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Old Jul 22, 2012, 07:16 AM   #1
Joe Geranio
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Did You Know this Roman Imperial Coin of Nero even Existed? RIC 10/ BMC 11 pl.38.6 -

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/Num...0Joe%20Geranio

I feel odd even writing about this? As I was doing research on the Quinarii of the Julio Claudians, I assumed there were at least AV (gold) issues of the big five, ie: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula who of course must be the rarest and hardest to attain photos of, and then Claudius and then the coin we come to here; Nero. Nero reigned from 54-68 A.D. and I thought there must be a decent amount of Neronian quinarius, when I say a decent amount , I mean 5 photos somewhere floating in the universe that I could find photos of the Nero small gold? I just assumed there was a Nero AV quinarius? I went to the usual sources and started my research of Nero and to my amazement !! There was not much there?

I then went to our FAC discussion board and knew Curtis Clay must have some information for me and so he gave me a little information that was very helpful. " Nero gold quinarius: BMC 11, pl. 38.6, apparently unique, part of the Blacas Coll. acquired by the BM in 1867. Now this is the old Testament of information compared to how little information is out there? I contacted the British Museum, as that is where the coin resides and Curtis actually gave me more information and they were not as excited about this wonderful Julio Claudian treasure as I was. I would find examples like this regarding the Nero quinarius in context with Nero's monetary reform, but never with a photo of the Nero quinarius? Just would get tid-bits of information like: Nero's reform in 63-4 A.D. is remembered by Pliny the Elder (Nat. Hist. XXIII, 47), who points out that the princeps reduced the weight of the aureus to 1/45th of a libra (=about 7.27 grams). As a consequence, Nero's quinarius aureus weighed 1/90th of a libra (=about 3.64 grams). Our specimen above is 3.83 grams and dated 55-56 A.D. The year after Nero became the last princeps of the Julio Claudian dynasty. The point is, the article from Italy does not use a photo of the Neronian quinarius and did not respond to any of my questions on availability of the issue ?


Experts in the field of Roman numismatics: I spoke with a number of numismatists who did not even know the coin existed? I could see this for some unique issue from Asia Minor, but; not a 12 Caesar in gold! I was glad to see "The encyclopedia for Roman Imperial Coins", on this website had a description for the coin under the Nero section. I was so excited I actually put the photo in under the description: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/num...RIC%20-%20NERO

The coin description is as follows: Nero Quinarius- 55-56 A.D. AV 3.83 gr., 7h. NERO CL DIVI F CAES AVG PM TR P II (55-56 A.D.) Youthful Bare Head Right. Reverse: VICT AVG Victory Draped, Alighting Left, Holding Round Shield in Right Hand. One thing worth noting on the reverse is the round shield is in such HIGH relief! I would love to examine it at the British Museum one day.


The Portrait itself is interesting. Nero would have been 18/19 years old in this portrait dated 55-56 A.D.
Nero’s early portraiture on coins shows a young man through the maturation process. These younger portraits are skillfully done, and have realism belonging to the young emperor’s (princeps) age. He is much thinner and does not have the heaviness of the jowls and bloated face as we have come to love in his later portraits. This is Roman realism in portraiture. We never see Augustus orTiberius age on Roman Imperial coin portraits, there are some portraits of Octavian that seem younger looking, but are not the same quality as Neronian portraits from the imperial Mint. Tiberius has never aged on his coins from imperial Rome, especially the bigflan coins with nice room for portraits, yet even on Nero’s portrait on denarii and aureii, as well as this quinarius convey a high achievement in artistic quality in his portraiture. Caligula was young and always had a sense of youthful realism, and Claudian coins have a more realistic sense to them on imperial coinage like Nero. The difference in wanting to convey realism on Nero’s portraits is the high quality and die cutters ability for detail with the Hellenistic technical skills added.

PORTRAIT IN THE ROUND THAT AGREE WITH THE QUINARIUS

I took some time with this and came up with a portrait that is not seen too often , but matches well with the maturation process on this coin, The young portrait of Nero here is from Russia and resides in the Hermitage Museum. My Friend Hans took the photos and I think they best represent Nero at this time in his life.
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 07:23 AM   #2
djmacdo
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That is an extraordinary coin. Thanks for posting it.

Mac
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 07:33 AM   #3
Joe Geranio
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Nero Quinarius

Mac,

Thanks, its amazing how many dealers did not know about this coin?

Joe
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 10:07 AM   #4
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Well, with all the coins that are out there, I guess it is not too unusual to miss a major rarity such as this. I am, however, amazed at the simple blunders that persist among some dealers--not the top line scholarly dealers certainly, but including some people who claim to be professionals. For example, the common cow and calf drachms of Apollonia and Dyrrhacium: They are quite easy to tell apart. Other than some rare early varieties, on all the drachms of Apollonia the cow faces left and on all the drachms of Dyrrhacium the cow faces right. Morover, the reverse legend begins with the abbreviated ethnic of Apollonia or Dyrrhachium. Yet, it is a rare day one can look on eBay and not find at least one of these drachms incorrectly attributed by one of the so-called professional dealers there. Well, that is my rant for the day.
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Old Jul 25, 2012, 12:20 AM   #5
Joe Geranio
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Nero

I blame myself, I dont know how I missed a Roman IMPERIAL coin from the Julio Claudian dynasty! If it was provincial I could forgive myself.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:33 PM   #6
nhochrein
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I knew about it, because I saw the article :-). It is a very interesting coin with a young bust of Nero. Thanks for posting!
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:41 PM   #7
Joe Geranio
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What article?
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 06:34 AM   #8
nhochrein
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The one you posted on FORVM :-)
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