Discovery of two variants for Hadrian and Antoninus Pius
Here is a small article talking about a variant that I just discovered for two different emperors. We will analyze the type of reverse and the classification given by the RIC on this type.
The RIC 610 shows Moneta holding a scale with the right hand and a cornucopia with the left hand. The RIC 611 could have been classified 610 var but I think that the author of the RIC simply estimated that this variant only appearing (it seems) with the obverse (a), it was necessary to create a complete line for it. This RIC 611 is exactly the same as the 610 (associated with obverse (a) and (b) ), except that the scale is surmounted by a ball. Let's look at the pictures of these two coins below:
RIC 610: photo of a coin sold by Classical Numismatic Group, link to the sale and their website: https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=246063.
RIC 611: of a coin sold by Classical Numismatic Group, link to the sale and their website: https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=361484.
Quote Classical Numismatic Group about this ball themselves citing the Catalog of Freeman and Sear: ''The Freeman and Sear catalogue commented on this reverse by saying: “The goddess of the Roman mint here holds what appears to be a small bulging bag, presumably containing coins, in addition to her usual balance. Cohen noted the variety, tentatively identifying the object as a pomegranate, whilst on the very worn BM piece it is merely described as a ‘round object’. The excellent preservation of this specimen would seem to offer a satisfactory solution to the problem.” .
This being seen, I consider that the coins presenting Moneta holding a cornucopia in the opposite direction, is a variant. On the few copies with this variant, the type of obverse is always the same. Which does not push me to declare that it must have its own reference number. We can consider that the bag of coins (or pomegranate according to the Cohen) is an addition to the usual type. The orientation of the cornucopia is only a slight modification of the usual type. So I classify this coin as RIC 610 var. We must now observe if this variant exists with another type of obverse and also with the bag of coins present above the scale. This variant is not uncommon and seems to appear each three coins on average. Below, a photo of one of these coins showing the variant:
RIC 610 var: photo of a coin sold by Classical Numismatic Group, link to the sale and their website: https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=53992.
I add, to finish, that this same variant concerning the direction of the cornucopia, exists for Hadrian. This coin shows a character (identified as Aequitas) holding a scale and a cornucopia. Therefore exactly the same visual than the COS III for Antoninus Pius.This is the RIC 654, a Dupondius with the legend of obverse: HADRIANVS – AVGVSTVS, radiate bust with drapery on the left shoulder (bust (j) of the RIC). Reverse: COS III / S – C. I saw a single coin showing on this type an inverted cornucopia. I am waiting today to receive photos to show it to you.