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Least rare, most interesting coin you have!


TheTrachyEnjoyer
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Manuel I Comnenus. Emperor of Trebizond, 1238-1263. AR Asper.
St. Eugenius standing facing, holding long cross / Manuel standing facing, holding labarum and akakia. SB 2601.

 

The AR aspers of Manuel, unlike the trachy, are extremely common and perhaps the easiest Byzantine silver piece to acquire…but that doesn’t make them boring! This series of coinage marks the transition of the main currency minted by Trebizond from a traditionally scyphate Byzantine trachy to the flat asper. This transition was likely due to Western economic influence which came to prefer the flat silver coin over the previously accepted Byzantine cup shaped silver and gold. In fact, Trebizond switched from the scyphate to flat shape some 50+ years before Byzantium did. The transition may also be seen as a move designed to garner a more focused Trebizond identity over wider Byzantine influence. The widely accepted Mary on the obverse was replaced with the local Trebizond patron saint of Eugenius. As the series of Aspers progress to the slow decline and fall of Trebizond, these coins begin to shrink in size and purity until they are only used as a local coinage…yet that sad day was far away when Manuel decided to mint these. Trebizond’s cultural and economic influence was at is peak as neighbors all around came to regard the asper a safe means of transaction. All of that history in a very common coin…what pieces do you have that are very common yet full of story while being under appreciated?

Edited by TheTrachyEnjoyer
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I'd say these couple of coins, they are not rare by any means, but the history behind them makes it shine like diamonds in my otherwise dull collection. 

Alexander III lifetime tetradrachm from Babylon.

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Julius Caesar denarius depicting his conquest of Gaul.

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Edited by JayAg47
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These are pretty common and fairly inexpensive and to me tell a sad tale of the (end of the) beginning of the decline for Athens, broken by Syracuse and Sparta. And her own hubris!

Just a few decades after her peak…
 

 ATTICA. Athens. Circa 393-355 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 23 mm, 16.86 g, 9 h). Head of Athena to right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves and palmette. Rev. AΘE Owl standing right, head facing; to left, olive sprig and crescent; all within incuse square. Kroll 15. Svoronos pl. 20 passim. Graffiti and test punches on the obverse and test cuts on the reverse, otherwise, very fine

 

 

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Probably this one. The type is common, but the graffito gives it extra history and mystery.

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Philip III Arrhidaios AR Tetradrachm.
Struck under Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I.
Babylon, circa 323-317 BCE
Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress / Zeus Aëtophoros seated to left, holding sceptre; BAΣIΛEΩΣ below, AΛEΞANΔPOY to right, M in left field, ΛY below throne. Price 3692; Müller 1272; Hersh 244. 17.18g, 25mm, 12h.
graffito to rev.
Ex Roma

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This one is an extremely common trachy of Theodore I Laskaris:
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Theodore I Laskaris - Sear 2062 - Nicaea -  Clipped trachy - 1208(?) AD

Obverse: Christ seated on low throne, nimbate, holding the Book of Gospels, IC-XC

Reverse: Theodore, bearded, wearinng stemma, collar piece, and chlamys, holding akakia in left, cruciform sceptre in right hand, blessed by manus dei in top-right corner, ΘΕΟΔωΡΟϹ ΚΟΜΝΗΝΟϹ Ο ΛΑϹΚΑΡΗϹ

 

Most coins of Theodore I appear to be unclipped, most clipped trachies being pre-1204 and Latin ones. This Nicaean coin, however, has been clearly clipped. This alone makes it quite interesting. Additionally, like a lot of other trachies, this one has also been quite clearly doulbe-struck. If you flip the coin upside down, and look to the left of Theodore's face, you can also see traces of another coin this example was overstruck on; a trachy of Alexius III. On their own any of the three flaws would likely make the less appealing, but since they all appear together, I found it interesting enough to buy.

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Celtic Tribes. Illyria, Dyrrhachion imitation. Circa 1st century BC. AR Drachm (17mm, 2.11g). Obv: Cow standing right with suckling calf; garbled legend above, torch to left. Rev: Double stellate pattern; garbled legend around. Ref: Prototype cf. Hoover HGC 3.1, 40. Nice Fine, toned. Small flan, good style for issue.

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Gallienus Antoninianus of his Zoo Series, definitely a late issue of his reign but with decent artistry still. Out of all the types he minted for the series, which is a very interesting sub-collection that I hope to eventually achieve, the DIANAE CONS AVG reverse type is the least rare of them all. This post in Numiswiki claims that 43% of all the coins of the Zoo Series from the Cunetio Hoard were of this type, with some much rarer types only appearing .2% or .1% of all coins. 

Whatever the case, I find this particular type very interesting as there's always confusion whether the animal on the reverse is a Doe, a stag, an Antelope or a Gazelle. Also, the position of the animal may vary, with types showing it looking backwards or with the entire body facing in a different direction. 

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21 hours ago, Deinomenid said:

These are pretty common and fairly inexpensive and to me tell a sad tale of the (end of the) beginning of the decline for Athens, broken by Syracuse and Sparta. And her own hubris!

Just a few decades after her peak…
 

 ATTICA. Athens. Circa 393-355 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 23 mm, 16.86 g, 9 h). Head of Athena to right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves and palmette. Rev. AΘE Owl standing right, head facing; to left, olive sprig and crescent; all within incuse square. Kroll 15. Svoronos pl. 20 passim. Graffiti and test punches on the obverse and test cuts on the reverse, otherwise, very fine

 

 

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Leu, right? I remember bidding on this coin 😁

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