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A Bargain Bronze

David Atherton

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I recently picked up this very affordable sestertius from Marc Breitsprecher (yes, I'm giving a rare shout out!). Not only was it affordable, but it's also quite handsome in hand! To be clear, the piece is nothing rare or earth-shattering ... it's just a decent first century large bronze and proof there are still bargains to be had ... even in the midst of the ancient coin market 'bubble'.




Æ Sestertius, 22.95g
Rome mint, 88-89 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM COS XIIII CENS PER P P; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: IOVI VICTORI; S C in exergue; Jupiter std. l., with Victory and sceptre
RIC 633 (C). BMC 406. BNC 436.
Acquired from Marc Breitsprecher, September 2022.

Just like the silver and gold, Domitian's aes coinage in the mid 80s settled down to a few predicable reverse types that were annually struck throughout the reign. The Sestertii were dominated by Victory crowning the emperor and this seated Jupiter with Victory. 'Jupiter the giver of Victory' was an important propaganda type because of the periodic conflicts on the Northern frontier that flared up form time to time. Also, according to Suetonius, Domitian established 'a quinquennial contest in honour of Jupiter Capitolinus of a threefold character, comprising music, riding, and gymnastics, and with considerably more prizes than are awarded nowadays.'

Feel free to post your own bargains!

Thanks for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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Lovely coin!

Here is a recent Bronze bargain Ive found, missatributed as a Seleucid Coin.

Ptolemy II, AE23, denomination B, Cyprus mint. 7.46 g. Head of Alexander right, wearing elephant skin headdress. / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left, wings spread. EY and XAΡ monogram in left field. Svoronos 363; BMC 7; Hunter 5; Paris 431; Mionnet VI, 229.

22 Euros, buyier's premium included. Its not the prettiest coin ever, but such an interesting coin, from an unusual mint, for that price? Id say its a win.

Edited by Leo
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@David Atherton...Lovely colouring and really proud portrait!..

Nice addition!


I picked up this bargain a couple of years back.....Misidentified as a Greek provincial....



Vardanes I (40-47 AD)
AE Chalkous 11mm/1.8gr..
Obverse- Bust left with short beard, wearing diadem and spiral torque; hair in three distinct waves with earring visible; diadem pendants shown as three lines; circular border of pellets.
Reverse- Monogram ΜΤΘ; legend as dashes
Mint- Mithradatkart-Near modern Askabad in Turkmenistan.
Ref- Sellwood 64 type variant (ΜΤΘ monogram) This is quite a rare type

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A recent bargain from Marc Breitsprecher.

Faustina I, AD 138-140.
Roman Æ as or dupondius, 10.39 g, 26.5 mm, 7 h.
Rome, AD 145-147.
Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: AVGVSTA S C, female figure (Concordia?) seated left, holding statuette of Spes and scepter.
Refs: RIC 1184; BMCRE 1585 corr.; Cohen 121; Strack 1296 corr.; RCV –.
Notes: RIC 1184=RIC 1181 corr. Ex- Wayne C. Phillips.

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Roman Mesopotamia, Nisibis. Caracalla, 197-218 AD or Elagabalus, 218-222 AD. Æ 22mm (8.55g, 12h). Obv: Laureate and draped bust right. Rev: KOΛωN[ξCIB?]; Tyche seated left on rocks, Γ below. Ref: Lindgren II 2598 (see M&M Auction 20, Lot 965 for attribution). Crude about Very Fine, nice glossy dark green patina. See CNG eAuction 211 lot 336 for a radiate bust with a similar reverse: Lindgren III 1566. $13.


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