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Lathe dimple on a Roman IMPERIAL issue? Weird!

Roman Collector

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Browsing the listings at eBay this morning, looking for Faustina coins, which is not something I recommend for the inexperienced collector, BTW. I came across this HILARITAS bronze of Faustina the Younger. It's listed as a sestertius, but no weight or diameter is given, so it might be an as. The dealer couldn't identify it, but it's the HILARITAS standing left, holding palm branch and cornucopiae reverse type. The coin is very common and even high-grade examples are nothing special.

But I noticed something really weird. I mean REALLY weird. There appears to be a lathe dimple on the reverse, such as used on Roman provincial coins of the Black Sea region and some mints in Asia Minor. As far as I know, lathe-turning was not used on imperial issues to prepare the flans. But this is an imperial issue, not a provincial one -- it's in the Latin language and has an S C on the reverse (I think).


Here are the specimens in my own collection for comparison.


Has anybody EVER seen a Roman imperial issue with a lathe dimple??? @dougsmit @curtislclay?? What's going on here??

Here are some provincials from Pautalia and Plotinopolis with lathe dimples for comparison.




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Very interesting, I’ve never seen anything like that on an Imperial bronze.

Just a guess…is it possible that it’s just pitting and it happens to be an unusually well-centered pit?

I hope the experts weigh in on this one, very interesting coin.


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Initially I thought this is a provincial coin with Latin legends (nothing unusual). And the weak SC on the reverse is just the effect of wear/corrosion.

The closest I could find was https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/6321

but the reverse character is different. 

I think this is an imperial Hilaritas coin and the dimple is caused by wear/damage, not the usual provincial centration dimple. 

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