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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve CaesarsView Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Coins of the 12 Caesars

Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

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Strabo wrote, "The Romans possess Lugdunum, founded below a ridge at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone. It is the most populous of all the other cities except Narbo; for it is a center of commerce, and the Roman emperors strike their silver and gold coinage there." (4.3.2)

SH84233. Silver denarius, RIC I 167a, BMCRE I 451, RSC I 137, BnF I 1373, SRCV I 1610, Choice EF, nearly as struck, lustrous, slight die wear, weight 3.887 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 15 - 13 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTVS DIVIF, bare head right; reverse bull butting right, IMPX in exergue; $1530.00 (1361.70)


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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Nero considered himself an artist, perhaps he was and took an interest in his coinage - the sestertii of Nero are considered by many to be the finest numismatic art of the Roman Empire.
RB84073. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 443 (S), Mac Dowall WCN 428, Giard Lyon 119, BnF II 83, Cohen I 262, BMCRE I -, Hunter I -, SGCV I -, VF, fine style, excellent portrait, attractive brown toning, obverse slightly off center, some light corrosion, weight 25.990 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head left, globe at point of neck; reverse Roma seated left on cuirass and shields, wearing helmet and military garb, Victory in offering wreath in her right hand, her left hand resting on parazonium at side, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, S - C flanking across field at center, ROMA in exergue; $1450.00 (1290.50)


Vespasian the Younger, Caesar, 94 - 95 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia

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In 94 A.D., because he had no heir, Domitian adopted his two young great-nephews. He renamed them Vespasian and Domitian. The next year he executed the boys' father, his cousin, Titus Flavius Clemens, and exiled the boys' mother, his niece, Flavia Domitilla. They were charged with Atheism, a charge sometimes applied to condemn converts to Judaism or Christianity. The boys then disappeared from history and their fate is unknown.

Smyrna was the only city to strike coins in the name of Vespasian the Younger. No coins were struck for his brother.

Some scholars connect Domitilla with a Roman Matron in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10b) and the Deuteronomy Rabbah 2.25. When the emperor had decreed that in 30 days, the Senate would confirm an edict to kill all Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, the Roman matron convinced her husband to stand up for the Jews. If that identification is correct, her husband Flavius Clemens converted to Judaism, after having contact with the great sage Rabbi Akiva. Flavia Domitilla is a saint in both the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church.
SH83453. Bronze AE 16, Klose p. 244, 3, pl. 31 (V1/R1); RPC II 1028; SNG Cop 1360; SNGvA 2208; BMC Ionia p. 276, 320, gF/F, weight 2.790 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna mint, as caesar, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse OYOCΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN, Nike standing right, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand; ex Solidus Numismatik, auction 7, lot 200; rare; $1300.00 (1157.00)


Antonia, Daughter of Mark Antony, Wife of Nero Drusus, Mother of Claudius, Grandmother of Caligula

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Antonia was the daughter of Marc Antony and Octavia, the wife of Nero Drusus, the mother of Claudius, and a grandmother of Caligula. Renowned for her beauty and virtue, Antonia was revered by the Roman people. She was probably poisoned by Caligula or committed suicide. She never loved her son Claudius, calling him a monster and a fool, but he posthumously made her Augusta in 41 A.D. and issued all her coinage.
SH68887. Silver denarius, RIC I Claudius 66, BMCRE I Claudius 111, Cohen 2, SRCV I 1900, F, toned, weight 3.717 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, struck under Claudius, c. 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse ANTONIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right, wearing barley wreath; reverse CONSTANTIAE AVGVSTI, Antonia standing facing, draped as Constantia, long torch in right, cornucopia in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; rare (R2); $880.00 (783.20)


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

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This Victory type was likely struck in anticipation of the upcoming war with Vitellius.
SH72952. Silver denarius, RIC I 16, RSC II 24, BMCRE I 24, BnF III 21, SRCV I 2165, F, nice style portrait and reverse, attractive toning, porous, weight 3.038 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 15 Jan - Feb 69 A.D.; obverse IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse VICTORIA OTHONIS, Victory walking left, wreath extended in right, palm frond in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, 23/1000 coins of this type in Jyrki Muona' Otho die-study; very rare (RIC R3); $800.00 (712.00)


Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

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The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
SH84074. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 388 (S), BMCRE I 70, Cohen I 112, Cayon I 54, SRCV I 2118 var. (laureate head right), Hunter I 23 var. (same), aVF, excellent portrait, attractive dark sea-green patina, shallow old cuts on the reverse, areas of corrosion, weight 23.372 g, maximum diameter 35.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. Oct 68 A.D; obverse SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TR P, laureate and draped bust right; reverse LIBERTAS PVBLICA (freedom of the people), Liberty standing half left, pileus liberatis in right hand, rod in left hand and cradled in left arm, S - C (Senatus Consulto) flanking across field at center; scarce; $640.00 (569.60)


Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D.

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In 36 A.D., Herod Antipas suffered major losses in a war with Aretas IV of Nabataea, provoked partly by Antipas' divorce of Aretas' daughter. According to Josephus, Herod's defeat was popularly believed to be divine punishment for his execution of John the Baptist. Tiberius ordered Vitellius, the governor of Syria, to capture or kill Aretas, but Vitellius was reluctant to support Herod and abandoned his campaign upon Tiberius' death in 37.
SH84234. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 5, 152; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 60; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, Choice gVF, well centered, toned, die wear, porosity, light marks, weight 3.670 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 45o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 36 - 37 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right, laurel wreath ties fall in small undulations (waves); reverse PONTIF MAXIM, Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with decorated legs, a single line below, long scepter vertical behind in her right, branch in left, feet on footstool; $630.00 (560.70)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta Issue

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This type celebrates the success of Vespasian and Titus in quelling the First Jewish Revolt. Coins commemorating this event are referred to as "Judaea Capta" issues. RIC lists this type as common; we think in error. This is only the second example of the type handled by Forum in nearly two decades.
RS84469. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 1120; RSC II 243; Hendin 1488; BMCRE II 388; BnF III 297; Hunter I 161; SRCV I 2262, F, toned, scratches, weight 2.994 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse IVDAEA DEVICTA (Judaea Defeated), Jewess standing left, draped, head slightly bowed, hands tied in front of her, date palm tree behind her; ex Spink with their round tag; rare; $550.00 (489.50)


Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

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This coin is M13 in The Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage: From the Reform of Nero to the Reform of Trajan by Kevin Butcher and Matthew Pointing. Testing established this coin was minted to the first Neronian standard, at 78.6% silver. There is a very tiny hole drilled in the edge where the sample was taken.
SH72993. Silver denarius, Butcher-Pointing M13 (this coin), RIC I 105 (R), RSC II 47, BMCRE I 31, BnF III 67, Hunter I 11, SRCV I 2198 var. (no AVG, May - Jul), F, toned, tiny sample hole on the edge, weight 3.093 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, Jul - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS RESTITVTA (Liberty restored), Libertas standing facing, head right, pileus in extended right hand, long rod vertical in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; rare; $450.00 (400.50)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Restitution Issue Struck in Thrace under Titus

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The restoration coins of Titus and Domitian attributed by BMC to Lugdunum have been reattributed in RPC II and the new RIC II, part 1 to Thrace, and perhaps Perinthus. The types are rarely found in the west and are most frequently found in the Balkans, some share a countermark identical to some coins of Perinthus, the epigraphy does not fit Lugdunum or Rome, and the inconsistent die axis is characteristic of the Perinthus mint.
SH73458. Brass sestertius, RPC II 511, RIC II, part 1, Titus 403 (R); BMCRE II Titus 263; BnF III -; Hunter I -; Cohen I -; SRCV I -, gF, centered, nice green patina, weight 24.742 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Thrace, Perinthus(?) mint, 80 A.D.; obverse DIVVS AVGVSTVS PATER, Augustus seated left on curule chair, feet on footstool, radiate and togate, patera in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; reverse IMP T CAES DIVI DIVI VESP F AVG P M TR P P COS VIII (clockwise starting at 12:00), large S C, REST above; huge 35 mm bronze!; rare; $430.00 (382.70)




  







Catalog current as of Monday, February 20, 2017.
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12 Caesars