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Coins with Legend ERRORS.

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I like them, you like them too, they are not rare and fun to collect: coins with legend errors. Sometimes it’s hard to understand how the engravers and especially the quality control department didn’t notice them ! Let’s pile them on !

My new baby, thanks to @Harry Gwho brought it to my attention. It’s a DIVO VICTORINO PO (sic) with the PROVIDENTIA AVG reverse. Those of you who who me know that I already have a specimen from the same obverse die, but with the reverse CONSACRATIO AVG ! They are only four known examples until now, and they prove without a doubt that the two types were struck at the same mint (Cologne).



The Spinks 1995 one:


From Adrian Marsden’s collection:


And why not another one, a PROVIDENTA (sic) AVG :




Edited by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix
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If you are looking for legend errors you have to start collecting provincials. 

Here is one of many:


Maximus Caesar
Kilikia, Coropissus
Obv.: Γ Ι ΟΥΗ ΜΑΞΙΜΟΝ ΚƐϹΑΡΑ (sic), radiate and draped bust of Maximus, r.
Rev.: ΚΟΡΟΠΙϹϹƐΩΝ ΤΗϹ ΚΗΤΩΝ ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛƐΩϹ, front view of distyle temple, within which turreted Tyche of the City seated on rock, l., in pediment, wreath
AE, 11.99g, 28 mm.
Ref.: RPC VI, 6926 (temporary), SNG France 773, Levante 591



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I don't possess a coin with legend errors (wouldn't refuse one). But here is a picture that made me laugh (this is NOT my work, my Photoshop skills are very far from this level). I don't remember the author, but I think it was taken from CT.

This is quite a legend error


Edit - in fact I have 2 Provincial with legend errors - one from Troas Alexandreia made by an engraver who wasn't sure about Severus Alexander's name and one from Psidia, Antioch, where they weren't sure about many things.



M AV S ALEXANDRV (sic), laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Severus Alexander, r. / COL AVG TROA, Apollo nude standing, l., placing foot on pedestal, holding laurel branch


Valerian I, AE22, 253-260, Pisidia-Antioch
Radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right, seen from behind
Legionary eagle between two standards surmounted by wreaths
S | R across fields

More about these series where the engravers were, most likely, illiterate (severely)


Edited by ambr0zie
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Very good @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, happy it went to you.

some legend errors here:

divus Constantius in Aquilea, missing O in DIVO CONSTANTI[O] AVG obverse legend


divus Galerius in Alexandria, wrong reverse legend AETERNAE [missing ME]MORIAE GAL MAXIMIANI.


One other specimen known from this emission, with the same pair of dies (Vienna museum). illustration from P.Bastien 1968:


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Here's my very first ancient...

I'd been buying British Colonial coins from a Spanish dealer when he suddenly put up a few ancients.. Didn't know what I'd bought just liked it....This was the start of my slippery slope into ancients...

As luck would have it I'd purchased a legend error Licinius I....

Here she is....lictogether__2_-removebg-preview.png.bdb8c1640d34003c0cfe079322d74bdf.png

Licinius I AE Follis 20mm/3.43gr (Emperors name Misspelled)

Obverse-IMP LICINVS PF AVG- laureate, cuirassed bust right

Reverse-REV SOLI INVICTO COMITI- Sol standing right, looking left, chlamys across chest and over his left arm, holding globe and raising right hand. C-S across fields

Exergue-PARL- minted 313-318AD Arles

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Many emperors issued coins as the came and went but this Septimius Severus 'Emesa' denarius stuttered a bit with FORTVNAE REREDVC.

One has to wonder if the die cutter took a lunch break and forgot where he had left off.  The coin is also a good example of the obverse die with die break obliterating the V in SEV but that is a different post.


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Where do I start? I have far too many so want to try and avoid killing yet another thread.

Probus from Lugdunum to begin with....

Obv:– IMP C PROBVS P F AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right
Rev:– ABVNTIANTIA(sic) AVG, Abundantia, standing right, emptying cornucopiae
Minted in Lugdunum (IIII in exe) Emission 4 Officina 4. Middle to End A.D. 277
Reference:– Cohen -. Bastien -. RIC 17 Bust type F var (reverse legend)

3.82 g. 22.95 mm. 180 degrees


Obv:– IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, Radiate cuirassed bust right
Rev:– ORIES (sic) AVG, Sol walking left between two captives, right hand raised, left holding globe.
Minted in Lugdunum (I in exe) Emission 2 Officina 1. from November to December A.D. 276
Reference:– Cohen -. Example 1 below - Bastien 164c (same reverse die). RIC 44 Bust type F.


The following example from a different (not included in Bastien) reverse die


Obv:– IMP C M AR(sic) PROBVS AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right
Rev:– TEMPORVM FELICITAS, Felicitas standing right, holding caduceus and cornucopiae
Minted in Lugdunum (I) Emission 1, Officina 1. Early A.D. 277
Reference(s) – Cohen 729, Bastien 151b (151 has AVR and cites 15 examples). RIC 52 var Bust type F (C).

Weight 3.53g. 22.85mm. 0 degrees


Obv:- IMP C M AR (sic) PROBVS AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right
Rev:- VIRTVS AVGVSTI, Mars walking right, holding spear and trophy
Minted in Lugdunum (//II) Emission 1 Officina 2. October 276 A.D.
References : RIC 58 Bust Type F (Rated Common), Cohen 858, Bastien -, Batien Suppl I -. Batien Suppl II -.

Same obverse die as Bastien Suppl. II: 154α (3 examples), which is the same reverse type but officina 3 (III in exe)

Weight 5.78g. Maximum diameter 23.05 mm. Die orientation 180 degrees


I like this one so much I have two of them.....

Obv:– IMP C PROBVS • P • F • AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right
Rev:– COMITI PORBI(sic) AVG, Minerva standing left, holding olive-branch and spear and resting left hand on shield
Mint – Lugdunum (I in exe) Emission 7 Officina 1. A.D. 280
Reference:– Cohen -. Bastien 315 (example c). RIC 69 Bust type F var (PORBI in error not listed in RIC)

One of the examples cited by Bastien of 315 - the standard PROBI coin, 315c - Voetter, is also PORBI from the same reverse die. No examples cited in Bastien Suppl. II.


Obv:– IMP C PROBVS P • F • AVG, Radiate, cuirassed bust right
Rev:– TEMPR (sic) FELICI, Felicitas standing right, holding caduceus and cornucopiae
Mint – Lugdunum (I in exe) Emission 6 Officina 1. A.D.278 to A.D. 279
Reference:– Cohen -. Bastien -. RIC 104 Bust type F var. Not listed in Bastien or RIC with this reverse legend error though I have seen a couple come onto the market.



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Look carefully at the reverse legend ...

Salonina VINO REGINA Antioch.jpg

Salonina, AD 253-268.
Roman billon antoninianus, 4.64 g, 23.3 mm.
Antioch, AD 264.
Obv: SALONINA AVG, diademed draped bust right on crescent.
Rev: VINO REGINA, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter; peacock at feet left; star in left field.
Refs: RIC 92 var.; Cohen 67 var.; RCV 10641 var.; Göbl 1619f var.

It says VINO REGINA -- "Wine the queen"!! :smuggrin::D;)


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Constantius Gallus - RIC VIII Trier 354 var

Obv:– DN CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES, Bare, bust draped and cuirassed right; A behind
Rev:– FEL TEMR (sic) PE-PARATIO (sic), Soldier spearing fallen horseman, who is bare helmeted, reaching back towards emperor
Minted in Trier (//TRP),
Reference:– RIC VIII Trier 354 var (Spelling errors)

3.50g. 21.39 mm. 0 degrees


Constantius II

Obv:– D N CONSTA-NTIVS P F AVG, Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev:– FEL TEMP - REEPARATIO (sic), Emperor standing left on galley, holding phoenix on globe and labarum; Victory behind, steering galley
Minted in Arles (//PARL).
Reference:- RIC VIII Arles 99

Weight 3.62g. 22.65mm. 0 degrees


Constantius Gallus
Obv:- D N CONSTANTIVS IVN NBO(sic) C, Bare headed draped & cuirassed bust right; A
Rev:– FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Emperor standing left on galley, holding Victory on globe and labarum; Victory behind, steering galley
Minted in Siscia (III | * // BSIS)
Reference:– RIC VIII Siscia 329 var (would be C but obverse legend error)

5.16 gms. 23.42 mm. 180 degrees.


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Oh! Why didn't I think of this before? I wouldn't be personally qualified to opine, but I've read others describing this as a misspelling (most recently Alan Walker/Nomos; "Nomos 24 Highlights," email rec. 15 May 2022, Lot 397).

IVDEA not IVDAEACNG had it attributed erroneously as RIC II.1 1233 (Lyons, 79 CE / COS VIII / IVDAEA) [OCRE (RIC 1233; 10 specs.)].
It's actually RIC II.1 305 (Rome, 71 CE / COS III / IVDEA) [
OCRE (RIC 305; 14 specs.)].

But I wonder if everyone agrees that it's a misspelling. Might IVDEA have been an alternate spelling? 

It fits perfectly into my two primary collections:
(1) captives coinage; and
(2) coins illustrating WWII's impact on the numismatic world in ways we still feel today (e.g., the important Salton-Schlessinger-Hamburger numismatic dynasty -- murdered, looted, and/or forced into exile by the Holocaust; and the ancient coin world's "first crisis of provenance," Nazi loot):




Roman Imperial. Vespasian (Augustus, 69-79 CE) "Judaea Capta" Commem. AE As (28mm, 9.40 g, 6h). Rome mint, 71 CE.
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III P P. Laureate head right.
Rev: IVDEA CAPTA / S C in exergue. Judaea seated right in attitude of mourning, Palm tree to her left; to left, pile of arms (shields, helmet).
Ref: RIC II 305; Cohen 244; Hendin (GBC 5) 1554 (b); 
OCRE (RIC 305; 14 specs.). Incorrectly described as RIC 1233.
CNG Keystone Auction 6 (Lancaster, 11 Mar 2022), Lot 3156 (Corr. Obv/rev legends, date/mint, ref. no); from the Kenneth Bressett (1928 - ) Collection; acq. from Mark Salton-Schlessinger, 1957 ($8), with his tag/envelope.

Edited by Curtis JJ
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Mispelled reverse, should be NEPTVNO not NAEPTVUNO. Possibly a fraudulent coin.


Mintmark is inverted, should be XI not IX.


Spelling on reverse is SAECULARHS AVG. Some resources give this spelling and others give SAECULARES AVG.PhotoRoom-20220816_201417.png.7e8a2468753be841a2b1641d31c915bf.png

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The SAECVLARHS is an example where the errored spelling is more prevalent than the correct spelling. I have never seen a SEACVLARES example though RIC and Cohen both mention them. A look on Acsearch will show up many many examples but all are SAECVLARHS.

I have owned a couple



It is a similar with this eastern denarius of Septimius Severus where PRINCIPI appears PBINCIPI. I have seen hundreds of the errored version but very vew of the correct spelling



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I find these three coins quite interesting in seeing the use of an errored reverse die over time. It is also useful in the building of a chronology when no obvious chronology exists.

Let me start with a denarius from the A.D. 193, "AVG" issue from "Emesa"

Obv:– IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG, laureate head right
Rev:– BONETAE AVG, Moneta standing left, holding scales in right hand, cornucopiae in left
Minted in Emesa. A.D. 193
Reference(s) – RIC -. RSC -. BMCRE - .


It is believed that before the introduction of the mass COS II issue at this mint that the series of obverse dies ending AVG II C, AVG CO etc etc can be placed. There is some evidence to support this in that the BONETAE die can be seen with an AVG II C example below but is not known in the COS II series. From this we can derive a temporal link between the AVG issue and the AVG II C issue.

Obv:– IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG II C, Laureate head right
Rev:– BONETAE AVG (sic), Moneta standing left, holding scales in right hand, cornucopiae in left
Minted in Emesa, 194 - 195 A.D.
References:– RIC -. RSC -. BMC -.

3.16g, 18.53mm, 0o

Double die match to an example in the Barry Murphy collection


It is distinctly possible that they noticed the error and created a new reverse die. Here is such an example with the same obverse die. We would need several examples where die wear analysis could help us determine whether this timeline works out or not but there simply aren't enough examples known for this level of analysis.


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If you start to collect eastern coins of Septimius Severus then you will get very used to legend errors.

Here are some obverse legend errors as a starter.

The standard legend for the first issue is IMP CAE L SEPT SEV PERT AVG, this particular die deviates with IMP CE L SEP SEV PEPT AVG


There is a whole sub-series of the COS II issue (standard legend IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II) that contains a variety of legend shortenings etc. but one obverse die also contains an error of PEVR for PERT. It also has a reverse error of BONI ENTVS for BONI EVENTVS



This odd obverse die also has PEPT for PERT with the II either missing or indistinct



Here are a bunch or obverse errors from the COS II series







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