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Happy Collector’s Top 10 of 2022 (5 Greek, 5 Roman)


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Happy Holidays! December is a good time to look back and put together my top 10 ancient coins list of 2022. I just added a man-bull coin, so I guess that’s all for my 2022 budget. I am lucky to pick up my most-wanted coins last year (Faustina Junior aureus and a Syracuse tetradrachm), so this year I am adding coins just to complement those in my collection. Maybe they’ll end up with interesting sets. For example, I picked up a Marcus Aurelius and Lucilla (my #1 and #2 on this list) to complement my Faustina Junior aureus. I also added a number of coins with RR biga reverses, Roman empresses, and some with mythic scenes (my #4 to #9 coins on this list). Overall, I am happy with my 2022 purchases. 

Wishing you all a great upcoming 2023 !!  

Here are my 5 selected Greeks coins...


10. The Athenian Owl tetradrachm is the coin that brings me into collecting ancients. An archaic Owl tetradrachm is one of my dream coins. With limited budget and many other priorities, I decided to settle on this one. It got a very sharp obverse and reverse, but the tradeoff is also obvious. However, it does fits my budget. Maybe I’ll add another one in 2023 or 2024 if the price is not as crazy. 010a-Attica.jpg

010 – ATTICA. Athens. Ca. 510/500-480 BC. AR tetradrachm
Obv: Head of Athena right, hair in straight braids along brow line
Rev: AΘΕ, owl standing right with closed wings, head facing
HGC 4, 1590. Seltman Groups C, G and M.
23mm, 15.54 gm, 8h
NGC AU 4/5 - 2/5, test cut.
Heritage Auction. May 2022.
 

9. The crab on this little coin is quite lively. I hope to upgrade with a tetradrachm in the future, when my budget allows. 

008m-Eagle.jpg

009 - Sicily, Agrigentum. AR Hemidrachm circa 420-410, 
Obv: Eagle left, clutching hare in talons. 
Rev. Crab; below, fish r. Westermark, 
Coinage, 545. SNG ANS 1010.
16.00 mm, 2.03 g.
Naville Numismatics. June 2022. 


8.  I have been looking for an affordable man-bull didrachm which shows the most of the man-bull and Nike above. This one from Naville two days ago fits my criteria, although the obverse is a bit rough.  

008a-ManBull.jpg

008 - Campania, Neapolis Didrachm. 275-250 BC.
Obv: Head of nymph l., hair bound with band, wearing triple-pendant earring
Rev: Man-headed bull standing right, head facing; Nike flying right, crowing bull; IΣ below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue. 
19.00 mm, 7.04 g.
Sambon 507. Historia Numorum Italy 586;SNG ANS 399.
Naville Numismatics, Dec 2022.
 

7.  This is another cool man-bull coin I picked up. Nice that it is a good-sized didrachm, and within my budget. Have to sacrifice the obverse design though.
 

007d-Bull.jpg
007 - SICILY, Gela. Circa 490/85-480/75 BC. AR Didrachm 
Obv: Warrior riding right, preparing to cast javelin held aloft in his right hand 
Rev: Forepart of man-headed bull right. 
Jenkins, Gela, Group Ic, 80 (O24/R39); HGC 2, 363; SNG ANS 17 (same dies). 
(21mm, 8.28 g, 10h).
Ex: Palladium Numismatics, Nov 1995.
Triton XXV. January 2022.

 

6.  I remember reading posts on Crete staters, and I am happy to find a decent one this year. I really like this coin’s cool design. It has a good mythical theme. My first coin on Crete, and will surely be one of my all-time favorites.

 

006-crete.jpg
006 - CRETE. Gortyna. Ca. 330-270 BC. AR stater (24mm, 11.47 gm, 4h).
Previous NGC slabbed AU 4/5 - 4/5, overstruck.
Obv: Europa, nude to the waist, seated facing in tree, raising her veil with right hand, left arm holding eagle with spread wings in her lap; below her, bull's head to left
Rev: Bull trotting to right, head turned left. 
BMC Crete 30. Svoronosp. 168, 84 and pl. XV, 7 (same obverse die).
CNG Feature Auction 121. October 2022.

 

Roman coins coming up...  

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5.  Snake biga is one of my collecting themes. I picked up this coin late December last year, and it arrived in January. The auction house Naville says this coin is from the Dattari-Savio collection. It may even be a plate coin (I got no book to confirm though). I guess this make the coin a bit special among my other snake biga coins. I like the Hadrian portrait. 

004b-SnakeBiga.jpg
005 - Egypt, Alexandria. Tetradrachm. Hadrian, 136 AD. (year 21).
Obv: Laureate head l. 
Rev: Triptolemus in chariot, r., pulled by two winged serpents; in field, L-KA. 
RPC 6139.13 (this coin). Dattari-Savio Pl. 70, 7475 (this coin).
24.70 mm, 12.75 g.
Naville Numismatics, Dec 2021.  
 

4.  I like the hydra theme on this coin. I have seen 2-3 gold coins with hydra reverse this year. Those are way over my budget, so I am super glad to pick up one in bronze version. I also like its comparatively large size of 28mm. This is one of 4 coins that sits in my desk drawer long term, instead of coin trays. 

003c-Hydra.jpg

004 - THRACE. Hadrianopolis. Geta. 209-211 AD.
Obv: AVT K Π CEΠTMIOC ΓETAC. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: AΔPIANOΠOΛITΩN. Herakles standing left, fighting Lernaean Hydra which he grasps with his left hand, wielding club.
28mm, 12.43 g.
Varbanov 3685.
Numismatik Naumann GmbH, April 2022
 

3. A Roman gold coin with Victory inscribing shield is one theme on my wish list. I had a few denarii, and one gold but of rough design. I am happy to find an inexpensive example, and yet decent quality this year.  

003a-Gold.jpg003 - AV gold semissis Arcadius, Constantinople mint 392-393 A.D.
Obv: D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right
Rev: VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM, Victory seated right on cuirass, inscribing VOT X / MVLT XX in four lines on shield set on knee; Christogram in right field
2.08g. 17.50mm
RIC X 16; Depeyrot 52/2
Germania Inferior Numismatics. June 2022
 

2. I picked up both a Faustina Senior and Junior aureus last year. It would be great to pair them up with a Lucilla aureus. Feels like grandmother, mother and daughter together. I also picked up 4 Lucilla sestertius this year, each with a different hairstyle. 

002c-Lucilla.jpg
002 - Lucilla. Augusta, AD 161-162. AV Aureus. Rome Mint.
Struck under Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. 
Obv: LVCILLΛE ΛVG ΛN TONINIΛVG F, draped bust right, hair waved and knotted low at back in chignon 
Rev: VOTΛ/ PVBLI/CΛ •/ • in three lines within laurel wreath. 
RIC III 790 (Aurelius); MIR 18, 22-2(a) – (same obv. die as illustration on pl. 5, 22-2/10); Calicó 2219a (same rev. die as illustration); BMCRE 327 (Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus; same rev. die); Biaggi 979 (same rev. die); J. Hirsch XVIII, lot 1008 (same dies). 
18mm, 6.07 g, 12h.
Triton XXV. January 2022. 
 

1.  As for my #1 coin of 2022, I am pairing my favorite young-portrait Faustina Junior aureus, with a young-portrait Marcus Aurelius aureus. It is somehow hard for me to locate a reasonably-priced young-portrait Marcus Aurelius aureus. I am happy to pinpoint this one in January. Adding to my joy is its reverse design. The coin was issued to celebrate the marriage of Faustina Junior and Marcus Aurelius. A perfect type for Faustina Junior fans.  

001-MAure.jpg
001 - Marcus Aurelius, as Caesar. 145-146 AD. AV aureus. Rome.  
Obv: AVRELIVSCAES-AR AVG PII F COS II, bare head of Marcus Aurelius right;
Rev: VOTA-PV-BLICA, Faustina Junior standing right, clasping hands with Marcus Aurelius, standing left; Concordia between and behind them.
RIC III (Antoninus Pius) 434. Calicó2035. Rare.
19mm, 7.09 gm, 6h.
Heritage NYINC World Coins Signature Auction. January 2022.

 

Thanks for reading my post. Wishing you all a wonderful 2023 !!   🙂

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, happy_collector said:

Happy Holidays! December is a good time to look back and put together my top 10 ancient coins list of 2022. I just added a man-bull coin, so I guess that’s all for my 2022 budget. I am lucky to pick up my most-wanted coins last year (Faustina Junior aureus and a Syracuse tetradrachm), so this year I am adding coins just to complement those in my collection. Maybe they’ll end up with interesting sets. For example, I picked up a Marcus Aurelius and Lucilla (my #1 and #2 on this list) to complement my Faustina Junior aureus. I also added a number of coins with RR biga reverses, Roman empresses, and some with mythic scenes (my #4 to #9 coins on this list). Overall, I am happy with my 2022 purchases. 

Wishing you all a great upcoming 2023 !!  

Here are my 5 selected Greeks coins...


10. The Athenian Owl tetradrachm is the coin that brings me into collecting ancients. An archaic Owl tetradrachm is one of my dream coins. With limited budget and many other priorities, I decided to settle on this one. It got a very sharp obverse and reverse, but the tradeoff is also obvious. However, it does fits my budget. Maybe I’ll add another one in 2023 or 2024 when the price is not as crazy. 010a-Attica.jpg

010 – ATTICA. Athens. Ca. 510/500-480 BC. AR tetradrachm
Obv: Head of Athena right, hair in straight braids along brow line
Rev: AΘΕ, owl standing right with closed wings, head facing
HGC 4, 1590. Seltman Groups C, G and M.
23mm, 15.54 gm, 8h
NGC AU 4/5 - 2/5, test cut.
Heritage Auction. May 2022.
 

9. The crab on this little coin is quite lively. I hope to upgrade with a tetradrachm in the future, when my budget allows. 

008m-Eagle.jpg

009 - Sicily, Agrigentum. AR Hemidrachm circa 420-410, 
Obv: Eagle left, clutching hare in talons. 
Rev. Crab; below, fish r. Westermark, 
Coinage, 545. SNG ANS 1010.
16.00 mm, 2.03 g.
Naville Numismatics. June 2022. 


8.  I have been looking for an affordable man-bull didrachm which shows the most of the man-bull and Nike above. This one from Naville two days ago fits my criteria, although the obverse is a bit rough.  

008a-ManBull.jpg

008 - Campania, Neapolis Didrachm. 275-250 BC.
Obv: Head of nymph l., hair bound with band, wearing triple-pendant earring
Rev: Man-headed bull standing right, head facing; Nike flying right, crowing bull; IΣ below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue. 
19.00 mm, 7.04 g.
Sambon 507. Historia Numorum Italy 586;SNG ANS 399.
Naville Numismatics, Dec 2022.
 

7.  This is another cool man-bull coin I picked up. Nice that it is a good-sized didrachm, and within my budget. Have to sacrifice the obverse design though.
 

007d-Bull.jpg
007 - SICILY, Gela. Circa 490/85-480/75 BC. AR Didrachm 
Obv: Warrior riding right, preparing to cast javelin held aloft in his right hand 
Rev: Forepart of man-headed bull right. 
Jenkins, Gela, Group Ic, 80 (O24/R39); HGC 2, 363; SNG ANS 17 (same dies). 
(21mm, 8.28 g, 10h).
Ex: Palladium Numismatics, Nov 1995.
Triton XXV. January 2022.

 

6.  I remember reading posts on Crete staters, and I am happy to find a decent one this year. I really like this coin’s cool design. It has a good mythical theme. My first coin on Crete, and will surely be one of my all-time favorites.

 

006-crete.jpg
006 - CRETE. Gortyna. Ca. 330-270 BC. AR stater (24mm, 11.47 gm, 4h).
Previous NGC slabbed AU 4/5 - 4/5, overstruck.
Obv: Europa, nude to the waist, seated facing in tree, raising her veil with right hand, left arm holding eagle with spread wings in her lap; below her, bull's head to left
Rev: Bull trotting to right, head turned left. 
BMC Crete 30. Svoronosp. 168, 84 and pl. XV, 7 (same obverse die).
CNG Feature Auction 121. October 2022.

 

Roman coins coming up...  

love #7 & of course #1 - what not to like!! Great year

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2 hours ago, happy_collector said:

5.  Snake biga is one of my collecting themes. I picked up this coin late December last year, and it arrived in January. The auction house Naville says this coin is from the Dattari-Savio collection. It may even be a plate coin (I got no book to confirm though). I guess this make the coin a bit special among my other snake biga coins. I like the Hadrian portrait. 

004b-SnakeBiga.jpg
005 - Egypt, Alexandria. Tetradrachm. Hadrian, 136 AD. (year 21).
Obv: Laureate head l. 
Rev: Triptolemus in chariot, r., pulled by two winged serpents; in field, L-KA. 
RPC 6139.13 (this coin). Dattari-Savio Pl. 70, 7475 (this coin).
24.70 mm, 12.75 g.
Naville Numismatics, Dec 2021.  
 

4.  I like the hydra theme on this coin. I have seen 2-3 gold coins with hydra reverse this year. Those are way over my budget, so I am super glad to pick up one in bronze version. I also like its comparatively large size of 28mm. This is one of 4 coins that sits in my desk drawer long term, instead of coin trays. 

003c-Hydra.jpg

004 - THRACE. Hadrianopolis. Geta. 209-211 AD.
Obv: AVT K Π CEΠTMIOC ΓETAC. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: AΔPIANOΠOΛITΩN. Herakles standing left, fighting Lernaean Hydra which he grasps with his left hand, wielding club.
28mm, 12.43 g.
Varbanov 3685.
Numismatik Naumann GmbH, April 2022
 

3. A Roman gold coin with Victory inscribing shield is one theme on my wish list. I had a few denarii, and one gold but of rough design. I am happy to find an inexpensive example, and yet decent quality this year.  

003a-Gold.jpg003 - AV gold semissis Arcadius, Constantinople mint 392-393 A.D.
Obv: D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right
Rev: VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM, Victory seated right on cuirass, inscribing VOT X / MVLT XX in four lines on shield set on knee; Christogram in right field
2.08g. 17.50mm
RIC X 16; Depeyrot 52/2
Germania Inferior Numismatics. June 2022
 

2. I picked up both a Faustina Senior and Junior aureus last year. It would be great to pair them up with a Lucilla aureus. Feels like grandmother, mother and daughter together. I also picked up 4 Lucilla sestertius this year, each with a different hairstyle. 

002c-Lucilla.jpg
002 - Lucilla. Augusta, AD 161-162. AV Aureus. Rome Mint.
Struck under Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. 
Obv: LVCILLΛE ΛVG ΛN TONINIΛVG F, draped bust right, hair waved and knotted low at back in chignon 
Rev: VOTΛ/ PVBLI/CΛ •/ • in three lines within laurel wreath. 
RIC III 790 (Aurelius); MIR 18, 22-2(a) – (same obv. die as illustration on pl. 5, 22-2/10); Calicó 2219a (same rev. die as illustration); BMCRE 327 (Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus; same rev. die); Biaggi 979 (same rev. die); J. Hirsch XVIII, lot 1008 (same dies). 
18mm, 6.07 g, 12h.
Triton XXV. January 2022. 
 

1.  As for my #1 coin of 2022, I am pairing my favorite young-portrait Faustina Junior aureus, with a young-portrait Marcus Aurelius aureus. It is somehow hard for me to locate a reasonably-priced young-portrait Marcus Aurelius aureus. I am happy to pinpoint this one in January. Adding to my joy is its reverse design. The coin was issued to celebrate the marriage of Faustina Junior and Marcus Aurelius. A perfect type for Faustina Junior fans.  

001-MAure.jpg
001 - Marcus Aurelius, as Caesar. 145-146 AD. AV aureus. Rome.  
Obv: AVRELIVSCAES-AR AVG PII F COS II, bare head of Marcus Aurelius right;
Rev: VOTA-PV-BLICA, Faustina Junior standing right, clasping hands with Marcus Aurelius, standing left; Concordia between and behind them.
RIC III (Antoninus Pius) 434. Calicó2035. Rare.
19mm, 7.09 gm, 6h.
Heritage NYINC World Coins Signature Auction. January 2022.

 

Thanks for reading my post. Wishing you all a wonderful 2023 !!   🙂

 

 

 

h. c., Congrats on an exceptional year 😊! My favorites are the aurei of Marcus Aurelius & Lucilla 😍, they could form the centerpiece of any collection. The man-bull didrachm from Gela is a wonderful addition too 😉.

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5 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

IMPRESSIVE coins ... the coin I like the least is the Athens tetradrachm from these 5 coins, and keep in mind that when I saw it, being the first coin in the list, my first reaction was  "this coin will surely be my favorite".

Thanks, @ambr0zie. The other 3 Greek coins do look very nice in coin tray. The didrachm is still in the mail.  🙂

 

4 hours ago, El Cazador said:

love #7 & of course #1 - what not to like!! Great year

Thanks, @El Cazador. The 2 coins are important part in my Greek and Roman collection. 🙂
 

4 hours ago, Qcumbor said:

9, 6, 5 and 1 are my choice, even though I wouldn't disregard any of them

I'll send you my adress via PM 😄 

Q

Thanks, @Qcumbor. I am happy to pickup these top 10 coins. They all help me form a set of coins on certain themes. 🙂

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3 hours ago, CPK said:

Have to say my favorite is the Sicilian Hemidrachm. Beautiful little coin, well-struck, well-centered, toned, and in great shape!

Thanks, @CPK. I agree that this hemidrachm is well-struck. Nice design also, as with many other Sicilian coins! 🙂 
 

3 hours ago, akeady said:

A super year!

ATB,
Aidan.

Thanks, Aidan. I am glad I am able to add examples to my collection themes this year. 🙂  
 

2 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

h. c., Congrats on an exceptional year 😊! My favorites are the aurei of Marcus Aurelius & Lucilla 😍, they could form the centerpiece of any collection. The man-bull didrachm from Gela is a wonderful addition too 😉.

Thanks, @Al Kowsky. Both aurei are great additions to the ones I picked up last year. 😊

 

2 hours ago, singig said:

Excelent year ! , my preferd coins are the Marcus Aurelius aureus  , Hadrian tetradrachm and Campania didrachm. Congratulations !

Thanks, @singig🙂

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17 hours ago, Di Nomos said:

I like them all, but I'll give a shout out to your Athens tetradrachm. I like archaic coins, and your Athena is nice style.

The Gela didrachm is also a great quality archaic piece. 

Thanks, @Di Nomos. I like the archaic coins, as you can see in my profile pic. However, one with both a nice obverse and reverse is so expensive these days. 

 

17 hours ago, shanxi said:

The Aurelius Aureus. WOW

Thanks, @shanxi. I am glad to find the young Aurelius aureus at an ok price.   

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So many amazing coins, congratulations! Although with such an abundance of beauty it should be hard to pick a favorite, my eye was immediately drawn to your Gortyna stater. I would love to add one to my collection one day... Second is the Marcus Aurelius aureus, lovely portrait and interesting reverse. 

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On 12/13/2022 at 3:33 PM, happy_collector said:

10. The Athenian Owl tetradrachm is the coin that brings me into collecting ancients. An archaic Owl tetradrachm is one of my dream coins. With limited budget and many other priorities, I decided to settle on this one. It got a very sharp obverse and reverse, but the tradeoff is also obvious. However, it does fits my budget. Maybe I’ll add another one in 2023 or 2024 if the price is not as crazy. 010a-Attica.jpg

010 – ATTICA. Athens. Ca. 510/500-480 BC. AR tetradrachm
Obv: Head of Athena right, hair in straight braids along brow line
Rev: AΘΕ, owl standing right with closed wings, head facing
HGC 4, 1590. Seltman Groups C, G and M.
23mm, 15.54 gm, 8h
NGC AU 4/5 - 2/5, test cut.
Heritage Auction. May 2022.
 

 

Fantastic list! I was watching some of those coins myself. Incredible details on the archaic owl. Do you have any sense of why the weight is so low? 15.54g seems very low to me. Was some metal removed in the process of the test cut? Congrats on some great acquisitions this year!

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20 hours ago, Limes said:

So many amazing coins, congratulations! Although with such an abundance of beauty it should be hard to pick a favorite, my eye was immediately drawn to your Gortyna stater. I would love to add one to my collection one day... Second is the Marcus Aurelius aureus, lovely portrait and interesting reverse. 

Thanks, @Limes. I also consider the Gortyna stater and Marcus Aurelius aureus my best pickup in 2022.  🙂

 

2 hours ago, Shea19 said:

What a year, great group!  

All of these are great, but my favorite is definitely the Geta/ Herakles fighting the hydra…fantastic coin.  

I agree, @Shea19. The Geta and Herakles fighting hydra are fantastic ancient coin designs. 🙂

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9 hours ago, filolif said:

 

Fantastic list! I was watching some of those coins myself. Incredible details on the archaic owl. Do you have any sense of why the weight is so low? 15.54g seems very low to me. Was some metal removed in the process of the test cut? Congrats on some great acquisitions this year!

Thanks, @filolif. I love archaic owls, but good ones are generally out of my budget these days. I ended up making sacrifices here and there. As for the reduced coin weight, I definitely think that some metal was removed in the test cut process. Probably first test cut, and then peel off the overflow metal on the Athena side. Just my thoughts.  

 

5 hours ago, Kazuma78 said:

Very nice additions this year! My favorite is the owl. Despite the test cut its super attractive and a gorgeous piece.

I agree, @Kazuma78. Luckily, the deep test cut does not cut through both Athena and the owl too much, so I still can appreciate the designs on both sides of the coin.  

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On 12/15/2022 at 10:28 PM, happy_collector said:

Thanks, @filolif. I love archaic owls, but good ones are generally out of my budget these days. I ended up making sacrifices here and there. As for the reduced coin weight, I definitely think that some metal was removed in the test cut process. Probably first test cut, and then peel off the overflow metal on the Athena side. Just my thoughts.  

Totally understandable with the expense of archaic owls. You're probably right that the cut reduced the weight. It's still an extremely attractive archaic owl though! Great pickup and thanks for sharing!

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Great pickups! Ofcourse wonderful gold Roman coins, but being fond of Greek coins the Athens tetradrachm is absolutely stunning, even with the testcut. The Gortyn stater is a win win with such clear details, they are often in quite bad condition and still go for high prices. A good year 🙂 

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