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New coin - Severus Alexander denarius (about as good as it gets!)


CPK

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Denarii of Severus Alexander are not hard to find in excellent condition, but even so this one struck me as something special.

- crisply and evenly struck on a wide flan of good quality metal, allowing full dotted borders on both sides

- very heavy, too, at nearly 4 (!) grams in weight

- a very fine, high-relief portrait

- the reverse is sharp as well (look at the detail in Sol's face!) with lustrous fields

- and to top it off, the coin is beautifully toned, highlighting the design and relief.

It may not command much attention among the EF aureii in a high-profile auction, but it's about as good as you'll get IMO! 😉 

 

Thanks for looking, and feel free to post your own quality favorites, coins of Severus Alexander, or anything else!

SeverusAlexanderdenariusSol.jpg.58cf677c4437a25d03bcda02823769f3.jpg

SEVERUS ALEXANDER, AD 222-235
AR Denarius (20.28mm, 3.95g, 6h)
Struck AD 233. Rome mint
Obverse: IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust of Severus Alexander right
Reverse: P M TR P XII COS III P P, Sol, radiate with cloak over left shoulder, advancing left, holding whip in left hand and raising right hand
References: RIC IV 120, RCV 7915
A superb specimen, with lovely old cabinet toning, sharply struck on a broad and heavy flan.

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That's a gorgeous example!! Heavy one, too! Here's one from my numophylacium.

SeverusAlexanderANNONAAVGdenarius.jpg.12cf41a9a8a488919a370e4e35de0490.jpg
Severus Alexander, AD 222-235.
Roman AR denarius, 2.95 g, 19.4 mm, 1 h.
Rome, issue 12, AD 231.
Obv: IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate head, right, with drapery on left shoulder.
Rev: ANNONA AVG, Annona standing left, holding corn-ears in right hand over modius at feet and holding anchor in left hand.
Refs: RIC 188; BMCRE 674-76; RSC 29a; RCV 7859.

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My first ancient was a Severus Alexander. Here it is....

Severus Alexander denarius

Obv:– IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– MARS VLTOR, Mars advancing right, holding a spear and shield
Minted in Rome, A.D. 232
References:– RIC 246, RSC 161a

This was my first ancient coin and is still one of my favourites.

Grey tone.

3.64gms. 19.91mm. 180 degrees

RI_077a_img.JPG

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7 hours ago, CPK said:

Denarii of Severus Alexander are not hard to find in excellent condition, but even so this one struck me as something special.

- crisply and evenly struck on a wide flan of good quality metal, allowing full dotted borders on both sides

- very heavy, too, at nearly 4 (!) grams in weight

- a very fine, high-relief portrait

- the reverse is sharp as well (look at the detail in Sol's face!) with lustrous fields

- and to top it off, the coin is beautifully toned, highlighting the design and relief.

It may not command much attention among the EF aureii in a high-profile auction, but it's about as good as you'll get IMO! 😉 

 

Thanks for looking, and feel free to post your own quality favorites, coins of Severus Alexander, or anything else!

SeverusAlexanderdenariusSol.jpg.58cf677c4437a25d03bcda02823769f3.jpg

SEVERUS ALEXANDER, AD 222-235
AR Denarius (20.28mm, 3.95g, 6h)
Struck AD 233. Rome mint
Obverse: IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust of Severus Alexander right
Reverse: P M TR P XII COS III P P, Sol, radiate with cloak over left shoulder, advancing left, holding whip in left hand and raising right hand
References: RIC IV 120, RCV 7915
A superb specimen, with lovely old cabinet toning, sharply struck on a broad and heavy flan.

Beautiful denarius! They don't come much better than that!

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Posted · Supporter
6 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

That's a gorgeous example!! Heavy one, too! Here's one from my numophylacium.

SeverusAlexanderANNONAAVGdenarius.jpg.12cf41a9a8a488919a370e4e35de0490.jpg
Severus Alexander, AD 222-235.
Roman AR denarius, 2.95 g, 19.4 mm, 1 h.
Rome, issue 12, AD 231.
Obv: IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate head, right, with drapery on left shoulder.
Rev: ANNONA AVG, Annona standing left, holding corn-ears in right hand over modius at feet and holding anchor in left hand.
Refs: RIC 188; BMCRE 674-76; RSC 29a; RCV 7859.

Thanks! A like that Annona.

 

1 hour ago, maridvnvm said:

My first ancient was a Severus Alexander. Here it is....

Severus Alexander denarius

Obv:– IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– MARS VLTOR, Mars advancing right, holding a spear and shield
Minted in Rome, A.D. 232
References:– RIC 246, RSC 161a

This was my first ancient coin and is still one of my favourites.

Grey tone.

3.64gms. 19.91mm. 180 degrees

RI_077a_img.JPG

That's a beautiful coin! What a great first anicent. 😉 Incredible detail on Mars, and it's also a nice full weight!

 

15 minutes ago, David Atherton said:

Beautiful denarius! They don't come much better than that!

Thank you!

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Beautiful coin with nice toning and nice facial details of Sol, @CPK. And full dotted borders on both sides is always great 🙂
I think that it fits very well into your collection.

I have a special 1-of-each-emperor-collection, where I sometimes buy more than one coin per emperor... Severus Alexander is such a case. There are so many nice denarii of him that it would be difficult to decide for a single coin.
 

image.jpeg.34ebd7ebe32d4e44e9d6b037749ad80a.jpeg

Severus Alexander, 226 AD. 18mm, 2.86g.
Rev: ANNONA AVG, Annona standing left holding cornucopiae and grain ear over modius.
Ex Andy Barrett, 08.02.2003, for £39.
RIC 133

image.jpeg.99bfb29c24401820a72da16e2d92a455.jpeg

Severus Alexander, 231-235 AD. 
Rev: IOVIS PROPVGNATOR. Jupiter standing right, hurling thunderbolt.
RIC 240.

image.jpeg.dccb53ba1bbed6b98a8be51274938c8e.jpeg

Severus Alexander, 232 AD. 21mm, 3.14g.
Rev: MARS VLTOR, Mars advancing right holding spear and shield.
RIC 246

Edited by Salomons Cat
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On 4/14/2024 at 8:23 PM, CPK said:

Denarii of Severus Alexander are not hard to find in excellent condition, but even so this one struck me as something special.

It's a beauty! 

Readers, has it occurred to you that Roman coins of Severus Alexander and especially Maximinus Thrax are among the highest-quality Roman coins? Almost every Maximinus coin is well struck. My website on them shows some nice coins:
http://augustuscoins.com/ed/Maximinus/Maximinus.html
but the point is that coins of Maximinus are almost all nice.

When it comes to Severus Alexander, the many coins shown earlier in this thread show his coins are often high-quality without being very expensive. I can add a couple of my own:

image.jpeg.8017040175944b13bd2faf25b6e512f4.jpeg

20-19 mm. 3.64 grams. Struck 232 according to BMC
MARS VLTOR
RIC 246. Sear II 7882.

image.jpeg.67ed1f0e99ad32c63aca72d1e281a7e5.jpeg

20 mm. Struck 232 according to BMC.
SPES PVBLICA
RIC 254d.  Sear II 7927

image.jpeg.98fad83461b9cfb7ca8fc66f579c8929.jpeg

19 mm. VICTORIA AVG. An early issue, struck 222 (his first year) at Antioch. 
RIC 215. Sear II 7930.

The point is not that Severus Alexander and Maximinus have some well-produced coins. It is that they have many well-produced coins. The fraction of their silver coins which are well-produced is high--higher than for other, more famous, emperors.

Edited by Valentinian
has -> have
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Silver Coin (AR Denarius) minted during the reign of SEVERUS ALEXANDER between 222 - 228 A.D. Obv. IMP.C.M.AVR.SEV.ALEXAND.AVG.: laur. bust r., draped. Rev. VICTORIA.AVG.: Victory running l., holding wreath and palm. RSCIII #564. RICIV #180.

DGB-206 OBV.jpg

DGB-206 REV.jpg

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By the time of Severus Alexander, the denarii had a significant amount of copper in the alloy, but nowhere near enough to be considered billon, The unintended effect of this debasement was a strong coining alloy that resisted circulation wear. Hence you find many silver coins of this period in higher grades than earlier coins where the fineness was higher, say the denarii of the Flavian Dynasty. (It's exactly the reason US silver coins were produced .900 fine - that 10% copper makes them much tougher.)

Edited by JAZ Numismatics
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Posted (edited)

Here's a Max Thrax to illustrate JAZ' point, obverse is in good shape with a well-centered strike. By the time of Decius and Gallus (and especially Valerian/Gallienus) the silver content approached billon and eventually was reduced to the silver washed disks of the latter third century, and hence the decline of the sestertius which could no longer be justified as a denomination. (Alexander Severus coin shown). It was Gallienus who doubled down on debasement and eliminated the sestertius though he had struck them earlier in his reign. Sometimes I think that the revolt of Macrianus and Quietus after Valerian was captured and absconded, we are told, with the Imperial treasury in bullion could have led to this decision.

maxthrax1.jpg.35ce61c5ed042d1cb0f494bba521fd27.jpg

maxthrax2.jpg.0fceea86820a0d4484a4e2cde80e9230.jpg

sevalex3.jpg.3982630ef82b73e8b4291faec1777704.jpg

sevalex4.jpg.82f7dcdb0ce50adfa8c46c1a81e5fd6c.jpg

Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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Excellent coins posted!

Among the very few denarii that I have, this is arguably the best in overall quality:

Trajan, AR denarius, 107-8 AD.  DΛNVVIVS reverse.

RIC II 100

3.57 grams

D-CameraTrajanARdenariua107-8ADDNVVIVSrev.3.57geBayIsrael202112-2-21.jpg.f50f00cbf290c93709a822670e5ba020.jpg

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Severus Alexander always seems like a relief after the drama of Elagabalus and Caracalla.

Severus Alexander Denarius, 228
image.png.6942bb27cb8b7faac5213bfe68676207.png
Rome. Silver, 18mm, 2.45g. Laureate, draped bust right; IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG. Perpetuitas standing left, leaning on column, legs crossed, holding globe and sceptre; PERPETVITATI AVG (RIC 208). Found in Yorkshire.

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18 hours ago, CPK said:

Denarii of Severus Alexander are not hard to find in excellent condition, but even so this one struck me as something special.

- crisply and evenly struck on a wide flan of good quality metal, allowing full dotted borders on both sides

- very heavy, too, at nearly 4 (!) grams in weight

- a very fine, high-relief portrait

- the reverse is sharp as well (look at the detail in Sol's face!) with lustrous fields

- and to top it off, the coin is beautifully toned, highlighting the design and relief.

It may not command much attention among the EF aureii in a high-profile auction, but it's about as good as you'll get IMO! 😉 

 

Thanks for looking, and feel free to post your own quality favorites, coins of Severus Alexander, or anything else!

SeverusAlexanderdenariusSol.jpg.58cf677c4437a25d03bcda02823769f3.jpg

SEVERUS ALEXANDER, AD 222-235
AR Denarius (20.28mm, 3.95g, 6h)
Struck AD 233. Rome mint
Obverse: IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust of Severus Alexander right
Reverse: P M TR P XII COS III P P, Sol, radiate with cloak over left shoulder, advancing left, holding whip in left hand and raising right hand
References: RIC IV 120, RCV 7915
A superb specimen, with lovely old cabinet toning, sharply struck on a broad and heavy flan.

Very nice Severus Alexander. The engravers at this time period were really top notch I noticed. The Severans have really great portrait quality vs the Flavian Dynasty which was all other the place. I still can't find a decent portrait of Vespasian on a denarius. Idk if it's the high silver content or they were too mad about taxes to make Vespasian look less constipated.

BC0C2D32-5409-406F-AD88-6F9CBB59BA2B.jpeg

F3192512-E11F-4EF9-9500-DEE7F2560DA0.jpeg

028F791C-EC46-45B2-A6CC-EFBD93BDCD47.jpeg

1D841F72-0D76-409E-B9F4-23E3AE3C3FB9.jpeg

Edited by Amarmur
Add pics
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Posted · Supporter

Thank you everyone! Lots of beautiful coins posted here! 🤩

7 hours ago, seth77 said:

Hi @CPK how do you do these very aesthetic backgrounds for your pics?

I do all of my editing using GIMP - a free image editing program. Basically, I cut the coin out of the original photo and paste it onto a different background. I've not found a satisfactory way to do this automatically so it takes a bit of time carefully tracing around the edge, but it works for me. It takes a little time to get familiarized with using GIMP, but IMO it's worth it for those who don't want to spend $$$ on other programs like Photoshop.

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Posted · Supporter
1 hour ago, Amarmur said:

Very nice Severus Alexander. The engravers at this time period were really top notch I noticed. The Severans have really great portrait quality vs the Flavian Dynasty which was all other the place. I still can't find a decent portrait of Vespasian on a denarius. Idk if it's the high silver content or they were too mad about taxes to make Vespasian look less constipated.

BC0C2D32-5409-406F-AD88-6F9CBB59BA2B.jpeg

F3192512-E11F-4EF9-9500-DEE7F2560DA0.jpeg

028F791C-EC46-45B2-A6CC-EFBD93BDCD47.jpeg

1D841F72-0D76-409E-B9F4-23E3AE3C3FB9.jpeg

I don't know, to me it would hardly be Vespasian without that constipated look! 😆

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Posted · Supporter
8 hours ago, Valentinian said:

It's a beauty! 

Readers, has it occurred to you that Roman coins of Severus Alexander and especially Maximinus Thrax are among the highest-quality Roman coins? Almost every Maximinus coin is well struck. My website on them shows some nice coins:
http://augustuscoins.com/ed/Maximinus/Maximinus.html
but the point is that coins of Maximinus are almost all nice.

When it comes to Severus Alexander, the many coins shown earlier in this thread show his coins are often high-quality without being very expensive. I can add a couple of my own:

image.jpeg.8017040175944b13bd2faf25b6e512f4.jpeg

20-19 mm. 3.64 grams. Struck 232 according to BMC
MARS VLTOR
RIC 246. Sear II 7882.

image.jpeg.67ed1f0e99ad32c63aca72d1e281a7e5.jpeg

20 mm. Struck 232 according to BMC.
SPES PVBLICA
RIC 254d.  Sear II 7927

image.jpeg.98fad83461b9cfb7ca8fc66f579c8929.jpeg

19 mm. VICTORIA AVG. An early issue, struck 222 (his first year) at Antioch. 
RIC 215. Sear II 7930.

The point is not that Severus Alexander and Maximinus has some well-produced coins. It is that they have many well-produced coins. The fraction of their silver coins which are well-produced is high--higher than for other, more famous, emperors.

That is an interesting observation. What @JAZ Numismatics says about the alloy being more wear resistant is doubtless part of it, but I think it goes beyond that. As you say, it's not just the wear, but the overall quality of production. Compare that to the sort of dumpy, ragged flans that are so typical with, say, Marcus Aurelius or Commodus's coinage, and it really is remarkable.

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That’s a beauty @CPK!  This one is my favorite Sev. Alexander portrait.


IMG_3982.jpeg.a6de7b70f4b274b4819bb2a757a50b02.jpegSeverus Alexander, AR Denarius, 232 A.D., Rome,  (19 mm, 3.29 g), IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Severus Alexander to right./ Rev. SPES PVBLICA Spes advancing left, holding flower in her right hand and raising skirt with her left. RIC 254

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7 hours ago, CPK said:

Thank you everyone! Lots of beautiful coins posted here! 🤩

I do all of my editing using GIMP - a free image editing program. Basically, I cut the coin out of the original photo and paste it onto a different background. I've not found a satisfactory way to do this automatically so it takes a bit of time carefully tracing around the edge, but it works for me. It takes a little time to get familiarized with using GIMP, but IMO it's worth it for those who don't want to spend $$$ on other programs like Photoshop.

I wonder if it wouldn't work easier getting rid of the original background with the likes of removebg and then pasting the new transparency image onto the new background? 

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4 hours ago, seth77 said:

I wonder if it wouldn't work easier getting rid of the original background with the likes of removebg and then pasting the new transparency image onto the new background? 

Perhaps. I did try an online background remover, and Paint 3D has a tool they call "magic select" which is the same thing. It worked, but sometimes it would trim the coin a bit too much, or not enough. I found I can do a better job manually, even though it takes more time.

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Excellent example @CPK, and others as well

A favorite Sev-Al of mine 

0f159995ee1148f48ebe979c1eea7b03.jpg

As stated above, the second quarter of the third century was a kind of golden age for celators. Here are some other examples

edee18953d1f434fb34cbab8dae326c9.jpg

bfb1cb31807e4a3285431fcac4a88a9a.jpg

 

13 hours ago, Amarmur said:

I still can't find a decent portrait of Vespasian on a denarius.

And, yes, decent portraits of Vespasian can be found 😉 

adc9d413547f45a1baff75dc24e70f91.jpg

Q

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Nice to see so many high end Severans. Also nice to see OP treating himself to a top coin 😉

Here's mine, not the best but serviceable.

image.jpeg.79703b95341882c9b88e432d0d4662ef.jpeg

Edited by rasiel
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