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Billon follis of Constantine the Great

Jawaad Ahmed said he needed help in identifying and valuing the coin pictured here. It was described as a coin of Constantius I but Jawaad had no other information.

It measures 20mm in diameter and at first sight it looks to be a late Roman gold coin. However, after a second look it is fairly obvious that it isn’t solid gold.

On the obverse is a laureate and draped bust of an emperor and a legend that reads IMP CONSTANTINVS PF AVG. On the reverse is the standing figure of Jupiter with the officina mark behind. Jupiter has an eagle at his feet, holds a sceptre in one hand, the figure of Victory in the other and the mint letters (SIS) below his feet are those for Siscia. On this side the legend reads IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN.

The preceding information adds up to this coin being a billon follis of Constantine the Great. In volume IV of David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values the coin is listed as number 15969 and is dated to AD 313.

Valuation

Had Jawaad’s coin not been gilded then it would have been worth at least £15. The gilding makes it stand out rather well but most Roman specialist would say the covering of gold had ruined it as a true collectors’ piece.

All that remains for me to say is that it is to be hoped that the price paid for this coin wasn’t in the belief that it was made of solid gold!

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