Ancient Aurelian 270/275 A.D. Coin
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A good friend gave this coin to me tonight.  He is not a collector but I was extremely grateful for his gift. I have been researching its origins. I believe the marks on the reverse, XXI, mean it is 1/20th of an Aurelian. I understand Aurelian was a soldier and became an Emperor through his display of strength and courage as a soldier.  He also started the wall around Rome and I believe defeated another nation as a leader.  That's about as far as I am right now in my learning experience with this one.  It weighs approximately 3.81 - 3.85 grams.  I have placed a Nickel next to this coin for diameter and thickness comparisons.  I'm still going to research more into this one but wanted to go ahead and post it in hopes of getting some feedback tonight.  Thanks.

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Edited by GBrad
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@JKK East to West across the obverse is approximately 24mm give or take a few tenths of hundredths.  North to South on the obverse is approximately 23.28mm give or take a just a few tenths of hundredths. This was the best I could do with my metal Digital caliper but it should be extremely close.  I don't usually use this one for coins being that they don't have any cushion or protection in touching the edge of the coin. Thank you for any input.  

Edited by GBrad
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Looks like this, except yours has a B in the left field

 

RIC 364

Aurelian AE Antoninianus. Cyzicus mint, 274-275 AD. IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right / ORIENS AVG, Sol walking left, holding globe, right hand raised, between two captives, Epsilon in left field. Mintmark XXI. Cohen 154; Sear 11572v.

 

Scroll down until you hit RIC 364 for a pic

https://www.wildwinds.com/coins/ric/aurelian/i.html

 

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On 11/14/2021 at 11:10 PM, Oldhoopster said:

Looks like this, except yours has a B in the left field

Thank you Hoopster.  I saw that B as well but I have no idea what it means.  I am looking up your reference now.  Thanks. 

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@JKK and @Oldhoopster I did some digging around and came across this website copied and pasted below.  First of all, I applaud those of you who are into Ancient coins and know your stuff.  I can't believe how many different types and varieties there are of something like this one simple coin I have posted.  It blows my mind.  Anyway, thanks for the link to wildwinds Hoop. From there, I was able to go to another website and came upon the coin in the link below.  It has the B on the reverse, much like my coin, but there are still a lot of other differences in the placement and orientation of the design both obverse and reverse but still have, for the most part, the same features.  I was able to find a B (mintmark?? not sure what to call it) on the reverse on another example of this era which is similar to mine.  The coin in the link below, and my coin, appear to be a Cyzicus, 323-370 A.D., and not what I thought I had (at this point I am in a brain fog, not exactly sure).  Any further help would be much appreciated if one so desires to dig into this one any deeper than has already been done.  Thank you all!

Edit: Sorry @Oldhoopster, it's late and I just read your post again and realized that you called this one correctly at a Cyzicus which I also found this to be.  I think I am going back to my new found love of Morgans........ and just enjoy looking at Ancients....  My apologies.  :)

http://tomross.ancients.info/Emperor Images/Aurelian/listing_by_ric.htm



Edited by GBrad
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On 11/15/2021 at 6:28 AM, J P Mashoke said:

Is it a B  or a R for reproduction with displaced metal making it look like a B....              :roflmao:LoL just joking Greg

Heck, it very well may be!  haha.  These ancient coins are really beautiful and interesting to me but I don't think I would ever have the patience to decipher them.  They almost seem to have a story to them from what I have been seeing as they progress in years.  From a sun god standing on captives to what appears to be peaceful reunions amongst people.  Very neat.  

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On 11/15/2021 at 5:51 AM, GBrad said:

Heck, it very well may be!  haha.  These ancient coins are really beautiful and interesting to me but I don't think I would ever have the patience to decipher them.  They almost seem to have a story to them from what I have been seeing as they progress in years.  From a sun god standing on captives to what appears to be peaceful reunions amongst people.  Very neat.  

This one was really easy; I just had to have the info and freedom to concentrate with it, and I was busy all weekend. Nice piece, probably EF.

Roman Imperial, Aurelian, AE2 Antoninanus (I am unaware of an Aurelianus ever having been a denomination), 274 CE. Radiate, cuirassed bust right, obv. legend IMP AVRELIANVS AVG. Sol standing left raising hand, holding globe, seated captives to left and right; rev. legend ORIENS AVG, B in field. In ex. XXI, Cyzicus mint.

The reason diameter is a basic need is that the coins are grouped by denomination, which is not struck into them in any way, thus until I have that figure, I have zero way to know which long column of tiny dinky numbers I need to begin combing. The most deceptive aspect of this one is that the left-side captive is weakly struck in comparison to the rest, but thanks to good photography (those are nice and sharp), I was able to discern the second captive and not rabbithole on the wrong reverse type.

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On 11/15/2021 at 11:20 AM, JKK said:

This one was really easy; I just had to have the info and freedom to concentrate with it, and I was busy all weekend. Nice piece, probably EF.

Roman Imperial, Aurelian, AE2 Antoninanus (I am unaware of an Aurelianus ever having been a denomination), 274 CE. Radiate, cuirassed bust right, obv. legend IMP AVRELIANVS AVG. Sol standing left raising hand, holding globe, seated captives to left and right; rev. legend ORIENS AVG, B in field. In ex. XXI, Cyzicus mint.

The reason diameter is a basic need is that the coins are grouped by denomination, which is not struck into them in any way, thus until I have that figure, I have zero way to know which long column of tiny dinky numbers I need to begin combing. The most deceptive aspect of this one is that the left-side captive is weakly struck in comparison to the rest, but thanks to good photography (those are nice and sharp), I was able to discern the second captive and not rabbithole on the wrong reverse type.

Thank you very much for taking the time and looking all of this up for me JKK along with Hoopsters comment last night too. I really appreciate your expertise and knowledge surrounding these types of coins. I learned more about Aurelian and these RIC’s (learned what these letters stood for too… lol)  last night and this morning than I imagined possible. Very neat and interesting history behind all of these old coins. 
Any idea what the B in the field stands for?  I was starting to think maybe it stood for Bronze since Aurelian transitioned from Silver coinage due to several factors that I learned about while studying this Emperor. Just a thought about the B, no idea other than that. I’ve found several matches online, albeit a bit different placements of design elements here and there, but I have not found a match to my reverse with this letter B. Thanks again @JKK!!

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On 11/15/2021 at 8:50 AM, GBrad said:

Thank you very much for taking the time and looking all of this up for me JKK along with Hoopsters comment last night too. I really appreciate your expertise and knowledge surrounding these types of coins. I learned more about Aurelian and these RIC’s (learned what these letters stood for too… lol)  last night and this morning than I imagined possible. Very neat and interesting history behind all of these old coins. 
Any idea what the B in the field stands for?  I was starting to think maybe it stood for Bronze since Aurelian transitioned from Silver coinage due to several factors that I learned about while studying this Emperor. Just a thought about the B, no idea other than that. I’ve found several matches online, albeit a bit different placements of design elements here and there, but I have not found a match to my reverse with this letter B. Thanks again @JKK!!

What's Latin for bronze? I don't know, but bet it doesn't begin with a B. English did not yet exist. What I do know is it's probably an oficina mark. Oficinae were essentially branch offices of a given mint. This design combination has a lot of varieties. The original concept of the antoninianus, or Ant as we usually call it, was a double denarius--two of that silver coin. Aurelian is at the end of the barracks emperors, about sixty years after the first Ants were minted. Over this turbulent period of troops making new emperors whenever they wanted new donatives, and frequent internal conflicts, the Ant became debased until it was billon (bronze with a little silver). I think the main transition occurred under Gallienus.

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I recently moved and haven't found a place for my Library, so my references are still in boxes.  Unfortunately, RIC V is on of the two I don't have (if I remember correctly, the original Volumes (i, ii, and iii) were last published 70-90 years ago and an update has been in the works for 10-20 years).

I think (operative word is think) that the B is the officinae (thractual shop in Cyzicus that minted the coin).  They are sometimes denoted by Alpha, Beta, Gamma. Etc.

Edited by Oldhoopster
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On 11/15/2021 at 11:12 AM, Oldhoopster said:

I recently moved and haven't found a place for my Library, so my references are still in boxes.

I feel your pain, Hoopster. Dealing with that myself.

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