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Maiorina of Magnentius

Bill Wiggins is the finder of this very attractive Roman coin, which is made of billon (very base silver). It was found in Northamptonshire and Bill said its state of preservation is well above average. I was asked to provide a valuation.

The coin is a heavy maiorina of Magnentius, whose dates are AD 350 to 353. Magnentius was an experienced soldier and in 350 he rebelled against the emperor (Constans). This led to Constans being murdered. Magnentius was then recognised as emperor by most of the western provinces. However, he was eventually defeated by Constantius II and committed suicide after his troops deserted him.

On the obverse is a bare headed right-facing draped and cuirassed bust of Magnentius and a legend reading IM CAE MAGNENTIVS AVG. On the reverse, dressed in military attire, is the left-facing figure of the emperor; his right hand holds the figure of Victory resting on a globe, whilst his left hand holds a standard with a letter A to the right of it. Below, in the exergue, are the mint letters for Trier (TRS followed by a crescent). The reverse legend reads FELICITAS REIPVBLICE.

A coin of this type is listed in volume V of David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values as number18791. This example measures 21mm in diameter and the type was stuck during AD 350.


The surfaces are attractive, I can see no defects and overall Bill’s coin would grade good VF. It’s a really lovely coin, for which a collector could be willing to pay £75.

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