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Définition: a petty or insignificant error or flaw.


Since you have all noticed that English is not the mother tongue, you will not be surprised to learn that reading the different topics posted here and on other numismatic discussion forums has helped me broaden my vocabulary in Shakespeare’s  language. About 4-5 years ago, I learned a new word by reading a thread by @Roman Collector-FLYSPECKING-…It didn’t take me long to understand he was talking about minor variations in design on certain monetary types. But I also discovered that in my case it was a mental illness…

I have developed during my years as a collector a tendency to seek out negligible details sometimes noted by scholars, but often only by a few fanatics of my ilk. In order to feel a little more normal, I thought I would start a thread dedicated to this psychological disorder and perhaps also with the objective of finding other members who are affected by the same illness.

I’ll start with my favorite emperor, Victorinus, and with the well known type INVICTVS. I’ll show you different variations already listed by Mairat, but others only noticed by few collectors. So let’s start FLYSPECKING !


Mairat listed 4 variants for the reverse with Sol:


Sol 3)  Sol running, with hand raised and holding whip, cloak flying behind.



Sol 3a)  Sol running, with hand raised and holding whip.




Sol 3b)  Sol running, with hand raised and holding whip, cloak flues out behind, cloak drawn as two parallel lines.



Sol 3c)  Sol running, with hand raised and holding whip, cloak flues out behind, cloak drawn as two parallel lines with a hieroglyph below.




And now to explore the deepness of my problems…


Cloak drawn as FOUR parallel lines





With a small leaf below (Mairat listed this variation, but not WITH the star in left field)IMG_5954.jpeg.afbf2ba2afbf17c9451cbf81af426827.jpeg



Edited by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix
Typo in the title
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In our recent thread about duplicates I commented that I did not have the resources to collect solidi by officina, and still less by flyspecks (minor variations.)  Yet I have ended up with a few coins which are similar or nearly identical, of which some of the more interesting are these coins of Theodosius II struck circa AD 425-6.   The obverses differ minimally with tiny differences in the spear point and the cuirass.  The reverses are more interesting in their variation.  

Theodosius II as senior emperor is seated on the left hand side as we view the coin, which from the emperor’s point of view would be the right hand side and the place of honor.  The junior emperor is Valentinian III.

On the first two coins, Valentinian is standing, while on the third he is seated.  The first two coins have no officina; the third is officina A.  The emperors have haloes on the third coin.  The second coin has an extra break in the reverse legend to accommodate the large cross held by the junior emperor.  Lastly, there are three dots over Theodosius’s head on the first coin, two on the second, and none on the third.     image.png.62e3aa133ed674e1d69f3e977bced476.png


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I have to disagree. These are all important and significant differences. 


Here are two more of these earth-shattering differences:

1: Faustina II (RIC 698); indusium (a silk chemise) visible and not visible.




2: Faustina II (RIC 677) with one or two strands of braided hair:





Edited by shanxi
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I for one really appreciate your "flyspecking" efforts, @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix.  Your Victorinus observations helped me identify one of those "leaf" types recently - so keep up the good work, please!   Here's mine:


Gallic Empire Victorinus  Billon / Æ Antoninianus (269-271 A.D.) Cologne (RIC) / Trier Mint IM[P C VICTORINVS P F [AVG}, radiate, draped, & cuir. bust right / INVICTVS, Sol advancing left, raising right hand, whip in left, star left, stylized tree leaf right. (2.22 grams / 21 x 17 mm) eBay Aug. 2023 Lot @ $5.22

Note:  Mint location varies: OCRE:  Cologne, 269-271 A.D. CNG:  "Treveri (Trier) mint. 3rd emission, 3rd phase, mid AD 270-early AD 271" FORVM:  "issue 3, phase 2, late 269 - mid 271 A.D., 1st officina, Treveri (Trier) RIC V-2 114; Mairat 582; Schulzki AGK 9b; Cohen VI 49; Elmer 683, Cunetio 2534; SRCV III 11170., 

 Note:  "The period of time when (Autun) was...finally taken corresponds with the 3rd issues (3rd phase) of minting of Victorinus coinage. Two reverses known earliest in his reign...celebrate and underline this victory : the PAX AVG had a palm...added in the r. field. Rare examples of the parallel type INVICTVS appeared at the same time with a small stylized tree leaf under the floating side of  Sol's mantle going to the left...." Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, CT


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