Late Roman Bronze Coins

General discussion => General Discussion => Topic started by: Adriaan78 on June 27, 2017, 02:40:42 AM

Title: New collector
Post by: Adriaan78 on June 27, 2017, 02:40:42 AM
Dear fellow collectors,

As I am relatively new to the hobby of collecting late roman bronze coins (coins of constantine the great and his family, especially linking Constantius I) I am happy to find a forum like this one. I have a developing collection of about 20 coins at the moment. As this collection is steadily growing I am in need of some more information resources. I have done some reading on the internet (including the beautiful Furthermore, I have bought and read the book "Roman Bronze Coins from Paganism to Christianity" by Failmezger. This has taught me some things  but when I read this forum I see such a display of knowledge of coins of the area that makes think that I need to study a lot more before becoming a serious collector. I was planning to buy RIC part VI to VIII but it is relatively expensive with enormous shipping costs (I live in the Netherlands). Could you experienced collector give me some advice?

Kind regards,
Adriaan van Es
Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Victor on June 27, 2017, 09:27:48 AM
Hello and welcome. For this period the RIC volumes are indispensable if you want to be a more advanced collector, but as you said, they are not cheap.

After the Failmezger book, I can't think of any that cover this period in a general fashion, just more specialized books, that are mint specific, like Bastien's Lyons mint books, Ferrando's book on the Arles mint, Drost's book on the Ostia mint and Cloke and Toon's London mint book.

I have a page with articles, mostly on 4th century numismatics and related topics that might be of interest--
Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Adriaan78 on June 27, 2017, 12:45:26 PM
Thank you for your advice! I am convinced that the RIC volumes are of great importance, and I will buy them. Can you give me an advice on which edition? Is the original print of 1966 advised or do you prefer later reprints? After browsing the forum and reading your website (including your thesis)I think you might be an excellent candidate to write a nice book on coinage of Constantine the Great...

Thanks again!


Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Victor on June 27, 2017, 03:06:40 PM
Sometimes the original edition of a book might have better images, but in the case of RIC VII the quality of the reprinted edition is very nice (I have the 1997 ed.), plus I prefer new books over used books. I don't know about writing a book on Constantine and his coinage (but thanks for the compliment), but of course, my thesis could be considered a book.
Title: Re: New collector
Post by: livingwater on June 27, 2017, 10:09:04 PM
Welcome Adriaan78,

This is THE PLACE to be for LRBs.  Victor is very knowledgeable, helpful and an honest seller to buy from.  Another book that might be good for beginners is Late Roman Bronze Coinage by Carson, Hill, Kent reprinted 1989 but I don't think it's cited much anymore.  You may find a copy from a European dealer.  There's one on Vcoins for $40 + shipping.  If you live close to a large city library they may have some LRBs books there.  One can learn a lot online by looking at Vcoins, Sixbid,, Wildwinds, Ebay, etc.  As you know with any area of collecting it's good to learn about average prices in relation to type, condition, rarity before buying so you don't pay far too much for something.  A good and interesting collection of LRBs can be made with modest amounts of money, have fun!   
Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Adriaan78 on July 16, 2017, 04:11:06 PM
Thank you all for your replies, they have been very helpful to me! My biggest thanks goes out to Valens55 how was so king to send me a copy of  Late Roman Bronze Coinage by Carson Hill and Kent. I still have to learn a lot about LRBs the but one thing I already learned is that the coin collecting community is a very friendly and encouraging one. Proud to be part of it!

Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Victor on July 17, 2017, 05:51:55 PM
My biggest thanks goes out to Valens55

That was nice...kudos to Valens55
Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Adriaan78 on July 19, 2017, 05:50:51 PM
Dear all,

The pictures attached are of one of the first coins I bought at an online auction. It was a last minute bid. I saw the auction at the last moment and placed an offer just in time. I did not do much research and was not hampered by much knowledge. I just liked the picture, the style, quality in combination with a good size. And won the auction.
I bought the coin as:
Roman Empire - Constantine I the Great as Caesar (306-307 A.D.) bronze follis (5,60 g. 28 mm). Trier mint, 307 A.D. MARTI PATRI PROPVGNATORI S-A. PTR. Mars.
FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB C, laureate, cuirassed bust right.
MARTI PATRI PROPVGNATORI S-A. PTR, helmeted Mars, clad in chlamys, advancing right, carrying spear and shield, PTR in exergue. RIC VI, 730.

But when the coin arived I saw that the obverse reads IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG. That would make it a RIC VI 776 I would say. Of course I am not blaming anyone because I should have noted on forehand. However I do wonder wheter this is common practice. I bought it from a respectable seller on Catawiki (a auction site that claims that the have accurate estimates for the coins on auction)... Furthermore, is there a big difference between these coins in rarely and value?

Thank you!
Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Victor on July 19, 2017, 06:06:22 PM
They probably copied and pasted the description from another listing and forgot to change the bits that were different, like the obverse legend. The type from Constantine as Caesar is a bit more rare than his issue as Augustus...hopefully you only paid Augustus money for it.

I have looked at the Catawiki site before and was not very impressed with it. Many of the sellers also list elsewhere, like eBay. I would not put much stock in their claim of "accurate estimates" either.

Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Adriaan78 on August 12, 2017, 07:31:46 AM
Hi Victor thank you for your reply!

If there is one thing I have learned already in collecting ancient coins is that I should stick to sellers and auctions that I trust...

One thing I am still learning is coin attribution. I still find this difficult, especially for the coins with more generic reverses and legends. The first coin attached should be Constantius I from London, RIC VI 14a. But how do you know? First there are no mintmark on it. Second. If I compare the coins with the ones I have found on Wildwinds I think it can also be RIC VI 20. Some goes for the second coins, I was told it is from Rome.. but I can't tell..
Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Victor on August 12, 2017, 04:03:43 PM
RIC VI makes a distinction on the head size of RIC 14 and 20. RIC 14 has a small head on a long neck, while 20 has a large head with a shorter neck. This is a confusing and sometimes arbitrary way to classify. The new book on the London mint by Cloke & Toone group these coins together, merely noting that there are bust variations. I would list this coin as RIC VI London 14a/20, but of course you could also list it as 14a, since it has the small head/long neck.

For comparison, below is a Maximianus that I just sold. It has the large head and short neck; but I listed it as RIC VI London 6b/17.

the second coin, with S-A in the fields, is from Siscia, struck circa A.D. 294.
RIC VI Siscia 81a, RIC lists three workshops- A, B or Γ

Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Adriaan78 on December 11, 2017, 08:50:15 AM
I bought this coin in an auction yesterday. The description is saying it is RIC vi 171 for London. However, when i checked my newly aquired Cloke and Toone book (Which I love..!) I do not think it is 171. It must be one of the coins close by 171. I cannot figure out which one though...
Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Victor on December 11, 2017, 09:04:11 AM
I am out of town now and canít check my references, but hopefully someone else will look at this.
Title: Re: New collector
Post by: Genio popvli romani on December 13, 2017, 10:42:39 AM
Yes in deed, your coin is not #171 but #177 with obverse legend 1e and bust (BB).
Here is another example: