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What's your FAVOURITE ancient coin (that you own)?


AncientNumis
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Posted (edited)

Ok, this question probably seems impossible to answer. How could we choose just one coin over all of those in our collections we love so much? And what does 'favourite' truly mean? How do we define it? Well, here you can interpret that question in whatever way you want. It'll probably be a tough choice for most of you, but hopefully it's a chance to see some wonderful coins that really represent us collectors. I'll start off with mine:

What is it?

It's a denarius of C.VIBIVS VARVUS, from 42 BC. On the obverse is the portrait of Bacchus, his hair wreathed with Ivy and grapes. On the reverse, we see the name of the issuer as the legend, and the image is that of a panther (leopard as it's spotted), leaping towards a garlanded altar, on which a mask of pan lies - a thrysus is on it as well. 

Why I love it!

It really suggests a lot about why I collect coins.  

1

There is a lot of mystery surrounding it, who is the mask of (Pan or Silenus?), and even the obverse figure is disputed (although Liber and Bacchus are very similar). I love a good mystery where I can make up my own theories and reach my own conclusions based on available evidence 😄 

2

Panther!? I loooooove animals on ancient coins, and as non-mythical animals go, panthers (or leopards) are definitely up there. 

3

Lots of detail on the coin! So much is going on, especially on the reverse, but it's still beautiful. An altar, a mask, a thrysus, a panther, a legend, this all adds to the coin for me. 

 

Do I love this coin substantially more than all my others? No. In fact I might even pick a different coin depending on how I feel! But, at least, this shows some elements about ancient coins I really like. 

 

Post 1 coin that you really love  (and perhaps represents your collection or why you collect ancients)!

Looking forward to lots of great responses 🙂 

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 20.28.18.png

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 20.28.26.png

Edited by AncientNumis
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It is very difficult to pick one.

My collection is not large (currently consisting in 312 ancient coins) and without spectacular conditions or rarities.

I know many coin collectors (not only ancient coins collectors) have an issue - they love a coin until they get it and then they forget about it. I don't have this problem - I often browse my album and it is very relaxing to remember the adrenaline boost I had when winning the coin, or the days were i impatiently expected the auction, hoping to get a certain coin. They didn't have to be extremely rare or excellent condition - just I had to like them.

Again, very difficult and I already had about 10 coins in mind but here is one who was very popular among fellow collectors.

For this coin I even broke my promise last year - I didn't want to buy any coins in the last 2 months of the year, but this one appeared and I was determined to get it.

image.png.9a725b58ea322068ff41bb0cc5836b48.png

Of course the reverse type has been the subject of many jokes (many made by me =)) ) but speaking seriously, the artistry of the engraving makes me think about ancient statues. This type was issued by many rulers, but I have rarely seen an example with this kind of details. I have 2 other examples (both from Julia Domna) and I like them, but the artistry level doesn't compare.

image.png.400cceb2ad554eab570bb6b640dd230a.png

image.png.9305a3887539a3747a2c40b4d948ec62.png

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  • AncientNumis changed the title to What's your FAVOURITE ancient coin (that you own)?
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ambr0zie said:

It is very difficult to pick one.

My collection is not large (currently consisting in 312 ancient coins) and without spectacular conditions or rarities.

I know many coin collectors (not only ancient coins collectors) have an issue - they love a coin until they get it and then they forget about it. I don't have this problem - I often browse my album and it is very relaxing to remember the adrenaline boost I had when winning the coin, or the days were i impatiently expected the auction, hoping to get a certain coin. They didn't have to be extremely rare or excellent condition - just I had to like them.

Again, very difficult and I already had about 10 coins in mind but here is one who was very popular among fellow collectors.

For this coin I even broke my promise last year - I didn't want to buy any coins in the last 2 months of the year, but this one appeared and I was determined to get it.

image.png.9a725b58ea322068ff41bb0cc5836b48.png

Of course the reverse type has been the subject of many jokes (many made by me =)) ) but speaking seriously, the artistry of the engraving makes me think about ancient statues. This type was issued by many rulers, but I have rarely seen an example with this kind of details. I have 2 other examples (both from Julia Domna) and I like them, but the artistry level doesn't compare.

image.png.400cceb2ad554eab570bb6b640dd230a.png

image.png.9305a3887539a3747a2c40b4d948ec62.png

Well, that's nearly double as many ancients as me! Great coin - due to that extra level of detail you don't normally see for the type (as you say). The die engraver of that coin must have been pretty skilled 🙂 , also nice you have 2 other with same reverse. You must really like it... 🤣

 

Edited by AncientNumis
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This was a popular reverse, from what I read it represents an ancient statue (now lost). It is also found on coins with portraits of Titus (several dates), Julia Titi, Faustina II (an example is owned by, who would have guessed, @Roman Collector) and Septimius Severus. There might be others.

The first Julia Domna from my previous post is a recent acquisition - I bought it thinking that it might be from the Eastern mints. Wrong. Both are from Rome but I am not bothered - the styles are different so I can't consider them identical coins.

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Very difficult choice. Probably my most interesting coin from an architectural, religious, and historical perspective currently is this one. It was quite reasonably priced. I once saw a documentary on the Discovery channel about the city of Zeugma, which is situated on the Euphrates just inside the Turkish border. The archaeological finds from the town have been spectacular including legionary armor and a roll list of the legion stationed there (IVth Scythica). As a major prize, it was sacked by the Persians in 256 during the time of Valerian and Gallienus and completely destroyed. The Capricorn was the symbol of Legion IV Scythica, so is depicted on the coinage.

COMMAGENE, Zeugma.

Philip I the Arab or Philip II. 247-249 AD.

Æ31, 19.2g; 6h

Ex: JAZ Numismatics

Obv.: AYTOK K M IOYΛI ФIΛIΠΠOC CЄB; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.

Rev.: ZЄYGM-ATЄΩN; Peribolos containing grove of trees, seen in perspective; tetrastyle temple in distance, draped figure within (Zeus?); in exergue, capricorn to right.

Reference: Butcher 31c; BMC 35.

[IMG]

[IMG]

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It's hard to pick a favorite but right now, on May 31st, I'll say my Athens gold diobol. It's small, a bit scraped, not perfectly centered, but irreplaceable and absolutely dripping with history:

 

AthensAV.thumb.jpg.ab20a7b3432f38bd99f36e6d9ab364a9.jpg

ATTICA. Athens. AV Diobol (1.43 gms), ca. 407/6 B.C.
Svoronos-pl. 15#7. Head of Athena facing right wearing crested Attic helmet adorned with palmette and olive leaves; Reverse: Two owls standing confronted, olive branch between, ethnic in exergue. Minor scuffs, though commensurate with the assigned condition.
Ex. John Whitney Walter Collection


Athens was a prolific producer of silver coinage, minting millions of owl tetradrachms. Gold, however, was much scarcer in the region and Athens only minted gold coinage when in severe crisis. This gold diobol comes from the final years of the Peloponnesian War and is one of the most important and rarest Greek coins.

Athens faced heavy losses against Sparta. Near the end of the war, they blocked Athens from accessing its silver mines, resulting in an economic emergency. After four years of being starved out, the need for funds became so dire, the authorities ordered the melting of seven of the eight massive gold statues of Nike which were standing around the Parthenon on the Acropolis.

These statues were symbols of the city’s great economic reserves making this a true moment of desperation for Athens. The gold from these statues was minted into coins and used to construct a new fleet of ships to attempt a naval retaliation. Because of their value, to protect against forgeries, the dies used to strike the coins were stored in the Parthenon treasury in an alabaster box. Further indicating the importance of their minting, the historical context of these gold coins is exceptionally well documented by the playwright Aristophanes and by the Athenian treasury records.

Unfortunately, even with the influx of funds, Athens was ultimately defeated at sea and surrendered to the Spartan general Lysander.

While many thousands of coins were minted with the volume of gold from the statues, only a very small number survive today. This coin is one of only two diobols in private hands with the four others residing in museums. Other denominations are also known but exist in similar numbers, with only one or two examples of each available to private collectors.

 

Edited by AncientJoe
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My favorite ancient coin changes every other day (as well as my favorite medieval or my favorite royal)...inconstancy... 😄

Today, it might be this denarius. I bought it 40 years ago, it cost me a fortune by then (a laughable price as of today's standard) and has always been worth every penny I paid for it. Plus the engraving is fabulous especially on the reverse

911bbff099f44b39bb296869b65cb1d9.jpg

Severus Alexander, Denarius - Rome mint, AD 225
IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, Laureate head of Severus Alexander right
IOVI VLTORI, Jupiter seated left holding victory and spear
3.26 gr
Ref : RCV #7873 (75), Cohen #97

 

Q

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Yes as most have said it changes frequently....Although I do hold this coin probably more than any other..

Antoninus Pius. 138-161 AD. AE Dupondius (11.76 gm, 25.3mm). Rome mint. Struck 154-155 AD.
Obv.. ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVIII, radiate head right.
Rev.. LIBERTAS COS IIII / S - C, Libertas with pileus and sceptre standing left.
RIC 933....BMC 1469. gVF.

Mr3H5XGt9bB68izFoJr2K7AjkK849D.jpg.92a8154bb29ebd306f53ba61d4d34a5b.jpg

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22 minutes ago, AncientJoe said:

It's hard to pick a favorite but right now, on May 31st, I'll say my Athens gold diobol. It's small, a bit scraped, not perfectly centered, but irreplaceable and absolutely dripping with history:

 

AthensAV.thumb.jpg.ab20a7b3432f38bd99f36e6d9ab364a9.jpg

ATTICA. Athens. AV Diobol (1.43 gms), ca. 407/6 B.C.
Svoronos-pl. 15#7. Head of Athena facing right wearing crested Attic helmet adorned with palmette and olive leaves; Reverse: Two owls standing confronted, olive branch between, ethnic in exergue. Minor scuffs, though commensurate with the assigned condition.
Ex. John Whitney Walter Collection


Athens was a prolific producer of silver coinage, minting millions of owl tetradrachms. Gold, however, was much scarcer in the region and Athens only minted gold coinage when in severe crisis. This gold diobol comes from the final years of the Peloponnesian War and is one of the most important and rarest Greek coins.

Athens faced heavy losses against Sparta. Near the end of the war, they blocked Athens from accessing its silver mines, resulting in an economic emergency. After four years of being starved out, the need for funds became so dire, the authorities ordered the melting of seven of the eight massive gold statues of Nike which were standing around the Parthenon on the Acropolis.

These statues were symbols of the city’s great economic reserves making this a true moment of desperation for Athens. The gold from these statues was minted into coins and used to construct a new fleet of ships to attempt a naval retaliation. Because of their value, to protect against forgeries, the dies used to strike the coins were stored in the Parthenon treasury in an alabaster box. Further indicating the importance of their minting, the historical context of these gold coins is exceptionally well documented by the playwright Aristophanes and by the Athenian treasury records.

Unfortunately, even with the influx of funds, Athens was ultimately defeated at sea and surrendered to the Spartan general Lysander.

While many thousands of coins were minted with the volume of gold from the statues, only a very small number survive today. This coin is one of only two diobols in private hands with the four others residing in museums. Other denominations are also known but exist in similar numbers, with only one or two examples of each available to private collectors.

 

Thank you for the post. The coin and its history are fascinating.

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sirakusa8litrai.jpg.4f5ed351219bdbc52caf3aac64252d88.jpg

SICILY, Syracuse. Reign of Agathokles, c. 317-289 BC. AR 8-Litrai (6.85g). Head of Athena wearing Corinthian helmet left / Pegasus flying left, triskeles below. SNG ANS 684. A fascinating aspect of this coin is it's remarkable similarity to the well known Corinthian Staters from the same era. Like their modern descendants, ancient minters knew a good thing when they saw on it, and if they could improve upon the design all the better. What distinguishes this piece from the Corinth issues is the presence of the Sicilian "Triskeles" on the reverse of the piece under Pegasus. This "Triskeles" is symbolic of the island of Sicily.

Probably close to a favourite, definitely in my top 2-3.

 

 

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It's so very hard to choose.  Like @AncientJoe I prefer coins "dripping in history" so I guess (today) I'll go for my Julius Caesar portrait coin:

image.thumb.jpeg.30bc27e15e84312fe3da7a03e8f690cc.jpeg

I chased these high and low, bought one then sold it, and finally landed one I was happy with at a surprisingly reasonable price.  I wouldn't feel my collection was complete without one, that's for sure!!

41 minutes ago, AncientJoe said:

It's hard to pick a favorite but right now, on May 31st, I'll say my Athens gold diobol. It's small, a bit scraped, not perfectly centered, but irreplaceable and absolutely dripping with history:

 

AthensAV.thumb.jpg.ab20a7b3432f38bd99f36e6d9ab364a9.jpg

ATTICA. Athens. AV Diobol (1.43 gms), ca. 407/6 B.C.
Svoronos-pl. 15#7. Head of Athena facing right wearing crested Attic helmet adorned with palmette and olive leaves; Reverse: Two owls standing confronted, olive branch between, ethnic in exergue. Minor scuffs, though commensurate with the assigned condition.
Ex. John Whitney Walter Collection

That's the coin of yours I would have picked!!

46 minutes ago, Qcumbor said:

My favorite ancient coin changes every other day (as well as my favorite medieval or my favorite royal)...inconstancy... 😄

Today, it might be this denarius. I bought it 40 years ago, it cost me a fortune by then (a laughable price as of today's standard) and has always been worth every penny I paid for it. Plus the engraving is fabulous especially on the reverse

911bbff099f44b39bb296869b65cb1d9.jpg

Severus Alexander, Denarius - Rome mint, AD 225
IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, Laureate head of Severus Alexander right
IOVI VLTORI, Jupiter seated left holding victory and spear
3.26 gr
Ref : RCV #7873 (75), Cohen #97

 

Q

How lovely that you picked an SA coin, Q!  (I bet the black sestertius was close competition for it...)

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Posted · Supporter

Great thread idea! And AMAZING coins so far (I can't believe @AncientJoeposted his Parthenon Diobol!!!

tenor-27.gif.d85e78c244054e8016ee6e25fe37b583.gif)

For me it's a recent purchase. I've wrote about it enough and talked about it enough. You asked😜 my favorite coin (currently):

Screenshot_20220508-132424_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.c530b02e446172dcdff212e98d5f798a.png

 

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Posted · Benefactor

Easy choice for me. My 90-coin collection is solely Imperatorial and from Day 1 there was one coin that I wanted above all others:76282B36-E1C5-42BB-82B1-52E657325C65.thumb.jpeg.a07e52f8f22e51a0f67660540bf0023c.jpegAA56D95D-B5FC-448A-BC80-320D22E6B09A.thumb.jpeg.ccb59006b22b96b62f0bcafe846e68e9.jpeg

It’s not as nice as @AncientJoe’s, but it’s pedigreed back to 1917. It’s been in several well-known collections - Johann Horsky, Spencer-Churchill, and John Balderston. I was very fortunate because when I bought the coin in 1984, I had no pedigree information about the coin.

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I..JUST...CAN..NOT...DO...IT.

Nope. Not gonna do it.

I have SO many of mine that are favorites!  I would probably list, and justifiably so, maybe A HUNDRED or so that are my FAVORITE!

It is as if you had to say... "YOU are my favorite child".  (I have 6 girls)  How do you do that???  😄 😄 😄 

I have Marsic Confederation; Etrurian; Pre-211 BCE Heavy Denarii and Quinarii; Makedonwn; Carthage; CAESAR minted under 14 days before he died; Sicily Denarii; AES Grave; Iceni; Tetartemorions; and OTHERS that I really enjoy that are all considered a FAVORITE of mine. 😄

Can I dump a 100 out here???

😄 

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Posted (edited)

This is tough. I have about 5 contenders and of them my Maussolos tetradrachm is probably my favorite (my avatar). Since I’ve posted it on the forum already I’ll show a close contender. 
 

CEFA5B65-B61A-45C6-8440-9313795C2610.thumb.jpeg.75af6729fe2c86f991c805d48b1515c1.jpeg
This stater was from one of the issues struck by the Spartan Alliance as the main currency to fund the Peloponnesian War against Athens. It’s beautiful, historical and looks great in hand. 

Edited by Curtisimo
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WOW - Such amazing coins, you've all put my measly RR Denarius to shame! 

7 hours ago, jdmKY said:

Easy choice for me. My 90-coin collection is solely Imperatorial and from Day 1 there was one coin that I wanted above all others:76282B36-E1C5-42BB-82B1-52E657325C65.thumb.jpeg.a07e52f8f22e51a0f67660540bf0023c.jpegAA56D95D-B5FC-448A-BC80-320D22E6B09A.thumb.jpeg.ccb59006b22b96b62f0bcafe846e68e9.jpeg

It’s not as nice as @AncientJoe’s, but it’s pedigreed back to 1917. It’s been in several well-known collections - Johann Horsky, Spencer-Churchill, and John Balderston. I was very fortunate because when I bought the coin in 1984, I had no pedigree information about the coin.

Woahhhhhhh - an EID MAR... I'm completely mind blown!!!

 

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Great thread and wonderful coins.

Really hard to pick, I have so many coins I love. But if I had to pick one ancient, it would be my Alexander III gold stater.

I love it because of both the period and its beauty.

Alexander III ‘the Great’, 336-323 BC gold stater
Obverse: head of Athena to right, wearing Corinthian helmet decorated with a serpent.
Reverse: AΛEΞANΔΡOΥ Nike standing front, head to left, with her wings spread, holding laurel wreath in her right hand and stylis in her left; below left wing, crescent above A
Mint: Lampsakos
Diameter: 17 mm
Weight: 8.60g

00183q00 (1).jpg

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Tyra - Тира

tyrasaeantoninuspius.jpg.326935c9b95297eabc80f49e31db2ca3.jpg

 

Tyra is in the SE corner of what is now Ukraine - near the city of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, and is one of the oldest known continously occupied cities in the world. It is believed that the original settlement of the area at the mouth of the Dnestr river began in the 6th century BC, it's prominence at the end of the river where it empties into the Black Sea gives it an advantage in trade. Coins from Tyra date into the 3rd century BC, but curiously they are difficult to find as they are never found in any quantity. As the Roman Empire expanded eastward and absorbed Thrace their client states in the region began minting coins in the names of the Roman Emperors.

This coin was minted in the reign of Antoninus Pius(138-161 AD) and bears his portrait and name. The reverse of the coin has Hercules standing with a club and lion skin and the legend "TYPANWN" for the city name. Even during the Roman era there doesn't appear to have been a large output of coinage from Tyra, and this example is only the third one I have seen in ten years of searching for one.

The city of Bilhorod-Dnestrovskyi is one of those places that has changed hands many many times over the years, it has been a part of the Greek Empire, then Roman, Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of Bulgaria, then the Ottoman Empire, part of Moldavia in the 18th century, then absorbed into the Russian Empire, then in 1918 was awarded to Romania and became "Cetatae Alba" - literally meaning White City, then in 1940 was taken by the USSR and became a part of Ukraine. There are historical excavations going on in the vicinity of the Fortress of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi - a fortress that dates into Byzantine times.

This is not a particularly pretty coin - but I have family ties to Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi and coins minted there are quite rare.

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Posted · Supporter

Athenian gold?? Eid Mar denarius?? Alexander the Great gold?? I am speechless at some of the incredible coins some of you have!!! 🤯

How can I post a coin now? 😜

Narrowing it down to just one is hard...hmm...I'd say it would have to be this Augustus tetradrachm which I just posted in another thread:

20220528_215228.thumb.jpg.4418e69d5fce0ebfb1df13b194b2cabd.jpg

 

I'm interested in all periods of ancient history, and my collection includes coins from ancient Persia, Greece, Rome, and China. So far, I haven't focused exclusively on one category; if a coin appeals to me, chances are I might buy it.

That said, like many beginners, I have naturally gravitated to early Roman Empire coins because of the familiarity we have with the names, places, and dates from the New Testament. Obviously, Augustus is of particular significance as being the emperor during Jesus' birth and early life. He is also mentioned by name in the NT, in what is probably a very familiar passage to a lot of you and one we hear often around Christmas time:

LUKE 2:1 KJV "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world..." (kingjamesbibleonline.org)

Of course, Augustus is of immense historical importance quite apart from his connection with New Testament history. He was the eventual victor in the terrible, long and bloody civil wars which saw the destruction of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the Imperial Roman Empire. Under his authority, Rome entered into a new phase of expansion and growth which lasted for centuries, and its influence reaches to our times. 

In addition to the history, I also happen to like large silver coins, and when I saw this one come up for sale I did not hesitate! The portrait is beautifully struck and well-preserved, though a bit off center; the reverse is equally pleasing, with sharp detail. Both sides are pleasantly toned as well. A winner in my book!

 

I won't post photos, but second place would probably be my Trajan sestertius, and third would be either my Tiberius denarius or my Athena/owl tetradrachm.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

so many awesome coins shown here! i dont know which is my favorite, changes as often as i change my underwear…which is pretty often(just saying incase you all think im a dirty pig 😂).

 

Here is one im proud of through, got it really dirty and cleaned it up! Here are before and after pics…got it fairly cheap because of the encrustation and just decided to clean it up myself!

 

AV aureus of emperor Nero, struck 64-65, Rome mint. 19mm, 7.1g

RIC I 48, Calico 405.

Obv: NERO CAESAR AVGVSTUS, laureate head of nero facing right

Rev: CONCORDIA AVGVSTA, concordia draped and seated left, holding patera in right hand and cornucopia in left.

 

Why its one of my favorites though? Just because who doesnt like gold coinage, especially heavy early Roman gold? Julio claudian coinage is already one of my favorite areas to collect, so enough said!

 

Cheers!

 

 

36EBBA70-F4C0-4AEE-BB18-787A1D0B1FC0.jpeg

231D4641-5C38-4487-9605-C3F773A8F8A2.jpeg

325C6FEF-9AA9-439E-A826-41EC9DB9C6A6.jpeg

D6563927-FAF6-46B6-9C09-595FD064C80D.jpeg

Edited by John060167
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Posted · Administrator
1 hour ago, CPK said:

Athenian gold?? Eid Mar denarius?? Alexander the Great gold?? I am speechless at some of the incredible coins some of you have!!! 🤯

How can I post a coin now? 😜

Narrowing it down to just one is hard...hmm...I'd say it would have to be this Augustus tetradrachm which I just posted in another thread:

20220528_215228.thumb.jpg.4418e69d5fce0ebfb1df13b194b2cabd.jpg

 

I'm interested in all periods of ancient history, and my collection includes coins from ancient Persia, Greece, Rome, and China. So far, I haven't focused exclusively on one category; if a coin appeals to me, chances are I might buy it.

That said, like many beginners, I have naturally gravitated to early Roman Empire coins because of the familiarity we have with the names, places, and dates from the New Testament. Obviously, Augustus is of particular significance as being the emperor during Jesus' birth and early life. He is also mentioned by name in the NT, in what is probably a very familiar passage to a lot of you and one we hear often around Christmas time:

LUKE 2:1 KJV "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world..." (kingjamesbibleonline.org)

Of course, Augustus is of immense historical importance quite apart from his connection with New Testament history. He was the eventual victor in the terrible, long and bloody civil wars which saw the destruction of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the Imperial Roman Empire. Under his authority, Rome entered into a new phase of expansion and growth which lasted for centuries, and its influence reaches to our times. 

In addition to the history, I also happen to like large silver coins, and when I saw this one come up for sale I did not hesitate! The portrait is beautifully struck and well-preserved, though a bit off center; the reverse is equally pleasing, with sharp detail. Both sides are pleasantly toned as well. A winner in my book!

 

I won't post photos, but second place would probably be my Trajan sestertius, and third would be either my Tiberius denarius or my Athena/owl tetradrachm.

 

 

 

 

Love your Augustus coin! Mine was one of the earliest coins I acquired and it really kick-started my addiction! 
 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I showed my current 'favorite' in the thread on avatars (hint: it is the one in my avatar) so this time I will show my favorite coin designated as such in my 1997 web page so entitled and with me since 1963 when I had to swallow hard to spend all of $13.50 for it from Joel Malter.  When I sold my first collection in 1974, Joel Malter refused to give me any extra for it so I kept it and two others that were special to me.  I went several decades thinking it was very rare but now I own three.  It was the subject of an article I did for 'Voice of the Turtle' magazine in 1966 where it is illustrated by a photo almost as embarrassing as the text.  I still like the coin.   I need to rephotograph it.  I can do better now (I hope). 

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/dougsmith/feac6.html

rg4420fd0038.thumb.jpg.66819513551c4a78aca9a7ace4389462.jpg

 

Edited by dougsmit
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Posted · Supporter

I always post the same wretched coin when this topic comes up, so I think many here might have seen this one before.  For those who haven't, apologies in advance... 😊

1555079542_CreteGortyna-ARStaterLabyrinthMinotaur1877.thumb.jpg.64a4e129ac3f4bd33b10558991b0cd17.jpg

CRETE, Gortyna
AR Stater. 11.77g, 29.8mm.
CRETE, Gortyna, circa 330-270 BC. SNG Cop -; Svoronos 36/62 (same obv die as 36, pl. XIII, 10; rev of 62, pl. XIV, 9); BMC Crete pg. 38, 7/8, pl. IX. 6 (same obv die) and 7 (same rev die?).
O: Europa, wearing chiton with short sleeves and peplos over lower limbs, seated right in platanus tree; right hand on tree, head resting pensively on left arm, which is bent and supported by her knee.
R: Bull standing to right, head turned back left to lick its flank.
Notes: Overstruck on a stater of Knossos, circa 425-360 BC (Svoronos 23), with visible undertypes of the Minotaur on obv and Labyrinth of Knossos on rev.

The combination of overstrike and visible undertypes from two different Cretan cities in addition to the worn state of the dies used make for quite a mess, but in a nutshell, the obverse shows the Phoenician princess Europa sitting in a tree (Gortynian type) struck over an archaic depiction of the Minotaur (Knossian type), and the reverse has the Cretan bull struck over the fabled Labyrinth of Knossos.  

It's far from the prettiest coin on the block, but to my mind it's certainly the most interesting and unique one I have in my collection, and it's the one that I would consider absolutely irreplaceable for me.  If I had to think of a coin I could ever get that would usurp its spot at the top of my favorites list, it would probably be an EID MAR struck over a CAESAR DICT PERPETVO.  One can dream, right? 😊

 

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