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Building a collection worthy of the Roman Empire

Entry posted by Kohaku · - 153 views

A daunting task for sure, yet one that has provided enormous fascination and personal satisfaction thus far – to discover the Roman Empire through numismatics.  That is my stated goal for my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitled “The Roman Empire.”  Initially, I contemplated constructing a typical set of “Emperors” coinage.  While such an effort is certainly worthy, I quickly discovered that Rome’s history, from the Republic to the Roman Empire to the Byzantine Empire, holds far more interest.  On the other extreme would be the attempt to build a comprehensive collection of coinage based on a certain subset, for example, imperatorial, imperial, provincial, or pseudo-autonomous coinage.  In the end, I embarked upon a quest (if I may call it that!) to represent not just Rome’s Emperors, but also Empresses, allies, usurpers, and more.  While admittedly constraining, I decided to build this set within NGC’s “Page” format, allowing for 15 coins grouped together thematically, if not roughly chronologically.  As a consequence, I have “missing” coins in the collection, which, if anything, helps provide context for other coins on the same page.

 

For each coin in the collection, I conduct some basic research, or at least make some attempt.  This allows me to provide my own Owner’s Comments, whose historical accuracy should be taken with a grain of salt.  Where it gets particularly fun is when synergies exist with my non-numismatic interests.

 

At the moment, I am still awaiting NGC's grading of the last 10 coins that I acquired.  Among those is the infamous “Coin That Killed Caesar,” and once I get that one slabbed I will have reached a milestone - first “Page” complete of my collection!


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rmw: I appreciate your comment, especially coming from such an accomplished collector as yourself!  I perused some of your collections, extremely impressive, including the Custom Sets, for example, I love your "Hammered" coins.

Edited by Kohaku

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I'm particularly interested in the images of allegorical gods and goddesses on ancient coins. I am also fascinated by the similarities between ancient coins and the modern interpretations of those very same gods and goddesses on modern coins. I trace some of those links within my custom set, "The Use of Seated Imagery in Numismatics." You may find the following link very helpful when researching the coins in your custom sets.

Gary

http://www.beastcoins.com/Topical/Deities/AncientDeities.htm

 

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Thanks Kohaku. I am still adding to my collection, in fact I got a Napoleonic Wars era Bank Token (1812) in MS 66 just yesterday, and started a new competitive set with it and a matching 1811 in Ms 65. Many more will be added to registry sets in the coming weeks as I have over 30 pieces in for grading right now, including the 1665 pattern farthing I recently posted on these pages. 

Are you planning on getting a piece for each emperor, usurper, wife if applicable, etc? That would be quite a collection. Byzantines as well?

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Gary: Thanks for the comments.

 

Of course, I have seen and admired your set before, and your comments reminded me to take another, closer look.  As you note, it is very interesting to see how the links between ancient coins and their modern counterparts. While I am commenting on your set, I wanted to especially note that you have a extremely sophisticated writing style.  I can appreciate the effort you clearly go through when you write your Owners's Comment.   While I'm sure everyone mostly focuses on the coins themselves, and yours are fantastic to pursue, I also wanted to comments that I admire your writing style as well.

 

I am still defining my collection. I was thinking about having a Page at the end i was going to entitled "Epilogue" or maybe "Afterword".  On that Page I was thinking about  featuring 15 coins that would span from the conquest of Constantinople at the end of the 15th century to today.  And for that Page I was going to feature coins that echo Roman sensibilities, and obviously seated imagery would part of that.  While I have not yet got around to defining and posting that final Page of my collection, I can give you a preview of one coin I am thinking including...

 

https://www.ngccoin.com/certlookup/2790995-002/62/

 

This is a M62 1913 Italy 20 centisimi, and one of the most beautiful coins I have every seen, and it is special to me since it one of the foreign coins I have retained from my childhood, and has been in my family for some time.

 

 

Also, thanks for the website link, and I can also seen that site and used before for background research. I don't think  I have ever specifically quoted it.  So, you have reminded me that I am probably remiss in not providing more references when I write my own Owner's Comments. I will sometimes add an "Additional Reading" - reference(s) that I particular used/enjoyed reading/found particularly interesting and wanted to pass along.  Perhaps in the future on this journal I can make a listing of some of the important references that I want used most frequently.    

 

Thinking back again regarding you fabulous seated imagery set, I wanted to point out (maybe you already have seen) this coin...

 

https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/coinview.aspx?sc=355262

 

It isa Gem MS denarius featuring Roma sitting her throne!  It was struck my Philip I to in celebration of Rome's 1000th anniversary.  I had it as my profile picture for a while.

eternal Roma2.jpg

 

-Rick

Edited by Kohaku

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5 hours ago, rmw said:

Thanks Kohaku. I am still adding to my collection, in fact I got a Napoleonic Wars era Bank Token (1812) in MS 66 just yesterday, and started a new competitive set with it and a matching 1811 in Ms 65. Many more will be added to registry sets in the coming weeks as I have over 30 pieces in for grading right now, including the 1665 pattern farthing I recently posted on these pages. 

Are you planning on getting a piece for each emperor, usurper, wife if applicable, etc? That would be quite a collection. Byzantines as well?

I would love to include every Roman Emperor and every Byzantine Emperor, but that would be beyond my reach.  I plan on including as many Roman Emperors, Empresses, usurpers, etc.  as I can, we will see how far I get!  In particular, it is going to get very expensive for the late Western Emperors.  Currently, the latest Western Roman Emperor in my set is Libius Severus and I use as an example of one the "shadow Emperors" at the fall of the Western Roman Empire...

https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/coinview.aspx?sc=392399

I managed to obtain a coin of Anthemius', and that coin is grading right now.  That will probably be the last, since getting the subsequent rulers up to Romulus Augustulus are extremely rare and expensive.

I will include some Byzantine Emperors, but I can't realistically by comprehensive in that.  My goal is to have at least enough Byzantine coins to tell the story of the continuation of the Eastern Empire into Byzantine and its fall.  We shall see how far I get on that part of my collection!

 

 

 

Edited by Kohaku

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The seated Britannia on British farthings , halfpennies and pennies starting in the seventeenth century are taken after Roman pieces of Britain.

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5 hours ago, Kohaku said:

I am still defining my collection. I was thinking about having a Page at the end i was going to entitled "Epilogue" or maybe "Afterword".  On that Page I was thinking about  featuring 15 coins that would span from the conquest of Constantinople at the end of the 15th century to today.  And for that Page I was going to feature coins that echo Roman sensibilities, and obviously seated imagery would part of that.  While I have not yet got around to defining and posting that final Page of my collection, I can give you a preview of one coin I am thinking including...

 

https://www.ngccoin.com/certlookup/2790995-002/62/

 

This is a M62 1913 Italy 20 centisimi, and one of the most beautiful coins I have every seen, and it is special to me since it one of the foreign coins I have retained from my childhood, and has been in my family for some time.

Rick, what an outstanding choice for your final page. I own a 1921 Italy 20C and I am in the process of upgrading it. That said, it is among my favorite Italian coins. In fact there is a lot to like about early 20th Century Italian coins. The personal and sentimental link to your coin really makes it stand out and the MS-62 grade is icing on the cake.

5 hours ago, Kohaku said:

Thinking back again regarding you fabulous seated imagery set, I wanted to point out (maybe you already have seen) this coin...

 

https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/coinview.aspx?sc=355262

 

It isa Gem MS denarius featuring Roma sitting her throne!  It was struck my Philip I to in celebration of Rome's 1000th anniversary.  I had it as my profile picture for a while.

eternal Roma2.jpg

 

-Rick

Outstanding! I own this coin but it is not currently graded and yours is a whole lot nicer than mine! I picture mine in my seated imagery set with an Italian 1 lira featuring a seated image of Italia holding Victory. I will be following your set and your progress closely. All the best.

Gary

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