Sunday, December 24, 2023

rrd top 10 2023


rrd top 10 2023


This year has a variety of treasures. The order of all but #1 could change depending on how you value rare vs pretty and coins vs scale weights. It is hard to believe I bought my first Julius Caesar portrait denarius and it did not make the top 10. I picked up two scale weights from the David Hendon auction in January and only one made top 10.

I had three misses that would have been highlights, but did not come my way. I will show those later.

1.     100 As Roman stone Weight with handle. 2ND-3RD CENTURY A.D. Of biconical form and bearing an engraved letter 'C' to the top face; slightly concave base; iron handle showing some corrosion.  13 3/4 in. (30.3 kg = 67 #, or about a bushel of wheat), 35 cm wide).

2.     Two Libra (As) Commercial Weight

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN/AEGEAN. Late Hellenistic to Roman Imperial Period. Cast PB Dupondius Weight (92x90mm, 704.00 g).

Obverse - Blank in simple raised molded frame; | | (mark of weight) inlaid in copper /

Reverse - Blank, but for etched name ANTONINVS.

Brown patina, some marks.

3.     Moneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. C. Vibius Varus. 42 BC. AR Denarius Rome mint.

Laureate and bearded head of Hercules right

Minerva standing right, holding spear and Victory; shield set on ground to right.

Light golden toning. Good VF. (17.5mm, 3.91 g, 9h). Crawford 494/37; 

4.     Etruria, Volterrae Æ As circa 217-215,

Obv - Janiform head of Culsans wearing pointed cap.

Rev - Club; in field r., mark of value: I, Etruscan ethnic 'velaθri' around.

62.00 mm., 143.76 g.

Haeberlin pl. 83, 7. 

5.     Cast Uncia, Greek Italy. Uncertain Umbria or Etruria. AE, c. 3rd century BC.

Obv. Club. / Rev. Dot.

Vecchi ICC 200; Haeb. pl. 81,42.43.

11.49 grams, 23.0 mm.

R. Rare. Attractive earthy green patina. About EF.

I have several 2 dot coins of this series, both large and small series. I have wanted this type for a while.

6.     Roman Republic, Aes grave, Roma / Roma series, Semis, 269 - 240 BC, Rome mint

D\ Head of Mars in Corinthian helmet, facing right, under S in retrograde.

R\ Head of Mars, facing left, under S.

Weight 124.50 grams, Diameter 52 mm.

BB+. Green Patina

Cataloguers have different names for the heads on this coin. Mars and Minerva are the most common, but juvenile head and Head of warrior hero were also used.

7.     24 Nomismata, NKΔ, Byzantine Empire Æ Weight. Circa 5th-7th Century AD. Silver inscription inlay: + ΑΓΙΑ ΜΑΡΙΑ ΒΟHΘΙCΟΝ on raised circle enclosing monogram between two crosses over denominational number NKΔ; CE - YX - AP - IC in four corners / Blank. Unpublished in the standard references. A similar weight (N OB = 72 nomisma) is on the cover of Collections du Musée d’art et d’histoire - Genève, Geneva 2015, p. 38,  109.10g, 39mm. Extremely Fine  

This imposing weight is part of a series that carries two silver inlayed invocations: ΑΓΙΑ ΜΑΡΙΑ ΒΟHΘΙCΟΝ (= Saint Mary help us) and in the four corners: ΘE – YX – AP – IC (= the grace of God).

8.     30 Nomismata, ΛN, Bronze Coin Weight, Romano-Byzantine, 4th-5th centuries CE.

Ov - Two facing imperial busts within arched distyle shrine, letters ΛN below. Brown surfaces, minor traces of silver. / Rev - Blank.

117 grams; 41mm Diameter, 10 mm thick

From the David Hendin Collection, a few minor marks from usage.

9.     Skythia, Olbia. Cast bronze coin, ca. 470-460 BC.

Obverse: Head of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet; to left, dolphin upward; all within incuse circle. Reverse: Wheel with four spokes; [magistrate's name Π-A-Y-Σ around].

Extremely Rare - just a few specimens known. Green patina. Very Fine.

65.75 grams / 46 dia X 8 mm

10.     BYZANTIUM. Round commercial weight. AE 6 Unciae ø 48mm (152.82g). ca. 6th century A.D. Bronze weight with profiled edge. Engraved on the top and provided with metal inlays: Two squares placed over corners with head inlays. Circumferential ΘEOV XAPIC ("God's Grace"). Inside cross and Γ (= Uncia) - S (= 6). The inscription inlaid in silver. Very nice specimen!

ΘEOV XAPIC: Gottes Gnaden, German; God's Grace, English; Gracia de Dios, Spanish

Friday, December 22, 2023

M. Servilius / L. Sentius Hybrid and Fourrée Denarius


This coin has the obverse of a coin by L. Sentius in 101 BC and a reverse by M. Servilius in 100 BC. It is a fourrée (silver plating on a copper base). It could have been produced by a counterfeiter who did not know the coin type or by a Roman mint worker trying to meet production goals when a die broke. The seller called it a hybrid. Others call similar coins mules. 

Roman Republican AR/AE? Denarius

M. Servilius / L. Sentius. Hybrid (and fourrée?), after 100 BC.

Obv. Helmeted head of Roma right; behind, Φ (M. Servilius C.f., 100 BC).

Rev. Jupiter in prancing biga right; below horses, uncertain letter (partially off flan); in exergue, L SENTI [C F] (L. Sentius C.f., 101 BC). 

The obverse is a Crawford 327/1 and the reverse is a Crawford 325/1b. The seller called it AR/AE (fourree?). In hand I see openings in the plating that make me believe it is a plated coin. I wonder if a SpGr test would confirm this. 

3.28 grams, 21 mm 

A very rare and interesting example. Broad flan. Brilliant and lightly toned, with golden hues. VF.

Examples of the two coins are shown below.

M. Servilius AR Denarius. Rome, 100 BC. Helmeted head of Roma right; control mark Є behind / Two warriors, a Roman and a barbarian, fighting on foot, each with a horse behind him; M•SERVEILI•C•[F] V in two lines in exergue. Crawford 327/1 …. pic from Roma Auctions

Roman Republic. L. Sentius C.f., moneyer. AR Denarius minted at Rome, 101 BC. Helmeted head right of Roma. Reverse: Jupiter in quadriga right, holding scepter and thunderbolt; below horses, K. Sear 203; Sentia 1; Cr. 325/1b … Goldberg 

Friday, March 11, 2022

ANA Money Show Finds

 It has been a while since I attended a large coin show. I found a few treasures... some to buy and some to see.
for me

to see

Monday, February 21, 2022

Byzantine Coin Weight with NH or 8 Nomisma

I picked up a lot of Late Roman or Byzantine coin weights today. New to me is an Eight Solidi / Nomismata (= 8/6ths of an Ounce) = 36.4 gr. std wt. It is engraved N֯H with a series of dots. There are 36 examples of this denomination on pondera. The lot also had 4 & 2 Solidi wts.

Shown below are some weights I obtained since my last coin weight post.

Late Roman or Early Byzantine bronze coin weight

NH – 8 Nomisma or Solidi

This weight was purchased as part of a lot of 3. When I have the weight in hand, I will check weight and dimensions.

Obv – Centering indention between marks of value - N° H decorated with swirled lines, all made with punched dots

Rev - Centering indention

Edge to be determines, obv & rev have raised edges.

Late Roman / Byzantine coin weights used N֯H to indicate eight Numis / Solidus. The standard weight is 36.4 g.  There are 37 (36 bronze) 8 N weights on -

Five Nomismata round coin weight, late Roman or Byzantine, 4th to 6th century AD

Obv – Engraved circle between marks of value - N° E decorated with swirled lines, all made with punched dots

Rev -  Engraved circle surrounded by 4 equally spaced dots

Edge had raised edges and center, obverse and reverse have raised edges with inscribed circle.

22.42 grams

25 mm dia X 7 mm thick

same denomination as Bendall 96

Byzantine Octagonal Bronze Weight of 4 Numismata; 800 - 1000 A.D

Obverse - N֯Δ to indicate four Numis / Solidus

Reverse - blank

18.14 grams

22 X 21 X 5 mm

NΔ - 4 Nomisma or Solidi from NBS lot

Obv – Centering indention between marks of value - N° Δ decorated with swirled lines, all made with punched dots

Rev - Centering indention and 4 dots (weight adjustment?)

Edge to be determines, obv & rev have thick raised edges.

 Late Roman / Byzantine coin weights used N֯Δ to indicate four Numis / Solidus. The standard weight is 18.2 g. Many weights, but not all, have a small o near the N. One of my weights is in lead and has only Δ and is 16.48 grams. Another weight is blank and is 15.74 g. The octagonal weight = 18.14 g. There are 88 4 N weights on -

Three Nomismata round coin weight, Byzantine, 5th to 6th century AD

Obv – Engraved circle between marks of value - Ν° Γ, above cross all made with inscribed lines

Rev -  Engraved circle surrounded by 4 equally spaced dots

Edge had raised edges and center, obverse and reverse have raised edges with inscribed circle.

13.1 grams

22 mm dia X _ mm thick

similar to Bendall 145

Geneva 262

Late Roman / Byzantine coin weights used N֯ Γ to indicate 3 Numis / Solidus. The standard weight is 13.6 g. Many weights, but not all, have a small o near the N. There are 368 3 N weights on -

I also picked up some Greek lead weights. 

Hellenistic lead weights, 8 Dracma?

Weight: 27,9 gr

Diameter: 50,6 mm

Hellenistic lead weights 4 Dracma?

Weight: 15,8 gr

Diameter: 34 mm

Hellenistic lead weights 4 Dracma?

Weight: 12,4 gr

Diameter: 40,7 mm

Lot of 3

Four late Roman or Early Byzantine scale weights

ΓΓ – 3 Ounces or Uncia

NB – 2 (?) Nomisma or Solidi

N – 1 Nomisma or Solidi

Unknown denomination weight with mark on obverse and two inscribed circles on reverse

Monday, January 3, 2022

Semuncia Crescent Thyrsus

 I like these coins because they show the light and heavy weight series. I picked up one several years ago. I had to google Thyrse or Thyrsus or Thrysos: thyrsus: [noun] a staff surmounted by a pinecone or by a bunch of vine or ivy leaves with grapes or berries that is carried by Bacchus and by satyrs and others engaging in bacchic rites. merriam-webster

Aes Grave semuncia, APULIA, LUCERIA, AE 268-250 BC; note that this series is based on 10 VNCIA per Roman As (10 ounces per pound). There are two series. The heavier series is assumed older. Obv: Crescent; Rev: Thyrse adorned with a garland.

Apulia, Luceria, AE Aes Grave Semuncia, 268-250 BC D/ Crescent. R/ Thyrse adorned with a garland. 71, 7-8; Syd., Aes Grave, 143 var.; T.V. 279; Vecchi 343. 19.20 grams (384 grams equivalent Libra) Green patina. Grading/Status: Fine - Very Fine; Elsen - Auction 147, Lot 270 

Greek Italy. Northern Apulia, Luceria. AE Cast Semuncia, heavy series, 225-217 BC. Obv. Crescent. Rev. Thyrsus. HN Italy 675; Vecchi ICC 343. AE. 20.22 grams (404 grams equivalent Libra); 24.00 mm. R. Rare. About VF. Artemide Kunstauktionen e18; lot 22; 5/22/2021

Greek Italy. Northern Apulia, Luceria. Light series. AE Cast Semuncia, c. 217-212 BC. Crescent. / Thyrsus with fillets; in field, L. Vecchi ICC 350; HN Italy 677f. AE. 6.04 g. 19.00 mm. Lovely untouched earthen green patina. Good VF. Artemide LIV; lot 38; 11/7/2020

Italy. Northern Apulia, Luceria. AE Semuncia, 217-212 BC. Obv. Crescent. Rev. Thyrsus with fillets; in field, L. HN Italy 677f. TV 286. ICC 350. AE. g. 6.68 mm. 20.00 VF. Artemide 32e; lot 15; 1/23/2016

Saturday, December 18, 2021

rrd's top 10 of 2021, or panic buying in a pandemic


rrd top 10 2021

1.     Aes Grave Dupondius 230-220 BC, Semi-Libral standard. Volaterrae (Etruria) mint. Obv - Janiform head of Culsans, wearing pointed petasus; Rev - Club; I I (mark of value) across field; around Etruscan retrograde legend - FEΛA-OΔI (velaθri); 266 grams, 73 mm

2.     II VNCIA, B bronze barrell weight - commercial scale weight, late Roman or early Byzantine, Sextans or two VNCIA; on the top, the value is shown in Greek script, B. The Latin II VNCIA is extremely unusual and shown on the side; 24.6 mm max dia X 20.5 mm min dia X 14.5 mm tall; 53.23 grams (319.4 eq As)


3.     Cast AE Nummus (As), Apulia, Luceria, 225-217 BC; Obv - Head Apollo left, hair tied with ribbon; below chin – mark of value: I; Rv. Rooster standing left. Most books list 3 variations on this coin. Two types have letters around the rooster: L.SEXTI.SEP.BABI or M.LAVINIO. A third type, this coin, has no letters; 214.5 grams, 66 X 14.6 mm

4.     27 Nomismata (4.5 uncia) Byzantine bronze coin weight, octagonal, disc-shaped; Obv: N° KZ, decorated with two double circular lines, above the N is a small zero. Nomistmata weights place the zero above or to the right of N. 116.9 grams, 49.3 X 7.3 mm. The denomination is rare. There are no examples in Pondera. The weight is similar to a 17 N weight purchased in the same lot. The weight is shown with a denarius of Geta for comparison.


27 N (N° KZ) and 17 N (N° IZ)


5.     Roman Republic, Aes Grave, Apollo/Apollo Series, Cast Triens, Rome, 270 BC; Obverse - Head of horse r.; below, °°°°; Reverse - Same type l. 114 grams, 50 mm, 12 H, Crawford 18/3. I wish the 4 dots were more prominent. Otherwise the coin is excellent.

6.     Olbia AE 68 Gorgoneion Eagle - The coin below covers 3 and a half of the fingers on my hand. It is big. CNG notes the patina was removed. That is not obvious at first glance, but is glaring when I take pics. I think Medusa sticking out her tongue is neat. The coin was sold twice by CNG.

7.     Roman / Byzantine Four Ounce Commercial Scale Weight; 100 - 500 AD  Obverse – 4 dots; the rest of the surface is hard to see. If the scale weight is 4 uncia it would have Гo Δ. Reverse – Cross? +? The mark on the weight, +,  is similar to the mark on a Semis of C. Curiatius f. Trigeminus, see below. Dating depends on how you read the reverse. 105.7 grams.

a.      I found this weight at H Berk online while searching for other 4 ounce scale weights. I had to have it.... so it is #7.a. Byzantine Round Commercial Bronze Weight; 4-Ounces (Triens) or 24-Nomismata / Solidii; 6th-7th cent. AD. I wish there was a way to convert Bф into 4 or 24.   

8.     Double Struck Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt, AE Oktobol, Hockey Puck; Ptolemy III Euergetes; Obv: Laureate head of Zeus Ammon right, border dots. Rev: Eagle with open wings standing left on thunderbolt, looking right; E between legs. ΠTOΛEMAI[OY] BAΣIΛ[EΩΣ]; 80.8 grams; 46 mm dia X 7.5 mm thick

9.     Roman Republican struck Uncia, Obv: Radiate and draped bust of Sol facing slightly right; pellet (mark of value) to left. Rev: Pellet (mark of value) and two stars within crescent, in ex ROMA; Crawford 39/4; 12.75 grams, 23 mm

10.  APULIA, LUCERIA, AE Aes Grave semuncia, 268-250 BC; Obv: Crescent, Rev: Thyrse adorned with a garland.19.20 grams. I like this coin because it has an equivalent Nummis (or As in 10 ounce system of Luceria) of 384 grams which is well above one Roman pound. Heavy indicates an early series.

1. Dupondius Etruria Volterrae

2. Two VNCIA barrel weight

3. Nummus Apollo Rooster

4. 27 Num/Sol coin wt, 17, 12, 10

5. Triens Horse Head / horse head

6. Olbia AE 68 Gorgoneion Eagle

7. Four Uncia commercial weights (two pieces)


9. Uncia Sol / moon and stars

10. Luceria Cast Semuncia heavy series Crescent Thyrsus 400g equiv As

Next few:

11. Teruncius Stingray Dolphin

12. Sextans wolf & twins

13. one As commercial weight & half As commercial weight - the top two were bought as a lot from Gorny & Mosch. Shown below are weights from previous years.