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Gallic Empire Mystery Coins

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I have only one barbarous radiate.  The photographed ones I have are larger.  The second one may be an imitative, based on poor portrait style and light weight.


Postumus. 259-268 AD. AE Double Sestertius (22.72g, 31mm). Uncertain ‘Barbaric’ mint. Obv.: radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Rev.: Fides standing left with a standard in each hand. Cf. RIC 123. Overstruck on 2nd Century AD Sestertius flan. Crude style






POSTUMUS AE laureate sestertius. Struck at Lugdunum, 261 AD. IMP C POSTVMVS PF AVG, laureate bust right. Reverse - VICTORIA AVG, Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm; captive before. 28mm, 10.5g.

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This one's a hot mess:


Barbarous Radiate Æ Antoninianus Gaul / Northern Europe (c. 274-300s A.D.) V I S A (?), cuirassed and radiate bust right (Tetricus?) / APTE retrograde C, unidentified goddess standing (reverse double-struck). (0.84 grams / 16 mm) eBay June 2018 $2.75 

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I still think this is one of Santa's elves riding on Rudolph the Reindeer:


"Tetricus I" or similar, Roman Empire, barbarous radiate, late 3rd century AD, unofficial mint in Gaul or Britain. Obv: [...] I II II, bearded, radiate head r. Rev: V I [...]; human figure riding on stag l.; 13–14mm, 1.38g.

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On 2/5/2024 at 2:26 PM, Ancient Coin Hunter said:

I can't believe some of these barbarous radiates actually circulated (somewhere)!

Who struck them and what value did they see in them?


"It's complicated", as they say, but as an introduction I can suggest George Boon (1988), 'Counterfeit coins in Roman Britain' in John Casey and Richard Reese eds.,Coins and the Archaeologist (2nd edition), Seaby,  pp. 102-182.

Boon's article discusses the so-called 'barbarous radiates' in the context of an economic phenomenon known as "epidemic counterfeiting".

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