Jump to content

I don't usually collect Valerian but..


Recommended Posts

I usually don't collect Valerian or Gallienus unless they're Sestertii, but there was something I really liked about the reverse design.  The Cologne mint is also one of my favorite mints of the two.  I especially like the heroic bust Gallienus issues.




Attribution: RIC Vi 5 Cologne
Date: AD 258
Obverse: VALERIANVS PF AVG, radiate bust right
Reverse: DEO VOLKANO, Vulcan standing left holding hammer and pincers anvil at feet all within tetrastyle temple
Size: 22.26mm
Weight: 2.55 grams


Please post any Cologne mint coins you have of the Valerian family.

I have my eye on a much nicer Valerian II.

  • Like 26
  • Cool Think 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vulcan is always cool! He's the god of holding coins with tongs and hammering them! That's what he's probably doing with that anvil up there.

I've got this pair of Valerian captives coins (VICT PART; Parthian captives -- very ironic, since King Shapur came over from Persia and captured him, either to kill or keep around and torment for a couple years).

Below those, my Gallienus captives coin from Cologne / Colonia Agrippinensis.





By the way, here's Shapur's monument, showing Valerian looking very much like the captives on some Roman coins:


Photo by Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Triumph of Shapur I over Valerian, the famous bas-relief monument to the Sasanian King at the necropolis Naqsh-I Rustam (in modern-day Iran). [From my blog post last year, "The Irony of Valerian's Captive."]

Edited by Curtis JJ
  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

Please post any Cologne mint coins you have of the Valerian family.

Here is a Cologne Antoninianus of Salonina




c. 259 - 260 A.D.
Billon antoninianus, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint
Obv.: SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, crescent behind shoulders
Rev.: DEAE SEGETIAE, statue of goddess Segetia standing facing in tetrastyle temple, nimbate, crescent on her head, both hands raised
Billon, 3.97g, 20.8mm, 0°
Ref.: Göbl MIR 902c, RSC IV 36, RIC V-1m p.108, 5, Hunter 21, Cunetio 731, Elmer 96, SRCV III 10631

  • Like 20
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vulcan is not often seen on Roman Imperial coins. There are two extremely rare (i.e. unattainable) civil war issues supposedly minted under Vindex with a bust of Vulcan, your reverse type struck under Valerian, and two scarcer and rather unattractive types by Claudius Gothicus. That's it. So if you are looking to assemble a set of coins showing the major Roman deities, that Valerian reverse is the coin you have to look out for:




  • Like 18
  • Cool Think 1
  • Heart Eyes 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fantastic, @Nerosmyfavorite68! And it just so happens that today (23 August) is Vulcanalia! Yes, the festival of Vulcan, the Vulcanalia, was celebrated on August 23rd each year, when the summer heat placed crops and granaries at the greatest risk of burning. This was part of a series of temple coins issued by Valerian/Gallienus at the Cologne mint.

Here's mine.

Valerian I DEO VOLKANO Antoninianus.jpg
Valerian I, AD 253-260.
Roman AR antoninianus, 2.69 g, 21.2 mm, 7 h.
Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) mint, AD 259-260.
Obv: VALERIANVS·P·F·AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: DEO VOLKANO, Vulcan standing left within tetrastyle temple, hammer raised in right hand, tongs downward in left.
Refs: RIC 5 (inaccurately attributed to the Lugdunum mint); Cohen 2 (inaccurately attributed to Valerian II); RSC 50c; Göbl 884d; Hunter IV 56; RCV 9934.

The Gallienus coin of the temple series.

Gallienus, AD 253-268.
Roman billon antoninianus, 2.39 g, 21.6 mm, 6 h.
Cologne, AD 257-258.
Obv: GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: DEO MARTI, Mars standing left in tetrastyle temple, holding shield and spear.
Refs: RIC 10F var. (joint reign); Göbl 889h; RSC 149a (Lugdunum); RCV --.

And the Salonina in the series.

Cornelia Salonina, AD 253-268.
Roman silvered billon antoninianus, 2.66 g, 20.6 mm.
Cologne, AD 259-260 (Joint reign).
Obv: SALONINA AVG, diademed and draped bust, right.
Rev: DEAE SEGETIAE, Dea Segetia, nimbate, standing facing in tetrastyle temple.
Refs: RIC 5; Cohen 36; RCV 10631; Göbl 902c; Elmer 96; Hunter 21.
Notes: Some attribute to Lyons mint, AD 258.

  • Like 19
  • Cool Think 1
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not easy to get nice coins of the Valerians.

Valerian I Antoninianus, 258-259image.png.269328baf249d076de9c140868c58439.pngColonia Agrippina. Silver, 23mm, 3.49g. Radiate draped and cuirassed bust right; VALERIANVS P F AVG. Virtus-Soldier standing left holding Victory and spear; VIRTVS-AVGG (RIC V, 24 Var). From the Botley (Hampshire) Hoard 1997 of 1389 radiates, deposited in 274.

  • Like 20
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Believe it or not, mine was actually the best one on vcoins.  I guess it's a scarce type, purchased to reward myself after going through some hassles last week.  There's certainly some nice coins here and a stunning set of deities.

I wonder how Valerian's capture was announced in Rome?  Although Gallienus is one of the underrated emperors for just holding things together, he could have at least deified Valerian I.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

t's not easy to get nice coins of the Valerians.

You're right – but as an exception confirming the rule, there were a few truly talented engravers working for Valerian and his sons:


Valerian I, Roman Empire, AR antoninianus, 253/4 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG; bust of Valerian, radiate, draped, cuirassed, r. Rev: APOLINI PROPVG; Apollo, nude except for cloak flying behind, standing r., drawing bow. 22mm, 3,58. Ref: RIC V Valerian 74; MIR 36, 44d.


Valerian II, Roman Empire, AR antoninian, 258/9 AD, Cologne mint. Obv: DIVO VALERIANO CAES; radiate and draped bust of Divus Valerian II to r., seen from behind. Rev: CONSACRATIO;  Valerian II, raising his r. hand and holding sceptre in his l., flying r. on eagle. 23mm, 2.64g. Ref: RIC V Valerian II 9; MIR 36, 911e.

  • Like 22
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we have shown it is difficult to find a DEO VOLKANO in nice condition. Here is mine, which is simply more evidence:


22-18 mm. 2.79 grams.
4-column temple with Vulkan with hammer
Cunetio 706 (30 pieces, among 125 of Valerian from this mint and, over all mints, 10,559 from the joint reign of Valerian and Gallienus) "mint of Gaul". RIC 5. Sear III 9934. 

  • Like 21
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some Valerian era coins

Valerianus I :


ORIENSAVGG                MIR 868c





DEO MARTI       MIR 889h




IOVIV-ICTORI     IMP-CES          MIR 870m




VIRTGALLIEN-IAVG             MIR 890h








DEAE-SEGE-TIAE           MIR902c




IOVICRESENTI            MIR 907e




PIETASAVG         MIR 914e


Edited by mc9
  • Like 17
  • Mind blown 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

AR Antoninianus (23 mm, 4.07 g., 6h) minted at Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne) during the reign of GALLIENUS between 257-258 A.D. 1st. emission. Obv. GALLIENVS.P.F.AVG. Radiate, draped, & cuirassed bust right. Rev. GERMANICVS.MAX.V. Trophy, bound captive seated to left & right. RCS #2961. RICV #18. RSC #308. Toned, edge split, VF.

Silver Coin (AR Antoninianus) minted at Cologne for VALERIAN II, son of GALLIENUS, as Caesar, between 256 - 258 A.D. 1st emission of Valerian I. Obv. VALERIANVS.CAES.: rad. bust dr. r. Rev. IOVI.CRESCENTI.: Young Jupiter seated facing, head left, raising r. hand, riding goat right. RSCIV #2. RICV #3. DVM #5 pg. 252. RCSVIII #10731.


ESL-411 OBVCR.jpg

ESL-411 REVCR.jpg

ESSA-439 OBVB.jpg

ESSA-439 REVB1.jpg

  • Like 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are a couple Valerian-era coins (the Salonina from Cologne) I bought and cleaned up in a poorly photographed eBay lot for $9.99.



Gallienus. Antoninianus. Milan. 258-259 AD.
Obv: GALLIENVS dot P dot F dot AVG, radiate & cuirassed bust right
Rev: VIRT GALLIENI AVG, Emperor walking right, holding
transverse sceptre (point forwards) & small round shield,
treading down fallen enemy, lying on ground, one arm raised.
RIC 54 (j), Cunetio hoard 728


Salonina AR Antoninanus. Cologne mint. SALONINA AVG, diademed bust right on crescent / VEN-V-S FELIX, Venus seated left, holding sceptre, reaching for child before her. RIC 7 [joint reign]; RSC 115; Sear 10655.

Edited by Orange Julius
  • Like 20
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What are some other Valerian Ants with interesting or out of the ordinary reverses?

I think this might only be my second Valerian Ant, the first being from Allen Berman, c. 1994.  I mostly collect Sestertii.

Not counting uncleaned stuff, I might only have 20-25 Ants, total?  A guesstimate..  A quarter of those would be Carausius.

I guess I don't have to be too ashamed, were it not for the encrustation, mine would actually be better than average.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...


VALERIAN I Antoninianus.
Colonia Agrippinensis mint

Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: GALLIENVS CVM EXER SVO (translates into: Gallienus with his army)
Cippus inscribed IOVI/VIC/TORI in three lines, surmounted by Jupiter standing left, holding Victory and sceptre.

Gobl 867a


From Coining Images of Power by Erika Manders:


  • Like 7
  • Cool Think 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/23/2022 at 10:37 AM, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

I wonder how Valerian's capture was announced in Rome?  Although Gallienus is one of the underrated emperors for just holding things together, he could have at least deified Valerian I.

On what evidence do you base the assumption that the fate of Valerian was announced at Rome?  We know of some details from contemporary Persian sources but I doubt the start of Gallienus' sole reign was trumpeted and paraded in the streets.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

I knew there was a thread somewhere that I wanted to post in but hadn't! Thanks to @Agrippa and others for reviving it. 

I have only two Valerian I coins;  the place of minting is not entirely certain for either. The condition of the first is clearly finer, but I think the second one actually has a nicer portrait. The portrait of the first one has a style that looks a bit too much like the average portrait of Gallienus! 

Valerian I, Billon Antoninianus, AD 255-256 [Sear RCV III p. 269], Antioch Mint [or, “uncertain Syrian mint”; see id.]. Obv. Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG / Rev. Two Victories affixing shield inscribed S•C to palm tree between them, VOTA ORBIS. RIC V.1 294, RSC IV 280 var. [no cuirass on RSC coin], Sear RCV III 9996 (ill. p. 269); Göbl MIR 1682e [R. Göbl et al., Moneta Imperii Romani, Band 35: Die Münzprägung des Kaiser Valerianus I / Gallienus / Saloninus / (253/268), etc. (Vienna, 2000)]. Purchased from Roma Numismatics Ltd., E-Sale 98, 16 Jun 2022, Lot 1411.  


Valerian I, Silvered Billon Antoninianus, 257 AD [Göbl: 253/254 AD], Mediolanum [Milan] Mint [RIC, RSC] or Viminacium Mint [Sear, Göbl] [Viminacium was the capital of Moesia Superior and was located in what is now Eastern Serbia near Kostolac]. Obv. Radiate, draped bust right, IMP VALERIANVS P AVG/ Rev. Virtus standing left, chiton off right shoulder (leaving right breast bare), holding Victory with right hand and resting left hand on shield, with reversed spear propped against left arm, VIRTVS AVGG. RIC V-1 267 (Milan) (p. 58) obv. leg. var.* [RIC identifies reverse figure as a soldier; Wildwinds identifies reverse figure on RIC 267 as Virtus (see http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/ric/valerian_I/i.html)]; Cohen 258 obv. leg. var. [Cohen identifies figure as Virtus or Roma], RSC IV 258 (Milan) obv. leg. var. [identifying reverse figure as soldier]; Sear RCV III 9992 obv. leg.var. [identifying reverse figure as Virtus, but characterizing Virtus as male; ascribed to Viminacium Mint for unstated reasons] (ill.); Göbl 811d (same obv. leg.) [identifying reverse figure as Virtus; Viminacium mint] [R. Göbl et al., Moneta Imperii Romani, Band 35: Die Münzprägung des Kaiser Valerianus I / Gallienus / Saloninus / (253/268), Regalianus (260) und Macrianus / Quietus (260/262) (Vienna, 2000)]; Cunetio 770 (same obv. leg.) [identifying reverse figure as Virtus] [Besly, E. & R. Bland, The Cunetio Treasure: Roman Coinage of the Third Century AD (London, 1983)]. 22.5 mm., 3.4 g.


* RIC, RSC, Cohen, and Sear all identify the obverse legend on this coin type as IMP P LIC VALERIANO AVG rather than IMP VALERIANVS P AVG; the coins appear to be otherwise identical to this one.  None of them lists a Valerian antoninianus with the IMP VALERIANVS P AVG obverse legend and a reverse with the VIRTVS AVG [RIC V-1 266] or VIRTVS AVGG [RIC V-1 267] legend, as well as the reverse figure -- however identified -- with spear and shield and holding Victory.

  • Like 15
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, hotwheelsearl said:

My favorite Valerian reverse is this one, showing both Valerian and Gallienus clasping hands. How neat!

Yes, that's one of my favorites too -- I couldn't find mine to share here -- but the think I like about them is that they make a fairly faithful homage to Caius and Lucius CAESARES denarii c. 7-6 or 2-1 BCE.



And @Orange Julius's example: 


  • Like 15
  • Yes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have one antoninianus of Valerian I 

Ar (Billon) antoninianus of Valerian I Viminaciun 253 AD Obv But right laureate draped and cuirassed seen from back Victory standing left VICTORIA GERMANIC RIC 264 4.62 grms 20 mm Photo by W. Hansenvaleriansnr4a.jpg.945054f0a0d5aa1a037c801f8dadd6b9.jpg

This is one of those unusual references to a specific victory found on a later third century Roman coin. It is unknown exactly which victory is being celebrated here unless it is a success gained by his son Gallienus in Gaul. However it is just as likely that he is taking credit for the victory over the Goths by Aemilian.

  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Absolutely great coins on this thread, many from an emperor who is overlooked. And some exceptional reverses (rare deities on coins - what a good collecting niche)

I don't collect 3rd century as a main point of interest but in my task of getting all the affordable emperors, Valerian was a must have.

This is currently my only Valerian imperial, from Samosata.



Decent but with a very standard reverse, unless it's something unique - the proof that Monopoly is in fact an ancient game



I have some Cologne coins.






No Vulcan for me unless this Republican is counted, one of my favorite coins, where the die depicted on the reverse is described by some sources as the cap of Vulcan


T. Carisius (ca. 46 BC). AR denarius. Rome. 20 mm 3.33 g. MONETA, head of Juno Moneta right, wearing pendant earring and necklace; dotted border / T•CARISIVS, wreathed cap of Vulcan (or garlanded punch die) over anvil (or anvil die), between tongs (on left) and hammer (on right); all within wreath. Crawford 464/2. Sydenham 982b. Carisia 1b.

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...