Ursus Posted December 11, 2022 · Supporter Share Posted December 11, 2022 (edited) I am going to post my "real" 2022 favorite list closer to Christmas since I am still waiting for two coins to be shipped. In this post, though, I will continue a small tradition that I started over at CoinTalk three years ago. In 2021, 2020 and 2019, I posted lists of my ten favorite ancient and medieval coin purchases under $25. In 2022, such bargains were especially welcome to my collection since due to a recent home purchase and extensive (and expensive) renovations, my coin funds were much more limited than in previous years. My reason for doing this list is simple: each year, new collectors looking for advice and inspiration join this and other online forums. Many of our favorite lists could create the impression that ancient and medieval numismatics are a hobby only suitable for people with substantial piles of disposable cash. To prove this wrong, I'll try to show what is possible on a budget, and I’d like to invite everybody else to show their own budget purchases from 2022. The rules for this list are the same as in the previous years: to illustrate the affordability of the hobby, I have violated the ‘never talk about money’-rule of polite conversation and mentioned prices. If necessary, amounts are converted to US dollars, although I will, since I by now have relocated permanently to Europe, probably switch to giving prices in Euros next year. All prices include buyer’s premium and are rounded up. Shipping is not factored in. I name professional and semi-professional dealers but for reasons of privacy refrain from giving the names of hobbyists who occasionally sell pieces from their collections. Coins are in chronological order. 1. I have a small subcollection focusing on Postumus, whose coins can often be found for little money. The reverse showing Aesculapius with his snake staff in my eyes makes this coin a little more interesting than those showing more common deities or allegorical figures: Postumus, Gallic Roman Empire, AR antoninian, 266–7 AD, Trier mint. Obv: IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG; bust of Postumus, radiate, draped, cuirassed, r. Rev: SALVS AVG; Aesculapius stg. r., head l., with r. hand leaning on serpent-staff which rests on the ground; at feet, r., globe.. 21mm, 3.12g. Ref: Mairat 348. Ex small seller on eBay, $21. 2. Late Roman bronze coins make up a substantial part of this list for good reason. They are the ideal ancient collecting field when on a budget. This coin has a relatively scarce reverse type and a nice green and red patina. Iḿ happy with this purchase: Constantine II Iunior, Roman Empire, AE3, 317 AD, Siscia mint. Obv: CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB CAES, bust of Constantine II, laureate, draped, cuirassed r. rev: CLARITAS R–EIPVB; Sol, radiate, chlamys draped across l. shoulder, standing l., raising r. hand and holding globe in l. hand; in exergue ΔSIS. 18mm, 3.36g. Ref: RIC VII Siscia 37. Ex Herm Numismatik, $11. 3. Living in southwestern Germany, I was especially interested in this reverse type, which refers to the Alamanni, a tribe living in this area in late antiquity. I bought this coin at a Savoca auction. Although prices at Savoca's auctions have risen in recent years, bargains are still possible now and then: Constantine II Iunior, Roman Empire, AE3, 324–326 AD, Sirmium mint. Obv: CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB CAES, bust of Constantine II, laureate, draped, cuirassed, r. Rev: ALAMANNIA DEVICTA, Victory, winged, draped, advancing r., holding trophy on r. arm and branch in l. hand, spurning a seated captive; mintmark .SIRM. . 19mm, 3.06g. Ref: RIC VII Sirmium 50. Ex Savoca, Blue Auction 130, lot 1624, $23. 4. The "campgate"-type, which probably shows a watchtower and not a campgate, is abundantly common. Yet, I couldn't resist the nice patina and portrait on this example: Constantine II Iunior, Roman Empire, AE3, 326–327 AD, Antioch mint. Obv: CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, bust of Constantine II, laureate, draped, cuirassed, l. Rev: PROVIDENTIAE CAESS, “camp gate” with two turrets, star above; dot in gate, in exergue, SMANTH. 20mm, 3.83g. Ref: RIC VII Antioch 73. Ex Herm Numismatik, $14. 5. Who doesn't like a large falling horseman? This one has a bit more wear than I would wish for, but at this price, one must compromise: Constantius II, Roman Empire, AE2, 351–355 AD, Constantinople mint. Obv: D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG; bust of Constantius II, pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed, r. Rev: FEL TEMP REPARATIO; helmeted soldier to l., shield on l. arm, spearing falling horseman; shield on ground at r.; horseman wearing pointed cap, slumping forward and clutching horse’s neck; in field l., Γ•; in exergue, CONSθ. 23mm, 4.11g. RIC VIII Constantinople 106. Ex small seller on eBay, $21. 6. Probably my favorite bargain purchase of 2022. Aquileia is not a common mint, and the quality of this example is exceptional: Valens, Roman Empire, AE3, 367–375 AD, Aquileia mint. Obv: DN VALENS PF AVG; bust of Valens, draped, cuirassed, and pearl-diademed, r. Rev: SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE; Victory advancing l., holding wreath and palm; in exergue, SMAQP. 18mm, 2.75g. Ref: RIC IX Aquileia 12B. Ex Herm Numismatic, $10. 7. Medieval Islamic coins are a good field for budget collecting. I like this coin for its square shape and the connection to medieval Iberian history: Almohad Caliphate in Spain and Northern Africa, anonymous, AR square dirham, c. 1163–1269 AD (558–668 AH). Obv: “No God except Allah / It's all for God / No power except God”. Rev: “God is our Lord / Mohammed is our messenger / The Mahdi is before us”. 14mm, 1.40g. Ref: Album 496. Ex NSW Leipzig, $18.50. 8. Crusader coins are a popular medieval collecting field and often command a premium. This little but nice bronze from Cyprus went under the radar at an eBay auction. It was a lucky purchase: Lusignan Kingdom of Cyprus, under Janus, AE sezin, 1398–1432 AD. Obv: + IA[nU]S . R[OI D]Є . , lion of Cyprus rampant l., pellet to l. of lion. Rev: [+ IЄR]LM [Є D]Є C[IP]; cross of Jerusalem. 20mm, 1.45g. CCS 124b. Ex Berlinum, $7. 9. Medieval German coins are probably my main collecting focus. This Hanseatic witten from Lübeck is a reasonably attractive example that came at an affordable price: Lübeck, Imperial City, AR witten after the recesses of 1410. Obv: +MONETA LUBEN; double eagle. Rev: CIVITAS IMPER; long cross. 18mm, 0.90g. Ref: Jesse 446; Behrens 51a. Ex Knopik, $21. 10. When it comes to early modern European coins, most collectors think of large silver talers, golden ducats and écus. Such coins are sold at often extreme prices. But budget collectors interested in the early modern period can still bargain hunt for smaller change. This 1683 Nuremberg pfennig is sharply struck, has full detail, and retains most of its original luster. Not bad for ten bucks, eh? Nuremberg, Imperial City, AR pfennig, 1683 AD. Obv: arms of Nuremberg between 16-83; in field r., cross; mark of value above. Rev: blank. 13mm, 0.36g. Ref: Kellner 335. EX NSW Leipzig, $10. Please post your comments, name your favorites, and show your own 2022 budget coins! Edited December 11, 2022 by Ursus 15 1 3 1 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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