Another crucial element to a valuable coin is the condition. The Sheldon Coin Grading Scale is a prominent measure, which the Professional Coin Grading Services based its methodology upon. Both use a very specific set of criteria to rate valuable coins on their look, condition, and overall worth.
It is important to obtain coins in good condition. Ones that are severely degraded make it difficult to distinguish their more defined parts and are less valuable in the eyes of many collectors. Ideally, you want an uncirculated item. But some that have been at the mercy of the elements for decades and even centuries can still hold a lot of value.
Before starting, I remind you that you have the tool "image search engine" -your-coins.com/en/search-by-picture/romaines-167/" for already identify the emperor and the type of reverse. The associated legends for each emperor and each type. Full details about ho to use it, here: -your-coins.com/en/blog/antique/comment-utiliser-le-moteur-de-recherche-par-image. All illustrated coins are with copyright photo permission of : Numismatica Ars Classica. Link to their website: Except for those with mention.
Now what is missing? The orientation of the bust: Is it from the front, turned left, turned right? Even if one simply notes these orientations, it is sometimes necessary to note also their degree. Example: bust turned right seen three quarters forward (A). I will not go into the description of each specific direction for several reasons that I detail here: you need to be "specialist", you must have great knowledge and experience to note these directions. Why is it so complicated? Simply because the roman engravers were not well acquainted with the representation of perspective. And, still more, these variations intervene in their quasi completeness in the period of the low empire, exactly, to a period where the quality of typing and engraving is decreasing: one makes much more use of engravers "barbarians ", illiterate and inexperienced. It sometimes happens, therefore, to meet the most common bust, said "seen three quarter ahead" with an emperor showing us his two shoulders forward, where in any case what it seems to be represented. These things are just clumsy engravings and are excluded from voluntary variants that are to be noted and referenced. Moreover, where there is still a complication, it is that in order to determine these orientations, we must know our subject perfectly and know how to look at each element of the drawing, where the belt is in relation to the rest of the body. Do we see shoulder pads in part or completely? While taking into account the problems of perspective ... These orientations of busts are often accompanied by letters and figures, like A 1 or O etc ... These references refer to books, most of the time to the Roman Imperial Coins ( RIC) I will detail these references below in the article through a chapter dedicated to it. Be careful though, everyone has their own reference books, if you describe an orientation via a letter and a number, remember to note the book you are referring to. Otherwise you risk creating confusion if the reader thinks of another book.
At the very beginning, the first coin was the liberal As, it was in bronze and theoretically weighed a Roman (libra) pound, actually much less (273grs). It was divided into duodecimal fractions (semi, triens, quadrans, sextans, uncia). In Rome, in 269 AD, the silver coin appears. Under the republic the coins were struck with the effigy of divinities, then one made the habit to vary their effigies.Here is the evolution of the Roman monetary system:
Provincial coins How to differentiate a provincial coin from an imperial coin? Provincial coins contain, always a legend in Greek, except for the colonies of Latin law. Some coins may have on their reverse the mention S C and have a Latin legend, as for the bronzes of Antioch, style can make the difference. The name of the city, so-called ethnic is mostly inscribed, sometimes abbreviated, often ending with the letters Ω (sometimes written as a w) and N.There are also the titles awarded to the city and the names of magistrates as well as their charges:ΣΑΡΔΙΑΝΩΝ: name of a city.ΕΠΙ Γ Ι ΚΡΙΣΠΟΥ ΑΡΚ: name of the magistrate and his office.ΔΙΣ ΝΕΩΚΟΡΩΝ: honorary title awarded to the city. Except for the first coin, where we regularly find the name of the city on the obverse, the name is on the reverse. Another element: if you see a coin with a typically African animal, it is probably a provincial coin. I say probably because we see many elephants or lions on the coins of the empire as well as numbers of African animals on the coins of Philip or Gallienus. There is always something in the legend, the style, the representations, which indicates that the coin is provincial. These coins circulated in the region where they were minted and thus are imbued with style, lifestyle, common visual elements, local fauna. Most of the colonies are ancient Greek colonies; they have for a long time been seen circulating, the Greek coinage. In this sense and this logic, the Romans have adapted and the types of coins have changed, appear then imposing coins by their diameter or weight. The smaller divisions corresponded to the quarter of assarion. Larger modules are mounted at 60 mm as for large bronzes, of PTOLEMEE. Note that we also call the "Great Bronzes" Chalques, Dichalques, Octochalques, etc. according to their diameter. One can sometimes doubt a type since a coin can be "wide blank" and therefore be closer to another type, likewise for "short blanks", always refer to the diameter and the weight and this for any type of coin. There is not one, but several monetary systems, according to the regions. Egyptian coins circulated even in certain cities. You will understand that make a list of types and their equivalence with other coins, is a very heavy work. There is one type that is often found: the Tetradrachm or Drachm SYRO-PHENICIAN, money in silver or billon often presenting on the reverse, an eagle. There may be presence of this animal also on the obverse under the portrait of the emperor. The term Drachm refers to Greek silver coins. Be careful not to conclude that they are still silver. Like the denarii, they find themselves in billon and therefore with a bronze aspect, because of their low silver content. Provincial coins are struck from the end of the Republic to Aurelian.Five important points:1: There is sometimes a point in relief or a hole in the middle of the coins, sometimes off-center. The point results from the compass, serving to delimit the zone of the legend in the die. One line, the other end of the compass, is sometimes visible at the area of the legend. The hole is the trace of the turnery of blank, so not on the die, but on the future coin.
A common abbreviation, COL for COLONIA, followed by the name of the city. Example COL NEM for COLONIA NEMAUSUS and therefore designates Nîmes, COL VIM for Viminacium. We find these abbreviations separated or glued.3: We find coins cut in half, for example, to make a half Dupondius, cut a Dupondius in two or four to make four ''As".4: Animals can represent a country. For example, the crocodile represents Egypt, but there is not a "specific" animal for each country. There are also animals on non-provincial coins, they are most often legendary animals, example, the wolf of Romulus and Remus. The wolf can be represented without Romulus and Remus, it is a character in full. Beware, the presence of the wolf does not exclude a provincial strike, it is also present in provincial coins. Animals on the provincial coins may designate the emblems of the legions too, example for Gordian III we see on a Dupondius struck in Upper Moesia, on the reverse, the Tyche with on his left an ox representing the seventh legion and on his right, a lion representing the fourth legion.5: Tyche is a deity of fortune, prosperity, and destiny of a state or city. Not to be confused with Fortuna. She is wearing the wall crown. Many Greek cities have their own "Tyches", they are often associated with animals (see point 4). She was particularly venerated as the protective goddess of the city in Antioch or Alexandria in particular.
This chapter is not used to identify your coin but to understand its referencing. When you have a coin, you look everywhere at what is said about that coin. So what does C.12 or RIC 214 mean? These two abbreviations are those that you will almost always find and that is why I describe them here. C is for Cohen and RIC for Roman Imperial Coins. The first book is French and very old. The RIC is a series of 10 volumes covering the whole of the Roman coinage. Each of these books or volumes lists the coins existing for each emperor. The numbers indicate the exact described coin. Thus, the RIC 177 for Antoninus Pius designates an aureus with on the obverse the bust of Antoninus the Pius laureate and draped, legend ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P XII and on the reverse Aequitas holding a balance and a cornucopia with legend COS IIII. You will also see var indications, example RIC 1547 var, this indicates that there is a variant of the RIC 1547 type. In other words, a small element differs from the RIC 1547 as an object position, TR P instead of TR POT. These variants are either already listed in these books or mentioned as modern discovery and therefore variants of the types already referenced. The best-known books are almost all obsolete and contain some errors (referencing a coin which does not exist, description error, forgetting etc). This is why I created this site to gather and verify the existence of each coin with photo as proof. Thing that any work can not do without exceeding 100 volumes as the number of photos needed would be huge. In addition we can add each discovery easily without having to republish a book or corrigenda. 2b1af7f3a8