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Claudius_Gothicus' Top 10 of 2023


Choose your three favourites:  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Choose your three favourites:

    • Gallienus, PERPETVITATI AVG
      2
    • Gallienus, PAX AVG
      0
    • Gallienus, VICT GERMANICA
      2
    • Decentius, VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET CAE
      11
    • Aurelian, VIRT MILITVM
      7
    • Claudius II, PAX AET
      2
    • Gallienus, ADVENTVS AVG
      2
    • Gallienus, VICTORIA AVG
      3
    • Gallienus, VOTA DECENNALIA
      4
    • Claudius II, PROVIDENTIA AVG
      9


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While this year certainly wasn't bad in regards to purchases, I didn't acquire as many interesting coins as the past years, though this wasn't due to strong auction competition, but rather due to the fact that I tried to restrict my purchases to my core interests, and there simply weren't many pieces up for sale that met all of my criteria. Despite this, I still managed to obtain some coins that I think are worthy of note, and I will present them below, with a short description and a link to their respective writeups, when available.

10 - An unusual bust type with an unusual reverseIMPGALLIENVSAVG-PERPETVITATIAVG.jpg.6f55e91de97e6a3c377c7a61826205eb.jpg

Roman Empire, Gallienus (253-268), Antoninianus, Mediolanum mint.

Obverse: IMP GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, aegis on left shoulder;

Reverse: PERPETVITATI AVG, Securitas standing left, leaning on column, holding globe in right hand and long transverse sceptre in left hand;

RIC V - (c.f. RIC V 504 - unlisted bust type); MIR 1078s; Toffanin 145/6

PERPETVITAS certainly isn't the most common legend to appear on Roman coins, especially in the coinage of the often ephemeral emperors of the Third Century, which is why I'm pleased to have added this example to my collection; the fact that this bust is also a very rare variant with the aegis on the left shoulder is also a nice plus.

9 - A very rare military bust of Gallienus from RomeGALLIENVSAVG-PAXAVG(2).jpg.a8b7cfd51f7047b6caa32f9b0bbe9079.jpg

Roman Empire, Gallienus (253-268), Antoninianus, Rome mint.

Obverse: GALLIENVS AV-G, radiate and cuirassed bust right, wearing balteus, holding spear over shoulder in right hand and shield in left hand;

Reverse: PA-X AV-G, Pax standing left, holding olive branch in right hand and long transverse sceptre in left hand, V in right field;

RIC V 256; MIR 367t;

The military busts of Gallienus from Rome are all very rare, and this variant with the officina mark in the right field especially so, which is why I'm satisfied with this example even though it's not the best, condition-wise.

8 - A common but pleasing Gallienus

4878031_1700744595.l.jpg.ea1aac9f055cb81cedc6245d82fe690a.jpg

Roman Empire, Gallienus (253-268), Antoninianus, Trier mint.

Obverse: GALLIENVSPFAVG, radiate and cuirassed bust left, holding spear over shoulder in right hand and shield with gorgoneion in left hand;

Reverse: VICT G-ER-MANICA, Victory advancing left, holding wreath in right hand and trophy in left hand, treading on captive to the left;

RIC V 44; MIR 893i;

This coin certainly isn't rare, and only makes the list due to its portrait, which I find to be unusually well executed, as far as coins for this issue go; moreover, the reverse is also quite interesting and not as poorly struck as usual, and the fact that it was very cheap is the cherry on top.

7 - A very nice Decentius from LugdunumDNDECENTIVSNOBCAES-VICTORIAEDDNNAVGETCAE.jpg.b7ae9bc64d9960629e2723b1156637e7.jpg

Roman Empire, Decentius (350-353), Maiorina, Lugdunum mint.

Obverse: D N DECENTIVS NOB CAES, bare-headed and cuirassed bust right, seen from front;

Reverse: VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET CAE, two Victories standing vis-a-vis, holding wreath inscribed VOT/V/MVLT/X, SP in field, RSLG in exergue;

RIC VIII 137; Bastien 177;

Normally I ignore the post-Crisis coinage, but I have a soft spot for the coinage of Magnentius and Decentius, which is why when I saw this coin for cheap I went for it immediately. This might be Decentius' most common type, but it's not easy to find in great condition and at an affordable price, so I am satisfied with my purchase.

6 - An attractive pre-reform Aurelian from Rome4878055_1700744631.l.jpg.a104e4d11a798845b6d9d45b99d06334.jpg

Roman Empire, Aurelian (270-275), Antoninianus, Rome mint.

Obverse: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, seen from front;

Reverse: VIRT MILIT-VM, Aurelian standing right, holding long sceptre in right hand and glode in left hand, facing soldier standing left, holding Victory in right hand and transverse sceptre in left hand, Δ in exergue;

RIC V 56; RIC V Online 1635;

At first it might seem like this coin doesn't have much going for it except for its good state state of preservation and its nice portrait, but what's special about it is that it's one of the scarce pre-reform antoniniani struck by Aurelian at the newly reopened Rome mint, after he had returned from his Eastern campaign, so I think that this transitional issue, while nothing special on the surface, can still tell us a lot about the monetary situation at the time.

5 - One of Claudius II's rarest reverses - WriteupIMPCLAVDIVSAVG-PAXAET.jpg.41fcf3aa7a3a1bf2308b9ed3ccc3ac98.jpg

Roman Empire, Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Siscia mint.

Obverse: IMP CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, seen from front;

Reverse: PAX AET, Pax seated left, holding olive branch in right hand and long transverse sceptre in left hand, T in exergue;

RIC V - (c.f. RIC V 185 - unlisted officina mark); RIC V Online 790;

This unassuming little coin on a poorly struck flan is actually one of the great rarities of Claudius II, and I was happy to have acquired it at an extremely affordable price. While objectively it might deserve a lower spot on the list, I would place it this high due to its rarity and elusiveness.

4 - An Adventus issue of Gallienus from Mediolanum - WriteupGALLIENVSAVG-ADVENTVSAVG.jpg.da3a283e2ab469018042e1554b575b47.jpg

Roman Empire, Gallienus (253-268), Antoninianus, Mediolanum mint.

Obverse: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head left;

Reverse: ADVE-NTVS AVG, emperor on horseback advancing left, raising right hand and holding transverse spear pointing downwards in left hand;

RIC V 463; MIR 1026e; Toffanin 132/1;

I really like Adventus coins due to the fact that they can be traced to specific moments in time and can help reconstruct an Emperor's travels during his reign, so I am very happy to have acquired this scarce example from Mediolanum, possibly struck to celebrate Gallienus' return from the campaigns against the usurpers Regalianus and Ingenuus.

3 - An interesting military bust from SisciaGALLIENVSAVG-VICTORIAAVG.jpg.659ffaa234d1d6c62faf3ad02b83570e.jpg

Roman Empire, Gallienus (253-268), Antoninianus, Siscia mint.

Obverse: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust left, holding spear pointing forward in right hand and shield with gorgoneion in left hand;

Reverse: VICTO-RI-A AVG, Victory advancing right, holding wreath in right hand and palm frond in left hand;

RIC V - ; MIR 1445z;

This coin, while still rare, is probably the most common Gallienus one from Siscia featuring a military bust; however, the good state of preservation and the well-executed portrait earn it a high spot on the list.

2 - A very rare Decennalia issue of GallienusGALLIENVSAVG-VOTADECENNALIA.jpg.55235b6b2ba9b7ca35fd5383405cdf4a.jpg

Roman Empire, Gallienus (253-268), Antoninianus, Mediolanum mint.

Obverse: GA-LLIEN-VS AVG, radiate, helmeted, draped and cuirassed bust left, holding spear pointing forward in right hand and shield with gorgoneion in left hand;

Reverse: VOTA DECENNALIA, Victory standing right, left foot on globe, inscribing shield set on palm tree, P in left field;

RIC V 333; MIR 1061l; Toffanin 155/2;

The VOTA DECENNALIA antoniniani of Gallienus from Mediolanum are very rare and sought after, and variants with rare bust types especially so; I would put it in first place for its impressive bust and unusual reverse type, but unfortunately the obverse is weakly struck and the first coin feels more special to me, so it will have to settle for the second spot. 

1 - An extremely rare Claudius II from Smyrna4840977_1699958504.jpg.c29c3c40e1fcaa99c5f3bc41f230a7e3.jpg

Roman Empire, Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Smyrna mint.

Obverse: IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind;

Reverse: PROVIDENTIA AVG, Mercury standing left, holding purse in right hand and caduceus in left hand, SPQR in exergue;

RIC V - ; RIC V Online 812;

Most Smyrna coins of Claudius II are simply scarce, but there are a few peculiar reverses that are very rare; this coin is among the latter, and one of the very few Imperial coins of the period to feature Mercury. RIC V Online lists only two specimens of this variety, both in worse condition, and I did not think that I would ever manage to acquire one, especially at this price, which is why I think it deserves the top spot.

That's all for now; while my list wasn't as impressive as those of many other members, I am still quite satisfied with my purchases and I hope that I will be just as lucky next year.

Happy holidays and good 2024!

Edited by Claudius_Gothicus
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Congratulations, Gallienus! Sorry, @Claudius_Gothicus

And this was not a mean joke - I see that, besides your interest for Claudius II, you have a good taste and eye for Gallienus coins. 

I voted 3 coins in the tradition:

10 - An unusual bust type with an unusual reverse - I really like this coin, from the same reasons you do. I also acquired, in 2022, some interesting Gallienus coins with similar characteristics (but not the same rarity)

7 - A very nice Decentius from Lugdunum - I do not actively collect LRBs - and this is not OK from my perspective. I might develop this part of my collection. But I have a lot of coins, bought because I liked them (of course). I do not have any Decentius coins, but, without being a specialist, this is the best I have seen. 

For my last choice I oscilated a lot between #2 and #1 but in the end I chose #1. Because it has many features of an exceptional coin - 1. rarity 2. unusual and beautiful Claudius bust (perhaps I am wrong, but this is a different bust from what we would expect from Claudius 2) 3. interesting reverse, as Mercury is not that common on coins - and what a talented engraver 4. huge flan, with dotted border fully visible (we all know how difficult is to find a coin like this; and of course 5. rarity. 

Here is a coin with a similar reverse design, from another emperor you like. 

image.png.41d64f79c3adb72e4b60b0f9247b468a.png

Gallienus 253-268. Billon antoninianus. Rome. 267.
GALLIENVS AVG, bust of Gallienus, radiate, cuirassed, right / FIDES AVG, Mercury, nude except for cloak draped over left arm, standing left, holding purse in right hand and caduceus in left hand. Exergue: PXV.
RIC V Gallienus 607; MIR 1667k; RSC 219.

 

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Congratulations on the additions to your collection this year! I enjoyed the write up of the Claudius Gothicus from Siscia which I missed when you first posted it. The portraits there are so distinctive. My three favorites are the VOTA DECENNALIA, ADVENTVS, and Gallienus with Aegis. I also picked up one of the aegis busts this year and it is one of my top coins. It looks to be an obverse die match with yours, though a VIRTVS reverse. 

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