Discovery of a portrait of Constantius II on a coin of Vetranio
It is in the year 2015, by browsing the coins sold for Vetranio at Classical Numismatic Group: https://www.cngcoins.com/ , that I discovered this coin sold 190 $ in July 2015 and described as being a normal coin of Vetranio (link of the sale at the end of the article).
I wrote a small article, in the same year 2015, about this discovery and a review of descriptions "laureate" and "diademed" for the coins of Vetranio that I put here, online today. This discovery is also described in this page (Maiorina category, light weight series): https://www.all-your-coins.com/emperors/romaines/vetranion. Since then I have searched for a second coin sharing this particularity and it is http://www.geminiauction.com/ which signals us a second coin sold on April 6, 2017, link of the sale: http://https: //www.acsearch .info / search.html? id = 3734612 and describing this portrait error. Currently I do not know if Gemini is aware of the coin sold at CNG.
What about these two coins? My first observation is that these two coins share the same obverse die, the same mint: Siscia, the same officina: (4 ° officina) and the same mint mark: SIS at the exergue. However, there is something important: these two coins do not share the same reverse die. The position of the COR letters of CONCORDIA are not aligned in the same way with the letter A in the field, so the position of the hands and the length of the cloak and the decoration of the bottom and top of the standards change. It would be particularly interesting to discover a coin with the same portrait but having been struck by another officina or a different mint mark. If you are reading this and are not a specialist in antique numismatics, you will wonder why such a discovery would be important? Simply because it allows us to know better the functioning of a mint and precisely of this mint of Siscia during the period of Vetranio and Constantius II. Each die is engraved by hand, it is therefore "unique". So it's a puzzle game that is played. Sharing a die, for the same type but with two differents officinas or better, between two different types is important. That's why, if you see a coin sharing one of the three dies described in this article, you can share it here: https://www.all-your-coins.com/contact.php , if you want to make an anonymous report I will respect your wishes. I also note that I am currently creating a special page for this huge puzzle of obverse and reverse corners, by type and by emperor. Feel free to share your dies here too.
Explanations on the particularities of the portrait and revision of the descriptions "laureate" and diademed "for Vetranio:
This bust is identified by the author as that of Constantius II, due to several points:
- Absence of beard.
- The bust is clearly diademed and not lauré.
- Typical portrait of Constance II with a long head.
Vetranio was laureate and refused the diadem. The vast majority of experts and reference books describe "laureate" or "diademed" variants for Vetranio coins. I think it's a mistake. All busts with a description "diademed" are simply laureate. The proof is that we often see the tip of the leaves of the crown at the top of the head. The theory that we can distinguish a "laureate" bust from a "diademed" bust by counting points is not correct. With an enlargement x 4 for each photo, we can see that they are often leaves and not points. Another unmistakable point: the absence of a square or round tip on the top of the crown or large pearls between the two lines of pearls. The style of the crown is similar to the crowns of the other emperors for this mint. These points show that Vetranioe is still laureate and has never been diademed.
This variant with the portrait Constantius II contains these points. Currently, it is the only obverse die known with this portrait and associated with the legend "DN VETRA - NIO PF AVG". Link of the sale: https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=288141.