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Constantine caesar 1st issue from Cyzicus (redated)


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I just received this coin today, and am very pleased with it!


RIC VI Cyzicus 30b R, 306 AD


Cyzicus had three issues including this type for Constantine:

RIC 24-25, mintmark KA
RIC 26-27, mintmark KA with star in field
RIC 30-31, mintmark KA with crescent in field (incl. my coin - RIC 30b)

But it turns out this issue order suggested by RIC is incorrect since subsequently coins from the KA-crescent issue for Severus II as caesar have been seen, and therefore we now know this issue started at the end of the 2nd tetrarchy (S2 as caesar) and continued into the 3rd tetrarchy (S2 as augustus, Constatine as caesar). We see the same thing at Antioch where the ANT: issue straddles the 2nd/3rd tetrarchies and introduces the first coins of Constantine there.


RIC VI's suggested ordering of the plain KA issue as the 1st of the 3rd tetrarchy seems to have been based on this issue mark having been continued unchanged from the 2nd tetrarchy, but since we know that is wrong this logic goes away. It's hard to be sure which of KA and KA-star came first, but based on bust style for Constantine it seems it probably was KA before KA-star, giving the correct issue order as:

RIC 30-31, mintmark KA with crescent in field (incl. my coin - RIC 30b)
RIC 24-25, mintmark KA
RIC 26-27, mintmark KA with star in field

The bust style for Constantine starts with this slightly odd (but typical for his early issues) angular and elongated neck style on RIC 30b which continues through 24b and 26b but becoming increasingly less common and ending up in the more normalized style seem on my RIC 26b specimen below.


The entire KA-crescent issue (RIC 30-33) is extremely rare. Of the 4 GENIO types (GPR for the augusti, GAEC for the caesars), RIC had only actually seen a single coin in Vienna, with my RIC 30b only being included based on an entry in Voetter's Gerin catalog. Even today I'm not aware of any other specimens of RIC 30b (none on OCRE or in online sales records), and have yet to see RIC 30a for Daia. This scarcity/brevity of issue didn't make much sense with RIC's ordering, but we can now see the issue was likely quickly curtailed after Constantius I's death in order to start a new issue for the new tetrarchic line-up.

I was always slightly unsatisfied that my RIC 26b wasn't the 1st issue for Constantine at Cyzicus, so very happy to put that right and now own this rarity which is the real 1st issue!


Edited by Heliodromus
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