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idea for a contest - need help with ideas


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Recently, I've been in a bit of a coin rut. Last time at this year, I was having a lot of fun, picking off favorites from Savoca and London Ancient Coins, respectively.  While both places, especially the latter, still have a lot of inventory, I just haven't found anything which I loved, although Savoca doesn't make it that easy to search Roman Imperial.

Here's what's happening; I want to treat myself for my birthday, but I just haven't found anything which I've really loved for the past few buys.  I just made what should have been my birthday buy, but while 3 of the 5 coins had very interesting patinas, I just kind of came up feeling unsatisfied.

Here's the coin which made up the core of last year's birthday buy, a very pleasing Postumus Sestertius, with really  nice surfaces, and the price was pretty reasonable. The same dealer has a very affordable Sestertius currently, but it isn't as exciting. I love Postumus Sestertii and double Sestertii, especially the large module and heavy ones (and it has to be of decent style).  This Sestertius also has a pretty nice portrait.


Here's my core idea, to have a contest to help find me a coin (or coins) which I love.  I'd prefer to have one *star* coin, which would be the bulk of the budget of the buy, but there could be a small bundle.  The budget would be around $275 (pre-postage), but it could probably be as high as $325.  I'd prefer to not go too wild.  I'd rather reserve that for something really to celebrate, like my eye getting better. 

However, I'm not really sure how to do it.  I don't want to look at PM's every two seconds, not a huge fan of PM's.  If I gave out some gmail address, I'd have to constantly log into that, which would be a bit of a pain.  So it wouldn't be immediately sold out from under me, maybe a hybrid idea, the constestants post a picture of the proposed coin/s and PM the URL?  Does anyone have a better idea?

The prize: Since it's a pain to try and send other people coins through vcoins, I guess I'd have to offer some cash prize, one which could be used towards their next coin purchase? 

The coin would have to come from a reputable, fixed price dealer, preferably from vcoins or MA-shops, or they could have their own, standalone page.  No Italy, Spain, Israel, or Austria, for logistical reasons. I don't want to deal with burdensome export permits and the delays which go with them. 

My coin dislikes; (generally speaking) small coins, LRB's, very crude designs, barbarous radiates.  I'm not that into silvered Ants, although many are cool.  AE's generally have to have a patina.  I also don't really collect the imperial ladies.

What I like;  LARGE coins (34-40-ish mm. are the real sweet spot), tetradrachms of the Seleukids, especially before 150 B.C., Alexandrian drachms, the Alexander posthumous Tetradrachms with huge flans, certain Greek silver (although the cool ones would be out of that price range), certain Ptolemaic coins, especially the hockey pucks and certain really thick ones, which have a beveled edge.  I missed out on a beveled one like that once and I've been looking ever since.  I do like as and dupondius sized coins, if they have a really nice patina or are in especially nice shape. I also like the later Roman republic, after Marius.  However, unless it has really great toning, is really super nice, or something like that, I'm not really in the mood for smaller denarii.

I also really like Nero.  There's a few Sestertii floating around in the price range, but the ones I'm thinking of are rather ugly and most have BD, or possible BD.  Imperial coins of Nero probably wouldn't fit the budget, especially something nice enough for a birthday buy.  I like his Alexandrian Tetradrachms well enough, but ehh, not enough for a birthday buy.  Some of Nero's Antioch Tetradrachms are cool, especially the later, scowling ones.  Zurqieh has some of the style I like, but they're either fourrees or the weight is alarmingly low.

As-sized early 3rd century RomanBalkan provincials can also be really satisfying, especially the ones with really great green or blue/aqua patinas.  Some, like of Caracalla, can have neat military style busts.  It's actually pretty common for those Balkan issues to have nice patinas.

I also like Alexandrian Drachms of Hadrian, especially one like this, one I bought c. 2010.  I.e. one in halfway decent shape with really pleasing surfaces.


I also like the 12 Caesars, especially Nero and Domitian (I love the IOVI VICTORI Sestertii and his idealized portrait series.  I'm not really into the realistic ones, where he kind of resembles a thumb.  The CA Sestertius series of Augustus are also a favorite, but with price inflation, I don't think I would be snagging a not horrible one.  I was lucky enough to find a nice one, c. 2009.

The imperators are good. However, it'd probably be decrepit for this price range.

Sestertii of Gallienus are another side-venue which I enjoy.  AR Antoninianii are okay, especially as an add-on (esp. LARGE flan ones from 244-250's, but I don't think I want one as the main piece.

Byzantine; while I've been on a Byzantine kick much of this year, I think I either want to go Roman, Greek, or Hellenistic.

Here's some buys, mainly from the past year and a half, which gave me a lot of satisfaction. 

Sestertius, spectacular patina ( a favorite)GordianIIISestertiusglossyGreenpatinaRIC298a.JPG.692b4a1713feb5a7b83a1b5ff6411717.JPG

An oldie but a goodie from around 2010. This Faustus Cornelius Sulla type is one of my all-time favorites.


Antiochus III - 223-187 BC - AR Tetradrachm - SC 1045.2 - 16.80g.

I was very pleased with this Nero Antioch Tetradrachm.


Aeolis, Temnos, 188 - 170 BC, Silver Tetdradrachm in the Style of Alexander The Great (my coin) 35mm



CILICIA, Tarsos. Mazaios. Satrap of Cilicia, 361_0-334 BC. AR Stater_files (I did really like this one)



Honorable mention:

Aspendos stater


What do you think of the idea?  DId I provide enough information about my likes and dislikes? Ideally, I'd like to come somewhat in at around the max budget, like say a $150 coin and a $100 one, or $200 and $50, or just one at the max budget.

I'm not quite ready to launch yet. I'd like to work out the kinks first.  Perhaps some fresh ideas would be just what is needed for a really satisfying birthday present to myself.

I'm about to head to bed soon and I'll be unavailable much of Friday, so I won't be able to comment too much until then.

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