Find complete articles on the latest discoveries and useful tutorials to start or deepen your knowledge of numismatics.

Discovery of the different Roman counterfeit molds

After the long article talking about astronomy on ancient coins, i continue with this one, shorter but obviously interesting. No many things are said about the molds created by the ancient forgers. However, they allow us to learn about the technics used, but also, as you will see, on the extent of the circulation of coins at this period.

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Presentation of the ''CATALOGUE DES MONNAIES ROMAINES - Gallien'' from Cédric Wolkow

Today, I'm going to talk about the works made by Cédric Wolkow and I advise you to read as soon as possible!

He is already author of several successful books, such as: ''CATALOGUE DES MONNAIES RÉGIONALES – DOLE – TYPES, VARIANTES, RARETÉ, PRIX''. Or: ''Catalogue des monnaies romaines, la série des DIVI, les monnaies de restitution de Trajan Dèce'' (coming soon). It is now that he shares with us his last works, a trilogy well supplied on Gallienus' coins. Volume I: ''CATALOGUE DES MONNAIES ROMAINES – GALLIEN – L’ÉMISSION DITE « DU BESTIAIRE »'', volume II: ''CATALOGUE DES MONNAIES ROMAINES – GALLIEN – LES ÉMISSIONS DITES « DES FIGURES DEBOUT »'' and the last volume: ''CATALOGUE DES MONNAIES ROMAINES – GALLIEN – L’ÉMISSION DITE « DES FIGURES ASSISES » et les émissions S/P-P/II''.

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New variant of RIC 14 for Balbinus

A few days ago, I had noticed an unpublished bust for Balbinus in an article and I was saying that maybe somewhere it's already referenced. Since it, Curtis Caly told me that he already noted this bust some years ago on a forum.This also applies to this variant that I think is not referenced so far. If you have a reference, do not hesitate to let me know. As for curtis Clay, ill edit the article and quote the first discoverer, if someone already listed this variant below on the article.

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Balbinus, unlisted bust

 In a few days, my work on Balbinus' coins should appear on the website. If you read this article later after its release, you will be able to see this work. In the meantime, I have just listed a new bust (obviously, it may be that someone, somewhere has already listed ... in any case this is not known to the general public). EDIT: Curtis Clay informed me that in 2013, he had listed this bust, link to the topic: But he had not yet seen this bust with the type PM TR P COS II PP that I present here.

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Commodus, new dating on the aureii

During other research, I noticed a small detail: an obverse die link between coins, the first of which is not dated precisely. I do not know if this link has already been noted somewhere and if I am the first discoverer.

   In 2016, were sold at Numismatica Ars Classica, a unique Commode Aureus. The type of reverse is: FORTVNA MANENTI. The coin is dated between 186 and 189. As Numismatica Ars Classica points out, the reverse is known on very rare denari (RIC 191 a). Total description of the coin:

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How to analyze and classify a legend error

 In this article we will see how to differentiate an official coin with a legend error of a contemporary imitation. We will also see how to classify this coin that will be used for analysis.

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Isolation d'un graveur de fausses monnaies de Gordien III

Avant de commencer, je souhaite faire la lumière sur un point qui est confondu par tout le monde et qu'il convient de corriger. La différence entre une monnaie fourrée et une monnaie saucée. Ce n'est pas exactement la même chose et il est selon moi, intéressant d'observer si une imitation est saucée ou fourrée. Une monnaie fourrée est une monnaie en métal vil (alliage de bronze ou cuivre) sur laquelle on appose une fine feuille d'argent qui, en la chauffant, vient se coller sur sur les détails. Avantages: la couche d'argent est plus épaisse et donc moins susceptible de montrer la fausse monnaie en-dessous. Une monnaie saucée est exactement la même chose sauf qu'au lieu de mettre une feuille d'argent, on la trempe dans un bain d'argent. Comment faire la différence aujourd'hui? Une monnaie fourrée aura des trous avec un léger espace parfois entre le coeur et le dessus, car les feuilles d'argent finissent par se décoller de leur support et sont donc fragiles aux chocs, d'où les trous. Une monnaie saucée a une très fine couche d'argent qui s'efface avec l'usure. Comme sur les monnaies saucées officielles qui apparaissent vers le IV ème siècle. Il y a donc des restes d'argenture sur ces monnaies, qui ressemblent à des restes de peinture (pour bien imager le visuel).

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An unlisted bust for Hadrian

  It was while browsing the coins of Hadrian that I came across this bust. And that I discovered that he was not referenced.

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New! An unlisted and particular Sestertius of Antoninus Pius

We know the attributes of each Roman allegory, yet sometimes we see some visuals showing us what we call "variants". This is the case here with this coin. Once again, it was a friend who showed me this coin. He thought he had a perfectly normal Antoninus Pius Sestertius. I remember immediately seeing that something was strange. In the second he showed me this coin, I thinked that Annona seemed to have a lot of things in her hands.

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A scipio hold by Constantine I with little particularity

  A Roman coin must always be analyzed in its entirety. When I look at a coin, I pay attention to the letters, the legend breaks, the drawing and its details. I am looking for an error, a variant or something special. These are often unnoticed items because they are well hidden or are not things that are usually important to watch. The coin I am going to present to you comes in this configuration.

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Discovery of variants on the Aureii and Denarii of Septimius Severus, RIC 288

While browsing the coins of Septimius Severus type RESTITVTOR VRBIS, I noticed a variant of scepter / spear. The RIC gives us for this type of coin, a single description: Rome holding a spear. But, we may wonder, since the tip of this spear always shows us balls, if we always have a spear and not a scepter in front of us. Some coins (such as the one illustrating the javelin crosswise below), show us a spear or a scepter, whose end placed on the ground is masked by the shield. But no characteristic point of a spear goes out on the side of the shield on the right. Except if we follow the drawing, the spear is glued to the shield and so we should see this point. All coins showing a glued spear or behind the shield show no tip. sold by Roma Numismatic Limited, link to the sale:, link to the website:

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Hadrian RIC 927 new copy !

 Here is a small article presenting a currency that had not been seen for a very long time. A sesterce of Hadrian::

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Diocletian RIC 67 var

  When we talk about scarcity, we must always specify several things. Indeed, an antique coin can be rare one day and much less in the future. Why? Because one can find a treasure of 2000 coins during a search and see a large number appear. But how do we know if we have a real rarity in front of us? The coin illustrating the article has been posted to on the subject "Aurélianus de Dioclétien (RIC 67 var)", link to the topic:

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Discovery of nummus CAESATVM NOSTRORUVM retrograde


Here is an ancient curiosity. A Cripus nummus with a retrograde legend on the reverse. But that's not all. This coin was present in the collection of a friend and it is by looking at its coins, that I pointed out these originalities. I will detail you here, all that makes this coin, a particularity.

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How to identify roman coins

  Before starting, I remind you that you have the tool "image search engine"" for already identify the emperor and the type of reverse. The associated legends for each emperor and each type. Full details about ho to use it, here: All illustrated coins are with copyright photo permission of : Numismatica Ars Classica. Link to their website: Except for those with mention.

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New codification of legends

 When we reads a book on ancient coins, we often encounters the same problem: the way of writing legends changes from one book to another and is often not precise enough or the descriptions are very long. In the case of long descriptions, the author often engages in descriptions like: "VICTORIA CONSTANTINI AVG with the words VOT and XXX written in two lines inside a shield." You will also meet for this coin, such a description: "VICTORIA CONSTANTINI AVG / VOT XXX". If the first description is precise, the second is, on the other hand, much less. What do we want when we read a book or even a description of a sale etc? To be able to imagine the coin as best as possible, if no illustration is available.

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How the old database works

This is not an article, but rather, some details on the functioning of the database of ancient coins.

You will find for each type of coiny listed, a photo of the bust and a photo of the reverse type. If I have not yet done a study of style, these two photos will be a representation of the style that we find most often. If I did a style study like here:, these two photos will also be an illustration of the most common style. Below you have a style board. It does not include the photos just above, which are considered part of the board, but I have not posted a second time in the board. Each picture of the board, declines an evolution of the most current style, therefore the picture of the bust and the type of reverse. So you have, for example, a picture of the bust that is a thin and skinny portrait of the emperor and the last picture of the board that shows an emperor with a large, fat face . All other photos between them are an evolution from skinny to fat.

  In cases, where, there is no style board, while at the top of the page concerning the emperor (example with Vetranio) the mention "study of style available" is noted in red and bold; this simply means that the coin is very rare and therefore style varieties do not exist or are very little different. If some fields, such as weight or diameter, are not filled, the explanation is simply that there is no knowledge about this information. Example with the coins known to only one copy, the sale of which does not inform the weight or the diameter. Some weights can be displayed with extreme precision, for example: 4.03 grams. Either the coin is known to one copy and therefore the displayed weight is that of the coin, or it is an average weight. I note the theoretical weights in the notes below, which does not preclude averaging. Indeed, if we simply stick to the theoretical weight, you will regularly find coins weighing more and even more, quite regularly. It is therefore preferable to give an average indication. Low or high, so-called, extreme weights, sometimes almost double the usual weight in the cases of the most heavy weights, are noted in the comments and are not taken into account in the average.

  The name of the mint can be displayed directly below the name of the type if there is only one mint and there is no study style for the reasons mentioned above. If the style study exists or there are several mints, the name of the mint is shown below in the part called "mints"

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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: , 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): Since then I have searched for a second coin sharing this particularity and it is 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: devil (4 ° officina) and the same mint mark: devilSIS 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: , 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:

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