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|Advice needed| Cataloging provincial coins from Caesarea


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Greetings to all,

Over the past few weeks, I've immersed myself in the captivating world of numismatics by diligently cataloging coins. However, I've encountered a particular coin that has proven to be quite challenging. Thanks to the generous assistance of the individuals in this forum, I have successfully identified the coin type as follows:


The following information I was able to find out:

  • The political entity that emitted the type is the city of Caesarea (Cappadocia) 
  • The emperor for whom this coin was produced (I think) is Hadrian. (Seen on the obverse)
  • The mint location is probably Caesarea
  • The denomination is a didrachm (the coin probably lost a lot of its weight being 4.53 g)
  • The description of the obverse type: Laureate head of Hadrian, right
  • Obverse inscription: ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟϹ ϹΕΒΑϹΤΟϹ
  • The description of the reverse type: Mount Argaeus surmounted by star; to left and right, stars
  • Reverse inscription: ΥΠΑΤΟϹ Γ ΠΑΤΗΡ ΠΑΤΡ




Edited by Numis1557
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From the link I provided, the coin can be only from the 5 examples, as your coin is most likely a didrachm (an overweight drachm is not a likely possibility)

Now if you check the first 5 results, the only difference between them is the obverse design; the reverses designs and legend are identical. So the only aspect that separates these coins is the portrait style. 


laureate head of Hadrian, right

laureate head of Hadrian, right, with drapery on left shoulder

laureate head of Hadrian, right, with drapery on left shoulder, aegis

laureate and draped bust of Hadrian, right, seen from front

laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Hadrian, right, seen from front

Your coin appears to be https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/3/3102A by comparing the portraits against all the specimens. 

3 hours ago, Numis1557 said:
  • The weight standard

Not sure what you mean. Don't expect a clear  weight standard in ancient coins. Not like in modern coinage anyway. If you check the Hadrian didrachms with Mount Argaeus, they are ~6.5 grams. So the logical deduction is that your coin was underweight from the minting stage and because of the wear it lost something more. But don't expect a dramatic lost in weight  from wear though. 


3 hours ago, Numis1557 said:
  • Emission date of the coin (probably c. 76 - 137?)

@Roman Collector provided an excellent explanation above.

3 hours ago, Numis1557 said:
  • And if there is an other authority in whose name the coin is minted


The coin has Hadrian's portrait and legend. So the question is straightforward. Also remember Hadrian's reign (provided by our colleague also). Not sure where you got the 76-137 interval. In 76 the emperor was Vespasian.

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@ambr0zieFirst of all, thank you for your respons. On my form I have a field that says "Weight Standard", and normally I am able to fill in for example "Roman Denarius Weight Standard in the case of a Denarius" or "Attic Weight Standard" etc. But with this coin I don't really know what to write there.


I am sorry if this sounds confusing, but I am still learning the ropes. 

Edited by Numis1557
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No  need to apologize, good luck in your journey of learning this hobby.

My advice is to forget about the weight standard. Ancient coins denomination are logical, but not that straight forward.  Since you mentioned Roman denarii, I have 90 imperial denarii in my collection. Weights vary from 1,93 g to 3,6 g. Also 23 Republican denarii, with weights varying from 2,7 to 4,1 grams. 

Remove that category from your collection, it's not as relevant as you think. 

What you need to learn - 1. to recognize the portraits (this is quite difficult for many Provincial coins, as the portraits often do NOT resemble the Rome portraits) 2. to learn how to read legends, in both Latin and Greek and also know the abbreviations such as TRP II COS II and their meanings 3. to learn how to distinguish reverses - popular deities, popular scenes (in your coin Mount Argaeus is a very common motif, and when you see a different coin with this reverse you would automatically know it's Caesarea.

I also recommend you to get familiarized with ancient history (the basic stuff). 

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