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Caligula down! Now just two left to finish the Twelve Caesars!


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I was after Caligula for my Twelve Caesars collection.

I did battle over some nice ones at auction, but lost badly (the ones I bid on went for crazy prices!) So I dialed back my expectations a little bit, and ended up buying one at fixed price, from Zuzim on VCoins.

Now I have ten of the Twelve Caesars (83% complete) as of this post, and lack only Julius Caesar and Vitellius!

This Caligula is no showboat, but rather just a middle-of-the-road example with decent-looking surfaces and lightly contrasting patina. Zuzim described it as "VF", but I'm more of the opinion that it will go Fine when I send it off to NGC (we'll see). I'd be OK with that- as long as it achieves that grade with no problem notations. (Fine is my self-imposed minimum grade for my collections.)

Zuzim's description:

 

"GAIUS CALIGULA AE AS

RIC 38, RSC 27, Very Fine, 27.5mm, 11.22 grams, Struck Circa. 37/38 C.E.

Obverse: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT around bare head of Caligula to left

Reverse: Vesta seated to left on ornamental throne, holding patera and scepter, VESTA above

An above average, problem free example of this popular type with nice eye appeal!

Ex: VJM Collection, NJ Purchased from Tom Cederlind, 1982".

Having a piece pedigreed to the late Tom Cederlind is kind of nice.

Caligula-framedraft.png

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It's exciting to see that your 12 Caesars collection is close to completion!  My best one, a 1990's gift from my dad, a purchase from the local coin shop is similar, though I haven't looked at it in years, although I recall it's a a bit bolder.

I'm still kicking myself for not buying the nice one with green patination from the local coin shop for $225. 

It's not really worth me trotting out my corroded ex-Waddell Sestertius again.  It's nothing too special.

I have all 12 Caesars, except my Caesar portrait denarius is much too shameful to show again. It's one of the 3 or 4 coins I'm ashamed of; pretty horrible.

 

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2 hours ago, lordmarcovan said:

I was after Caligula for my Twelve Caesars collection.

I did battle over some nice ones at auction, but lost badly (the ones I bid on went for crazy prices!) So I dialed back my expectations a little bit, and ended up buying one at fixed price, from Zuzim on VCoins.

Now I have ten of the Twelve Caesars (83% complete) as of this post, and lack only Julius Caesar and Vitellius!

This Caligula is no showboat, but rather just a middle-of-the-road example with decent-looking surfaces and lightly contrasting patina. Zuzim described it as "VF", but I'm more of the opinion that it will go Fine when I send it off to NGC (we'll see). I'd be OK with that- as long as it achieves that grade with no problem notations. (Fine is my self-imposed minimum grade for my collections.)

Zuzim's description:

 

"GAIUS CALIGULA AE AS

RIC 38, RSC 27, Very Fine, 27.5mm, 11.22 grams, Struck Circa. 37/38 C.E.

Obverse: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT around bare head of Caligula to left

Reverse: Vesta seated to left on ornamental throne, holding patera and scepter, VESTA above

An above average, problem free example of this popular type with nice eye appeal!

Ex: VJM Collection, NJ Purchased from Tom Cederlind, 1982".

Having a piece pedigreed to the late Tom Cederlind is kind of nice.

Caligula-framedraft.png

Congratulations! That one has eye-appeal. It's nicely centered and its toning gives it a cameo appearance. I'd be happy to own that coin. I still haven't acquired an imperial issue of Caligula, but only provincials. You know how it is. 

5kcdie.jpg.d281ef78dd4e893b221e3e354161cd04.jpg

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Roman Collector said:

I still haven't acquired an imperial issue of Caligula, but only provincials. You know how it is. 

I was actually tempted to go provincial for Caligula this time around, and bid on this Caesaraugusta piece, but narrowly lost out.  (As I recall, I bid €500.  It closed for €550.)

IMG_8298.jpeg.dc370a861630f30af399a1e4de02e207.jpeg

 

I also bid on this XF Vesta as in the recent Heritage auction.  It closed for $3,120 USD, which is frothingly insane if you ask me!  (I had bid in the upper three-figure range.)  It was a nice coin, but someone wanted it WAY more than me!  I’m content with the above example I just bought, at one-sixth the price of that Heritage example!

Edited by lordmarcovan
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Posted · Supporter

A lovely coin @lordmarcovan and one I had my eye on as well (glad you got it though, as it was probably a bit much for my budget at the moment 😉 )

As the dealer says, a nice problem-free example, which isn't as common as it should be on these coins. Incidentally, the dealer's attribution is off. It's RIC I 54, a scarcer variant with a different obverse legend.

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6 hours ago, lordmarcovan said:

I was after Caligula for my Twelve Caesars collection.

I did battle over some nice ones at auction, but lost badly (the ones I bid on went for crazy prices!) So I dialed back my expectations a little bit, and ended up buying one at fixed price, from Zuzim on VCoins.

Now I have ten of the Twelve Caesars (83% complete) as of this post, and lack only Julius Caesar and Vitellius!

This Caligula is no showboat, but rather just a middle-of-the-road example with decent-looking surfaces and lightly contrasting patina. Zuzim described it as "VF", but I'm more of the opinion that it will go Fine when I send it off to NGC (we'll see). I'd be OK with that- as long as it achieves that grade with no problem notations. (Fine is my self-imposed minimum grade for my collections.)

Zuzim's description:

 

"GAIUS CALIGULA AE AS

RIC 38, RSC 27, Very Fine, 27.5mm, 11.22 grams, Struck Circa. 37/38 C.E.

Obverse: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT around bare head of Caligula to left

Reverse: Vesta seated to left on ornamental throne, holding patera and scepter, VESTA above

An above average, problem free example of this popular type with nice eye appeal!

Ex: VJM Collection, NJ Purchased from Tom Cederlind, 1982".

Having a piece pedigreed to the late Tom Cederlind is kind of nice.

Caligula-framedraft.png

Great portrait and patina ! I like it a lot. 

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Wow, the Caesaraugusta coin is nice!  You tried, though.  I'm not sure what the appropriate price would be for a nice example.  It has a very similar look (the patina) to the $225 example I mentioned, except this piece was maybe a nice Fine plus. 

I forgot about my 'barbaric' Caligula as, which is muled with an Agrippa reverse.  It was a victim of the Great BD Outbreak of 2000 (which is why I barely handle my coins since then). I didn't have the information I do now, and while I got the bd to stop, it left a small malachite lump.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, lordmarcovan said:

I also bid on this XF Vesta as in the recent Heritage auction.  It closed for $3,120 USD, which is frothingly insane if you ask me!  (I had bid in the upper three-figure range.)  It was a nice coin, but someone wanted it WAY more than me!  I’m content with the above example I just bought, at one-sixth the price of that Heritage example!

You did well. That Heritage price really doesn't make sense. 'Ch XF' yet with surface '2' and not a great portrait. They are taking offers over $3900 so didn't even want it that badly 🤣 Maybe it was because the two others in that auction were tooled/altered surfaces and they panicked, but an extra $2600 just for a slab without a comment is madness. I don't think even the best Caligua portraits are worth paying huge amounts for - it's not the height of Roman artistry. 

Caligula As, 37-38
image.png.20789c49bf2f4a229026a543d3a7c1b0.png
Rome. Bronze, 10.06g. Bare head of Caligula left; (C) CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON (M TR POT). Vesta, veiled and draped, seated left on a throne holding patera in right hand  and long transverse sceptre in left; (VESTA); S - C across fields. Rectangular countermark on edge (RIC I, 38). Found in Essex. The countermark may be TIAV (Tiberius Claudius Augustus), used on worn asses and dupondii to increase supply in Britain.

Edited by John Conduitt
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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

Wow, the Caesaraugusta coin is nice!  You tried, though.  I'm not sure what the appropriate price would be for a nice example.  It has a very similar look (the patina) to the $225 example I mentioned, except this piece was maybe a nice Fine plus. 

I forgot about my 'barbaric' Caligula as, which is muled with an Agrippa reverse.  It was a victim of the Great BD Outbreak of 2000 (which is why I barely handle my coins since then). I didn't have the information I do now, and while I got the bd to stop, it left a small malachite lump.

Yikes, so I’m not the only one to have had a Caligula catch bronze disease.  It happened to me twice.  Never had any other coin (nary a common LRB or anything)- catch BD.  But twice with Caligulas.  I called it “the Curse of Caligula”.

Edited by lordmarcovan
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Wow, I just looked at the 'choice XF' Caligula as.  That's EF????!  The surfaces, the halo where they smoothed it on the obverse, etc.  I would have run far away from that one.

What do they mean by altered surfaces on the green one two lots down; 22073?  Fake patina?  I'd rather have the greenie than the 'choice XF" one.  The 'XF' one would qualify for Van Meter's definition of VF.

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All that stuff in the Heritage auction likely drew strong money because it was in slabs.  Now, say what you like about slabs- and I know most of you purists despise them- but they do bring in interest from a sector of collectors who might not otherwise buy an ancient coin.

Me, I slab ‘em mostly because the rest of my collection is slabbed.  For consistency’s sake. There are a few other perks to slabs, as well as disadvantages.

Because Ancients in slabs are so often overpriced, I typically buy mine raw (like I did this time), and submit them myself.  That’s been the case for all but my Claudius sestertius and my two aurei, which I did purchase already slabbed.  Everything else I bought raw and sent off to be entombed.  (Ow!  Ow!  Stop throwing that rotten fruit at me, already!)

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7 minutes ago, lordmarcovan said:

All that stuff in the Heritage auction likely drew strong money because it was in slabs.  Now, say what you like about slabs- and I know most of you purists despise them- but they do bring in interest from a sector of collectors who might not otherwise buy an ancient coin.

Me, I slab ‘em mostly because the rest of my collection is slabbed.  For consistency’s sake. There are a few other perks to slabs, as well as disadvantages.

Because Ancients in slabs are so often overpriced, I typically buy mine raw (like I did this time), and submit them myself.  That’s been the case for all but my Claudius sestertius and my two aurei, which I did purchase already slabbed.  Everything else I bought raw and sent off to be entombed.  (Ow!  Ow!  Stop throwing that rotten fruit at me, already!)

I am your typical slab-breaker but watching the prices achieved in Heritage I am considering slabbing coins that could reach the MS or at least AU grade (very few of those in my collection) and sell them just to see if I get those prices. Dark side of the force is starting to suck me in 👿

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I have never received a star from NGC on anything I submitted.  

(My Claudius sestertius has the star, but I bought it already slabbed.)

IMG_8301.jpeg.e55cfd3f6a6dca07759e9f0d0a874bf5.jpeg
 

I did get a perfect grade and strike/surface ratings when I submitted this little pseudo-Rhodian Perseus drachm.  I really thought it deserved the star, too, but alas, no.  I have seen other Ch MS examples of the type but the style on this one is better than any other I have seen.  (I sold this coin in leaner times.  Really miss it.)

IMG_8300.png.ef237139bcd7c3a5b1ed5a76f15efe78.png

 

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That's a lovely drachm.

Mr. Berk was making the star statement from the perspective of a seller. He said that not many houses would slab AE coins because of the likelihood of the dreaded comment, smoothed, etc, which would significantly knock down the price.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, my Claudius sestertius got the star (first time I’ve ever seen a VF with it) but also got a “lt. smoothing” comment.  So be it.  I prefer not to have those comments, but sometimes I’ll accept them.

My Justinian tremissis got a “wrinkled” comment for its very lightly wavy flan.  But I was so happy that it got an MS grade that I disregarded that.  (Quite unexpectedly, I might add- CNG had called it gVF!)

IMG_8303.webp.3e3fa28039f12af9eaabf3aee82e86a1.webp

Edited by lordmarcovan
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Nice coin, undamaged with nice patina and a good amount of detail. congratulations💪.

It shall be interesting to see what you choice will be for a Caesar. The Vitellius should not be a problem as far as availability is concerned - there is usually a nice selection of his denarii for sale.

 

As for myself, I have never actually tried to build a 12 Caesar's set.

Regarding Caligula, I would like an example in Silver (preferably imperial), but they are scarce and too pricey. This is what I chose instead:

 

Caligula Sestertius Wreath SERVATOS - OBV:REV - VGP - 2024.png

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Congratulations, @lordmarcovan, on a Terrific Caligula.  Reading the OP was fun for the dramatic turn it took.  You spend all that time lowering our expectations ...and Then, There's the Coin.  From here, that would be summary bucket-list material.

Tom Cederlind was the only big-name dealer I ever met.  Sadly, while selling off most of my first collection.  But he was cool enough in person (never mind an absolute maven about the coins) for the acquaintance to be a resoundingly positive memory.  Wish I still had any of his catalogs.

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