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First Constantine Sol from London (PLN, no T-F)


Heliodromus

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I just received this recent auction win today, and am very pleased with it despite the admittedly meh condition. This has been one of my core wants for years... they don't come up too often and I've unwisely passed on a couple in the past.

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RIC VI London 115 R. 24.5mm 3.91g (21mm PRD = pearl-ring diameter). Obverse die link to a BM specimen.

This is from the first 310 AD issue of Constantine's new SOLI INVICTO COMITI and MARTI CONSERVATORI (replacing MARTI PATRI) reverse types, which was accompanied by a nummus weight reduction from 1/48lb (6.85g) to 1/72lb (4.5g).  This first London issue is distinguished by the lack of field marks, and was quickly followed by the second issue with T-F marks better coordinated with Trier (T-F) and Lyons (F-T).

Constantine's thoughts on which of his co-emperors to recognize seems to have been in flux since this initial issue only included SOLI/MARTI for himself and GENIO for Maximinus Daia (and nothing for Licinius). In the following T-F issue Constantine adds a new London-only type of COMITI AAVVGG and issues all four types for Daia as well as himself, but only SOLI for Licinius. Coins for Daia & Lincinus in either issue are very scarce, but nonetheless there seems to have been clear preferential treatment of Daia presumably due to him seeming to have helped get Galerius to recognize both of them as augustii. This 310 AD 1/72lb issue is the first from London to show Daia as augustus.

RIC VI makes a mess of this first 1/72 lb reduced London issue by failing to distinguish it from the preceding unreduced one which had a different type line-up. RIC dates the whole RIC 101-115 group to 307-310 AD and gives a weight of 5.0-7.5g (i.e. 1/48lb +/-), but really the SOLI/MARTI and Daia GENIO types (RIC 107, 113-115 and 105-106) are post-reform at a reduced weight standard of 1/72lb, and date to 310 AD (Daia as augustus). The (misdescribed) Constantine GENIO types in this group (RIC 103-104) are from the pre-reform unreduced group.

Finally, here's my new coin reunited with it's MARTI buddy (RIC 107 - much rarer!) which I already had, and my RIC 106 for Daia from this same post-reform 1/72 lb issue.

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Edited by Heliodromus
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I scored the Constantine nummus pictured below from Roma E-Sale 75, about 3 years ago. Do you know the weight of the 3rd coin you have pictured 🤔?

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Constantine I, AD 307-337 (struck AD 307-310). London Mint. Billon Nummus: 6.57 gm, 28 mm, 8 h. RIC 103; C & T 5.04.003. Ex Italo Vecchi Collection.

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7 minutes ago, Al Kowsky said:

I scored the Constantine nummus pictured below from Roma E-Sale 75, about 3 years ago. Do you know the weight of the 3rd coin you have pictured 🤔?

That's a handsome coin!

That 3rd coin (Daia RIC 106) is 4.65g.

I also have RIC 107 (P AVG vs PF AVG), but no weight (need to buy a scale - been on my TODO list for years!).

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As always the weight control on these bronze coins is awful, although the difference between 1/48lb and 1/72lb is large enough that it often should be clear. A more reliable way to distinguish these issues is by the PRD (reflecting careful die measurement) which at London was ~22.5mm for 1/48lb and ~21mm for 1/72lb.

 

Edited by Heliodromus
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Constantine I. 307-337 AD. Æ Follis (18mm, 3.49 gm, 12h). Londinium (London) mint. Struck 316-317 AD. Obv: CONSTANTINVS P AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right. Rev: SOL INVIC TO COMITI, Sol standing left, extending right arm, holding globe in left; T-F in field, PLN in ex. RIC VII 88.

Two varieties:

 

ConstantineILondon1.jpg

ConstantineILondon2.jpg

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20 minutes ago, PeteB said:

RIC VII 88.

RIC VII 88 would be P AVG, but your (2nd) coin is PF AVG which would be unlisted for the 316-317 issue. Based on style I suspect it might really be RIC VI 121a dating to 310 ... if you have it accessible you could confirm based on size - from 310 AD it would be much bigger than the 1st coin, 21mm PRD with coin itself ~23mm.

 

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3 hours ago, Heliodromus said:

RIC VII 88 would be P AVG, but your (2nd) coin is PF AVG which would be unlisted for the 316-317 issue. Based on style I suspect it might really be RIC VI 121a dating to 310 ... if you have it accessible you could confirm based on size - from 310 AD it would be much bigger than the 1st coin, 21mm PRD with coin itself ~23mm.

 

You are correct! Æ 24mm, 4.52 gm, 6h. THANKS!

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11 hours ago, Coinmaster said:

How interesting and congrats with this acquisition!

Is anyone doing research on these coins? I believe the RICs are slowly updated via Spink Books.

Cloke and Toone's London Mint of Constantius and Constantine is now the standard reference for London mint coins of the period, published by Spink.  It's excellent.

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