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Errors are inevitable in life. And on coins


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I have just received and catalogued my last purchase - 3 coins I won last weekend. 
In the last months I decided to slow down new acquisitions - first because I am trying to save some money, but also because I noticed that buying new coins does not give me the thrill I used to have. This is normal after a while. So my strategy is now strict - I try to buy only coins I find really special, major targets and, like all of us, try to find bargains. 

The reverse of the coin I want to present today has been discussed several times on NF. It shows Venus in a pose that might brings jokes and innuendos. These do not bother me at all, as long as we keep it polite and civilized. But this has never been a problem on NF. 

It shows Venus Victrix and the popularity of this reverse type, used by a few emperors and empresses, suggests that  this was a statue, well known in antiquity, now lost (or I can't find clear details about the statue). 

The most popular and common coins with this reverse are the denarii with Julia Domna's portrait. From the Rome mint but also different mints. But this was not the first appearance of this reverse. There are types from Titus, Julia Titi, Sabina, Faustina II, Septimius Severus and the latest I am aware of is Salonina. There might be others. 

This was a type I always wanted so my first was a Domna denarius from Rome. 


A few months after purchasing it, I found a different one, from the same house. I noticed it quite late, when the coin was almost live, so did not have time to research it. Not knowing the mint styles didn't help. I was 99% sure this is from another mint, not Rome, but I was wrong. Nevertheless, I like this one too, although the engraver who worked on the obverse die was not the most talented from his class.  


One of the most artistic coins in my collection is a Titus denarius with a similar reverse. 


17 mm, 2,53 g.
Titus 79-81 AD. AR denarius. Rome. 79 AD.
IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, head of Titus, laureate, right / TR P VIIII IMP XIIII COS VII P P, Venus standing right, resting on column, holding helmet and spear.
RIC II, Part 1 (second edition) Titus 34; Old RIC II Titus 9; RSC 268.

And if I got 2 Julia Domna denarii, why not getting a sestertius?!


30 mm, 25,51 g.
Julia Domna. Augusta 193-217. Ӕ sestertius. Rome. 193-196.
IVLIA DOMNA AVG, bust of Julia Domna, hair waved and coiled at back, draped, right / VENERI VICTR S C, Venus, naked to waist, standing left, holding apple in extended right hand and palm sloped over left shoulder in left hand, resting left elbow on column.
RIC IV Septimius Severus 842; Cohen 195; BMC 488.

Normally, getting a 3rd Julia Denarius denarius from Rome would not be an option. I will probably buy more coins with this reverse, but different rulers or at least different Domna mints. 

But seeing another RIC 536 made me want it instantly. Not because of a great style/nice portrait or excellent condition - I can't say the coin has any of these, but because of the obvious double strike. 


20,2 mm, 2,9 g
Julia Domna, Augusta 193-211. AR denarius. Rome. 193-196. IVLIA DOMNA AVG, bust of Julia Domna, hair waved and coiled at back, draped, right / VENERI VICTR, Venus, with drapery falling below hips, standing with back turned, head right, holding apple in extended right hand and palm sloped to the left in left hand, resting left elbow on column.
RIC IV Septimius Severus 536 (denarius); RSC 194.

On the first attempt, the strike was weak (especially visible on the obverse) so they tried again. This time the strike had the correct power, but the result was .... not something to deserve a performance bonus. 

I know that strike errors for hand made coins are not uncommon. And, of course, there are more spectacular (or failed) examples but I don't have anything similar in my collection, the most common "errors" being weak strikes or bad centering.

I find the following really spectacular:

- doubled portrait (nose/mouth) - so I can safely say this coin shows jugate portraits of Julia Domna and ... Julia Domna
- letters from "first" and "second" obverse legend clearly visible
- "both" dotted borders present. 

On the reverse the mistake is much less visible, the only element I see is the first E from VENERI having a ghost on the outside. 

Normally I thought an error like this will bring a price much higher than a "normal" RIC 536. At least 2x (using the formula double strike, double price 🙂 ). Last time I attempted to buy a double strike coin (it was a Galeria Valeria) I was not successful and the hammer price was too high for my tastes. But to my surprise, the coin had almost no success and I bought it cheaply. The auction house did not write anything about  the double strike in the description. Other bidders did not notice or perhaps did not consider this a collectable coin. I can't complain. 

Please show Venus Victrix coins - it would be nice to see other rulers; and of course, error coins - I would love to see some ancient bloopers that managed to circulate. 

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Interesting coin @ambr0zie!

Here's one for you. What happened here?


Did the mintworkers decide to restrike this one after seeing how far off-center the obverse (now reverse!) was?

Or, did two planchets accidentally get struck together, resulting in a pair of coins each with a blank side, which were then restruck individually? This would explain why there's not really any sign of a double strike on the obverse.

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There are a whole range of errors that we could see. 

A subtle double strike leading to the legend in exe on the reverse appearing blundered


A large offset double strike to both sides


A lateral double strike which is primarily visible on the reverse though the lack of details on the obverse is probably a result of the double strike.


A double strike that is only visible in the hair in the bust on the obverse


A bizarre lateral double strike that has resulted in a area of the detail from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock being repeated horizontally on both sides


A double strike where the same obverse die has been used with two different reverse dies (different reverse types) leading to a slight lateral shift visible on the obverse and a mix of both reverse types on the reverse.


FELICITAS TEMPOR, grain ear between crossed cornucopiae / VICTOR SEVER AVG, Victory walking left, holding wreath in right hand, palm in left



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Looks like a double strike but there is no sign on the obverse and nothing else out of place on the reverse. A mystery

Faustina II AE Sestertius. 19,80g, 33mm.
 DIVA FAV-STINA PIA, draped bust right / SIDERIBVS RECEPTA S-C, Faustina as Diana, standing right, holding long torch across body with both hands, crescent behind neck. RIC 1715, Cohen 215. SEAR 1988 # 1530
Commemorative issue struck under Aurelius, circa
175/6 AD.
Reverse struck twice with clear images of two torches and two S of SC. Bizarrely, it circulated for a long time in this condition.


20230907_182633 (2).jpg

20230907_182735 (2).jpg

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