all, they may be from different dies, and if not, if the coins are a die match, all the more interesting.

Here's a duplicate I bought watching an online auction. The current bid was low and I had only three seconds to decide whether to bid or not.

normal_Republik_2.jpg.08ab39b3c671a24f1de0b390bad134b1.jpgnormal_Republik_08.jpg.67c078100655ee10b0c1780c8d8b3dbc.jpg

C. POSTUMIUS
Denarius, 74 BC, Rome
Obv.: Bust of Diana right, bow and quiver over shoulder.
Rev.: Hound running right, spear below, C. POSTVMI/TA ligate
Ag, 3.99g, 18.5mm / 3.77g, 18.2mm
Ref.: Crawford 394/1a, Sydenham 785.

Edited by shanxi
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In my first lot of ancient coins I had a duplicate.

image.png.debdf33b853cafe51eadc4c624d256b2.png

image.png.226dbe4474f95d4bcda8c9ad25a39f17.png

Crispus AE follis.. 320-321 AD. IVL CRISPVS NOB C, laureate head right / CAESARVM NOSTRORVM around laurel wreath containing VOT V. Mintmark ASIS star. RIC VII Siscia 161.

 

Being my first lot of coins I wasn't particularily happy for getting a duplicate. But not a disaster.

 

Second example is the Domna Veneri Victr Rome denarius (RIC 536)

image.png.636be36e776861916edfc1b4016898c5.png

image.png.6e21d5de54d36155e8f1660ece1c3d91.png

Both these were bought in different auctions (same house in fact) but intentional. Initially I thought there were different mints but I was confirmed both are Rome.

Edited by ambr0zie
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8 hours ago, David Atherton said:

I've been doing a lot of travelling this summer and consequently do a wee bit of coining on the road. A recent purchase reminded me that it isn't always a good idea! Being away from my database and books makes it hard sometimes to figure out if I already have a certain type or not. Away from home I mainly rely on my coin gallery at Forvm Ancient Coins to lend assistance on figuring out if I need a certain coin type.

I saw the following coin listed on eBay and did a quick search of my FAC gallery and came to the conclusion I did not own a specimen.

 

RPC2511a.jpg.c20a3355bd1e5bf306c89b2c955a89e4.jpg

Domitian

Æ Diobol, 6.56g
Alexandria Mint, 85-86 AD
Obv: AYT KAIΣAP ΔOMITIANOΣ ΣEB ΓΕΡM; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: No legend: Apis-bull standing, r.; before altar; date LE above
RPC 2511 (10 spec.). Emmett 279.5. Dattari-Savio 576.
Acquired from eBay, August 2022.

 

The coin arrived last week and to my dismay I discovered I already had one! And a much nicer example at that.

 

RPC2511.jpg.1410f94d332dae3e6906715db8e69ef7.jpg

Domitian

Æ Diobol, 9.78g
Alexandria Mint, 85-86 AD
Obv: AYT KAIΣAP ΔOMITIANOΣ ΣEB ΓΕΡM; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: No legend: Apis-bull standing, r.; before altar; date LE above
RPC 2511 (10 spec.). Emmett 279.5. Dattari-Savio 576 (this coin).
Acquired from Praefectus Coins, April 2020. Ex Dattari Collection.

 

How did this happen? Well, for a start I didn't have my reference books at my disposal to determine if this reverse type dated LE had a variant lacking the altar in front of the bull. The specimen I already possessed clearly shows the altar, my new purchase does not. I assumed the variant sans altar was struck for the same issue. It was not - the altar on my new example was either worn away or weakly struck (or both!). So, now I have a duplicate, which isn't as nice as the original coin I acquired and with certain devices weakly struck. Hooray!

This isn't to say I won't collect duplicates, I do, but they have to meet certain criteria:

1. Upgrade in condition or strike

2. Engraved in a different style

3. A legend or type variant

My new duplicate meets none of those. Lesson learned!

Do you have a duplicate by accident or design? Please share it!

Thanks for looking!

 

 

David, No doubt 1st diobol you acquired is the superior coin with far less wear & more attractive patina, although many collectors like the "sandy" patina. The difference in weight between the two coins speaks to the excessive wear on the recently acquired coin 😉.

I encountered a similar situation with two tetradrachms of Trajan Decius, struck at the Antioch mint in Syria pictured below.1144559949_McAlee1116e1106e.Prieur531507.jpg.1a79b47a5432b86e35eec98cf92a24ea.jpg

In my quest to get examples struck from all the officina from the Antioch mint, I bought the top example from officina #5, with 5 dots. Then on April 6, 2017 I spotted the 2nd example from the Gemini XIII auction, from the Behnen Collection. At first glance I thought the two coins were alike, however, on closer examination the 2nd coin had a different obverse inscription & was an extremely rare coin from the 1st issue in AD 249. The 1st coin was a very common coin from the 3rd issue, 30 examples cited by Prieur. The 2nd coin had only 2 examples cited by Prieur, & was listed as Ex Rare by McAlee. So I sold the 1st coin at a Heritage auction & kept the 2nd coin ☺️.

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Two reasons for me to have duplicates:

1- found a better specimen than the one in my collection

examole below with Diva Faustina II, event though my first one was not too bad !

C9CB2906-62F7-4CA6-838E-2F4735DA50B3.jpeg.94f9abb48cc8fdf91489abd2988b3573.jpeg

6EDCA852-E5FB-43B0-B112-CD19AEE4E6AF.jpeg.0ab8c64a2e952f4ac847ee42e83c6d61.jpeg

2- found another specimen of a type I already have, but with a significantly different style. This is debatable, and could be seen as a pretext to jeep more coins in collection 😊

59F0968E-59D0-4800-9C91-87E020FAF1E8.jpeg.169d9eef8e5b3dbbfa36d97245dbb96c.jpeg

D29843D3-4DC3-4444-91DB-FA74761D47BE.jpeg.c832c245ad1a963056975f350a005d4e.jpeg
One more case: when I see a rare coin at a reasonable price that goes unnoticed, I tend to get it to keep it for future trades with other Collectors.

Edited by Barzus
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I think you are not the first and, for sure, not the last to have this problem. For me it is a moment to show my friends the differences on a same coin ( for me Roman Republican), for this coin there are also some differences as the ankh sign o, your coin and a scepter on the new one. Because such differences, I don't consider it as a double and keep it. 

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Nice coins, David — both of them have a lot of character!

I’ve purchased duplicate coins intentionally and unintentionally. The second bull, in the poster below, was unintentional. The third bull was an intentional upgrade but the second bull has turned out to be my favorite of the three after all.

 

image.jpeg.89b16d60d5c1658922ec425f672e7391.jpeg

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Sometimes I've found having "duplicates" to be truly wonderful.

My Phalanna and Thessaly AE sub-collections began with a group lot of Phalanna bronzes of the same type. During the first few weeks I developed buyer's remorse, thinking, "Oh no, why did I buy so many duplicates of one or two types!" I got over it:

At last count I had 40-50 Phalanna, mostly of the general type below. I began looking closer, trying to catalog them by die-matches and to understand why the previous collector had literally several thousand coins of this type. In the process, I've really gained a much greater appreciation for their internal variety, and found topics to research in greater depth. I've even been inspired to draft an (as-yet unpublished) "research note" and bibliography on the history of the type's identification, especially the obverse, which is very inadequately described in the literature.

This is ~25-30% of the group:

image.jpeg.1b4cdae68aaeee374fa31f2231896

 

 

There are lots of other types for which I'm happy to have duplicates, especially in my "barbarians, captives, and enemies" collection. Here are four Caracallas of almost the same type (top left has a V COS where the others have a IIII) ... There are many other examples, especially with the fourth-century bronzes. Each specimen or die may show slightly different details of the trophy or captives/barbarians/fallen horseman, and I get no end of fascination "flyspecking" them:

image.jpeg.76c7c737a9bfba72a5d0d930bf4417ec.jpeg

 

 

For my Owl Tetradrachms, they have different flaws and assets. All three add up to about one good specimen! (Not quite -- I still need a crest above the helmet and more corners on the incuse square -- hopefully I can cover all that in the next one example and won't need 2 or 3 more!) If I ever found one perfect example, I might sell off the rest as duplicates (except the first, which has sentimental value), but for now I "need" them all!

image.png.ee7dbcc07bae6da6d0089463a53c5d33.pngimage.png.e92ba46eecba5d64453d7a7ce2df3147.pngimage.png.78c2846e54b317f899ca9e308a2adc8d.png

Edited by Curtis JJ
+ " I got over it:"
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