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Coins lost and found... should I finally post my top ten of 2021 at long last?!?!?


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Well, if I decide to do so, I finally get to post my top 10 of 2021 list! 😆  An order from November has finally arrived.  Origin: San Marino.

First, my package was delayed a bit (probably Canada customs), and didn't arrive until well into January.  (Not the sort of delay that worries me, though.)  I was glad to receive it, signed for it, and then realized... geez, this is kinda heavy!  How many coins did I win again?!

Opened it up and found a bunch of modern coins and medals.  Yikes!!  The auction company had sent me the wrong order! 😫  However there was a bit of luck too: I knew the person on the invoice, a well known dealer in the U.S.  I contacted them to get their coins to them, and (more importantly!!) to see if they had received mine.

Nope. 😔

At least not yet.  But they said they'd keep a lookout and let me know right away, so I was still very hopeful I'd get my coins eventually.

I contacted the auction company and while their communication was a little brief and slow for my taste, I felt confident that I'd be refunded if the coins had been lost.  Of the four coins I ordered, though, fully half of them were going to make my top 10 list of the year, and one coin was an almost-made-it.  My favourite was highly sought after and hugely difficult to come by at a price I would find acceptable.  So the money wasn't really the issue.  Not receiving a fifth+ of my top coins for the year definitely was!

So I waited.  

And waited.

Weirdly, I didn't tell any of my forum coin buddies about the situation for some reason.  (Sorry!!)  Combination of hope, denial, and crushing disappointment I suspect.  I had told a couple about the coins I was especially excited about, right away, so they would have assumed I had them.

As April rolled around, I became pretty convinced that the coins were lost forever. 😭  After all, there was no guarantee that the mixup was as simple as a switcheroo between my package and the U.S. dealer's package.  They could have mistakenly sent my coins to someone entirely different, someone who wasn't honest and just kept them without breathing a word.

(An aside: I once received a Julius Caesar portrait denarius instead of a cheap Republican As! 🤯 And returned it to the dealer, of course, so they could get it to its rightful owner.  Not without a sense of loss, though, as a Caesar portrait was my top target at the time; I had tried and failed to land many.  I did enjoy the brief visit with one... 😥)

Back to the main story: despite the half-year wait, I contacted the U.S. dealer again in May to remind them to keep a lookout, but also just wondering if they'd somehow overlooked the package.  They still didn't have my coins.  So I pretty much gave up.

Then... miraculously this month, they were delivered, out of the blue, to their mailbox!  🥳🎉  I suppose it was U.S. Customs that committed the nefarious deed, given what @robinjojo has explained above.  (No doubt the mismatched address and invoice played a role here.)  I was overjoyed!!!  Of course there was that last somewhat nervewracking step, getting the coins from the U.S. to Canada, but thankfully that all went smoothly and quickly and I received them this past week.

OMG what an incredible relief!!  I may have a really crappy cancer, but my luck has not entirely run out it seems!!

Here's what I think of as the third coin in my package, which came close to making my top 10, but not quite:

image.jpeg.c64bd061e72ef0f76974fa8a26cf8524.jpeg

Nero AR Denarius. Rome, issued c. 64-65. NERO CAESAR, laureate head right / AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS, Nero as Sol, radiate and togate standing facing, holding Victory on globe and branch. RIC 47; BMCRE 60; RSC 45.

Worn, but a characteristic corpulent portrait plus basically complete legends - definitely a keeper.  The reverse is thought to depict Nero's fabled 100-ft tall Colossus statue, a monument to his even more colossal ego.  Later the face of Nero was replaced with a generic Sol and it was moved next to the Flavian amphitheatre, lending that building a new name, The Colosseum.  I love coins that are packed with history like this one, and  had been wanting one for some time... but they tend to get pricey!

So whaddya think... should I post my 2021 top ten list, the first top ten to appear on NumisForums... six months late?!

Also: please share one of your 2021 top ten coins, lost-and-founds, favourite Neros, or anything else relevant!

Edited by Severus Alexander
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Posted · Supporter

What s story of total tragedy and ultimately redemption.😜

WoWiE @Severus Alexander!!! I know the stories but wasn't aware of the coins🤓

And, yes please. Give us that 2021 top ten!

Not to be confused with the Colossus the Rhodians created with Demetrios Poliorketes left over siege equipment. 

Nero created the Colossus of Chodes... himself. Here's my first Neronian:

share6818581554131665150.png.e6386815b3a11b266ce748126161f3ec.png

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Absolutely you should post it, @Severus Alexander!!! I'd love to see that list!!!

Here's my #1 most favorite coin from 2021, a generous gift from Brian Bucklan who discovered the coin. He and I puzzled over it and it turned out to be a hybrid between an obverse of Julia Mamaea issued for the Thracian city of Deultum and a reverse of Severus Alexander issued for the Moesian city of Marcianopolis!! This was a significant find and contributed to the body of evidence that there was a centralized mint along the Black Sea coast in the third century that struck coins for the cities in the region. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that a hybrid has been described between Deultum and Marcianopolis.

Mamaea Deultum-Marcianopolis hybrid.jpg
Julia Mamaea, AD 222-235.
Roman Provincial Æ tetrassarion, 22.4 mm, 8.92 g, 1 h.
Hybrid of coins of Deultum and Marcianopolis, AD 227-228/229.
Obv: IVLIA MA-MAEA AVG; draped bust, right, wearing stephane.
Rev: VΠ TIB IOVΛ ΦHCTȢ MAPKIANOΠOΛITΩN, eagle standing facing, head left, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak.
Refs: Unpublished; see Varbanov II, 2333 (Mamaea) and AMNG I-1, 1018-21 (Severus Alexander).

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

Absolutely you should post it, @Severus Alexander!!! I'd love to see that list!!!

Here's my #1 most favorite coin from 2021, a generous gift from Brian Bucklan who discovered the coin. He and I puzzled over it and it turned out to be a hybrid between an obverse of Julia Mamaea issued for the Thracian city of Deultum and a reverse of Severus Alexander issued for the Moesian city of Marcianopolis!! This was a significant find and contributed to the body of evidence that there was a centralized mint along the Black Sea coast in the third century that struck coins for the cities in the region. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that a hybrid has been described between Deultum and Marcianopolis.

Mamaea Deultum-Marcianopolis hybrid.jpg
Julia Mamaea, AD 222-235.
Roman Provincial Æ tetrassarion, 22.4 mm, 8.92 g, 1 h.
Hybrid of coins of Deultum and Marcianopolis, AD 227-228/229.
Obv: IVLIA MA-MAEA AVG; draped bust, right, wearing stephane.
Rev: VΠ TIB IOVΛ ΦHCTȢ MAPKIANOΠOΛITΩN, eagle standing facing, head left, with wings spread, holding wreath in beak.
Refs: Unpublished; see Varbanov II, 2333 (Mamaea) and AMNG I-1, 1018-21 (Severus Alexander).

Thank you for the post!  Unsurprisingly I love your mule to bits, @Roman Collector, it being me 'n' mama 'n' all. 😄  Also reminds me that I intended to contact Kenneth Harl about it.  He is doing a die study of the double-portrait coins in the area but would be interested I think.  He did have at last one mule (Marcianopolis - Nicopolis) and had worked out which cities in the area used the central mint, which I think he believed to be Marcianopolis.  There were maybe another couple subordinate mints too, I can't remember.  (I'll ask him to remind me of his findings so far, and see if it's OK to divulge them here, or else back on your CT thread.)

Your coin is surely a good subject for a piece in NumisThought, yes?

Edited by Severus Alexander
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Posted · Supporter
2 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

So whaddya think... should I post my 2021 top ten list, the first top ten to appear on NumisForums... six months late?!

Also: please share one of your 2021 top ten coins, lost-and-founds, favourite Neros, or anything else relevant!

Yay!!  So glad it showed up.  

 

If you post your 2021 Top Ten, maybe I'll finally finish mine :D.  I haven't been buying a ton of coins in the last year or two but I also haven't showed the ones I did buy.  🥴

 

Here's a 2021 that will probably make the list.  It's a provincial-- not surprising 😄 -- but it's an architectural coin and I usually either leave those for the specialist collectors or grossly underbid.   The city gate is wonderfully detailed and the portrait of Poseidon compelling (looks like he just arose from the sea, hair and beard still dripping 😆)  Not a common coin, either... looks like 2 other inferior examples in ACsearch and four in RPC.

BizyaPoseidonCityGate.jpg.2b70a421d2b1e2c0d39f4b951bf56f1f.jpg

THRACE, Bizya 

Pseudoautonomous, time of Antoninus Pius (138-161 CE)

AE 21 mm, 4.64 gm

Obv: Draped and bearded bust of Poseidon right
Rev: ΒΙΖVΗΝΩΝ.  Monumental city gate: wall section with closed gate between two round towers; upper wall decorated with gallery of arches; on top, quadriga right

Ref:  RPC IV.1 online 9314 (4 specimens)

Edited by TIF
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This was one of my 2021 Top Tens. Simon bar Kokhba led the Third Jewish Revolt against Hadrian.

Bar Kokhba Revolt Small Bronze, 132-133

image.png.25ce0b35a9e004530914f12501d90de9.png

Judaean Rebel State. Bronze, 17.5mm, 5.9g. Grape bunch on tendril, ‘year one of the redemption of Israel’. Palm tree (the emblem of Judaea), ‘Eleazar the Priest’ (Meshorer 224). It’s speculated Eleazar was either an important figure in the rebellion; Rabbi Eleazar HaModai, who was later killed by Bar Kokhba when framed as a conspirator; or Eleazar, Moses's nephew and the second High Priest in the Bible, who played a key role in Exodus, the founding myth of the Israelites. These bronzes were struck over Roman issues.

Edited by John Conduitt
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One of my Favo(u)rites from 2021...  (Spelling addendum so that some Canucker can understand...) 😄 

image.png.04a4b82fb94085b9569845c73c0ab19b.png

CARTHAGE, Punic Iberia, AE Unit/Calco, c. 220-215 BCE. Carthago Nova, 9.59g, 23mm.
Obv: Head of Tanit left.
Rev: Horse head right, mouth slightly open, Phoenician letter beth behind.
Burgos 511. Scarce.


This coin officially belongs in the Carthaginean section (“Other western”), but since it is a must-have for Roman collectors we have chosen to list it here. It is the larger of the two bronze types linked to Hannibal, which are much more affordable than the silver from the same period.

This issue is dated by Burgos to the time when Hannibal inherited the Spanish command following the assassination of his brother in law, Hasdrubal the Fair. In 220 Hannibal completed the conquest of Spain, resulting in the fateful clash with Rome over Saguntum, and culminating in Hannibal’s famous march through Gaul and across the Alps into Italy, with elephants in tow.

Other related Burgos issues are clearly imitations. This has very nice classical style & is an original mint product. The presumed mint location of Carthago Nova was the centre of Punic operations in Iberia, and Hannibal’s departure point for perhaps the most famous journey in military history.
 
For the life of me, I have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE from whom I bought this coin from!  😄 😄 😄 
 
(AMCC Auction)
Edited by Alegandron
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@TIF that coin is to die for, thanks for sharing

9 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

Also: please share one of your 2021 top ten coins, lost-and-founds, favourite Neros, or anything else relevant!

I will post the obvious : a coin that made it in the top 10, bought from AMCC auction and, cherry on the cake, ex @Severus Alexander's collection

bfb1cb31807e4a3285431fcac4a88a9a.jpg

Gordian III, Denarius -  Rome mint, 4th emission, AD 12-239/05-243
IMP GORDIANS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate and draped bust right
AETERNITATI AVG, Sol, radiate and draped over left shoulder and arm, standing facing, head left, raising right hand and holding globe in left.
2,76 gr - 20,5 mm
Ref : RSC # 39, RCV # 8672, RIC # 111, Michaux # 275

Provenance : AMCC3 auction # 253. From the @Severus Alexander collection; ex Frank Robinson Auction Sept. 2020 (from Frank’s collection), hammer 101 USD; ex Künker Auction 333 lot 1249, “from the collection of a Hanseatic Roman friend.”

Q

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What a prolonged and harrowing misadventure for those poor coins and you!  So glad they finally turned up... and what a Nero!  I'd love to get that reverse type some day. 

 

14 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

(An aside: I once received a Julius Caesar portrait denarius instead of a cheap Republican As! 🤯 And returned it to the dealer, of course, so they could get it to its rightful owner.

Coincidentally, the only time I had something similar happen to me was with my JC portrait denarius!  The auction house had sent it to the wrong customer, and after over a month of frustrating back-and-forths with their office manager, they found the package returned  to their office.  The honest collector had sent it back to them... phew!

379690858_JuliusCaesar-New2017.jpg.2211c43f741798953137eafd99e4c9e3.jpg

 

14 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

Also: please share one of your 2021 top ten coins, lost-and-founds, favourite Neros, or anything else relevant!

One of my favorites from my 2021 top ten list is also a "Nero." (sorry you missed out on the InAsta example, I'm optimistic we'll find you a better one yet!) 😊

688219898_CONTORNIATE-NeroOlympias4195.jpg.7697fdd9dddb3aa149370f3c0ac36dad.jpg

NERO
AE Contorniate. 18.18g, 36mm.
Rome, circa late 4th century AD. Alföldi, Kontorniat 200; Cohen VIII pg. 290, 129.
O: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX, laureate head to right; engraved palm leaf before.
R: Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great, reclining left on couch, extending hand to serpent coiled at her knee.

 

12 hours ago, Curtisimo said:

If you don’t post a top list now I shall be very very disappointed!

Lets see that list!!!!!!!!  

What he said! 

Edited by zumbly
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22 minutes ago, zumbly said:

Coincidentally, the only time I had something similar happen to me was with my JC portrait denarius!  The auction house had sent it to the wrong customer, and after over a month of frustrating back-and-forths with their office manager, they found the package returned  to their office.  The honest collector had sent it back to them... phew!

379690858_JuliusCaesar-New2017.jpg.2211c43f741798953137eafd99e4c9e3.jpg

You probably owe that to Sev's honesty 😇

Q

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1 hour ago, Qcumbor said:

You probably owe that to Sev's honesty 😇

Q

Heh!  As far as I know, my coin didn't make a pit stop in Canada on its double round trip from the UK to Singapore, back to the UK and then finally again to Singapore.  😁 One thing's for sure, though, it does seem like ancient collectors are an honest bunch!

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@Severus Alexander..Yes!.Post em!

If that Nero didn't make it I'd love to see your top 10...

Here's one of my 10 from last year..

macrianus.jpg.4e519fd5c569eb13e3d5e89e613a458a.jpg

Macrianus. 260-261 AD. AE Antoninianus (3.31 gm, 22mm). Antiochia mint.
Obv. IMP C FVL MACRIANVS P F AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right.
Rev.: SPES PVBLICA, Spes, draped, standing left, holding flower in her outstretched right hand, raising skirt with her left hand. RIC V 13; MIR 44, 1743b; RSC 13.

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I will add my vote to everyone else's, and agree that you should definitely post your 2021 top 10! I ended up posting three separate top 10 lists on CT last year (one Roman Republican, one Roman Provincial, and one Roman Imperial, with one Greek coin, an Aspendos stater, on top of all of them.) But none of them was from Nero, I'm afraid.  Here's a coin from my Roman Imperial Top 10 for 2021:

Eastern Roman Empire, Arcadius (son of Theodosius I and older brother of Honorius), 383-408 AD, AV Solidus 397-402 AD, Constantinople Mint (9th Officina). Obv. Helmeted and cuirassed bust facing three-quarters right, holding spear over right shoulder and shield on left arm bearing image of horseman right; D N ARCADI-VS P F AVG / Rev. Helmeted Constantinopolis seated facing on throne, head right, with right knee bare and right foot resting on prow, holding long scepter with right hand and, on left hand, Victory with wreath standing on globe; CONCORDI-A AVGG Θ [Theta, for 9th Officina]; in exergue, CONOB [for Constantinople Mint]. RIC X 7 at. p. 240 (1994); Dumberton Oaks Catalogue, Late Roman 207-217 (217 = 9th Officina) and Plate 8 [P. Griessen. & M. Mays, Catalogue of Late Roman Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection, etc. (1992)]; Sear RCV V 20706 (ill. p. 431) (1994). 20 mm., 4.44 g. Purchased from Dr. Busso Peus Nachf., Frankfurt, Germany, 1 April 2021. Ex. Auktionen Münzhandlung Sonntag Auktion 33 Lot 36 (23.11. 2020); ex. Auktion 116 München Münzhandlung Karl Kreß [Kress](Otto Helbing Nachfolger), Lot 729 (28.10.1960).

Arcadius solidus photo Dr. Busso Peuss jpg version from MA-Shops.jpg

 

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I agree that we need to see that top ten @Severus Alexander!

but another thought occurred to me.  One of the great joys of CT was the annual top ten lists.  Here on NumisForums, where would we post these?  With so many different forums for different areas of ancient and medieval coins, would our top 10s just go in the ‘general’ forum?  Or dare I suggest we ask for a dedicated annual top 10 forum?  (Or would this just furcate the forum too much?)

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OK, twist my rubber arm, I'll do it!!  Thanks for the gratifying enthusiasm, everyone. 🙃

Here is a small portion of my favourite of the 2 top tenners.  I've chosen a bit that is both highly distinctive (believe it or not!) but also hard to recognize:

image.jpeg.ebe497db7c271b683ed3534117d28673.jpeg

Any ideas?!  (hint: it is not a beauty! 😆)

(those few who have seen the coin, please participate only by private message)

16 hours ago, Steve said:

Sidenote: Holy Crap!! => fantastic coin, TIF

Indeed, @TIF, that is an awesome coin!  Besides the cool architecture on the reverse, and the great bust of Poseidon, it's super cool that the obverse is anepigraphic.  There's just a certain je ne sais quoi about anepigraphic portraits... 😋

I was very happy you won that coin @Alegandron, so obviously up your alley!  I'm surprised these don't fetch higher prices, given the history.  Our little secret, yes? 😉

That denarius is indeed a beauty, @Qcumbor... now wondering if I should have kept it?  Hmm.... 🤔

7 hours ago, zumbly said:

Coincidentally, the only time I had something similar happen to me was with my JC portrait denarius!  The auction house had sent it to the wrong customer, and after over a month of frustrating back-and-forths with their office manager, they found the package returned  to their office.  The honest collector had sent it back to them... phew!

7 hours ago, Qcumbor said:

You probably owe that to Sev's honesty 😇

That is an amazing coincidence!  (BTW: what an absolutely fabulous DICT PERPETVO!!)  But @zumbly is right, Q, it wasn't that coin.  Here's the one that visited me briefly:

image.png.b7efd81077080fc23b926eb15002cbd0.png

We had a good time while it lasted! 💃🏻🕺🏻 (An aside: good to see Naville's entire back catalogue has been moved over to biddr.)

@Spaniard, your very lovely Macrianus goes nicely with my new Quietus, which may well make my top 10 this year.  I've been chasing a Quietus to pair with my Macrianus for years, and finally ponied up for a nice one:

image.jpeg.63a244a03502d6a1075f955bbc2da0be.jpeg

That makes us coin-bros! 😄

@happy_collector, what a beautiful As!  (I love middle bronzes.)  I love the boardwalk flan! I imagine there's a photo waiting to happen that will make it look much better than the low-res dealer's photo, assuming that's what you've got there - looks like it's pasted overtop of the black background.

@DonnaML, I remember that beautiful solidus well.  You have exquisite taste, and personally I'm very glad you decided to divest from British to a large extent because that means we get to feast our eyes on these beautiful ancients.

5 hours ago, DonnaML said:

I ended up posting three separate top 10 lists on CT last year (one Roman Republican, one Roman Provincial, and one Roman Imperial, with one Greek coin, an Aspendos stater, on top of all of them.

This is my tendency too, and what I did for my first (and only!) top ten lists, though I did an overall list too (non-overlapping, so the sub-lists were basically all runners-up).  This was back in 2017.  Then I planned to do the same thing in subsequent years, but the task was so overwhelming that I never actually got any of the lists done before life started happening again in January.  So dumb! 😣 At Christmas last year I did compile three sub-lists: Roman, Greek & Greek Imperial, and Byzantine and Medieval, only after playing around with many other categories (including Odd/Funny Coins!)  But since I came close to finishing the writeup only for the overall top 10, I'll just be posting that one, in a few days I'd guess.  Smarter... for me.  But I love the sub-lists from those who, unlike myself, actually have their s**t together!

Stay tuned!

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Posted (edited)

Funny enough I never made an overall top 10 of 2021 either; just for the Ptolemaics I acquired that year. I think I was just lazy. Although I'm tempted to do it anyways and set a record for most belated top-10 list 😁.

Anyways, here's a couple of my top 10 Ptolemaics from last year:

Berenice II Euergetes, Ptolemaic Kingdom
AE16
Obv: BEΡENIKHΣ BAΣIΛIΣΣHΣ, diademed and draped bust right
Rev: ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings spread, EY to left
Mint: Ras Ibn Hani
Date: 246-221 BC
Ref: Svoronos 1056
Size: 4 gr., 17 mm

berenikevk.jpg.e8f65c0d97e33ba016d647e9f7319f45.jpg

Ptolemy IV Philopator, Ptolemaic Kingdom
AE drachm
Obv: Diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right
Rev: ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle with closed wings standing left on thunderbolt; filleted cornucopia to left, ΛI between legs
Mint: Alexandria
Date: 222-204 BC
Ref: CPE B493, Svoronos 1126
Size: 69.29 gr., 42 mm

pivdvk.jpg.595c411e4fb85fd33433bdea5a6bbffd.jpg

Edited by ValiantKnight
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