Jump to content

After 8 years, I finally added Gordian III to the collection


Recommended Posts

I think it's safe to say that Gordian III is one of the emperors of whom coins are abudantly available and at a very consumer friendly price. I think the downside of the huge amount of available coins to chose from, is that its just overwhelming and somehow - to me at least - inaccessable. So, it has taken me about 8 years to finally obtain my first coin of Gordian III, whereas I think Gordian III is for many collectors one of the first emperors to be displayed in their collection! So, there you go: my first coin of Gordian III, and I'm not afraid to admit it! 

To be fair, the fact that this coin found its way into my modest collection, is also a case of 'The Nanny' (Fran Drescher). It has style, it was there (I wouldn't say flair...well, maybe), and the price vis-a-vis quality to me was perfect. So I snatched it, while following the auction and waiting for my other targets to appear (I finally scored 4/7, which is quite allright). It ticked all the boxed, and the reverse refers to an interesting historical event. And it's also my first Stempelglanz coin, for what its worth. 

Proud to present my Gordian III: 


A few notes and a question:

  • This denarius is one of six (RIC 115, 127, 129-131) types struck to mark the marriage of Gordian III to Sabinia Tranquillina in the summer of 240. 
  • This denarius was the last issue of the denarius produced for mass circulation in the Roman Empire. It's a heavy issue, and of overall good quality.
  • According to the description provided by the seller, this coin if part of the 'Hochzeitsemission'. Does anyone have more inforation about this?

Thanks for looking, and please share your (first) Gordian III! 

  • Like 27
  • Yes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Gordian III (238 - 244 A.D.)

AR Antoninianus
O: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG; radiate draped bust right.
R: SECVRIT PERP; Securitas standing left with scepter, leaning on column.
Rome Mint
RIC IV Rome 151


Gordian III (238 - 244 A.D.)

AR Denarius
O: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
R: SECVRITAS PVBLICA Securitas seated left on throne, holding scepter and resting head upon hand.
Rome, 240 A.D.
RIC IV 130; RSC 340



Gordian III (238 - 244 A.D)

AR Antoninianus
O:  IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right.
R: ORIENS AVG, Sol standing left, raising right arm and holding globe in left hand.
Antioch Mint
RIC IV, Part III, 213

  • Like 20
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

This type was the first coin in my collection, which I sold years ago.  Nevertheless I still like the type, struck for the onset of Gordian's war with Persia. In fact, the incidence of these hostilities marked the last time that the Temple of Janus in Rome was opened. The reverse interestingly is in the Dative Case, which is unusual on coins.



  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, expat said:

As far as I know, Hochzeitsemission merely describes in German,  a coin in the series of wedding commemoratives.

Yes, of course, thank you! I should have figured that out myself, but somehow, I didn't! 😖

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first Gordianus III came 35 years ago. ( in the time the animals could talk )


IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG : bust radiate, draped , cuirassed right

FIDES MILITVM : Fides standing front, head left holding vertical standard in right hand and transverse sceptre in left

Antoninian, A.D. 238 – 239,  Rome


25 years later,


IMP GORDIANUS PIUS FEL AVG :  bust laur. right

SECURIT - AS PVBLICA : Secvritas seated l., holding sceptre and propping head on l. hand

Denarius, A.D.241, Rome

special issue for marriage of Gordianus III and Sabina Tranqvillina

  • Like 20
  • Heart Eyes 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have my first Gordian III anymore. I bought it in 1983 and sold it a decade ago :



One of my most recent purchases for this emperor :



Gordien III (29/07/238-25/02/244) - Tetradrachme de billon de l'atelier d'Antioche, 242
ΑΥΤΟΚ Κ Μ ΑΝΤ ΓΟΡΔΙΑΝΟC CΕΒ, Buste radié, drapé et cuirassé à gauche, vu par l'avant, les deux ptéryges visibles
ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ΕΞ YΠATO B, Aigle de face, ailes déployées, la queue à gauche, la tête à gauche et tenant une couronne dans son bec. Entre ses pattes, un bélier courant à gauche, tête à droite, sous un croissant de lune
29 mm - 13,24 gr, 
Ref : Prieur # 298, McAlee # 881
Provenance : Ira & Larry Goldberg auction # 128/2390, Ex CNG Sale #192, Lot 142.



  • Like 21
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first Gordian III, i have four, all purchased in 1995 

CNG 7-17-95 - Silver Coin (AR Antoninianus) minted at Rome during the reign of GORDIAN III between 241 - 243 A.D. Obv. IMP.GORDIANVS.PIVS.FEL.AVG.: Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right. (seen from back) Rev. IOVI.STATORI.: Jupiter standing front, head r., holding long sceptre and thunderbolt. RCS #2437. RSCIV #109. RICIV #84. DVM #20.


Edited by Jims,Coins
  • Like 20
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice coins all. I really like Gordian’s coins and wish we had more information about his reign.

Here’s my favorite Gordian coin. I really like the early ‘we’re just guessing what he looks like’ bust.

Here’s a bad photo that doesn’t capture how nice the coin is:

Here’s a ring light photo that makes it look really cool but is obviously not what it looks like in hand:


Gordian III / RIC 5, first issue.
Antoninianus, 238 - 239 AD (year 1), Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG / Radiate bust of Gordian.
Reverse: VICTORIA AVG / Victory walking, holding wreath and palm branch.
RIC #5; Sear #8664.

  • Like 21
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonderful first Gordy @Limes!

Here is my first Gordian III


Roman Empire
Gordian III (238-244)
AR Antoninianus, Rome mint
Dia.: 24.5 mm
Wt.: 3.89g
Obv: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG; Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. 
Rev: VIRTVTI AVGVSTI; The Farnese Hercules: statue of Hercules right, with apples of the Hesperides and lion skin, and leaning upon club. 
RIC 95.
Ex Michael Higley Collection with tag; Ex AMCC 1, lot 236 (Dec. 2018)

  • Like 21
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations on your first Gordian III @Limes - they are fun to collect.  

As for the denarius issues being for the marriage to Tranquillina, there seems to be some debate on this: 

Last issue of the AR Denarius produced for mass circulation in the Roman Empire. Mattingly, RIC IV incorrectly called this part of special issue(RIC 115, 127,129, 129a, and 131) marking the marriage of Gordian III to Sabinia Tranquillina in 241.


@curtislclaycan shed some light on this issue, as I believe he had some interesting things to say on Coin Talk a while back (you out there Curtis?). 

I have slowly been accumulating the denarius issues.  This is my latest:


Gordian III  Denarius (c. 240-241 A.D.)  See Notes  Rome Mint 4th Officina; 7th emission IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right / SALVS AVGVSTI, Salus standing right, feeding serpent from patera RIC IV 129a; Cohen RSC 325. (2.48 grams / 19 x 18 mm) eBay Feb. 2023 Notes:  Dates vary somewhat: OCRE:  241 A.D. / CNG:  240 A.D.

Here is one with Diana came my way last fall:


Here's an example of the OP - I got this a few years back from a local coin shop:



My latest Gordian III is this sestertius I just picked up a week ago or so:


Gordian III      Æ Sestertius (239-240 A.D.)  Rome Mint (5th Officina; 3rd emission) IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right [VIR]TVS AV[G], S-C, Virtus standing left holding branch and spear, shield set on ground left. RIC IV 273; Cohen RSC 384. (17.30 grams / 28 x 26 mm) eBay April 2023           

Note:  Dates, emission info: RIC/OCRE:  240 A.D. CNG: 239 A.D. (5th Officina; 3rd Emission)

Die-Match Obverse:  Münzsammlung des Seminars für Alte Geschichte der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Identifier ID11709 (via OCRE) Katz Coins Notes & Supplies eAuction 11; Lot 135;  24.02.18




  • Like 17
  • Clap 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gordian III, AD 238-244. AR Antoninianus (24mm, 5.05g, 6h). Rome mint, 1st emission, struck AD 238. Obv: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG; Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Rev: PAX AVGVSTI; Pax standing left, holding olive branch and scepter. Ref: RIC IV 3; RSC 173.


  • Like 18
  • Yes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This sestertius was my first coin of Gordian III, purchased at a coin show.
Gordian III, AD 238-244.
Roman Æ Sestertius, 20.01 gm, 28.2 mm, 11 h.
Rome, 5th officina. 9th emission, AD 241.
Obv: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: PM TRP IIII COS II PP SC, Apollo seated left, holding laurel branch and resting left arm on lyre.
Refs: RIC 302; Cohen 252; Sear --; Banti 72.

  • Like 18
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes!  We constantly hear in these collectors' forums how coins of Gordian III are so common even in excellent condition that they are almost worthless.  I am a picky (= condition snob) collector and I'm afraid that this mindset has virtually paralyzed me in pulling the trigger on a Gordian III purchase.  I've seen so many beautiful examples at auction but if it has even the slightest imperfection, real or imagined, I think to myself "I'll pass on this one; I can 'always' find better".  Well I've been collecting Roman Imperials since 1994 but I still don't have a single Gordian III in my collection.  As Hans and Franz said, "Hear me now; believe me later!" - if you see a Gordian III that speaks to you just get it!     

  • Like 3
  • Smile 1
  • Clap 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great coin, congratulations. 

This is my first (of many) Gordian III coins, bought in 1995 at the London Coin Fair for GBP 35. I remember this purchase vividly, because the seller tried to talk me into buying a second Gordian, because they would, in his opion, make for a great pair of cufflinks!? Yeah I know, but it stuck in my head.

I bought the coin because I liked the portrait. Gordian III portraits can look a bit generic, but this one I thought looks very realistic and charming.


Edited by Tejas
  • Like 16
  • Smile 1
  • Clap 1
  • Heart Eyes 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice Gordis everybody.


Here is Gordi looking up to his wife


Gordianus III with Tranquillina
Moesia Inferior, Markianopolis
AD 238-244
Obv.: AVT K M ANT ΓOPΔIANOC AVΓ CE TPANKIΛΛEINA, Confronted draped busts of Gordian III and Tranquillina.
Rev.: YΠ TEPTYΛΛIANOY MAPKIANOΠIΛITΩN, Temple with cult statue of Tyche; E in left field.
AE, 11.75g, 26.6mm
Ref.: Varbanov 2059

Edited by shanxi
  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my Gordian, and my first ancient coin. I'm focusing on the Antonine Dynasty now, but this was my first step into a larger world.



Silvered Antoninianus

Radiate head of Gordian III right. "IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG"

Mars advancing right holding spear and shield. "MARTEM PROPVGNATOREM"

RSC 160

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...