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My new favorite coin... Yes, really!


Phil Davis
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I've never really been willing or even able to name a "favorite coin" in my collection. I have quite a few I'm rather partial to. I certainly didn't expect that to change at this relatively late date in my collecting life. Never say never...

One of the rarest, most sought after denarii in the entire Republican series is the only silver coin struck by the moneyer C. Numitorius, Crawford 246/1, in 133 BC on Crawford's dating,  (The same moneyer also issued several much more common bronze denominations, semis down to sextans.) It's long been recognized as an important rarity, R9 in Sydenham, and truly is one of the types by which a Republican collection is judged. Of course I've always badly wanted one, but the few to appear in the market all had noticeable problems (despite being rather pricey) and I was never seriously tempted. Until now... It's the holiday season and I bought myself a slightly early Chanukah present.

The types are typical of the period: head of Roma on the obverse, Victory in quadriga on the reverse. What makes the type "sexy" of course is the name C. NVMITORI in the exergue. These are the only coins issued by the Numitoria gens, or at any rate the only ones that have survived. Nothing is known about the moneyer with any certainty; Crawford is willing to expand the name slightly to C. Numitorius C.f. Lem., mentioned in a Senatus consultum, but says little else. Grueber in the BMC catalogue cites speculation that the moneyer may be a certain Sullan associate Caius Numitorius who was put to death by Marius and Cinna in 87 BC, but acknowledges that this is uncertain. Really, all we have are the coins.

And glorious coins they are, at least when struck by the best pair of dies. Rarity aside, the craftsmanship on those two dies is worlds better than anything else I'm aware of from the early to mid 2nd Century BC, of any type. When the coin presented here was offered by the San Marino firm Artemide Aste, of the quality I wanted, struck from the dies I wanted, I knew I had to have it.  Eating is overrated. Here are the dealer's quite good photos.

 

 

image00305.jpg

 

I've looked at maybe 30 examples, in person, online or in catalogues. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm loath to use terms like "finest known," because how can we ever know that really, but if this isn't the finest surviving example of this classic rarity, someone will need to show me a better one to convince me.

My friends at Artemide Aste had been quite taken with Aaron Berk's video of the "unboxing" of the gold Eid Mar we (HJB) recently purchased for a client and asked me to do something similar when I received this coin. I felt a little sheepish about it, because although I absolutely adore this coin, it is two zeroes shy of the gold Eid Mar, but the auction house has been very helpful and I wanted to accommodate them in return. Here's a link to the video; thanks to Aaron for shooting it and posting it on his Facebook podcast channel: 

 

Edited by Phil Davis
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Coingrats on the absolute showstopper🤩

1 hour ago, Phil Davis said:

I knew I had to have it.  Eating is overrated.

ae23b889-df19-44d4-8e1d-748f65492fd6_text.gif.0b1a8db8ff6db31f4d6c5615ccece0b8.gif

I've nothing of that quality, but will share a favorite RR. Nothing like the relief, centering nor artistry of yours, but Roma is looking happy and it's shield shines like a diamond:

IMG_3914(1)(1).JPG.9eb6dfef06aeb2981313190dc8b379db.JPG

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1 hour ago, Curtisimo said:

 Now show us your top 10! 😉

I probably won't do that @Curtisimo, but fwiw I have a different show and tell I've been considering. Next time I visit the  safe deposit box (which now needs to be very very soon, lol!) I want to do a group shot of my nearly complete run of Brutus silver. Without false modesty, it's one of the strongest parts of my collection (despite no Eid Mar) and I'd enjoy sharing it.

 

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13 minutes ago, Phil Davis said:

I probably won't do that @Curtisimo, but fwiw I have a different show and tell I've been considering. Next time I visit the  safe deposit box (which now needs to be very very soon, lol!) I want to do a group shot of my nearly complete run of Brutus silver. Without false modesty, it's one of the strongest parts of my collection (despite no Eid Mar) and I'd enjoy sharing it.

 

I am genuinely looking forward to seeing it! Your collection is truly inspirational. 🙂

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On 11/22/2022 at 2:57 PM, Phil Davis said:

I've never really been willing or even able to name a "favorite coin" in my collection. I have quite a few I'm rather partial to. I certainly didn't expect that to change at this relatively late date in my collecting life. Never say never...

One of the rarest, most sought after denarii in the entire Republican series is the only silver coin struck by the moneyer C. Numitorius, Crawford 246/1, in 133 BC on Crawford's dating,  (The same moneyer also issued several much more common bronze denominations, semis down to sextans.) It's long been recognized as an important rarity, R9 in Sydenham, and truly is one of the types by which a Republican collection is judged. Of course I've always badly wanted one, but the few to appear in the market all had noticeable problems (despite being rather pricey) and I was never seriously tempted. Until now... It's the holiday season and I bought myself a slightly early Chanukah present.

The types are typical of the period: head of Roma on the obverse, Victory in quadriga on the reverse. What makes the type "sexy" of course is the name C. NVMITORI in the exergue. These are the only coins issued by the Numitoria gens, or at any rate the only ones that have survived. Nothing is known about the moneyer with any certainty; Crawford is willing to expand the name slightly to C. Numitorius C.f. Lem., mentioned in a Senatus consultum, but says little else. Grueber in the BMC catalogue cites speculation that the moneyer may be a certain Sullan associate Caius Numitorius who was put to death by Marius and Cinna in 87 BC, but acknowledges that this is uncertain. Really, all we have are the coins.

And glorious coins they are, at least when struck by the best pair of dies. Rarity aside, the craftsmanship on those two dies is worlds better than anything else I'm aware of from the early to mid 2nd Century BC, of any type. When the coin presented here was offered by the San Marino firm Artemide Aste, of the quality I wanted, struck from the dies I wanted, I knew I had to have it.  Eating is overrated. Here are the dealer's quite good photos.

 

 

image00305.jpg

 

I've looked at maybe 30 examples, in person, online or in catalogues. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm loath to use terms like "finest known," because how can we ever know that really, but if this isn't the finest surviving example of this classic rarity, someone will need to show me a better one to convince me.

My friends at Artemide Aste had been quite taken with Aaron Berk's video of the "unboxing" of the gold Eid Mar we (HJB) recently purchased for a client and asked me to do something similar when I received this coin. I felt a little sheepish about it, because although I absolutely adore this coin, it is two zeroes shy of the gold Eid Mar, but the auction house has been very helpful and I wanted to accommodate them in return. Here's a link to the video; thanks to Aaron for shooting it and posting it on his Facebook podcast channel: 

 

Congrats Phil! Wonderful find! Wow.

such a gorgeous, aesthetically pleasing coin to my eye!

I am honored that you opened your package with the scissors design that I and my development team created several years ago! 

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1 hour ago, Phil Davis said:

How cool! I would've mentioned it and given you credit if I knew, but I had no idea.

No need for credit.  It is a reminiscence for me.  This design was created over 30 years ago, and has been copied by others later. I have been involved with the development of many consumer products over the years, that folks have used everyday in their lives.  It is fun to see folks use them without a thought, other than that they do their intended job in the daily lives.  Just fun and an internal satisfaction that I am helping folks.  I rarely discuss it.  However, it was an honor that you captured such a wonderful coin, and some of my personal legacy helped touched your life.  Fun.

Happiness to you!

Brian

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