ValiantKnight Posted December 19, 2022 · Member Share Posted December 19, 2022 (edited) At the beginning of the year, I wasn’t really expecting to end up achieving a good number of milestone coins. I am also glad that I was able to restart my Carolingian collection after it being dormant for a while (just got distracted by other areas). While they won’t really win any beauty contests (not really my #1 priority anyways with coins), they all have something unique and interesting to them. They span 1100 years of history; from the late 3rd century BC to the late 9th century AD, and include the very small to the very huge, rulers and mints I never had before, and representations of the merging of cultures. I was really exited about getting this one in hand. A coin of Charlemagne has been on my want-list for basically forever, but as you might know, they are often small, ugly, and cost an arm. Fortunately, with the help of a forum friend, I was directed to a cheaper coin type that, while typically attributed to his grandson Charles the Bald (who also minted this same type), has certain distinguishing features as identified by academic research that make it more likely that it was struck under Charlemagne himself. It helps that a coin of this same type was found under Aachen chapel in 2008 and was conclusively dated to Charlemagne’s reign. For now I am confident to label this one as Charlemagne. I went a little crazy also, and found two others that I promptly scooped up. Charlemagne, Frankish Kingdom/Carolingian Empire AR denierObv: CARLVS REX FR, cross above, cross within dotted circle in centerRev: METVLLO, cross above, KRLS (Karolus) monogram within dotted circle in centerMint: MelleDate: 793/794-814 ADRef: Nou-94 One of my white whales for the past couple of years ever since getting more into Ptolemaic coinage was one of these massive bronze octobols. Since they often go for many hundreds of dollars and even around a grand or two, in the meantime I bought a few of the not-as-large but still large bronze drachms. But I still kept my eyes peeled for an affordable octobol, and my patience paid off when I found this one; a whopping 93 grams. Also, I think it’s kind of funny that only a couple of weeks earlier I was gifted one of my smallest Ptolemaic coins, a sharp little bronze from Cyrene. Ptolemy III Euergetes, Ptolemaic Kingdom AE octobolObv: Diademed head of Zeus-Ammon rightRev: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle with open wings standing left on thunderbolt, head right; E between legsMint: AlexandriaDate: 246-222 BCRef: Svoronos 446; SNG Copenhagen 142 (Ptolemy II); Lorber series 4Size: 48 mm, 93 gm While I’ve yet to truly expand into Roman provincials from Egypt, my interest in Ptolemaic coinage led me to wanting a coin depicting the famed Pharos of Alexandria. Due to the popularity of the type I thought I’d be waiting for a while and would need to fork over a good amount of cash but fortunately I acquired this one at what I thought was a good (i.e. budget) price, especially since the lighthouse, while worn, is clear, and the overall coin problem-free. It even sparked a small conversation with my parents about it, who normally aren’t into coins or history, so that was a special plus for me. Hadrian, Roman Empire AE drachmObv: [AVT KAIC TΡAIAN AΔΡIANOC CEB], laureate head right, slight drapery on left shoulderRev: Isis Pharia sailing right, holding sistrum, the Pharos Lighthouse to right with three figures on its summit. L-I-[H] across fieldsMint: AlexandriaDate: 133-134 ADRef: Milne 1414; RPC 5895; Dattari 1767 After I became interested in Ptolemaic coins, I began to look at coins from other periods of Egypt’s history. Since I am naturally drawn to the more obscure and rare, as well as having an interest in early Islamic history, I wanted to acquire an Egyptian coin from the country’s time as part of one of the powerful early caliphates. I found out about this type after a fellow member posted their example on another forum. I especially wanted an Islamic-era Alexandria coin, as a sort of book-end to my collection of coins from that city. Even during the early Islamic period, Greeks were still a numerous and influential force in Alexandria, and this is reflected by the inclusion of the first few Greek letters of the city’s name. Marwan II and Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, Umayyad Caliphate AE falsObv: مِصر ("Misr": Egypt) over AλE (ALE) in center, finance director's name in marginRev: Abbreviated Arabic name of al-Iskandariya "al-Is/rîya" in circle. caliph's name ("Marwan ibn Muhammad ibn Marwan ibn al-Hakam" AKA Marwan II) in marginMint: al-Iskandariya (Alexandria)Date: 749 ADRef: A-151, W-Kh.9 I love coins from the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals, etc., and I often look for and try to pick up affordable ones whenever I can. This time it was one of the earliest coins ever minted by the Visigoths, and one connected directly to the events immediately following their famed Sack of Rome in 410 AD, when they moved into Gaul and started wreaking havoc there and causing headaches for the Romans. It was from these events that the Visigothic Kingdom was born. In the name of Honorius, Visigoths in Gaul AR siliquaObv: D N HONORI-VS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped bust rightRev: VICTOR-IA ACGG, Roma seated left on cuirass, holding Victory on globe and spearMint: Narbonne (or another mint in Gaul) Mintmark: PSRVDate: 415/418 to 423 ADRef: RIC X 3703 var.Size: 1.1 grams, 11 mm wide I was rather scarce on Carolingian coins overall in my collection in the past mainly due to cost, but as I got back into the history of the Franks/Carolingians, the itch to add more got stronger. I was hoping to find a nice one from Paris, since it was interesting reading about the Viking siege of the city. I wonder if my coin was within the city during this historic event? I also didn’t have a Paris-minted coin in my collection so that was a bonus (its too bad the Romans never established a mint there, but I guess they were covered money supply-wise in that region by Trier). Charles II (the Bald), West Francia AR denierObv: CARLVS REX FR, cross above, cross within dotted circle in centerRev: PARISII CIVITAS, temple facade, cross withinMint: ParisDate: 840-864 ADRef: Coupland, Early 19; Depeyrot 762; M&G 827; MEC 1, 843 From what I noticed, apart from a couple of specific rare mints, there does not seem to be any coin type 100% attributable to the great-grandson of Charlemagne, Charles the Fat. Like with coins that may be either Charlemagne or Charles the Bald, when and where a hoard was deposited can be used to determine if a shared coin type can be attributed to a specific ruler. In the case of this CARLVS IMP AVG type, either Charles the Bald, Charles the Fat, or even Charles the Simple. With the help of academic research done in this area, I found that Carolingian deniers went through a weight reduction under an “Emperor Charles”, from a previous established standard of 1.7 grams by Bald, and this standard was reestablished during Fat’s immediate successor Odo. The only emperor between Bald and Odo was Fat, plus Fat reigned longer as emperor (7 years) than Bald (2 years). Simon Coupland himself believes that most of these CARLVS IMP AVG/Bourges coins were likely made by Fat. This coin is an upgrade to a previous one I bought for which I had initially read the research about regarding the weight. This example is 1.6 grams (while my original acquisition is 1.5 grams), below the 1.7 gram Bald/Odo standard, so it checks out as being likely a Fat coin. Charles the Fat, Carolingian Empire AR denierObv: CARLVS IMP AVG, cross above, cross within dotted circle in centerRev: BITVRICES CIVIT, cross to left, KRLS (Karolus) monogram within dotted circle in centerMint: BourgesDate: 881-887 ADRef: Depeyrot 198 Of course, as a Ptolemaic collector, I needed to have coins of the founder of the dynasty himself, Ptolemy I. I had already a small, scarce bronze during his time as satrap of Egypt, but definitely I wanted more. His silver can get expensive, so I found one at a price I found agreeable. It’s has a couple of issues, but its definitely him as evidenced by the delta behind Ptolemy’s ear. It also has a countermark on the lower right obverse that seems to be that of a right-facing bust, so that’s neat too. Ptolemy I, Ptolemaic Kingdom AR tetradrachmObv: Diademed head of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis, Δ behind earRev: ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, monogram in left field, shield in front of eagleMint: AlexandriaDate: 285-246 BCRef: Svoronos 256 Even after all these years of collecting, I have never forgotten my first love in coin collecting: late Roman coins. And Magnus Maximus is one of my favorite emperors from the era. Quite simply, I was looking to add a nice siliqua of him to my collection. Later I found out that this is a scarce variant due to the unique obverse legend break, and my example is an obverse and reverse die match to the one on Wildwinds. Magnus Maximus, Western Roman Empire AR siliquaObv: D N MAG MA-XIMVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust rightRev: VIRTVS RO-MANORVM, Roma seated facing on throne, head left, holding globe and inverted spearMint: TrierMintmark: TRPDate: 383-388Ref: RIC IX Trier 84c Another coin that represents the meeting of cultures. I was fortunate to have found one of these scarce Islamic overstruck Roman coins. I find the whole idea of old coins being reused hundreds of years later fascinating (such as with my 1st century Roman bronze countermarked by the Ostrogoths/Vandals). Honorius’s bust is covered by the overstrike in a possible deliberate attempt to follow the then-newly-established prohibition of images on coins. Umayyad Caliphate AE fals (overstruck on a Roman follis of Honorius, Virtvs Exerciti type, RIC X 61)Obv: The Kalima, in Arabic (old obv: D N HONORI [VS P F AVG], pearl-diademed, draped bust right)Rev: Transformed cross(?) (old rev: VIRTVS-EXERCITI, emperor standing left, head right, holding spear and resting left hand on shield. Victory, standing beside him crowning him with a wreath)Mint: (Constantinople for undertype)Mintmark: (CON in ex.)Date: 697-750 AD (post-coin reform; originally struck 395-401 AD) Here's the other coin that almost made it to the list: Another coin I was looking for specifically was a nice maiorina/AE2 of Magnus Maximus. At the very least it had to be problem-free (no corrosion, chips broken off, ugly encrustations, etc.), and have a full obverse legend, clear bust, and a clear to mostly-clear reverse. For AE2s of Magnus Maximus, this is pretty difficult. This particular example was pretty much one of the best that I found, and especially one of the cheaper ones as well. It was initially offered at auction but there were no takers, then it was listed at fixed-price for cheaper so I did not hesitate in going for it. Magnus Maximus, Western Roman Empire AE2Obv: D N MAG MAXI-MVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust rightRev: REPARATIO REIPVB, emperor standing left, raising kneeling crowned female to right and holding Victory on globeMint: Constantia (Arles)Mintmark: PCONDate: 383-388Ref: RIC 26a And here are the other two Charlemagne Melle deniers I acquired: And finally, the original Charles the Fat/Bourges denier I purchased before later upgrading (although the other coin is not a 100% upgrade since on that one the reverse legend is BITVRICES CIVIT while on this one it is BITVRICES CIVI). Please let me know which ones you like! Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays! Edited December 22, 2022 by ValiantKnight 29 1 1 6 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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