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Celtic gold and Roman bronze coins 150BC to 450 AD

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Roman and Celtic silver coins

Roman and Celtic gold coins

 

In 55 B.C. the Roman general Julius Caesar conquered France (At the time the country was called Gaul, and the Romans called it Gallia). The Gauls fought hard against the Romans and had been helped by their friends in Britain. Caesar was upset by their assistance and decided to teach the Britons a lesson.

Julius Caesar made two attempts to invade Britain, first in 55 B.C. and then again in 54 B.C. Both times the British warriors and the rotten British weather made his army give up and return to Gallia.

Nearly a hundred years later in 43 A.D. the Emperor Claudius sent another army to invade Britain. This time the Romans were successful, Roman Britain had begun!

26th - 31st August 55BC Julius Caesar attempted to invade Britain

Julius Caesar crossed the Channel with a force of around 10,000 soldiers. They landed on the beach at Deal and were met by a force of Britons. The Romans eventually took the beach and waited for cavalry back up to arrive from France. However, a storm prevented the back up force from reaching Britain and Caesar had to withdraw.

July - Sept 54BC Julius Caesar's second invasion of Britain

Julius Caesar crossed the Channel with a force of around 27,000 infantry and cavalry. They landed again at Deal and were unopposed - the Britons had retreated to higher ground. The Romans marched inland and met a large force of Britons led by Cassivellaunus north of the River Thames. After a hard battle the Romans defeated the Britons and some tribal leaders surrendered to the Romans. Cassivellanus ordered crops to be burned and made guerrilla attacks on Roman forces.  But the Romans were too strong and Cassivellanus was forced to surrender. In September Caesar was forced to return to Gaul (France) to deal with problems there and the Romans left Britain.

54BC - 43AD Roman influence increased

Although not present in Britain, the influence of the Romans increased due to trade links

5AD Cymbeline Cymbeline, King of the Catuvellauni tribe, was acknowledged by Rome to be King of Britain
May 43AD Romans Invaded Britain

A Roman force of about 40,000 led by Aulus Plautius landed in Kent. They defeated a force of Britons led by Caratacus and began taking the South-East of Britain. Caratacus escaped and fled to Wales where he set up a resistance base.

Autumn 43AD Claudius arrived with reinforcements

The Roman emperor Claudius arrived in Britain with reinforcements. Colchester (Camulodunum) was taken and eleven tribal Kings surrendered to the Romans. Claudius appointed Aulus Plautius Governor of Britain before returning to Rome.

43 - 47AD Conquest of the South

The Romans continued their conquest and by 47AD had conquered the whole of South Britain and claimed Britain as part of the Roman Empire.

47 - 50AD London Founded

London (Londinium) was founded and a bridge built across the river Thames. A network of roads was built across the south of Britain.

 

Comments and ID's against Roman coins are from our expert Mark Lehman who also lectures on the subject in the USA

Comments and ID's against Celtic coins are from Dr Philip de Jersey who runs the National Celtic Coin Index

Coin denominations of the Roman Empire

The aureus was the main gold coin of the Early Empire, and its minting was under the direct control of the Emperor. Under Augustus, the currency was such:
1 aureus = 25 denarii
1 quinarius (gold) = 12 1/2 denarii
1 denarius = 16 asses
1 quinarius (silver) = 8 asses
1 sestertius = 4 asses
1 dupondius = 2 asses
1 as = 4 quadrantes
1 semis = 2 quadrantes
1 quadrans = 1/4 as

Solidus
Constantine introduced a new gold coin in his reign, to replace the aureus, which was called the solidus and was 1/72 of a pound.

Scripulum
This was another gold denomination introduced by Constantine, worth 1 1/2 of a solidus.

Semissis
was a smaller gold coin introduced by Constantine, and was worth 1/2 of a solidus. It was replaced in the reign of Theodosius I.

Tremissis
The tremissis was introduced by Theodosius I to replace Constantine's scripulum, and was worth 1/3 of a solidus.

SILVER Coins

Denarius
The denarius was the main silver coin, in fact the main denomination, of the Roman Republic. Under the Empire, Augustus controlled the minting of the gold and silver denominations, and the denarius continued. Under Nero the weight and fineness of the denarius dropped, and this cost-cutting practice was continued under successive emperor. By the reign of Caracalla, the denarius was about 40% silver, and the new antoninianus was introduced. The denarius continued, but was gradually phased out, first becoming bronze, and then disappearing after serving the Romans for almost 400 years.

Quinarius
Silver quinarii, or half denarii, were minted sporadically throughout the Republic. Its minting became more regular under the Early Principate and, under Augustus, it was worth 8 asses.


Antoninianus
This coin was introduced by Caracalla and worth twice that of the Denarius, but it actually only had about 1 1/2 of the denarius's silver content. Both the Antoninianus and the denarius continued for some time until the denarius was phased out. Gradually, over the Third Century, the silver content of the antoninianus dropped, until it was merely silver washed bronze coins. At this time, it is considered to be an AE coin.
Image Not Yet Available Argenteus
This silver coin was first minted by Diocletian as part of his monetary reforms. It lasted until the reign of Constantine and replaced the old denarius, for it was roughly the same fineness and weight of the early denarius.
Image Not Yet Available Miliarense
This silver coin was worth 1/18 of a solidus, and was introduced by Constantine late in his reign to replace the argenteus.
Siliqua
Another silver coin introduced by Constantine, and worth 1/24 of a solidus. Originally it was 1/96 of a pound of silver, but his son, Constantius II reduced it to 1/144 of a pound of silver.


Bronze Coins


Sestertius

The orichalcum sestertius (plural: sestertii) was the largest bronze denomination in the early Roman Empire, and it continued, growing only gradually smaller until the reign of Postumus (usurper in the breakaway Gallic Empire, 259-258 AD) who minted the last sestertius. Because of their larger flan, the sestertii, particularly of the earlier empire, had the potential for exquisite reverses which many moneyers, particualrly under the Adoptive and Antonine dynasties, used to portray their finest works.
Dupondius

As

Semis

Quadrans
The copper quadrans (plural: quadrantes) was worth a quarter of an as under Augustus. It was one of the smallest denominations in the Early Principate.

Follis
The bronze follis, originally silver washed, was a new denomination of Diocletian's monetary reforms. The follis, however, soon began to decline in diameter and weight.

Centenionalis
The bronze centenionalis were the attempts of Constans and Constantius II to reintroduce a large bronze coin, as the follis (above) had by then shrunk dramatically. The centionalis, however, did not last long and by the end of Theodosius the Great only smaller varieties of bronze coins were minted.

AEs
The bronze coinage of the later Roman Empire has too many varieties in diameter and weight. No record is known of the names of these denominations, or their worth. They are broadly categorised as AE1 (27mm or larger in diameter), AE2 (23 to 27mm), AE3 (17 to 23mm) and AE4 (less than 17mm).

 

'It's a very nice example of one of the rarer Clacton types - only just over 20 of the basic type (VA 1458) are recorded, and there are some variations within that group (mostly in minor elements of decoration, and in particular the form of the 'flower' beneath the horse)'. It will be CCI 04.0481. '70BC

Gallo-Belgic E stater, c. 56 BC. It's class 2 of the type, listed in Van Arsdell as VA 52. This will be 04.0476 in the CCI.

Cunobelin Gold full stater 10 to 40 AD, CCI 03.0811.
Celtic stater of Addedomaros 37 - 33 BC

CCI No 04.0678

'this is a very good example, both sides nice and sharp. I'm doing some detailed work on the dies of this type at the moment, there are quite a lot - something like 25-30 obverse dies and maybe 50 for the reverse - so it must have been quite a sizeable coinage, probably produced over a number of years. Somewhere between about 45 - 25 BC is probably a reasonable guess'.

Celtic gold stater Norfolk wolf type 65-45 BC found by Alaskan Todd

 

'CCI No 04.0681 is the Norfolk wolf. Another nice coin, c. 50 BC. The basic type is common (over 300 coins) but there are minor variations in the design, and this appears to be a rare variant with a sort of stick below the wolf rather than the usual crescent and pellet. I haven't checked through all the records but from memory there are no more than half a dozen or so from this die variant'.

Gold stater Dubnovellaunus 70BC found by Boston Al

Celtic 1/4 stater found by Alaskan George

"it's an early (perhaps c. 50-40 BC) quarter stater, possibly produced in Essex.
It seems to have developed out of the Gallo-Belgic D quarter stater (Van Arsdell 69), imported in large quantities into Britain from Belgic Gaul, possibly with some influence from the so-called 'Kentish trophy type' (Van Arsdell 147) of a
very similar period. This particular type is unpublished in any major catalogue

Hard to imagine the skill required in those days to to put two thin gold sheets over a bronze inner. Contemporary forgery of 'Clacton' type gold stater circa 70 BC

Celtic AE probably Kentish - boar right, pellet in ring below - ? Horse galloping right

Cunoblein stater hoard with corn and horse design found by Virginia Brian(g)From left to right

CCI 04.0477 'classic A' series, VA 2027-1. Generally believed to have been the last major series of his gold, so probably dating from the 30s AD. There are three or four matches for this particular pair of dies in the CCI, among the c. 100 of the basic type. The decoration at the base of the corn-ear is a bit more showy than usual.

CCI 04.0478 'plastic A' series, VA 2010-3. Believed to have preceded the classic type, so perhaps from c. 25 - 35 AD. About ninety of these are recorded here, and again there are a number of matches for both of these dies, including at least one coin in the British Museum (BMC 1819 in Hobbs's Catalogue of Iron Age coins in the BM).

CCI 04.0479 'linear' series, VA 1925-1. The earliest of these three, perhaps from c. 20 AD, and a little rarer, with about 60 recorded here. Again there is a coin in the BM from the same pair of dies, BMC 1783. There are a couple of rather unusual features to the dies - although not clear on your example because of the position it has been struck, there appears to be no V on the end of CAMV, and there's also a mark - perhaps some kind of privy mark - after the CVN on the reverse, you can just see the top of what looks like a letter I between the N and the horse'sfront legs on your coin.

Gallo-Belgic E stater, c. 56 BC. It's class 2 of the type, listed in Van Arsdell as VA 52. This will be 04.0476 in the CCI.
'Based on the portrait, it appears to be either Didius Julianus or Pertinax. Both emperor's coins are quite rare'.
Cunobelin tribe full stater AD 40 found by Boston Al
Celtic gold 1/4 stater Addedomaros Floral Trinovantes tribe, 30 BC found by Billericay Mark

'CCI No 04.0680 is the quarter stater, VA 1623. Probably an issue of Addedomaros, so similar date to the stater VA 1620, although since there's no inscription we can't be certain. The style of the horse is very like other coins of Addedomaros though so it's a reasonable guess. Just under 60 of these recorded'

Minted by Arcadius, ruled 383 to 408 AD; this coin was issued between 15th May 392 to January 17th 395 and could have a 10% silver content. Found by Cal Charles
(b)

'This is an example of the Clacton 1/4 stater - it's not listed in VA, but there's one in the British Museum catalogue, at BMC 192 (where it's incorrectly attributed to the Corieltauvi). These coins were virtually unknown until the 1980s, but we now have records of more than 50 of them, predominantly from Essex, and it seems certain to be the quarter stater type associated with the full Clacton stater. There is strong Gallo-Belgic influence, as you mention - the obverse seems to be copied from the 'three men in a boat' design found on the imported Gallo-Belgic quarter staters, while the reverse is indeed nearly identical to the Clacton stater type. Its date is probably c. 50 BC.

This one will be in the Index as CCI 04.2136'. found by Manhattan Gary

Dubnovellaunus Late 1st BC to Early 1stC AD Full Celtic gold stater found by Texas Dave

Cunoblein 40AD - 1/4 Gold stater found by Boston Bud

'many thanks for these, they're both very fine coins. The Dubnovellaunus stater is VA 1655-5, and will be CCI 04.2295. We have records of just under 100 of the basic Dubnovellaunus stater type (VA 1650-1655); it can be very difficult to split them further without studying the individual dies, because key motifs such as the inscription are often off the edge of the flan, as here. In fact this example is struck a long way off-centre on the reverse, since it's unusual to see just about the whole of the motif beneath the branch under the horse.

The Cunobelin quarter is rarer. It's actually the so-called 'plastic' type, VA 2017 (CCI 04.2296). The key to its identification is that it's the only Cunobelin type which has CAM CVN on the obverse, rather than the usual CAMV. We have records of just 17 other examples. There are also other, rarer subtypes, which have A or AGR on the reverse coupled with this obverse'.

Celtic Cunbelin bronze 1/4 stater found by Vegas Mike

Celtic Coin Index as 04.264

Morini ' boat tree' type c 70BC Celtic quarter stater

'As you say it is the Morini boat/tree type. The closest catalogue reference would be Van Arsdell 69-1, though as you realize it's not quite the same, but has all those extra little crosses around the boat. This is not particularly uncommon - we have at least 60 or 70 examples of this among the 700 or so of the basic quarter stater type - but it is quite unusual to see them as well displayed as here. It's arguable that this variety ought to be given some sort of separate catalogue entry, but for the time being it falls into the VA 69 bracket.
This one will be CCI 04.2470'

   
 
1stC BC Roman silver coin forgery
'unfortunately, one can't even see if there is
a laurel wreath or diadem that might help with vague dating. My first
impression is that it's post-Constantinian, but that's in the realm of
"clarevoyant attribution" rather than being based on any firm evidence'

Roman Republican denarius, Crawford 390/2

Moneyer:l.Lvcreti Trio, Mint Rome 76 BC

obv:laureate head of neptune facing right with trident over shoulder, behind is a control mark. rev winged boy on dolphin speeding right,below L.LVCRETI border of dots TRIO 3.73g, 18.08 mm.

4thC Roman bronze

'Your coin is a "BEATA TRANQVILLITAS" altar type and appears to be from either London or Trier mint - the exergual mintmark is too vague in your picture to be sure - these date to the early Constantinian era, pre 324 A.D'

 
 
 
 (snr)

"Silvered" AE follis of Constantius I (Constantine the great's father) as Caesar c. 295-305 A.D. The Obverse inscription is (probably) [FL VAL] CONSTANTIVS NOB C - his laureate and cuirassed bust right. The reverse inscription is GENIO POPVLI ROMANI "(To) the genius (spirit) of the Roman People" with Genius standing left holding a patera in his right hand and a cornucopia in his left. Unfortunately, I can't make out the mintmark - in the exergual space on reverse - under the "ground line" upon which Genius stands - so I can't give you a definitive attribution - if you can make out letters in this area, let me know and I'll give you RIC # and exact dates.
 

'The series in general is universal, ie: this type was struck at all mints in the empire for several years during a general re-tooling of the money system - so in great numbers, but certain officinae at certain mints striking for certain personages may be considered common, scarce or rare. It's certainly "important" in its greater British context since Constantius' victories in the area were instrumental in getting him promoted to the Tetrarchy in the first place, and by extension, his son Constantine the Great and his whole brood who would dominate the scene for the next 50 '

 
 Information kindly supplied by Mark from the UAC
 

Addedomaros 37 - 33 BC found by Dakota Dennis

'a very nice example of the Addedomaros spiral stater, VA 1620. Lots of them about now (150 plus) but this is a very decent example - though as usual without a trace of the reverse inscription, all off the edge of the flan. VA's dating is a bit unrealistic, I would suggest anywhere between 45 and 30 BC, but certainly a little later than the Gallo-Belgic stater you recorded before. This one will be CCI 05.0196.

'This appears at first glance to one of two possible coins - either an early Byzantine-era pentanummium (c. 525 A.D.), or a fragment (or barbarous imitation) of a centenionalis of Constantius II or Magnentius (c. 350-355
A.D.) with a large Chi-Rho (X + P) monogram style Christian symbol on the reverse'.

GLORIA EXERCITVS - soldiers flanking single
legionary standard - of some member of the family of Constantine and so
dates to about 335-340 A.D
'Tetricus I, 270-273 A.D. and appears to be Spes
advancing left holding flower and hitching skirt - Cf. Sear RCV, 3181
'

Large Roman in great shape 11.97g - 30mm Neronian VICTORIA AVGVSTI S C dupondius

'It would date to 50 AD to 68 AD based on date of minting but keep in mind that by the time the coin traveled all the way to Britain and acquired as much wear as it enjoys, it was probably deposited in that field where your guy found it 20 to 30 years later and possibly as late as Hadrian's time (117 AD plus.) (These things circulated a long time sometimes.)

The rarity of the coin is certainly in the "scarce" category'

Chicago Ron's 2nd full Celtic stater

5.30g 16mm

CCI 05.0267

Chicago Keith's and Chicago Ron's full Celtic staters

Left example 5.64g 16mm CCI 05.0212
Right example 5.54 g 17mm CCI 05.0213

Addedomaros type 45- 30 BC 17mm 5.50g not in any major reference book Canadian Rod

'This will be CCI 05.0283. What is unusual about it is that the reverse is struck quite far off-centre, so that much more of the inscription is visible than is usually the case. Although the initial A of Addedomaros is not visible (at least I can't make it out on this image), what you can see then reads DDIID working clockwise round the top of the horse - with the first two Ds represented by the Greek letter theta (so with a bar across the middle), then the II representing the fourth letter, E, then a conventional D for the next letter. And obviously the rest of the inscription would carry on round in front of the horse's head and beneath the cornucopia under the horse. It is more common to see these coins offstruck so that the lower part of the design is visible, and relatively very rare to see the early part of the inscription as you can here'.

CCI 05.0283

Addedomaros 45- 30 BC found by Mass Linda 19 mm 5.45g

CCI 05.0285

Addedomaros 45- 30 BC found by Canadian Rod 17mm 5.42g sent to CCI for logging

Addedomaros 45- 30 BC found by Mass Linda 18 mm 5.62 g

CCI 05.0286

Addedomaros type 45- 30 BC - 5.53g 18mm

Veggie Mike

CCI 05.0290

Addedomaros type 45- 30 BC 5.62g 17mm

Mass Linda

CCI 05.0291

Addedomaros type 45- 30 BC 5.63g17mm

Mass Bruce

'The 'burnt' one is curious, can't really tell whether a lot of that will clean off or not from the image. It's interesting that so far, most of the coins are really quite worn - which suggests that these coins had been around for a while before they were buried. So subject to further finds etc, at the moment I'd guess a burial date somewhere round 20 BC, perhaps even a few years later'.

CCI 05.0293

Addedomaros type 45- 30 BC 5.57g 16mm

Mass Bruce

CCI 05.0292

'local imitation of a Nero ANNONA AVGVSTA CERES sestertius in very crude style - the portrait less so than the reverse. The portrait looks like Nero, but he had a fairly limited group of reverse types and the only likely possibility for a standing figure next to a seated(?) one is the Annona type'.
3rd century product - of excellent style - although you show the reverse rotated 90 or so degrees clockwise - it may also be unofficial, but the relief is unusually high for a "barbarous radiate". The reverse is probably meant to be a peacock flying right with a person riding it - this is a memorial style, the peacock bearing the person off to "heaven" or wherever. Say around 260-275 A.D. (?) I believe would be a safe guess. I think there are coins struck posthumously for Valerian by Gallienus with this reverse, I know there was a type or two Valerian struck for his late wife Mariniana with a similar reverse, but that's no woman on the obverse and women were never portrayed with radiate crown. This is problematic, because at the time of Gallienus, Britain was part of the Gallic empire, so you might need to look under listings for Postumus or his successors to find a closer match
'This coin seems to be an official, though highly worn sestertius of either Vespasian or Titus - I think I can see "VES.." in the obverse inscription from about 9:00-10:00. Since they both were portrayed looking nearly alike and Titus used VESP in his inscriptions, it would be difficult to say which of the two it is from your photo, but you could fairly safely date this to the 60's & 70's A.D'.

Trinovantes Clacton Celtic gold 1/4 stater 50 BC 1.29g 14mm CCI 05.296

'yet another very interesting coin. This is a Clacton quarter stater, unlisted in Van Arsdell but in the British Museum catalogue (in the wrong place, with the Corieltauvi) as BMC 192, and in 'Coins of England' as no. 42. These coins were almost unknown in the late 1980s, but there are now about 60 of them recorded here, mostly from Essex and Suffolk. The reverse design is basically the same as the better-known Clacton stater (VA 1455), while the obverse has yet another interpretation of the three men in a boat design, here with two 'men', and sometimes looking like a human face. Unfortunately not readily visible on this one, though you should be able to pick out the outline of the boat.

Of those 60 or so examples, possibly as few as two are struck from the same reverse die as this coin, which has several large flaws and is probably from late in the series (as the use of a nearly plain obverse die also suggests). Both of the earlier two coins came from Suffolk, one from Ipswich and the other near Alderton. The type probably dates to c. 50 BC and was definitely a production of the Trinovantes.

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold coin 5.58g, 15.72mm CCI 05.0752 found by Mass Bruce
Morini ' boat tree' type c 70BC Celtic quarter stater 1.41g, 11.0 mm sent to CCI for logging found by Atlanta Mike

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold full stater found by Texas Gary

5.45g, 18.78 mm

'thanks very much for these, nice to see another Addedomaros after a gap of a few weeks! This one will be CCI 05.0749. The obverse is good, looks like one of the earlier dies in the series with the pellets between the arms. It's interesting that this one is that much further from the bulk of the other coins; it still fascinates and puzzles me, trying to work out exactly what sort of site you've got there, or what the precise pattern is behind the deposition of the coins'.

Celtic gold 1/4 stater of the Cunoblein tribe 1stC BC to 40AD.(Biga type) head facing left found by Wis Paul

1.38g, 10.89 mm

 

'another cracking little coin. It is the biga type as you say, still quite rare: we have just over 20 of the quarter recorded. I had hoped to have a look at the dies in comparison to the rest of the coins in Oxford this morning, but ran out of time and I'm now back in Guernsey again. That'll have to wait a while, but in the meantime it looks as though it's one of the later strikings of this type, because of the simplified CAMVL inscription on the obverse. The earliest examples have each letter very clearly defined, but they soon merge into what looks almost like a zigzag on some coins.

Saying it's a 'late striking' is all relative of course: it's possible that the biga type was struck over a very short period, perhaps even just months and certainly unlikely to be more than say five years or so, sometime around 8 - 13 AD I would estimate. It'll be CCI 05.0688

Chicago Ron's 'Snettisham' type ? Celtic gold full stater 5.85g - 17.05mm

'Having seen this one I've had to think again about 05.0680, the Whaddon Chase type I wrote about earlier. Although quite different in their individual style these are probably both the same variety of WC stater, actually listed as VA 1498. This is a rather puzzling type because it's not clear whether it really belongs to the WC group or - as you suggested - the Snettisham type. There are 18 examples of it here and those with findspots are a mixture of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk - on that basis it could arguably be either WC or Snettisham. In terms of style, they are perhaps among the very last WC staters rather than being the first Snettisham, which appear to have been based on the Whaddon Chase design. In terms of date this might only be a difference of a few months, and almost certainly not more than a few years, so it's perhaps unreasonable to expect we'll be able to tie it down quite so neatly. CCI 05.0687'.

Wis Dave's 1/4 Uninscribed Celtic gold stater 1.43g, 12.98mm

'Yes, this is interesting. It's an uninscribed quarter stater, traditionally attributed to the Atrebates (in the South Thames) but almost certainly a North Thames issue. We have records of about 25 of them, and without exception they've come from the North Thames area: it was previously attributed to the Atrebates because of the style, which resembles their uninscribed quarter staters with a wreath on the obverse. The date of this quarter would be around c. 45 BC, I would estimate, so like the Whaddon Chase it could be just a little earlier than the Addedomaros coins. It is catalogued in Van Arsdell as VA 260-1, but not only wrongly as Atrebates but also listed as silver. Many of the surviving examples are struck from the same pair of dies, which develop some fairly major flaws, especially on the reverse; the lack of many dies suggests this wasn't a very big issue, in comparison to the Addedomaros spiral for example.

If I remember rightly there are one or two examples of this type in the huge East Leicestershire hoards which came up about 3 years ago, but mostly they're Essex/Suffolk area. This'll be CCI 05.0683'.

Ark Gary's second 45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold stater 5.50g, 16.35mm

CCI 05.0679

Illinois Tim's 45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold stater 5.63g, 17.96mm

CCI 05.0678

Chicago Ron's Celtic gold stater 'Whadden Chase' type 5.95g, 17.68 mm

The Whaddon Chase stater (yes, it is that type) will be CCI 05.0680. These coins are probably not very much earlier than the Addedomaros staters - it all depends really on when one dates the Addedomaros issue. It seems fairly certain that the Whaddon Chase staters could be from the later stages of the Gallic War, say about 54 BC at the earliest; they could be a little bit later, but are unlikely to be after say 40 BC at the very latest. If Addedomaros's spiral staters are his latest stater issues, then they could be somewhere around 30-25 BC, so perhaps up to 25 years later than Whaddon Chase. It just depends where each type fits, and we don't have an exact idea. I suppose it's true to say though that there is almost certainly a minimum of ten years between them, and more likely 20.

One of my colleagues recently suggested that the WC staters were issued by Cassivellaunus, to pay off Caesar during the Gallic War. They certainly seem to be found mostly in the territory of the Catuvellauni (so this one would be a bit further east than usual . The main catalogue reference for this type is VA 1476 in Van Arsdell's 'Celtic Coinage of Britain'. They're relatively common (300 or so recorded) but a lot of these are finds from the original WC hoard, found in Bucks in 1849.

Ark Gary's 45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold stater 5.55g, 16.02mm sent to CCI for recording

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold full stater 5.51g - 19.05 mm found by Ohio Mike

This one will be CCI 05.0667.

As you say, a very well-used reverse die. I think I recognize the die - after looking at these quite intensively over the last year or two, the individual dies start to become recognizable. The obverse is on the other hand pretty sharp, and must have been struck from a fairly fresh die.'

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold full stater found by Florida Don

'this one's a real cracker!

Certainly one of the best I've recorded in recent years, with just a little wear, as you say. The quality of the engraving is also extremely high - I'm sure these must have been among the first dies engraved for this type. The horse's muzzles which I mentioned last time are particularly neat here, it's really unusual to see them quite so clearly. I also suspect, though I haven't worked out how to prove it yet, that the coins with the pellets between the spiral arms are the earlier examples of this type.

I'll record this one as CCI 05.0655'

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold full stater found by Ark Gary

'Well, this is a nice one, and as you say with those intriguing symbols above the horse visible. What they seem to be is three horse's muzzles - on some dies they are virtually identical to the muzzle actually on the horse. Curiously, at roughly the same time that Addedomaros was using this motif on his staters, so was Commios, down in Hampshire. In fact since Commios is generally dated a little earlier than Addedomaros, it's not impossible that the latter encountered one of Commios's staters and decided to copy this feature. It quite often appears blundered, which suggests that the die engravers didn't always know what they were looking at. I'll record this one as CCI 05.0603, and I look forward to more!

'VA 2029, one of the rarest of Cunobelin's stater types with the left-facing classic style horse. We have just thirteen others of this type recorded; this one will be CCI 05.0666'.
Celtic quarter stater Gallo Belgic 70 BC found by Canadian Rod VA 69-1
CCI 03.0203
#That would be "ARA PACIS" The Altar of Peace. It's just a large, squarish object that corresponds pretty well to the blob on your coin. Positive ID for Nero. According to RIC, the years the type was minted were 65 & 66 A.D. and only at Lugdunum (modern Lyon). Some sub-types are considered "common" some less so, but I doubt we'll ever be able to read enough of the obverse inscription to say more than that it's the ARA PACIS type'.

Mark

4thC Valens - 364-378 A.D Roman bronze with the info supplied by Mark at the URF

'That is the emperor Valens - 364-378 A.D. Obverse inscription DN VALENS PF AVG diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right. The SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE AE3's of him and his brother are very, very common. His brother Valentinian I who pre-deceased him in 375 due to not waiting four hours for brother Valens to arrive, hoping to claim the "glory" for his imagined "victory" at Hadrianople for himself, is one of the classic hubris stories of the later Empire. Valentinian and hiis legions were ridded down by the Gothic cavalry employing their new invention - the stirrip - and anihilated. One of the greatest disasters to befall the Empire at this time I can't make out the mintmark on the reverse - perhaps some cleaning would reveal sufficient tops of letters in the exergue to tell you what mint produced this piece.

The Victory reverse is interesting in that it appears at the time the iconography was shifting from the Classical deity Victory to the Christian angel symbology - but at this time is still to be interpreted as Victory advancing left carrying wreath and palm.'

4thC Roman bronze - Comments from Mark Lehman

'That's an easy one - up to a point. It's Constantius II, (377-361 A.D.) DN CONSTANTIVS PF AVG. Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right. The reverse type is FEL TEMP REPARATIO - roughly translated as "Happy days are here again". The reverse shows a soldier advancing left, spearing a fallen horseman. As inappropriate as this juxtaposition of legend and scene might seem, the thought that foot-soldiers could unhorse and kill "barbarian" cavalry was comforting enough to those for whom this propaganda type was issued.
This series was current from about 250-260 A.D. and these "AE3's" (medium sized bronzes, 17-22mm) are among the very most common Roman coins known - however, they're not so common in Britain, I suppose, since Roman involvement in Britain was about done-for by that time. Unfortunately there isn't enough visible in the exergue (space below the "ground line") on the reverse to be able to tell the mint from which this specimen comes, although it looks like it might become visible with careful cleaning'.

GLORIA EXERCITVS - 2 soldiers standing, facing, holding spears in outside hands and leaning inside hands on shields, flanking a single legionary standard with a chi-rho Christogram on it
As you probably noticed, there is almost no legend on the obverse. All that ever made it onto this undersized flan is the "...B C" at 4:00 or so - and it's too bad, too, because the detail of the coin is so good and crisp otherwise - but the legend never made it onto this coin in the first place - the flan was too small for the dies. The "...B C" indicates that it was struck for someone before they had become emperor. Unfortunately, there are 4 suspects and we will never be able to be completely sure which it is. Three of Constantine the Great's sons:
Constantine II
Constans &
Constantius II,
also:
Delmatius - a cousin - but Delmatius is pretty rare, and it's fairly unlikely that's who it is.
All four used this reverse in the 335-337 A.D. time-frame.
My best guess is that it's Constans because his shorter name could account for the seemingly broad spacing of the couple of extant letters.

FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C
FL IVL DELMATIVS NOB C
FL CONSTANS NOB C

are the most common forms of their names for this series. Also, unfortunately, the exergue similarly failed to make it onto the coin, so I can't tell you at which of the myriad of operating mints it was struck, either.

Info supplied by Mark Lehman

'In your photos, I can't make out any of the obverse legend or even see a clear profile of the portrait. My guess, from what little I can see is that it might be Antonine-era: c. 140-180 A.D. The reverse has a "generic" standing female personification holding a cornucopia in her left arm, and I'm not altogether sure what she's holding in her right. A scepter, a long torch, a caduceus, a standard - any of those are possible, and with only a couple of letters visible, we could only tell which personification it's meant to be by the "attributes" - what she holds, that is. The S - C in the lower fields could be found on just about any Imperial AE of the era - it merely means the Emperor was paying lipservice to the powerless Senate by saying the bronze was issued ex senatus consultio - by the permission of the Senate.

As I keep writing and looking at the picture of the reverse, I'm starting to think it might be: PAX AVG - although the spacing of the letters is a little odd - usually they would spread the letters out more to take advantage of all the space. And really, a laundry-list of TR P's, COS's, and IMP's is far more usual for a reverse legend at this time. Very useful, when clearly readable, for dating the coin to a particular year or even month, in some cases.
Even if it is Pax, that tells us little. These reverses were dictated by the Imperial propaganda-machine and every emperor who ever fought a war (IOW, every emperor) used some form of the Pax reverse either to declare victory, or as wishful thinking.

When and if the obverse ever cleans up a little better - or if you can get a better angle of light that shows the profile to better advantage, please let me know the diameter in mm and I'll make a better stab at the ID for you'.

Info supplied by Mark Lehman

'It's almost certainly 3rd century by the radiate crown on the obverse - it looks nothing like a 4th century "post-reform radiate". I'm not making out any legends or the reverse type on that one, either. What is the diameter in mm? I'd say, depending on diameter, that it's either an official antoninianus from the darkest hour of the Empire - Gallienus-Claudius Gothicus - 260-270 A.D. or a contemporary (so-called "barbarous radiate", although I dislike that term - the folks who made and used them were no more barbarians than the Italians) imitative radiate'

Info form Mark at the URF.

'The "celticbronze" is actually an early Roman Provincial As or Semis from Spain - Costulo, I believe. That's probably a bull on it. This could belong to either what's know as the "Romano-Celtiberian" series from the time of the Republic (2dn-1st centuries B.C.) or could be as late as Augustus/Tiberius in the 1st century A.D'.

300-305 A.D Maximian - Constantius I

'These are both folles (sing.- follis, plural-folles) dating from approximately 300-305 A.D. Both from the Mint at London which eschewed exergual mintmarks during this era.
The first is Maximian, the second, Constantius I - father-in-law and father of Constantine the Great respectively. These both have the GENIO POPVLI ROMANI reverse portraying the "Genius" (spirit, roughly) of the Roman People as an allegorical personification of a nude man, drapery over left arm, holding a patera (shallow, saucer-like libation-offering dish) and cornucopia.

Maximian's obverse legend is: IMP C MAXIMIANVS PF AVG. He is laureate and cuirassed.

Constantius' obverse legend is FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, noting that his status was less than Imperial at this time - he would briefely be emperor before dying of illness in Britain in 307. He is also laureate and cuirassed.

I would assign Maximian to RIC VI, London 17, and Constantius to 22 of the same series.

Both these coins originally had a silvery wash over the copper to indicate that they were to be considered part of the silver series. The Maximian is rated "Common", Constantius "Scarce" in RIC, but both are in exceptional condition (as I'm sure you're aware) particularly for field-finds in England. I would limit any cleaning to a bare minimum on these, exposing only the highlights of legend and devices, leaving the fields encrusted for contrast - "earthen highlights" - common for mideast finds, this would be brilliantly unusual for native, British coins.

Nice pair of finds, guys!!

Mark


'This is not from the same era as the last two, rather about 30 years later, despite the similar overall look of patina and encrustation. This one is a CONSTANTINOPOLIS commemorative. The reverse has Victory on a ship's prow and no legend. When Constantine moved his capital to Byzantium and changed the name, there was a very large emission of coins from all mints with the allegorical personifications of either Constantinople or Rome instead of the usual royal portrait. Your piece is from the second officina at the mint of Trier, 330-331 A.D. RIC VII, Trier, # 530 - considered very common' Mark

Huge Roman Sestertius
19.11g, 31.1 mm

'A little tough to be sure from the images, but I believe that's Faustina II, the wife of Marcus Aurelius. If you rotate the obverse image 90 degrees clockwise, you see the characteristic hair-bun at the back of her neck. also, what's visible of the legend is probably: FA [VST] INA AVGVS [TA]. I can't really tell who the personification on the reverse might be. She was married to M. Aurelius in 145 A.D. and died in 175 A.D., So if this isn't a "DIVA" posthmous type, and it doesn't seem to be the sort struck under Antoninus Pius, this would date to 161-175 A.D.

I have never heard of "Memoriae Damnatio" on a coin of Faustina - but perhaps in Britain things were different? I'm thinking perhaps this might have something to do with the Antonine Wall? Or some campaign during the time of M. Aurelius that was very unpopular?'

'This is an AE sestertius of Faustina Jr., Wife of Marcus Aurelius, issued after her death in 175 A.D. She died while accompanying her husband on a journey to the East.

The obverse legend should be: DIVA FAVSTINA PIA and as far as I can tell, the reverse is: AETERNITAS S - C with Aeternitas standing left, holding phoenix on globe and leaning on column, RIC III, 1693

A very interesting find - too bad it's laminating so badly'.

Mark Lehman

Possible Roman lead token

70BC Morini 'boat tree' Celtic gold 1/4 stater 1.45g, 11.61mm CCI 06.0187

'many thanks for these. The Gallo-Belgic 'boat tree' quarter will be CCI 06.0187, and the Clacton quarter 06.0188.

The G-B quarter is a lovely coin, looks very sharp. There is a distinctive class of these which have all the little crosses around the 'boat' - they're not uncommon, but not always as nice as this.

The Clacton quarter is one of those where the wear on the obverse makes it look as though there's a face - and perhaps the Celts who saw the coin thought that too, although it is based on the same boat that appears on the Gallo-Belgic coin. Again it's not particularly rare, at least not anymore - there are a good dozen or more from this obverse die, and probably this reverse too although it's difficult to be sure from this image'.

50BC Trinovantes Celtic gold (Clacton type)1/4 stater - 1.13g, 13.71g CCI 06.0188

50BC Gallo Belgic Celtic gold stater 6.24g - 16.58mm CCI 06.0190

North Thames type Celtic gold stater 5.54g - 16.93

 

'many thanks for this one, a rare one indeed. It's an example of VA 1509, also in the BM catalogue (BMC 350) and no. 34 in 'Coins of England'. It usually has a couple of S shapes on the obverse, although I can't see any traces of them here - the obverse is sometimes worn though. It seems to be a North Thames type, to judge from the few provenances available, but there are only six examples previously recorded so it is a rare type. I would guess quite early too, perhaps 40s BC. Certainly one of the best Celtic you've had so far, thanks! It'll be CCI 06.0195'.

cheers
Philip

Roman 1 - 2.20g, 19,14mm - Roman 2 - 0.92g, 12.43mm

Roman 1 'small-module follis of one of the members of the family of Constantine - and a perfect example of what I refer to as "Murphy's Law of Ancient Coin Legends" - the part that is most important, if there's any question who it is, will be the part that is missing. I can easily say who it isn't - it's neither Constans (wrong letter on the end) nor Constantius II (too early) - what I can read on the obverse is "...ONSTANTI.." but this could be either Constantine I or II. The reverse is the "SOLI INVICTO COMITI" type and shows radiate Sol standing left raising hand and holding a globe. It's from Lugdunum by the prominent "L" in the exergue (SLG, probably), and, looking in RIC, I see from the S - F fieldmarks that it's too early at 313-14 A.D.to be Constantine II.'

Roman 2 'I am not going to be able to tell you who or where-from on this one - but your reverse image was upside-down again. It's a GLORIA EXERCITVS (Glory of the Armies) with 2 soldiers, holding spears in outer hands and resting inner hands on shields, flanking 2 legionary standards. The 2-standard type are the earlier form with this legend and date to 330-335 or so. Again, it's a member of the family of Constantine - could even be Constantine himself, but there doesn't appear to be any usable legend on the obverse of this one at all'.

Mar

That one's easy - that's a Constantinopolis city-commemorative. When Constantine the Great moved his capitol from Rome to his newly-rebuilt city of Constantinople, there was a large series of parallel "Urbs Roma" (to help appease "jilted" Romans) and "Constantinopolis" coins issued from all mints. Originally issued around 330 in great quantities, then declining in size and numbers, they were revived after Constantine's death in 337 when the succession was somewhat in doubt - so that individual mints didn't have to declare for the various contenders. As small as your is, it probably dates to just before or sometime in the decade after Constantine's death.

Your coin shows the allegorical personification of the city of Constantinople on the obverse, helmeted and with spear over shoulder and had the legend made it onto the undersized flan, would have read CONSTANTINOPOLIS. The reverse, anepigraphic but for the exergual mint mark, shows Victory on prow of a ship left. In your specimen, Victory holds an unusually prominent palm-branch (I think) - usually, she holds a spear and leans on a shield.

Mark

What I can tell you, despite the lack of detail, is that this is a dupondius of Trajan, 98-117 A.D. Luckily, in the early 2nd century A.D. the Romans were still doing high-quality, representational work and Trajan's profile is unmistakeable. The denomination, "dupondius" (two asses) is indicated by the spiky, radiate crown of Sol - by this time, any coin displaying this sort of headgear can be assumed to be a double-denomination. particularly since the "S" of the obligatory "S - C" (Senatus Consultio - "by consent of the Senate" - an official and fondly held myth that the Senate still had any say in matters like the small-change supply at this point in the Imperium) virtually all imperial AE's carried seems to be in the correct position this way. I still can't quite make out who or what is being portrayed here, and since Trajan was around for quite a while - nearly 20 years - there are literally hundreds of possible reverse types for dupondii. A complete WAG might be Hilaritas, who is usually portrayed holding a long palm branch.

Mark
   
 
Vespasian AD 69-79
Antoninianus of Carausius.
Septimius Severus 193-214 AD Denarius debased silver (b) found by Arkansas Gary
Constantine III AD 407-411
Bronze Sestertius Marcus Aurelius 161-180 AD
This time you have two unofficial coins. I've been trying to move away from the term "barbarous" in describing these because it's an outmoded and rather pejoritive term coined by elitists of an earlier age - as in "Barbarous Radiate" - when, in reality, the folks who made and used these coins were no more barbarous than those who made and used the coins they imitate. But whether you use the term "Contemporary Counterfeit", "Unofficial Imitative", "Ancient Forgery, or "Barbarous Radiate", that's what the first one is. I can't tell from your photo whether the radiate portrait is bearded or not, but the prototype for this coin would most likely have been an official, Gallic Empire antoninianus of Tetricus I or II - "Dad" being bearded, and "Junior", clean-shaven. At this size and weight, adequate for even an official coin of the era, it is unusual to see such crude and illiterate work - that usually appears on the smaller ones which didn't try nearly so hard to imitate the prototypes in general.
Whether these were counterfeits made to decieve (seems unlikely dunnit? what with this level of workmanship), filled a general need for coin in an era of chaos when official coin was unavailable, were the equivalent of "Plantation Tokens" - scrip used in large Latifundia - farming estates - and/or were meant to be exchangeable for regal coin when it became available again - well, we just don't know. They might have filled any of these functions, all of them, or "none of the above". At any rate, the prototype for this specimen, as far as I can tell, was the SPES AVG type common to all the Gallic Emperors. This shows Spes - allegorical personification of "Hope" - advancing left, holding a flower and hitching the hem of her skirt. If the bust proves to be beardless, you can say it was copied (loosely) from Tetricus II, if bearded, it could copy, in about this order, Tetricus I, Victorinus, Postumus, or - far less likely - Laelianus or Marius, both of whom were extremely short-lived.

The second, broken one is also probably unofficial. It's a bit harder with the coins of the Severans to be certain. The prototype, if it's not actually official, is a denarius of Septimius Severus dating to about 211 A.D.
The coin, were it whole, should read "SEVERVS PIVS AVG" on the obverse and "P M TR P XVIII COS III PP" and shows Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and scepter, between two children (Caracalla and Geta, presumably) - RIC 233, RSC 539.
This one is a bit more problematic to tell whether or not it's official. You say it's AE, right? The Severan denarii underwent significant debasement so that some issues of even irrefutably official specimens may appear to be billon or even AE after millennia in the ground. There also exists a significant body of high-quality copies in AE, some lightly silvered, which seem to be unofficial. Since these have been appearing in larger numbers in recent years since the use of metal detectors has become commonplace, particularly in Eastern Europe, they have been - probably wrongly - conflated with the "Limes Falsa" lightweight, crude AE's in imitation of the AE types of the 1st and earlier 2nd centuries A.D. found along the "Limes" or borders of the Empire. The name "Limes Denarius", although a misnomer, has been applied to these so often that it has stuck. Here again, although we know that these AE denarii are more or less faithful copies of silver prototypes, and we know that they were both struck and cast in various places - we even have numerous molds and forgers' dies - we don't understand the role, if any, they may have played in the official monetary system. Were they copies made by semi-Romanized folks just outside the reach of empire? - folks who had become accustomed to the use of coin but who did not have access to official supplies? Were they a form of military scrip meant to keep large quantities of precious metal from falling into enemy hands in the event of a defeat - and presumably redeemable in good coin at some future date? Were they out-and-out counterfeits? Were they particularly debased official issues? (well, the cast ones probably weren't) Or did they fill some, as-yet unknown function? They might have done any or all of these at various times and places.
Or, your coin might just be lower-grade silver and completely official.

Mark

'That, my friend, is a "Judea Capta" As of Vespasian - a highly desirable coin in any identifiable condition - what a find for digging in one's garden!. It commemorates the final putting down of the 1st Revolt in Judea (Masada, and all that, the burning of Solomon's Temple, etc, etc, the Jews carried off in bondage to Rome to build the Coliseum financed by the treasures of Jerusalem, etc, etc.) - a job finished by Vespasian's son Titus after Vespasian was called-away from the effort to restore order and become emperor in the chaos in Rome following Nero's demise.
Although this is not, generally speaking, a "rare" general type by any means, it is highly sought-after by "crossover" folks - ie: people who have little to no other interest in ancient or Roman coins want one because of its "Biblical" or "Judaic" references.

This one appears to be in pretty nice shape for a British ground-find and it makes me wonder if it might not be a collector's piece that had been lost in more recent times. I would advise great care in its cleaning and restoration - please advise your friend not to have at it with Brillo or anything, OK? - this is a potentially fairly valuable piece.

Your obverse image is a bit blurry, but so far as I can see, the complete legend should be something like:
IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III (or IIII?) for Vespasian's 3rd (or 4th) consulship putting it in 71 or 72-3 A.D. The reverse has an odd (but not unknown) variant legend and spelling of IVDEA rather IVDAEA or IVDAEA CAPTA which are more commonly seen.

I thought I was going to be able to easily rip-out an RIC reference for you on this one, but after spending some significant time with the book, I don't find this exact type listed - at all. The reverse of Jewess seated right, trophy behind, is common enough for denarii, but not for larger AE's which usually have the Jewess seated by a palm tree with a variety of adjunct figures or impedimentia. I have sent photos to a couple of folks I suspect might have a clue, and when (or if) I get a reply, I'll let you know.

A very interesting find no matter what, and potentially a very important one if it is a hitherto uncataloged type'.

Mark

'perhaps after a bit of cleaning might allow a somewhat more accurate ID, I believe the first one is a FEL TEMP REPARATIO from the late 350's, early 360's A.D. - most likely Constantius II - The posture of the soldier leaning left into the spear with which he is dispatching the unhorsed persian/barbarian is unmistakable.

12.74mm,2.1g

Roman bronze likely to be Marcus Aurelius (particularly as Caesar under Antoninus Pius) Lucius Verus, Commodus or Septimius Severus. Most likely, I think, would be Aurelius. His dates as Caesar run from 138-161 A.D. and as Augustus from 161-180'

22.63mm,4.76g

This is what has normally been referred to as a "Barbarous Radiate" - and I say "normally referred to" because I really don't like the term. Too many people lack the semantic subtlty to distinguish the difference between "Barbarous" (referring to style) and "Barbaric", thinking, perhaps, that Conan, Korgoth and their buddies are the source of this sort of material.
Personally, I am trying to replace the term "Barbarous" - with all its pejoritive Victorian assumptions and prejudices about artistic style - with terms like "Imitative" or "Contemporary Copy" that are not quite so value-loaded. Although we are not certain why, precisely, imitative coins appeared in great numbers in several eras, I think it's safe to assume that neither the people who made nor used these were barbarians by any rational definition.
There are many theories and little hard evidence to the precise "why" of these coins - some better, some worse imitations of common, circulating Roman issues, but the "where and when" are both fairly clear - at the borders of Empire and approximately contemporaneous with their prototypes. One of the most fertile places and times for their production was mid-late 3rd century Britain and northern Gaul - during the time of the Gallic Roman Empire founded when Postumus split away from Valerian and Gallienus' tottering central Roman administration.
This coins seems to have used a billon antoninianus of Tetricus I as its prototype. Since all we have for legend is "IMP........PF AVG" and a bearded portrait, it could also have been in imitation of several other folks - since all the Gallic emperors struck PAX AVG types. Indeed the Pax Avg type was the most common type among both the official and imitative coinages, and Tetricus' ants were the most commonly copied.
Typically smaller and somewhat cruder (some have blundered or totally illiterate legends although some are as good as or better than their prototypes), these may have been emergency issues to replace dwindling stocks of regal coin when it became unavailable, they may have been "plantation tokens" on lage latifundia - meant to be circulated only locally and/or to be redeemed in regal coin. Or they may have been out-and-out counterfiets, made to deceive - however this seems unlikely since they are typically so much smaller and cruder than their prototypes.

This piece is of fairly good size (these are found down to 8 or 10 mm diameter) and style, and might even be a crude official piece, but I strongly suspect it is a contemporary copy.

Mark
'Given the size, weight and portrait, that would be an As of either Marcus Aurelius or his son Commodus - of recent, if not particularly historically accurate fame from the movie "Gladiator".Without at least a few letters of legend to try to hang the ID upon, I'd say it's somewhat more likely to be Aurelius. Their years:Marcus Aurelius - 161-180 A.D.Commodus - 177-192 A.D. (but to have this, more mature portrait, if this coin is Commodus, it must be from the later part of his reign.

The reverse lacks the crucial bits that would show what the figure standing on the reverse is holding or doing. Whatever this might be, it seems to be taking place over an altar, so reasonable guesses might be Salus feeding her pet snake or Pietas sprinkling incense'.


Mark

Large Roman bronze sent to our expert for ID
'That's a reduced-module follis of Constantine I, "The Great". The reverse reads: SOLI INVICTO COMITI and shows Sol, radiate, standing left raising his right hand hand and holding a globe in his left. I can't quite read the exergual mintmark in your photo, but from the field-letters S - F, and the clear "N" at the end of the exergual string, it must be MLN - for Mint of London, emission of late 315-early 316 A.D.

The obverse is not clear enough to be certain which of many possible legend-variants it bears, but I think it's CONSTANTINVS AVG - which would make this RIC VII, London, # 43 (however, I could be wrong on the letter-count and it could be anywhere from # 43 through # 49) - rated "R2" - meaning that only about 7-10 specimens were known in major collections at the time of the book's publication in 1966 (but all the S-F/MLN's are rated "scarce", at least, for frequency)

There are many folks who agressively collect products of the London mint, so this is one of the more desirable "common Constantinians" you have shown me'.

Mark
2.42g, 20.46mm
   
   
No, it's not "Barbarous", it's an official issue of Rome - and more interesting speculating how it got to Britain for this, since it's Gallienus - almost certainly dating to his sole reign, 260-268 A.D. after the capture of his co-regnal father, Valerian I, by the Persians. Britain and Northern Europe were part of the break-away Gallic Empire at the time, most likely under Postumus. Unfortunately very little legend remains on that specimen to help pin it down specifically, and Gallienus had, by far, the largest and most varied number of coin-types in the 3rd century. That appears to be a centaur, left, so my best guess would be that the reverse legend should be: APOLLINI CONS AVG - a large series which included a number of mythical creatures as the reverses.

Mark

Trinovantes Clacton type Celtic gold 1/4 stater 50BC 1.28g, 13.72mm

06.0492. Not much I can say about these except that the second one is probably the later of the two, struck from a rather more stylized reverse die. But 'later' in this context might only be a matter of days or weeks, I don't think these coins were struck over a very long period'.

Trinovantes Clacton type Celtic gold 1/4 stater 50BC 1.26g, 14.04mm

CCI 06.0491

Your sestertius is of Marcus Aurelius, 161-180 A.D. I can't make out any of the legends nor can I be certain which allegorical personification is on the reverse, although I'd make a guess at Pietas standing before a short, lighted altar and holding incense box. Withouth the details a clear reading of the obverse legend would afford, I can't zero-in on the exact time-frame. It's too bad, too, because usually these have a "laundry list" of titles which will allow them to be dated to within a year or two.

'Although I can't be certain about the reverse type, this is obviously a sestertius of Hadrian - 117-138 A.D. The obverse legend of: [HADRIANVS] AVG COS III PP places it among his later issues since he only held the PP title post 128 A.D. and this legend is specific to 134-138 A.D. If, as I think is likely, the reverse is "PAX AVG S - C" it dates to around 135 A.D. However, there are several other standing figures holing cornucompaie that it might be - if we could get a few letters of the reverse legend, I oculd pin it down more specifically'.

Mark

20,96g , 28.77mm dia x 4.56mm t

1stC AD Roman bronze

28.44mm, 12.87g

The quick answer is that it's Trajan, 97-117 A.D. (Hadrian's predecessor) and so has every good reason to be in Britain. Given the diameter and weight, it would be an As - also, although perhaps just a tad heavy for an As at nearly 13gm, I see no traces of the radiate crown which would indicate that it was a Dupondius (2 Asses).
Now, on the downside (for the ID) - Trajan reigned for 20 years during a time of exceptional internal peace and prosperity in the Roman Empire.
During Trajan's reign, the Empire achieved its largest size, measured in geographical area His reign saw literally thousands of different types of coins struck, most of which circulated until they were worn smooth, this being the era of the "Adoptive Emperors" with financial stability for nearly a full century enabling these coins to stay in crculation so long. Many call this the "Golden Age" of Rome. Since there is so little by way of detail visible on the reverse of your coin, I doubt it's going to be possible to say much more than that it's an As of Trajan, since there is so little to distinguish it from the hundreds of other possible Trajanic reverses.

An interesting factoid about Trajan's coins: Not only did the Empire achieve its greatest size under his reign, the coins became longer-winded under him than any other ruler. Some of his sestertii have such an extensive laundry-list of his titles that they can have upwards of 75-80 characters in the obverse legend alone, then go on at even greater length on their reverses. For those of us who must type-up cards to go in coin-flips, Trajan's legends can be very challenging to fit onto a 2"x2" fliptag.

I'll try enlarging, tweaking and rotating the reverse image to see if I can make any sense out of it, but, as I said, Trajan had so many reverse types it may be hopeless.

Mark


Really crisp

4thC Roman bronze - sent off for ID

2.93g, 19.67mm

You're probably already aware it's Constantius II (337-361 A.D. - Constantine's youngest son and longest-surviving of his successors)- although the fact that it's his and not his brother's is not quite as obvious as you might think - older brother Constans shared the purple with Constantius until 350 A.D. and so had an almost equal number of the earlier types of FEL TEMP REPARATIO's struck in his name. It's the fact that the legend breaks where it does - DN CONSTAN - TIVS PF AVG - that shows that it's Constantius rather than Constans - his legend would break
at: DN CONSTA - NS PF AVG for this issue. The new, silver-plated AE Centenionalis series replaced Diocletian's much reduced and abused Follis as a part of the monetary reforms of 348 A.D.
and managed to produce some fairly nicely sized and well-worked coins before succumbing to the same economic pressures that did-in the Follis.

The reverse type is one of those marvels of Roman symbolic art - they packed a lot of PR (some might say propaganda) into those reverse types. This was really one of the few venues for official mass-media in the proto-literate Roman era - which lacked any of the communication devices we take for granted like newspapers, etc.
The idealized personification of the emperor stands boldly (perhaps remindng Yanks of a certain famous painting of George Washington crossing the Deleware River in the snow), he holds a radiate (Sol or Helios' radiate crown) Phoenix and a labarum (legionary banner with the Christian Chi-Rho symbol on
it) - deftly blending pagan and Christian symbolism, foot (in mastery) atop the prow of a galley steered by Victory - you gotta love it! The legend is the well known FEL(icitas) TEMP(orum) REPARATIO - "Happy days are here again" (actually it's closer to "[to] the return of happy times", but not so much closer that "happy days are here again" is way off the mark) Before settling into the overdone, stereotypical "Soldier spearing fallen horseman" type, the FEL TEMP series produced some other interesting types - I'm also fond of the type showing the Emperor leading a young barbarian forth from a hut under a tree (or dragging him - depends on who you read...)

Too bad the exergue is unclear - we won't be able to be certain about where it was minted unless a little careful cleaning in that area reveals some detail - I'll guess it's a Western European mint on the rather vague basis of "style". I was hoping the fact that there's no officina or sequence marks in the reverse fields might narrow down the list of possible mints some, but as it turns out, Antioch was the only mint which never struck this type without any fieldmarks.

You didn't specify a diameter this time, but using your fingers as a rough gauge, I'm guessing it's around 22-24mm, right?
This type in this size dates from the earlier emissions, post reform - mostly in the 348-351 A.D. timeframe before the AE2 (larger) module was completely replaced by the AE3's (smaller).
Some folks call this denomination a "Centenionalis", although this terminology, like most of what we think we know about the denominations after about 310, is theoretical at best - it may also or alternately have been called a "Majorina" - or it might have been neither. We know the names of these denominations, but frustratingly, we don't know with certainty the coins to which they refer.

Mark

1stC Roman 17.27g, 28.42mm dia, 4.51mm thick

The "guy riding the lion" is actually the Eastern goddess Cybele, whose cult was popular in Rome in the later 2nd century. Her "consort" (weird thing to call him under the circumstances) Attis, as the mythos goes, castrated himself and well as performing a related - ahem - amputation in order that he not be distracted in any way in the purity of his devotion to Cybele - so it was a cult with eunuch priests - whether, if the criticisms of the era are accurate and these ad-hoc operations were actually carried out on the spur of the moment by devotees in transports of holy ecstasy joining in the course of the parades and processions this sect was fond of holding, is something I tend to doubt - but the histories are, after all, written by the victors and they got to say pretty much whatever they wanted to, eventually.
Cybele is seen here riding a lion - typically you'll see her either enthroned, flanked by her lions, or driving a trimuphal chairot pulled by lions. She's wearing a turreted headdress, and carrying a drum (also a typical attribute) and scepter.

Now, we come to the issues this coin presents - it seems, from the size, as though it should be an As - but this type isn't listed for anything in AE except Sestertii in any of my references - and actually, at 28+mm & 17.27gm, it's really too large and heavy to be an As of the era, so it pretty much has to be a Sestertius. I have several sestertii of Commodus very close to this in weight - less than 20gm - in my collection.

RIC III, Rome, # 599 AE Sestertius - 191 A.D.
Obv: (all off-flan, unfortunately, but should be:) L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL. Laureate head right.
Rx:: (Also just about all off-flan) MATRI DEVM CONSERV AVG / COS VI PP (in
exergue) S - C (in fields)
Cybele, "towered", facing, riding right on lion and carrying drum and scepter

It's pretty scarce, too, rating an "R2" in RIC and carrying a retail estimate in David Sear's RC&TV of 2-3 times as much as the more common sestertii for this reign. Dating to 191, it's from the next-to-last year of his reign - by this time he seems to have lost touch with reality and was performing in the gladitorial arena on a regular basis (mostly killing
animals) In this time-frame, he also had himself portrayed wearing the lion-skin headdress of Hercules (and Alexander the Great) on his coins with reverse type of Hercules' club - so, he was pretty well out there by the end of his reign. http://www.stoa.org/gallery/album95/CommodusHerc

1stC Roman 12.49g,26.6mm dia, 3.97mm thick

The other, less-well preserved coin appears to be an As of Trajan (98-117
A.D.) It's actually a bit heavy to be an As, so it might be a Dupondius - however I can't see any traces of the radiate crown which would distinguish the denomination as a Dup...
The reverse seems to be a "trophy" - a pile of arms & armor ceremonally set up after a battle in commemoration - a fairly common reverse for Trajan..

See: http://www.stoa.org/gallery/album91/ML11_Trajan_Trophy_dup for a specimen from my own collection, similar to what I think this one is -

Mark

Great condition Roman bronze 307AD

6.45g, 27.98mm


it's Maximinus II, as Caesar - not to be confused with either Maximian or Galerius, both of whose legends are extremely similar-looking. And also, no relation to Maximinus I, "Thrax", from nearly a century earlier.
It's a follis, and a nice, big, earlier one - before they were scaled-down to the size of a newpence.
This one is a product of the mint at London, too - always desirable.

RIC vol VI, London, # 89a, Summer, 307 A.D.
Obv: GAL VAL MAXIMINVS NOB C. Laureate draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rx: GENIO POP ROM. Genius (of the Roman People) standing left holding patera and cornucopia.
Exergue: PLN (?) this is where I have some issues on the basis of what I think I see in the photograph - it looks to me like "SLN" - and that would work if London had been striking in more than a single officina at that time - so SLN would indicate second officina, but, according to RIC, they weren't striking in two workshops in London at this time- so, maybe I'm just not seeing it correctly - it looks like an "S" to me although it should be a "P".

Mark

 

this is Constantine I "The Great", dating to the period 325-27 A.D. Precise dating will depend on a bit of cleaning of the exergual mintmark.

'The obverse is pretty straightforward: CONSTAN - TINVS AVG. Laureate head right.
The reverse type is straightforward too (you had the image upside-down, but you meant to do that, right?)
It's: PROVIDENTIAE AVGG. ("By virture of the Forethought of the Augustii") Campgate (some debate whether this was supposed to be a camp, a city gate, or just what, but they're conventionally called "campgates") of 6 tiers, no door, 2 "turrets" ( there's some debate about what those were, too - but that's a discussion for another day) and 1 star above - your basic "Constantinian campgate" AE3 - very common, but there are many who specialize in these due to all the possible sub-varieties - different numbers of tiers of masonry, door open, door closed, gate on foundation or step(s), decorations in top row of "bricks", number of turrets and stars, etc, etc, ad infinitum, for all the Imperial mints - and you can see how it could be a lifetime's specialty - so, be that as it may, the exact dating of this one will have to wait for a little cleaning of the exergual area on the reverse.

This is from the mint at Trier, an exceptionally active and prolific mint for northern Gaul and Britain at this time. The mintmark appears to be: STR - "SECVNDA TRIERENSIS" that's the 2nd officina or workshop of the mint - so far, so good, but for exact dating I'd need to be able to tell what the little sequence mark is that follows it. I hope you are able to read this in HTML because I am going to insert a few characters here which won't make any sense if viewed in straight ASCI - $#! - a shallow "U" shape with either nothing within it, a small dot, or a larger dot or small asterisk-like star.
If no dot or star in the $, the coin is RIC VII, Trier 461, 325 A.D. "R5" (extremely rare) from officina S But the frequency ratings in RIC VII often require a "reality check" - a certain snobbish, elitist attitude among the museum curators, collectors and scholars of 50+ years ago (when these volumes of RIC were being written) resulted in the keepers of the collections surveyed to compile these frequency ratings typically feeling such coins were "beneath their notice" and, in many cases, they allowed a few token, representative pieces to stand for the entire series. Add to this the astonishing amount of new material coming on the market in recent years with the advent of inexpensive metal detector technology, and a reality check is often in order when one sees an "R5" rating on something like this and an "R1", "S", or even a "C" rating on early gold aureii or solidi.

With a dot - # - it would be RIC 475, 326 A.D., and "C3" (very common)

If it's - ! - with the larger dot or asterisk-star within, it's not listed, but should be presumed to exist, and would be a slightly later series for 326/7, just before the advent of the GLORIA EXERCITVS 2 soldiers flanking 2 standards type.'

Mark

Another nice 4thC Roman find 1.71g,14.57mm sent off for ID

This one doesn't really provide enough clear obverse legend to be certain who it is - the "suspects" in approximate order of liklihood would be:

Constantine I
Constantine II, as Caesar
Constantius II, as Caesar
Constans, as Caesar.

Constantines I & II are head and shoulders more likely than the other two.

The only really clear letter is the "V" at 1:00 or so - this could be as in:
ConstantinVs Max Avg
Constantinus iVn Nob C
Fl Cl ConstantiVs Nob C
but very unlikely to be:
Constans Nob Caes or Constantis Nob C

This is a GLORIA EXERCITVS reverse, the earlier type with two standards between the two soldiers, although I suspect it's either a contemporary copy (a good possibility) or from the very end of the 2-standard era for these on the basis of its small module - for this era, 18mm or so is more appropriate. In general the 2-standard Gloria Ex's date to the period 330-335 A.D. Some mints switched over to the single-standard type as early as late 333.

There isn't enough clear exergue showing to comment on which of the 13 Imperial mints might have produced it - if, in fact, was produced at an official mint.

Mark

Roman bronze Id'd 21.17mm, 2.58g it's an antoninianus of Tacitus 275-6 AD

Eventually, I was able to determine that what we have here is an AE antoninianus or "ant" of Tacitus, 275-6 A.D. This short-lived, elderly (75 yr-old) emperor succeeded Aurelian and very quickly came to the end of his own days after joining his army on campaign - the rigors of life in the field quickly proved his health to be more delicate than he thought.

The obverse shows Tacitus' radiate cuirassed bust right - the legend is too unclear for me to try to quote it, and there are many possibilities, give or take a letter here and there - suffice it to say, it begins with IMP, contains the word: TACITVS, and ends with AVG - but the devil, as they say, is in the details.
The reverse - which took a while to make sense of - is probably PAX AVG (it could be PAX AETERNA or PAX AUGUSTI - but these are much less likely from the letter-spacing) Pax is standing left, holding an olive-branch and scepter (although, given how vague the reverse is, if RIC gave "seated" as a possibility I'd say that was a potential interpretation, and if you said you saw a cornucopia in there too, I guess I wouldn't argue - but RIC only says "standing" and "scepter", under all the Pax varieties.)

The obverse legend is too indistinct for me to be to be certain of the details, and the presence or absence of a single letter here and there would be all the difference there is between the possibilities, but this could be either Cf. RIC V, i Mint in Gaul, 33-44 or Mint of Ticinum, Cf. 146-149, or Mint of Siscia Cf. 186-7.

Mark

 

 

Mark

Silver Roman coin sent for ID - 4.72g,18.99

Your piece is going to have to get a little cleaner or show a little more detail before I'll go out on any limbs with it, but if I'm interpreting what I believe to be the obverse correctly, I'm going to make a wild guess it's a Flavian - more likely Vespasian or Titus than Domitian - more than that I cannot say at this time.

Mark

Dubnovellaunus Late 1st BC to Early 1stC AD Full Celtic gold stater

5.44g,17.57mm - sent to Celtic coin index for recording

Dubnovellaunus succeeded Addedomaros to the Trinovantian throne about 10-5BC and ruled for several years before being overthrown by the Catuvellauni under the leadership of Cunobelin

'it's a nice looking coin. I'll record it as CCI 07.1130.
It's a bit difficult for me to check die-links from here but I'll try and have a look when I get the chance.

Here's hoping for a few more in the autumn!

Best wishes
Philip'

 

 

 

5.73g, 17.13mm

'This is quite a rare type, as you no doubt appreciate. The best parallel is provided by three coins in the British Museum, listed in their catalogue as nos. 3353-55. It's one of a group of coins loosely described as the Snettisham staters, because several of the types were first recognized in one of the Snettisham (Norfolk) hoards of the early 1990s. The exact type is not in Van Arsdell although it's closely related to the North Thames types listed as VA 1500, 1502 and thereabouts. It is presumably an East Anglian type, although because of the stylistic similarities there must have been some very strong link between the producers of the Snettisham types and the North Thames types. Date c. 50 - 40 BC, I think.

I'll record it as CCI 07.1164. '

Best wishes
Philip

 

1st/2ndC Roman bronze

Small bronze coin Not ID'd

 

 

 

 

1st/2nd C Monster sized Roman bronze sent for ID - 11.02g, 32.44mm
1st/2ndC Roman bronze coin
1st/2nd C Roman bronze sent for ID - 12.97g, 27.94mm
1st/2ndC Roman bronze
1st/2ndC Roman bronze
Mid 4thC Roman Barbarious radiate coin
Mid 4thC Barbarous Roman bronze coin - English type
Very curious Roman bronze that I initally thought was Saxon as it is the perfect size and thickeness of a sceat - Sent off to Roman expert for ID , 9.85mm, 1.21g.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

coin

 

 

 

 

 

Roman gold coins

Roman silver coins