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Lifetime / posthumous hybrids


Barzus
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Dear All,

As part of my consecration coinage collection, I particularly like to find hybrids, which combine a lifetime side to a posthumous side. Such hybrids are often rare and offer fun results. They are more common in unofficial fraudulent coinage, but one can find some artefacts born from official issues. Here are some of mine:

Aurelian lifetime obverse with Claudius II consecration reverse

751669C4-0561-4291-BC63-2E3C30D253AF.jpeg

Valerian II lifetime obverse with consecration reverse

6B17600F-8D6B-4410-98AA-772E0E0C0ADA.jpeg

Victorin lifetime obverse with consecration reverse

41D7037B-CA22-4FB9-88E5-BF75C9127DBF.jpeg

please, share tour lifetime/posthumous coins here!

Edited by Barzus
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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

You'd have thought I'd be a bad idea for a mint to pair a consecration reverse with a living emperor!

Yes, indeed!
For Victorinus and Valerianus II, they  most likely had already passed away when these mistakes were made, as they were actually deified eventually, and the consecration dies were used in their names (Divo Victorino or Divo Valeriano).

For Aurelian, it is indeed funnier as he was not given a consecration coinage after his assassination, and the consecration dies were those used for his predecessor, while he was still alive (the obverse style is typical from Quintillus and early Aurelian coins).

here is another example for Aurelian - most likely from the same engraver. Who knows what happened to him 🙂

F0455732-7CE1-44F4-98DE-9F7749F98650.jpeg

D352BF9A-DAB3-4D16-BFC9-1092C697F123.jpeg

Edited by Barzus
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The CONSECRATIO coinage for Claudius II was struck for some time at the beginning of Aurelian's reign so these mispairings were bound to happen. It was also not a fault of the die cutters, they were doing their jobs cutting the dies for both regular issues for the live emperor (Aurelian) and the dies for the special commemorative coinage (for Claudius) at roughly the same time. Once the cutting was done and the dies were at the mint all responsibility for the pairing of the dies would lie elsewhere -- with the mintmaster and/or the superintendent supervising the actual striking operation. These coins of 270-1 are usually bad, they were bad for Quintillus, bad for the Consecratio series and bad for Aurelian, finding one with full legends and a good flan is rather scarce, so I doubt there was strict quality control over the output of these petty coins. In which case the extreme rarity of the mules indicates that the workers were rather careful and/or the superintendents were doing a decent job in making sure the pairings were done right.

 

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Some associate the Claudius II hybrids with the Mint Revolt under Aurelian, c. 271, which left a reported 7,000 dead in the city of Rome. According to the historian Aurelius Victor (De Caesaribus XXXV.6), the rationalis (mint official) Felicissimus had "gnawed away" (corrosissent) the "brand" (notam, i.e. type, seal, imprimatur) of the money. The Latin is ambiguous but one possibility is that Felicissimus was counterfeiting on the side, using false dies and/or inappropriate die pairings. Others suggest Felicissimus' racket was debasement but by 270, the official antoninianus was already down to ~2% silver. There wasn't much debasing left to be done.  Whatever Felicissimus was up to, it was worth an armed insurrection to preserve it. Another historian, Eutropius (Breviarium Historiae Romanae IX.14), speaks of Felicissimus having coined vitiatis pecuniis ("corrupted/ falsified/ faulty money").

Edited by DLTcoins
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There would be a lot of profit to be made cutting 2% silver coins down to 1% when the weekly output was a million coins.  The first coins of Aurelian compared to his later issues show why Felicissimus when down in history.  rs2210bb1955.jpg.ab4d088d343f3240a78c0e9d7fae6685.jpgrs2330bb1413.jpg.55b16054363edb2843c0bec509e9a7f9.jpg

 

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6 hours ago, DLTcoins said:

Some associate the Claudius II hybrids with the Mint Revolt under Aurelian, c. 271, which left a reported 7,000 dead in the city of Rome. According to the historian Aurelius Victor (De Caesaribus XXXV.6), the rationalis (mint official) Felicissimus had "gnawed away" (corrosissent) the "brand" (notam, i.e. type, seal, imprimatur) of the money. The Latin is ambiguous but one possibility is that Felicissimus was counterfeiting on the side, using false dies and/or inappropriate die pairings. Others suggest Felicissimus' racket was debasement but by 270, the official antoninianus was already down to ~2% silver. There wasn't much debasing left to be done.  Whatever Felicissimus was up to, it was worth an armed insurrection to preserve it. Another historian, Eutropius (Breviarium Historiae Romanae IX.14), speaks of Felicissimus having coined vitiatis pecuniis ("corrupted/ falsified/ faulty money").

@DLTcoins, thank you for this piece of History, giving precious context to these Aurelian hybrids.

Here is a third and last one:

 

9E433C2D-C32D-4D03-945D-FA7419E2BE0E.jpeg

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