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Faustina lifetime denarius - another box checked - Faustina Saturday


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A few weeks ago our colleague @Roman Collector (and, if he doesn't mind, and I hope he doesn't, my virtual friend Roman Collector. For me some NF members are more than just forum colleagues) signaled me an interesting coin in an upcoming auction. Because he knew I am interested in adding a Faustina I LIFETIME coin. 

Initially I thanked him but declined - not because I didn't like or didn't want the coin, but because in the last month I really exaggerated with coins. And almost all were important targets I planned for a long time. 

I did not forget about the coin and from time to time I checked the auction to see what is the status with it, as I really wanted a Faustina lifetime. And then the day of the auction arrived and, as I mentioned on another recent topic, I was out for a walk, minding my own business, and my spouse told me that I should buy "whatever I like for yourself, give yourself a present". 

So, what could I do, argue with her?! No. I immediately went home and won a Galba tetradrachm and the Faustina denarius 😐 
I am sure this is not what she had in mind, but this is what I understood 😐


17 mm, 3,44 g.
Faustina I, Augusta 138-140. AR denarius. Rome. 138-139 AD. 
FAVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG P P, bust of Faustina I, draped, right, hair elaborately waved in several loops round head and drawn up and coiled on top / CONCORDIA AVG, Concordia, draped, seated left, holding patera in right hand and resting left elbow on a cornucopia.
RIC 327; RSC 146; BMC 41; St. 394.
Ex Numismática Ibercoin Online Auction 53, 21.07.2021, lot 347

Faustina Senior is one of the most well known ladies of the Roman Empire. And, i I think about it, chronologically the first common empress on coins as it's much more difficult to acquire the previous ones (I think her coins are more common than Sabina's). Most of the Faustina I coins are posthumous, however. This coin is not a major rarity, but think about the ratio of posthumous/lifetime coins you see in auctions or dealers' offers. 

Faustina (Annia Galeria Faustina) was born in circa 100 AD. Member of an important patrician family, her father being Marcus Annius Verus, who was urban prefect of Rome and 3 times consul (also he was the grandfather of Marcus Aurelius). Her maternal aunts were the well known Sabina and Matidia.

She married Antoninus Pius sometime between 110 and 115, having 4 children, but 3 died before Antoninus Pius became emperor, the only surviving one being the future empress Faustina II. 

Faustina I was known and respected for her wisdom and beauty (her distinctive hairstyle became very popular in Rome for 2-3 generations). But another thing she was popular and respected for was that she organized charities for the poor and was actively involved in education of children, especially girls. 

She died when she was just 40 and Pius was devastated (he never officially remarried). 

Antoninus and Faustina were officially held up as such exemplars of conjugal harmony that newlyweds were directed to pray at an altar of Antoninus and Faustina that they might live up to their example. This was the case in Ostia, and probably so in Rome.

Pius never stopped to honor her memory - she was deified, he  dedicated a temple of her in the Roman Forum and continued her projects - especially the education of Roman girls - he established a charity called Puellae Faustinianae ("Girls of Faustina") to assist orphaned Roman girls. Faustina I posthumous coinage is abundant as Pius never wanted her to be forgotten. 

As for coinage, I think most collectors own at least a posthumous example, as they are widely spread and beautiful. Here is my favorite one - with a reverse showing the the temple of Faustina. 


18 mm, 3,29 g.
Diva Faustina I. Died 140-1. AR denarius. Rome. 150.
DIVA FAVSTINA, bust of Faustina I, draped, right, hair elaborately waved in several loops round head and drawn up and coiled on top / AED DIV FAVSTINAE, hexastyle temple in which is seated a figure of Faustina Senior, outer most columns contain standing figure holding vertical lit torch, Victories as acroteria, peacock in pediment, roof surmounted by quadriga.
RIC III Antoninus Pius 343; RSC 1; BMC 339.

The story of lifetime coinage is different though - and this is logical since she was empress for about 2 years. They are rarer and getting a coin in decent condition was not very easy. 

Please post 
- Faustina I lifetime coins
- coins that you bought after a forum colleague informed you that they're available. 

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That's a nice write-up. I acquired mine at a coin show, where it was simply labeled as Faustina. I initially believed it might be a lifetime issue because of the absence of 'Diva', which turned out to be the case.


139-140 AD
Rev: IVNONI REGINAE, Juno holding patera and sceptre, peacock at feet.

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Nice coins everybody!

another IVNO:


Faustina I, Denar AD 139-141
Obv: FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right
Rev: IVNONI REGINAE, Juno standing left holding patera and sceptre; at feet to left, peacock.
AR, 17mm, 3.13g.
Ref.: RIC 338, CRE 100 [S]

Edited by shanxi
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