Sunday, 11 April 2010

An almost perfect coin of Aurelian....

I want to feature here a coin that is almost perfect, a beautifully detailed coin of the Roman emperor Aurelian (270-5AD). It will also give me the opportunity to correct a slight error in the catalogue reference number in the sales description (mea culpa!).
Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 254, MIR (Göbl) 225c1 (not c2 as I list in the sales description)

Siscia mint, obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ORIENS AVG, Sol standing left holding globe in left and raising right, right foot on captive, second captive to right, * in left field, P in exergue

This is a truly superb coin with well detailed features, every fleck of hair and detail on the emperor's cuirass (armour) is evident. Click on the picture for an enlarged version to enhance the detail.. It also retains the full silver coating of the period.

These coins are about 5% silver, the remaining metal composition being bronze. The imiscibility, or "unmixability" of copper (the major constituent of bronze) and silver was exploited by the Romans to produce coins that looked like silver when they were new but soon betrayed their base metal core.

This coin can be purchased, guaranteed for a lifetime as genuine, by following the link at the top left of this page.