Tag Archives: Coins

Some Roman coins of the usurper Allectus

Some Roman coins of the usurper Allectus

Flatbed scanning and image manipulation technology have come a long way since 1997 when I first made Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain By John Y. Akerman, 1836, available for free on the internet! (See some of my earlier and more primitive scanning attempts here) So I have been revisiting this classic work to provide better quality images of the interesting woodcuts of roman coins contained in this book:

Roman coin - Allectus Adventus
Woodcut of a roman coin of Allectus (293-296AD)

Above: Obverse. IMP ALLECTVS P F AVG. Imperator Allectus Pius Felix Augustus.

Reverse. ADVENTVS AVG. Adventus Augusti. Allectus on horseback, his right hand raised, his left holding the hasta: before, a captive seated on the ground: in the exergue, S P C.

A very unusual coin, for Allectus at least, this particlar reverse is very similar to the now famous denarius of Carausius from the Frome Hoard, found by metal detectorist Dave Crisp. Roman Coins and Their Values, 4th revised edition, doesn’t list this particular coin, could it be a forgery inspired by the Carausius denarius, or just a very rare issue of Allectus?

Roman coin of Allectus, Galley type
Woodcut of a roman coin of Allectus (293-296AD)

Above: The classic coin of Allectus, the Galley reverse. RCV lists three different ‘Galley’ types.

See also: Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain, Plates I-VI

Celtic gold coins found whilst volunteering for an archaeological unit

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus, king of the Catuvellauni tribe

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.

Celtic gold stater (right) and quarter stater (left) of Tasciovanus, king of the Catuvellauni tribe (from around 20BC until around 9AD) and father of Cunobelin, that I found whilst volunteering for an archaeological unit. Equipment used was a Compass Coin Pro II metal detector and a massive yellow JCB in place of my usual Black ADA. These photos turned out pretty well considering they were taken on the cover of one of my finds log books that was sitting on the boot of the presiding archaeologists car!

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.

Payment received by me for these two rare gold coins? £0.00p. If they were acquired by a museum after the Treasure Act inquest (I was not told what happened to the coins after that point) at St Albans Coroners Court, they certainly got a bargain! The FLO who attended the inquest as expert witness certainly seemed impressed. They are certainly among my all time favourite metal detecting finds! Celtic gold coins found whilst volunteering for an archaeological unit forum thread.
Celtic gold stater of Tasciovanus

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.

Celtic gold quarter stater of Tasciovanus

Celtic gold quarter stater of Tasciovanus

Metal Detecting UK

Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard – metal detecting find fund-raising

Metal detecting find fund-raising – The Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard

Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard, 840 Iron Age gold staters of the Iceni tribe, found by metal detectorists in 2008.
Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard, 840 Iron Age gold staters of the Iceni tribe, found by metal detectorists in 2008. Photograph courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service have apparently begun a fund raising effort to secure the Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard of 840 Iron Age gold staters found by two metal detectorists in 2008. The Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard is one of the largest hoards of iron age gold staters ever discovered. The 840 gold staters date from around 40 BC–15 AD.

This metal detecting find received a fair bit of coverage in the news after a very public falling out between the two finders, Michael Darke (or Dark, depending on source) and Keith Lewis.

The BBC reports that Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service hope to display this fantastic metal detecting find at Ipswich Museum, but I have not been able to find any details or information about the fund-raising effort on their various web sites as yet, so if you want to support the campaign to keep this find in Essex, you could try getting in touch with Ipswich Museum directly:

Ipswich Museum
High Street
Ipswich IP1 3QH

Tel: 01473 433550
Fax: 01473 433558 [Wow, people still use faxes? wtf?]

I’ll update if an online fund-raising campaign is launched.

An ancient Greek metal detecting find – revisited

An ancient Greek metal detecting find – revisited

I posted this picture a few days back, probably my favourite metal detecting find of all time, an ancient greek coin minted in Italy. I found this coin almost 20 years ago and didn’t notice until just now – there seems to be writing just above the bull’s back:

An ancient Greek metal detecting find - Thurium bull ancient greek coin
An ancient Greek metal detecting find – Thurium bull ancient greek coin

Can’t believe it took me this long to notice! The writing isn’t ‘eye visible’ on the coin itself, but the camera certainly seems to have picked it up. Time to break out the flatbed scanner and photoshop, wonder if I can enhance it enough to make it readable?

Metal Detecting UK

Rare Carausius ‘Clasped Hands’ Denarius being offered by Dix, Noonan and Webb

Rare Carausius ‘Clasped Hands’ Denarius being offered by Dix, Noonan and Webb

Dix, Noonan and Webb are offering a very rare Carausius ‘Clasped Hands’ Denarius in their December 9th coin auction:

Carausius, Argenteus, London, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, rev. clasped hands, 4.19g/6h (cf. RIC 549; cf. Shiel 14-20). Very fine and very rare £600-800

There was a near perfect example of this coin found amongst the 52,503 coins of the Frome Hoard, found by Dave Crisp. See The Frome Hoard Book, by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland, page 28 for more information about this very unusual coin and an interesting theory about the meaning of the letters ‘RSR’ beneath the clasped hands from Guy de la Bedoyere. Although, John Y. Akerman writing in Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain, 1836, says “It is difficult to assign an exact meaning to the letters RSR; but if conjecture be allowed, it seems highly probable that this coin was struck at Rutupia (Richborough in Kent).”

Wish I had the money for this one!

Metal Detecting UK

New London Coins Auction catalogue, auction 131 on 5th and 6th of December

New London Coins Auction catalogue

The new London Coins Auction catalogue is out. The catalogue for the auction is up to London Coins Auction usual high standard (with loads of colour photographs), as are the the offerings within. The sale catalogue contains more than 2300 individual lots. Fewer ancients in this one than usual, but as always, there is something in this sale for everybody.

The auction takes place on the Sunday 5th and Monday 6th of December at the Grange Hotel, Charles Square, Bracknell, Berks, RG12 1ED.

Bids by e-mail : bids@londoncoins.co.uk,  or  snail mail to 4-6 Upper Street South, New Ash Green, Kent DA3 8JJ, phone 01474 871464 or fax 01474 872173. See www.londoncoins.co.uk for more info.

Metal Detecting UK

An ancient Greek metal detecting find – coin from Thurium or Thurii

An ancient Greek metal detecting find – coin from Thurium or Thurii

Thurium bull ancient greek coin metal detecting find
This one is still my favourite, and oldest, metal detecting find of all time. A coin minted in Thurium, a Greek city in modern day Italy, in the 4th century BC. The bull charging right is a recurring motif on coins minted in Thurium. How it ended up next to a canal in Hertfordshire, I guess we’ll never know…
Thurium bull ancient greek coin metal detecting find

When I found it, I was absolutely convinced I’d found a Celt, but the British Museum later identified it as being an ancient Greek.

Metal Detecting UK

Cartwheel Twopence Coins, Cartwheel Penny Craziness

Cartwheel two penny coins

Cartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho Mint, Cartwheel pennyCartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho Mint, Cartwheel pennyProbably my favourite Georgian coins, the Cartwheel pennies are a currency experiment that didn’t quite go as planned. They were created by Matthew Boulton at the Soho Mint in Handsworth, Birmingham in 1797. Eight of these cartwheel twopence coins, laid side by side, measure exactly one foot, an unusual sort of anti-counterfeiting measure. They weighed exactly 2oz a piece, the one penny weighing  exactly 1oz. At the time they were produced it is believed that as much as two thirds of the copper coinage in circulation in the UK was fake. They were also the first official British coins struck using steam power.
Cartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho MintA quick and easy way of telling a cartwheel twopence from the one pence, without a side by side comparison, is to measure the thickness of the coin. A cartwheel twopence is 5mm or 1 fifth of an inch thick and the cartwheel one pence is 3mm thick.

Cartwheel two penny coins produced by the Soho Mint

Soho mint mark beneath Britannia's shield
Soho mint mark beneath Britannia’s shield

Matthew Boulton and his Soho Mint also produced tokens for the East India Company. The millions of copper tokens salvaged from the wreck of the Admiral Gardner, wrecked on the Goodwin Sands on January 24/25, 1809, were produced at the Soho Mint on Matthew Boulton’s steam powered coin presses. Admiral Gardner was carrying 54 tons of the copper coins, which had been destined for use by the company in India.

These photographs are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Which means you can take them for use on your own web site etc. as long as they are properly attributed. I’ve already added a couple of them to Wikimedia Commons.

Metal Detecting UK