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Valerian I 253-260 AD


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This coin is the first ancient I have purchased. It was in a large bag of wheat cents which also had a few other interesting coins tossed in for lots of fun. I first posted the coin on another forum and I am sure someone here will remember.


What we have determined is this (in my words):

AR antoninanus Valerian I, minted in Viminacium (Moesia)

Obverse legend is IMP C P LIC Valeranivs Avg, (facing right).

Reverse legend is P M TR P II COS PP, Valerianvs standing left, sacrificing over an altar.


I did the research on the net and learned a lot about the emperors and their reigns around the time of Publius Licinivs Valerianvs.

He married Egnatia Mariniana and they are known to have had two sons.

For someone who only viewed the ancient coins and then getting this one totally by chance, I am thinking of acquiring more and trying to learn more.


Thanks for viewing,


(I hope I got the information typed correctly...)

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Welcome to ancient coins! :ninja:


Your attribution sounds right. And that's a nice piece to start a collection with - a nice worn piece with some history to it, but clean and problem-free.


You might want to get a copy of David Van Meter's catalogue. It's probably the best one <$50 for identifying coins. (There are other books that are more in-depth, though). Krause (I think) also has a series of 5-6 books on collecting ancients which I hear are pretty good.

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Thanks ccq,

It was quite an adventure working so many hours on the computer until I found a picture of the same coin on a dealer website.

The coin listed had a very readable obverse, otherwise we might never really know what it should be.


Thank you for the book selection suggestion. Maybe next month I can fit that book into my coin budget.

For myself I am tempted to purchase those cruddy coins and try to uncover their hidden secret, as it would be much like

variety searching on modern coins.

Can you tell me if it is entirely the wrong way to proceed?

I might even start collecting them :ninja:


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It's up to you where you want to go. I got started with the uncleaned coins myself, though I rarely do so anymore as I find the quality seems to have declined, though it does vary from dealer to dealer. (some dealers who buy at the "end of the chain" often have stuff that's been picked over extensively, leaving mostly low grade common pieces, while some others don't pick through, or only take out obvious goodies)


The uncleaned stuff generally yields the smaller AE3/AE4 (silver half dime to small cent sized) bronze from about the 320s AD to the end of the 400s AD, with the majority being 330-370. Occasionally, bronze antoninianii (pl. of antoninianus, generally 250s-300 AD) and provincial coins from the 200s are encountered, along with the odd piece from another time (older or newer).


They're a fun way to get started, as you can sometimes pick a common type/series (say, "soldiers with two standards", c. 330-335) and collect even hundreds of different varieties (mintmarks, ruler depicted, field marks, legend varieties and mules)


I'd recommend buying from a vcoins.com dealer, all of them are quite reputable (or have several reputable dealers vouching for them) and there's a strict code for the dealers.


Buying cleaned coins individually usually leaves you with a collection that's probably a lot prettier to look at, but also much costlier.

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