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Ryro's Top Coins of 2023: Do the eclectic slide


Ryro's Top Coins of 2023: Do the eclectic slide  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Pick your favs!

    • Athens sexy little owl
    • Sily-phion tree
    • Imitations can be better than the real thing, baby
    • Hell-ios Yeeeuussss
    • Slice of the Pyrrhos
    • Herakles beating the old snake
    • Herakles grabbing em by the hind-y
    • Walk like an Egyptian
    • Claudia the body-a
    • Herakleia ad Latmon Reeses masterpieces
    • Little lord Apollo-roy
    • Sceatta the heck out of here!
    • Herakles tussles a bull. No BS
    • Baby-kles
    • Ya can't Nep-tuna fish

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It's been a fun year for my collection. Though, my Macedonian Shield Coin collection probably saw less growth this year than any previous year. There are only so many varieties. I've had a great time going down some rabbit holes. 


Barely eeking its way into my top ten, mainly due to the adorablness of the owl, rad design on Athena's helmet, and that it's from the time of one of the greatest conquers the world has ever known, is my pi-style lll Athenian owl:



ATTICA, Athens. Circa 353-294 BC. AR Tetradrachm (22mm, 17.20 g, 8h). Helmeted head of Athena right, with profile eye and pi-style palmette / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent behind. Bingen Pi-style III; Kroll –; HGC 4, 1599.


I'd been on the lookout for a silphion coin for some time when this bad boy showed up on one of my favorite auction houses with a very cool provenance ta boot!:




Bronze, 4th century B.C. Chr.

Obv: head of Carneios with ram's horn r., name of official (ΑΝΔΡ?)

Rev. silphion tree.

SNG Cop. 1216 cf.

Thick flan.


14.83g, 22mm, 11h. Rare

Ex. Collection Münzgalerie Viktor Hruby, Vienna. Purchased from Fitz March 2023


Part of the fun of us barbarians floating around the various empires of our day is the imitations we have made: 



Eastern Europe. Imitation of Macedonian, First Meris 200-100 BC.

Tetradrachm AR

34 mm, 16,74 g

Diademed and draped bust of Artemis right, with bow and quiver over shoulder; all in center of Macedonian shield/ MAKEΔONΩN / ΠPΩTHΣ, club; monogram above; all within oak wreath; thunderbolt to left. very fine. Lanz 1009. Purchased from Savoca Silver 167 June 2023


Any half assed ancient Greek collection needs at least one solid portrait of Helios. So, when I spotted this upgrade I pounced on it: 



ISLANDS off CARIA, Rhodos. Rhodes . Circa 125-88 BC. Hemidrachm (Silver, 14mm, 1.48 g 12), Timokrates. Radiate head of Helios, three-quarter facing to right. Rev. Ρ - Ο ΤΙΜΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ Rose with bud to right; below to left, coiled serpent; all within shallow incuse square. Jenkins, Rhodian 156. very fine.

Purchased from Savoca April 2023


A Pyrrhos Didrachm with an overlooked star of Vergina on the shield's boss, yes please and thank you: 


ITALY. Calabria. Tarentum. Didrachm or nomos (silver). Approx. 280 - 272 BC Chr.

Obv: warrior on horseback with shield and spear riding left; Zeta Omega in left field, magistrate's name between legs.

Rev: Naked Taras with spindle and bunch of grapes, riding left on dolphin; in the field on the right ear of corn.

22mm 6.45g

HN Italy 1013; Coll. Vlasto 800.

Very nice.


All action Herk bashing the heads in of the Hydra was a big eff yeeuuusss when I won it:


CILICIA. Tarsus. Caracalla, 198-217. 18,78 gr - 33,88 mm, 211-217. AYT KAI M AYP CЄYHPOC ANTΩNЄINOC CЄB ✱ / Π - Π Laureate head of Caracalla to left. Rev. ΑΝΤΩΝΙΑΝΗC CЄYΗ ΑΔΡ ΜΗΤ / TAPCOV / Δ / Ε Κ Herakles standing left, with lion's skin draped over his left arm and raising club far over his right shoulder, about to strike the Lernaean Hydra. Fine RARE


Another rare fun action scene with better detail and artistry: 



PONTUS (Bronze, 12.68g, 31.2mm) Sebastpolis, Gallienus (253-268) AE Year 266=263/4 AD. Obv: AYT KAI ΠO ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC - Bust laureate, draped, cuirassed right, with oversize, elaborately rendered shoulder flap of cuirass, flanked by two folds of cloak falling from a round clasp.

Rev: CEBACTO HPAK around clockwise on right, ET (ligate) S - ΞC around counterclockwise on left - Herakles standing left, nude except for lion skin flying out from his back and hanging down beside his left leg, capturing the Ceryneian hind, which rears up left beside him, by grasping its horns and placing his right knee on its back

Amandry/Remy 72 (D20/R54). SNG von Aulock 134.

*Only 2 examples on AC search


Of course finding out that there is a portrait of an actual Pharoah on a Roman coin made it a must. And the excellent portrait of the very butch😉 looking Hadrian was a bonus




EGYPT, Arsinoite Nome. Alexandria. Hadrian, 117-138. Obol (Bronze, 19 mm, 5.21 g, 12 h), year ΙΑ = 11 = 126/7. ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ - ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑ CЄΒ Laureate head of Hadrian to right, slight drapery on his far shoulder. Rev. ΑΡCI - L ΙΑ Head of the Pharaoh Premarres (= Amenemhet III of the 12th Dynasty, 1831-1786 BCE) to right, wearing the nemes head cloth and the uraeus serpent. BMC N73. RPC III 6296. Attractive and clear with a brown patina. Minor deposits. Good very fine


Man, I would've loved a chance to see her in real life, cause her coins and statues show a rare beauty stone cold fox: 




Claudia Octavia (54-62 AD) Perinthus, Thrace, AE27 - wife of Nero Obverse: ΟΚΤΑΟΥΙΑ ΣΕΒΑΣΤH Diademed and draped bust to right.

Reverse: ΗΡΑ ΠΕΡΙΝΘΙΩΝ Statue of Hera of Samos to left, holding filleted patera. Bronze, diameter 27 x 25,5 mm, weight 9,2 g. 

Reference: RPC 1755, Grade: F, purchased from GNDM Feb 2023


But no coin that I bought this year is more fun to hold and gawk at then this masterpiece(s). Sometimes some wear and tear is good... for my wallet. 



IONIA, Herakleia ad Latmon. Circa 140-135 BC. AR Tetradrachm (33mm, 11.50 g, 12h). Stephanophoric type. Helmeted head of Athena right / Club; below, Nike advancing left, holding wreath, flanked by two monograms; all within oak wreath. Lavva, Silberprägung, Group III (unlisted dies); SNG Copenhagen 781; SNG von Aulock 1978. Chipped.very fine


Runners up!

It was hard to cut this ultra fancy lad looking Apollo from the top ten, but hey, it was a good year: 


M. Caecilius Metellus,

82-80 BC, Denarius 82-80 BC, Rome. 3,73 g. Head of Apollo right; before, value-mark ROMA / M METELLVS Q F Macedonian shield decorated with elephant`s head; around laurel-wreath. Mediolanum 369/1; Syd. 719. good very fine, horn silver.

Purchased from Munzhandlung Ritter GmbH

Very cool, mysterious, beautiful artistry, but not a top ten coin to me:


ANGLO-SAXON. Continental Sceattas. Circa AD 715/20-740. AR Sceatt. Series E, Secondary ('Kloster Barthe') phase, sub-variety d. Mint in southern Frisia.

Obv: 'Porcupine' right, three lines in body, two annulets to lower right.

Rev: Standard with corrupted TOTII legend.

EMC 2012.0213; M&OdV variety C, sub-variety d; Abramson 94-10; MEC 8 Series Eg; SCBC 790.

Condition: Very fine, dark toning.

Weight: 1,19g.

Diameter: 11mm

Ironically, Herakles seventh labour didn't make you topten: 


Thrace, Hadrianopolis, Gordian III (238-244 AD), AE26, Herakles capturing Cretan Bull. 

A rare mythological subject, the seventh labour of Herakles. The Cretan Bull was the same bull which Pasiphaë fell in love with, and it became the father of the Minotaur. 

VF, somewhat rough surfaces with irregular patination. Rare. 

Varbanov 3706

Purchased from Bermonsey Coins Ltd Oct 2023


Babykles didn't make the cut due to overall condition, but is still a rare coin I'm snake strangling excited about: 



Italy, Calabria, Tarentum. c. 280-228 BC. AR Diobol (12 mm, 0,8 g). Helmeted head of Athena left, helmet decorated with Skylla. R/ The Herakliskos Drakonopnigon; monogram to lower left, thunderbolt in exergue. Vlasto 1455; cf. HN Italy 1068

And lastly for the almost rans is this very fun and very worn iconic coin type with a great pair of Neptune:


Sextus Pompeius (37-36 BC) Denarius - ex. David Hendin Obverse: head of Neptune right.  Reverse: Naval anchor with trophy. Silver, diameter 17 mm, weight 3,43 g.  Moneta z certyfikatem znanego i cenionego eksperta w numizmatyce antycznej.  Awers: Głowa Neptuna w prawo. Rewers: Trofeum morskie na kotwicy. Srebro, średnica 17 mm, waga 3,43 g.  Reference: Crawford 511/2b


Thanks for taking a look! I'm sure that I forgot a few (and foolishly lost a bunch of my photos earlier in the year). Any coins that you like or have the same or similar types of, please share em!

Edited by Ryro
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Coingratulations, @Ryro, for a great year of collecting! You are SWIMMING in coins, my friend!


My favorite ones were the labors of Hercules issues and the silphium plant. I've long wanted a coin with a silphium plant but have never found the right example at the right price. I hope 2024 is good for you and your collection!

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Wonderful coins all, @Ryro! I voted for #s 1, 3, & 7. 

Re # 3, I am fascinated by the thought that even though the Romans didn't really know exactly who Premarres/Amenemhat III actually was, he was still the earliest known-to-be-historical figure ever portrayed on an ancient coin from anywhere.

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These are all fantastic Ryan! Your #1 is the star of the show. What a wonderful portrait.

I’m also pretty partial to your Pyrrhic War nomos and your pi-style tet. Two similar examples made my Top 10 last year for pretty much exactly the same reasons you outline here. As they say… great minds 😉 🙂 




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Hey hey! Thanks for all the kind words, votes and sharing of co!ns!

And in an upset that rivals Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson...


My #3, Hadrian and Amenemhet III, has not only beaten out my #2, but even had more likes than my #1, which I consider to be a masterpiece!? Though, I can't blame the voters, she is chipped aaaaaand you don't see too many Pharaohs on coins. 

Thanks again and can't wait to see all your year end lists!

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Fantastic additions Ryro! The issues featuring Hercules/Herakles are especially cool. Difficult to pick favorites. But in the end, I went for Caracalla from Tarsus, the Arsinoite Nome, and a runner up: baby Herakles. Immean, why is that not in the top10?! Baby Herakles is really cool, and the scylla on the helmet makes it even better! 🙂

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It looks like your Egyptian beauty is pulling away from the pack, Ryan. I must confess my collection is a bit weak on provincials and I didn’t really know about this coin type. Now it is on my list.

Having friends with good collecting taste is hard on the wallet sometimes. 😉 

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