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Here is an interesting overstrike. It is a Constantinian imitation overstruck on a official type from not much earlier. I'll illustrate
1) the coin with overstrike upright
2)  a clearer example of the type of imitation
3) an example of the official prototype
4) the coin again with undertype upright and emphasized in red
5) another official coin illustrating the reverse undertype

The overtype is a common type of  imitation of a common type--"two victories" of Constantine. Here it is in the correct orientation with helmeted bust of Constantine left and "two Victories" on the reverse:

21-19 mm. 3.20 grams.
Note the blundered reverse legend including something like "O H N N I I I I" at the top.
Most "two Victories" imitations have the bust right and the two Victories much clearer. For example, this one;

18-17 mm. 2.73 grams.

Here is an official example, with bust left, as on the imitation.


19 mm. 3.16 grams. 
PARL for Arles, RIC Arles 192. "Struck 319"
(This type comes from several mints. I am not claiming the coin imitated was from the Arles mint.)

Now back to the original coin, but oriented differently. (Also, the reverses and obverses have switched.)


The legend of the undertype
is so bold from 7:00 to 1:00 that there is no need to encircle it in red. On the left, the top oval shows the laurel wreath at the top of the head and the right oval shows a very weak face, eye, and chin. The reverse undertype remains quite clear, with, from 7:00
which begins the very common IOVI CONSERVATORI (AVGG) legend, SIS for the Siscia mint, and Jupiter standing holding out Victory on a globe with an eagle at Jupiter's feet left. 

I don't have an example of the precise undertype to show. The next coin has a similar reverse type (but from a different mint) and the obverse is much different.

21-18 mm. 3.84 grams.  This one is RIC VII Cyzicus 14, 321-4". It has "SMKA where the imitation's undertype has "SIS". 

So, the obvious question is, "Why would someone overstrike a coin with an imitation?"  
One possibility is that the official undertype was demonetized because the government decided it would no longer be valid currency. I have heard of demonetizations, but don't know of a reference to one at this time. 

I solicit your comments and ideas, as well as other examples of overstrikes. 




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Constantine had a monetary reform in 318; with the new VLPP containing 4% silver; double the IOVI coinage. While you do find IOVI overstruck, most were melted down and struck as VLPP's. I published my small study of unofficial VLPP's in which I surmised that they would turn out to be about 2% silver.



two more overstrikes-- a Constantine and Licinius turned into VLPP's




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