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Faustina II: as or dupondius?


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This unloved kitten was interesting and I thought it to be unjustly ignored at auction.


Faustina II -- AE28x27 13.50g orichalcum(?) ca. 176.
DIVA FAV - STINA PIA; draped bust r.
Crescent surrounded by 7 stars; S C beneath
RIC 1714(?)

It was offered as an as, but I suspect by the metal color and the heavier weight that this was in fact meant to be a dupondius?

Edited by seth77
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In the Antonine period, there were no design features on coins of the empresses that allow for the as to be distinguished from the dupondius. It is done only by metallic composition. On a patinated coin, that can be impossible. If the coin has brassy highlights visible through the patina, then it's a dupondius. It's not easy to determine, either, whether certain reverse types were only issued as assess or as dupondii because auction houses and even some museum collections just call all of them "as" and the researcher cannot make an accurate determination. Some reverse types were clearly issued as both. Most of my Faustina bronzes are patinated and I can't tell, so I just say "as or dupondius" or "middle bronze."

I still don't have a specimen of that coin in my collection because I can't find one that has enough eye-appeal for me without paying a fortune. Coingratulations!

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  • seth77 changed the title to Faustina II: as or dupondius?

I think the pic is too dark and the patina and the very thin layer of wax(?) on its surface add to this impression. It looks like a piece which has been in a steady collection for some time. I think I will try to make a video with it, see if I can capture its natural look.

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I said I'd make a video with this coin perhaps its true color might help with the attribution as either an as or a dupondius, but I can't find a way to hold the coin while also holding the camera phone to film it. How do you guy make these clips with your coins?

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