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Not in RIC. Not a big deal.


Valentinian

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I like coins of Licinius (I know that is unusual), especially those with his name in a long form like this one:

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22.7-21.3 mm. 4.56 grams. Licinius, 308-324
IMP C VAL LICINIAN LICINIVS PF AVG
Some have the name even longer, with LICINIANVS in the bolded position. 
Often emperors used the longest version of their name first and shortened it over time as they became known.
IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG
SMHT   (Sacra Moneta Heraclea Thracia)
wreath in left field and Δ in right field.
The type is RIC VI Heraclea 68, page 541, "c. 312" and "S" for "scarce", but officina Δ is listed only for his co-rulers Maximinus II and Constantine. Licinius is listed with A, B, Γ, and E (it was his mint, so he used most of the officina), but not Δ.

So, some would call it "unique" or "extremely rare" and maybe it is to you if you care about that level of detail, but hardly anyone does and you should not pay much more because you fall for hype like that. RIC VI was published in 1973, 50 years ago, and a great many varieties "not in RIC" have been discovered since then. It is not in RIC, but it's not that big a deal. 

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There is even a website recording the coins 'Not in RIC' that would be in volumes VI and VII.  This is the listing with reports of quite a number of specimens.  

https://www.notinric.lechstepniewski.info/6her68.html

 

While that website only covers two volumes, it should be remembered that all the others have between some and many omissions.  My special interest in Septimius Severus has turned up about as many unlisted coins from Eastern mints as RIC listed.  Of course some of this is caused by minor variations or combinations of obverses and reverses not known used together.   Anyone who believes he might get a 'complete' set of any ancient coins is destined to fail.  

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While the RIC volumes are being updated I am not sure I will see all of them in my lifetime.  I am particularly interested in how the rarity ratings will come out in the later coinages.  There are plenty of mintmark rarities, but it can be difficult to tell how scarce they really are as many dealers, even the big ones, often dont give a full description of the coin.  And of course most of them would never appear in most of the auctions outside of group lots.

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Yes this is back to rarity being determined by the definition. RIC is hugely inconsistent anyway, on the one hand splitting out coins based on dies, while on the other lumping several different busts and legends into one. The more specific they are, the more coins are 'not in RIC'.

There are quite a lot of coins that are 'not in RIC' that actually are in RIC (i.e. the cited coins) but RIC has made mistakes in the descriptions so that no examples exist of the listed coin - all examples are 'not in RIC' or 'RIC var'.

Edited by John Conduitt
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16 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

Yes this is back to rarity being determined by the definition. RIC is hugely inconsistent anyway, on the one hand splitting out coins based on dies, while on the other lumping several different busts and legends into one. The more specific they are, the more coins are 'not in RIC'.

There are quite a lot of coins that are 'not in RIC' that actually are in RIC (i.e. the cited coins) but RIC has made mistakes in the descriptions so that no examples exist of the listed coin - all examples are 'not in RIC' or 'RIC var'.

The old joke was that the camel is an example of something designed by a committee.  RIC is something supposedly written by a group of the finest numismatists but they never talked to each other and settled on any guidelines so each volume plays by its own rules.  My favorite error is the 'Not in RIC' denarius of Septimius Severus that was listed from the BM specimen off center on the reverse making the 'assume' the legend ended AVG but my coin is a die duplicate and clearly reads AVS.  Can a coin that is 'not in RIC' actually be shown in the RIC plates?  It happens that the coin they assumed does actually exist so I show both below.  I have not checked to see if the BM has acquired one since. They declined the opportunity to upgrade their plate coin in 1997-8 since they had first refusal on the Bickford-Smith collection where I bought mine when the ones they refused were sold by CNG 47. 

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Unfortunately there are quite a few coins that can not be attributed correctly to RIC because of poor centering of unstruck letters.  The two coins below share the same obverse die but one has lost the last letters of IMPVI II so it reads IMPVI (a coin that was never made intentionally).  To their credit, the RIC authors noted that IMPVI was not a good reading but they went on to list coins with IMPVII which had similarly lost the final I cut on the other side of the bust point.  They did put in a footnote questioning whether the IMPVII was a good reading.  It was not.  That leaves us with a new category 'should not be in RIC'.  I suspect there are similar stories in each of the volumes.  

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