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Duplicates?


Valentinian

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There are an awful lot of ancient-coin types. You will never run out of new and interesting types to buy, so there is no reason to buy duplicates--or is there? What makes a coin a "duplicate," anyway?

I sometimes end up with two of the same type when they have much different surfaces and the second is inexpensive.

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Constantine (307-337) commemorative.  15 mm. Struck 348-350.
His posthumous veiled bust right. VN MR either side of standing veiled emperor.
Venerandae memoriae
SMKZ, for the Cyzicus mint. RIC VIII Cyzicus 54.
Bought from C. J. Martin in north London in 1988. It was fully silvered but has toned dark since.

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Same type with different surfaces.
16 mm. 
Alexandria mint.  RIC VIII Alexandria 32. 
I bought this one recently because it was very attractive, seemed a lot different, and inexpensive (it cost me less in dollars than the other one cost in 1988). 

Of course, if you collect late Roman coins by mint these two are different "types," but I don't collect by mint (with some exceptions).

Show us a pair of coins of yours that someone else might call duplicates, but you had your own reasons to get two of the same "type."

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Nice dups and good point! There's nothing wrong with loving the same type for different reasons. Same reason you can have five wives in Utah!

I already had my Artemis MSC tet:

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And even though it was "repaired", I really liked the toning and preferred the style and detail of this one:

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And then, of course, there are several barbarous types after the kind. Here's one:

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Duplicates!  Oh yeah, I buy duplicates.  Just in this week, my third Gordian III antoninianus with FORTVNA REDVX on the reverse, minted in Antioch.  It's the portraits that get me - with ancients (unlike Jefferson nickels) you get different artwork with each one.  My new one (which to my surprise weighs 5.2 grams, quite heavy for the type): 

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Two others, same old same old: 

GordianIII-AntiochFORTVNAREDVXAnt.RIC210-MINE2019pic0.jpg.98f7bfa5ae5087d3b0102df8dae59697.jpgGordianIII-AntiochFORTVNAREDVXAnt.RIC210-MINE2017pic0.jpg.f042e0d7b89be5f889b84ccf2ac98dae.jpg

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A few years ago I bought several dozen of these Phalanna bronzes. I briefly wondered what I would do with 44 duplicates.

Soon I discovered there was a lot more variety and lot more to be interested in. (Check out all those different styles of Sakkos & decorations! And different faces! And necklaces!)

I've spent the last 4 years or so looking for more varieties and dies and engravers. Just a few from the initial group:

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I hesitate to mention the following...

Having duplicate coin books might seem even stranger than duplicate coins. And duplicate auction catalogs even more so -- especially for sales that are largely available online (even some of them as PDFs with intro essays and all). Duplicate sets (a few in triplicate) of Leo Benz and BCD Collections:

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I have two sets of Leo Benz catalogs from Lanz Numismatik (Auktion 88, 94, 100). One of them is the standard softcover. The other is a custom hardcover set from the Lanz Library -- it's the only complete hardcover set I'm aware of. (There was also a partial hardcover set in the same Lanz Library Sale, with one catalog softcover.)

I have almost two complete sets of the 10 main BCD Collection catalogs, but triplicates of several (the 3 CNG ones & MM23). Why? Well, they're not really duplicates because they have a different "provenance." I have one set from the library of well-known German numismatist and a partial set of an American scholar/dealer's personal copies. I do recognize that may seem a bit greedy, so I should probably trim down to one (or maybe 1.5 sets), but I haven't decided which to keep yet.

 

EditJust remembered I have four copies of the Superior Galleries publication, Money Talk$, for June 1992. One ex RBW Library, another ex Malter Library, with their address labels. I didn't intentionally acquire four of them, of course, but got them in groups of other catalogs.

I love old fixed price list catalogs for ancient coins -- especially with address labels/postage still affixed -- but even I don't consider the Money Talk$ lists very desirable! (Too few ancients.) Of course, no one else wants those either.

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Edited by Curtis JJ
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In my opinion, this is one of the major differences between collecting ancient coins and modern coins. For moderns, things are relatively simple - you get a type you want and perhaps you will upgrade it (although I know collectors who intentionally buy duplicates because they simply like a coin type). 

For ancients things are getting more complicated. A definition would be - 2 coins of the same type, same catalogue entry.  

But as we all know, things are not that simple. The dies can be very different. Some were engraved by talented artists, some - not so much. So if you show 2 coins on the same type but different dies to someone who doesn't know ancient coins, they will assume these are different coins. 

Another point - toning can play a major role (as seen in the above example)

And another point - even if the coins are double die matches, this still makes both collectable - I can say this is an advantage as it's quite fantastic that after thousands of years two coins from the same dies, probably engraved by a certain person and struck by another person are now reunited in a collection. 

Here is my well known examples of a denarius I have - not duplicate, triplicate. All 3 have the same catalogue entry. 

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Are these duplicates? Theoretically, yes. Practically, no.
And to make it even better, I have recently lost an example in an auction - a barbarous imitation, but in great artistry. I would have gladly added it as a 4th example.

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15 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

Are these duplicates? Theoretically, yes. Practically, no.
And to make it even better, I have recently lost an example in an auction - a barbarous imitation, but in great artistry. I would have gladly added it as a 4th example.

Four?   I still have 28 Rome mint denarii including two sets of die duplicates of the clashed die reverses.  There are also 3 AE of the type and 10 of Eastern mints (a post for another time) plus one with Septimius obverse.  The group shot illustrates the clashes and variations separating whether the drapery flows down on the right, left or both sides. 

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This one is barbarous and not as pretty as the first....

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....but my worst is also the most rare (I have seen one other) with obverse legend split IVLIADOM   NAAVG.  

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Yes, I like this very common type and all coins of Domna.  When I started my web page in 1997 there was already a page online dedicated to Domna but it disappeared years ago.  That was before the Internet was of much interest to dealers who now provide most of what is online.  

 

 

 

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On 1/23/2024 at 8:13 PM, Curtis JJ said:

A few years ago I bought several dozen of these Phalanna bronzes. I briefly wondered what I would do with 44 duplicates.

Soon I discovered there was a lot more variety and lot more to be interested in. (Check out all those different styles of Sakkos & decorations! And different faces! And necklaces!)

I've spent the last 4 years or so looking for more varieties and dies and engravers. Just a few from the initial group:

image.jpeg.f06c1d0eedc344efb9f6329ca3461a16.jpeg

It's so nice to run into another Sakkos fanatic! Here's a write up I did a bit ago on em:

Any literature on these bronze gems that you would recommend?

Here are a few of mine, I'll have to see if I have photos of others and post later if I do:

 

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37 minutes ago, dougsmit said:

Four?   I still have 28 Rome mint denarii including two sets of die duplicates of the clashed die reverses.  There are also 3 AE of the type and 10 of Eastern mints (a post for another time)  

I'll be eagerly awaiting that post, sir. 

A reverse type always near and dear to my rear...I mean heart!

 

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Edited by Ryro
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