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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

364, Lot: 66. Estimate $100.
Sold for $200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Anonymous. After 211 BC. Æ Triens (20mm, 4.94 g, 7h). Uncertain mint. Helmeted head of Minerva right; four pellets above / Prow right; four pellets above. Cf. Crawford 56/4; Sydenham 143b; RBW 208. Good VF, brown surfaces.

From the RBW Collection. Ex UBS 59 (29 January 2004), lot 6126.

Quoting a note by Roberto Russo in the RBW catalog: “This...belong[s] to an anonymous light series which includes triens, quadrans and sextans. In our opinion, this series was not identified by Crawford. The coins in this series are always overstruck and almost always on Sardo-Punic coins. Not only does this serve as unequivocal proof that they should be dated slightly after 212 and that the mint is Sardinian, but it also confirms the fiduciary value of bronze and proves that the light and heavy series were entirely contemporaneous. The Sardinian populations were accustomed to a fiduciary system which would explain why they decided to use the flans of the abundant Sardo-Punic bronze coins already at their disposal rather than melt them down to produce new flans of more precise weight.”

McCabe (“The anonymous struck bronze coinage of the Roman Republic,” Essays Russo, p. 176), has called into question the claim that these coins are always struck on Sardo-Punic coins. He notes: “The presence of certainly Italian and Sicilian undertypes, as well as the fact that some are overstrikes on earlier Roman coins makes the picture less certain. It may be that they come from more than one mint in Sardinia, southern Italy and/or Sicily.”