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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXI, Lot: 261. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $3500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Diocletian. AD 284-305. Potin Didrachm(?) (17mm, 4.96 g, 12h). Struck circa AD 296. ΔΙΟΚΛΗΤΙΑΝOC CЄB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / IC IC, Isis standing facing, head left, holding a sistrum with her right hand and a long scepter with her left. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) –; K&G 119.141; Emmett 4090 (R5); Staffieri, “Testimonianze sulla fine della monetazione autonoma alessandrina (296-298 d.C),” Proceedings of the XIII International Numismatic Congress (Madrid, 2005), pp. 937-45, Fig. 7 (this coin); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 273 (this coin). EF, dark green to black patina with traces of red. Extremely rare.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group 63 (21 May 2003), lot 1104.

At almost two grams lighter than the tetradrachms in this series, Giovanni considers this coin either a reduced-weight tetradrachm or a didrachm. In practice, with the same types as the full-weight tetradrachms, a reduced weight tetradrachm (or didrachm) would be very confusing for the local population. But as these coins do not fit into the normal Alexandrian coinage, as they do not have regnal dates, it is also possible that not as much attention was paid to weight standards, or we just don’t understand the intended use for these coins (e.g. they may be part of the ‘pattern’ issues that were developed during the transition from the Alexandrian to the Imperial series as noted before).