Ancient Imitations AD 340-348

Very few official copper coins were issued between 340 and 348, that is, after the death of Constantine II and before the FEL TEMP REPARATIO reform of 348.  John Kent, author of RIC VIII on the coins of the family of Constantine, thought that the vast numbers of copper coins that were issued from 330 to 340 sufficed until c. 347. The most common official type struck 347-348 is next.

Constans (Caesar 333 - 337. Augustus 337 - 350)

Official issue. 18-16 mm. 1.99 grams. 
    /VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN, two Victories, each holding a wreath and palm
    /palm branch vertical between them, ΓSIS in exergue
RIC Thessalonica 100, page 411, "AD 347-348".

This small type was issued from all western mints to as far east as Thessalonica. This reverse was issued for Constans and Constantius II, but is more common for Constans, who was the western emperor. Large hoards of coins from the east demonstate that imitations were far less common in the east. However, this type was imitated in Britain. Its imitations are scarce, possibly because there was little time between its issuance and the major FEL TEMP REPARATIO coin reform which produced its own flood of imitations.

13 mm.  1.14 grams.
Reasonably bold imitation in crude style.
The protype is small and this imitation is significantly smaller. 

All photos on this page are to scale. 

This imitation and the next are cruder than the two illustrated examples in Bastien, ANSMN 30 (1985) numbers 25 and 26.

another13-12 mm. 
Thin and weakly struck imitation.
............ S ...AVG
    /two Victories, star between
    /in exergue: TRP (clearer on the coin than the scan)
Prototype:  RIC Trier 180-211, p. 151-2.
Bought in Cambridge, 1996.


One Victory, two wreaths:

16 mm. 1.27 grams.
Constans. Prototype.
Victory holding out wreath in each hand. Chi-rho in right field.

RIC Siscia 175 "347-348"

15 mm. 1.54 grams.
Nearly official-style prototype. A few features, including its crude engraving, determine this to be an imitation.
CONSTA-S PF NO C, diademed head right. Note the obverse is missing the "N" of CONSTANS.
    /VICTOR - IA AVGG, Victory standing front, holding wreath in each hand
    /in exergue, * IISIS *
Prototype:  RIC Siscia 175 of AD 347, "16-17 mm, 1.67 grams"
Bought from a Spanish dealer.


Victory with one wreath and chi-rho in field left

The prototype. 16 mm. 1.59 grams.
*ASIS* mintmark, Victory with wreath and palm, advancing left, chi-rho in left field. 
RIC VIII Siscia 177, page 362, plate 16.176, "340-348 AD"


13 mm.  1.25 grams.

Ancient imitation. It is significantly smaller. VICTORIA AVGG ,*ASIS* mintmark, Victory with wreath and palm, advancing left, chi-rho in left field. 

The imitation is significantly smaller and cruder, but easily recognizable.



Continue with FEL TEMP REPARATIO imitations.

Return to the first page on imitations of 330-340.

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