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I like these toned denarii


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This particular vendor usually has some pretty decent Roman republican denarii, and I picked up the ones I wanted.  I really liked the chariot.  There were around five to choose from, and I picked what I thought was the best of the lot.

The photographs are pretty true to the toning of the respective pieces.

The first denarius has a better chariot scene than the second, but the second is in better shape.  It's an attractive piece.

The Trebonianus Gallus Sestertius was the numismatic equivalent of picking up a candy bar in the checkout counter.  I really like these.  Oh, and it came with the Baranowsky of Rome tag (priced in lira), the second I have.  It's not the greatest, but is nusmimatic comfort food.

I don't dislike the silver Antoninianii of the time, but opportunity cost comes up. I only have 2 Ants of Gallus.  My Sestertii outnumber the Ants.

Do you have any of these denarius types?  Post them!


L. Rubrius Dossenus, Rome, 87 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.92g). Laureate head of Jupiter r.; sceptre behind. R/ Triumphal chariot r. Crawford 348/1; RBW 1322; RSC Rubria 1. Near VF


L. and C. Memmius L.f. Galeria, Rome, 87 BC. AR Denarius (16mm, 4.00g). Laureate head of Saturn l.; control-mark to l., harpa to r. R/ Venus driving biga r., holding sceptre and reins; above, Cupid flying l., holding wreath. Crawford 349/1; cf. RBW 1328; RSC Memmia 8. VF


Trebonianus Gallus (251-253). Æ Sestertius (29mm, 19.76g, 12h). Rome, AD 253. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust r. R/ Emperor standing l., sacrificing from patera over lighted tripod altar and holding short sceptre. RIC IV 100.

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16 minutes ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

Do you have any of these denarius types?  Post them!

17 mm. 3.91 grams. 
Crawford 349/1. 87 BC. Sear I 262
Bought in 2008 from Rudnik

18-16 mm. 3.90 grams.
Crawford 348/1. 87 BC. Sear I 258 "The types of this moneyer appear to express hopes of victory against Marius and his faction."
CNG e-sale in 2020

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I agree with you, toned denari can be very attractive, although perhaps this one is taking it to the extreme (its even darker in hand)!


Roman Republic, P. Crepusius.

 Denarius, Rome, 82 BC.

Laureate head of Jupiter right, sceptre, control letter Γ behind, lizard before / Horseman galloping right, CCXXXVIII behind, P.CREPVSI in exergue.

Crawford 361/1c.

 3.86g, 18mm.

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Most of the silver coins in my collection are toned.  In fact with few exceptions I usually stay away from untoned (recently cleaned) coins.  Natural toning gives ancient coins character.  Here are a couple of examples that have an abundance of iridescence.


Quinarius, Crawford 44/6,

Provenance:  CNG 120, lot 698 From the J. de Wilde Collection. Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 61 (5 October 2011), lot 188; Lanz 80 (26 May 1997), lot 226. 


Denarius, Crawford 367/5

Provenance: Nomisma ELive Sale 16, June 3, 2020

Iridescence is nice but ancient silver coins are sometimes treated with chemicals or heat to artificially create the effect.  My favorite toning is actually a natural even gray with highlights on the high parts.  Here are a couple of examples:


Denarius, Crawford 44/5

Provenance Dr. Busso Peus Auction, November, 2017



Denarius Crawford 75/1c

Provenance: CNG auction 85 lot 762, Sept, 2010

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These are all superb coins and I would rather purchase toned denarii than clearly recently cleaned ones although more than often a "must have" type coin overrules this preference. A well know contributor on this site once advised me to keep coins in old manilla invoices for a year and I would see wonders! I did and it works but if toning is a result of time and atmosphere is this artificial toning? Possibly ?

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This is probably my darkest toned denarius:


Faustina II
Obv.: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, Bust of Faustina II, draped, diademed
Rev.: CERES, Ceres, veiled, standing left, holding corn ears and torch.
AR, 18 mm, 3.37g
Ref.: RIC 668, CRE 161 [S]



and a dark republican denarius


M. Junius Brutus
AR Denarius, 42BC, Rome
Obv.: LIBERTAS, Head of Libertas right.
Rev.: BRVTVS, Consul L. Junius Brutus walking left between two lictors, carrying fasces over shoulder; accensus to left.
Ag, 19mm, 3.87g
Ref.: Crawford 433/1




Edited by shanxi
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On 12/4/2023 at 7:43 PM, CPK said:

It's funny, I have a friend who is mildly interested in coins. He prefers shiny bright silver. To me, bright blast silver is almost garish on an ancient coin; I much prefer a nice dark tone.

It depends.   Something like a really common Treb. Gallus Ant or a Decius Ant I actually prefer blast white (except if the toning's fantastic). Ditto for billon Tetradrachms.

I'm totally the opposite with AE's.  I really don't like stripped coins.

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