Ancient Imitations of Roman Coins of the Period of Constantine (307-337)
This site has six pages, including pages on the very common GLORIA EXERCITVS, VRBS ROMA, and CONSTANTINOPOLIS types (330-340, epidemic imitations commonly found in the West, especially Britain), a page on the common "Two-Victories" type (epidemic imitations most commonly found in the Balkans and to the north), and this page, which is on endemic imitations of all other types of Constantine and his relatives, to AD 340. A short page on imitations of types 340-348 concludes this group of pages.
On this page: Coins of Constantine and family: BEATA TRANQVILITAS (first), VOT XX, campgate, VIRTVS EXERCITI,
followed by types of Crispus (Vota), Helena (PAX), and Constantine II.
Constantine (307 - 337)
BEATA TRANQVILLITAS imitations
A wonderful full-sized imitation
19 mm. 4.43 grams.
CONSTANTINVS AVG, helmeted, cuirassed, bust right
BEATA TRAN***QVILLITAS with large serifs
around altar inscribed
PTR in exergue
Prototype: RIC Trier 368, struck 322-323.
Lead. 18 mm.
Bold lead imitation
/in exergue: •STR<crescent>
Prototype: RIC Trier 390 of AD 323. There are many similar varieties.
VOT XX imitations
18 mm. 3.14 grams.
Clear and legible legends unknown on official issues.
CONSTA-NTINVS [No title! It usually ends AVG]
XX in wreath
CONSTANTINVS AVGG around [No initial "DN"]
PTR in exergue
There is a Trier VOT XX reverse, RIC Trier 439, but not with these legends.
18 mm. 2.81 grams..
The portrait resembles Constantine II. The legend termination would make the distinction, but it is unclear. It would end "IVN NOB C" for Constantine II instead of "AVG" for Constantine. The reverse legend is distinctly of Constantine.
DN CONSTANTINI MAX AVG around,
VOT XX over crescent in wreath, T in exergue
"T" suggests Ticinum, but official issues from Ticinum have mintmark of form "PT".
18 mm. 2.62 grams. 9:00.
Thessalonica mint type.
Bust right, with nearly correct letter forms.
IMP CONSTAT[sic]NVS PF AVG, helmeted bust right
VOT XX / MVLT / XXX T.S.Γ [backwards]
Prototype: RIC VII Thessalonica 28 "318-9"
18 mm. 2.70 grams.
CONSTANTINVS AVG [bold letters retrograde]
laureate head right
Mirror image reverse. The reverse is completely retrograde!
PROVIDENTIAE AVGG retrograde around gampgate
SMANT retrograde in exergue
Eastern imitations are very rare. According to the reputable dealer from whom I obtained this one, it was the only imitation in a hoard of 20,000 pieces!
Lovely rust-colored patina
Prototype: RIC VII Antioch 63 or 78 "325-6, 326-7"
20 mm. Large! 3.61 grams.
PROVIDENTIAE AVGG around
P<wreath>S in exergue
Prototype: RIC VII Rome 287 "326"
VIRTVS EXERCITI imitation
17-16 mm. 2.00 grams. Slightly smaller than the original (below).
Crude lettering and bust
Obverse legend with some letter-like forms including T, I, S, V
helmeted and curiassed bust right
Two captives at base of standard with "IV/oo" onit, •SIS• mintmark.
Prototype: VIRTVS EXRCITI type, two captives at base of standard, inscribed VOT/PR
Slightly crude, but legible.
CRISPIIIS NOB CAES with some crude letters, bust left with spear forward and shield
VOT V in wreath, CAESARVM NOSTRORVM with some crude letters
Reverse double struck so a mint mark, if ever there, is not legible.
An official coin with this obverse and a VOT V reverse is next.
Four of the next six have reverse types suggesting "VOT XX" which is not a type of Crispus, rather Constantine. Nevertheless, the legend and bust left suggest the pieces imitate coins of Crispus. Why VOT XX is more popular than VOT X or VOT V, which are official legends for Crispus, is a mystery to me.
17 mm. 2.45 grams.
obverse: FL IVL CR..VS NOB CAE[S]
retrograde "VOT" so: /TOV XX in wreath,
.... STRORVM, first part off flan
/mint mark off flan
Prototype: VOT/XX in wreath, DOMINORVM NOSTRORVM around
an unlisted prototype, a combination of Lyon elements. An obverse legend of 319-320 and a reverse legend of 320 and VOT XX of 321 for Constantine. The reverse legend is also used 323-4.
Left facing busts of Crispus are common -- more common than for his siblings. Although these legends usually cannot be read with enough certainty to identify Crispus by a legible name, the bust left strongly suggests a Crispus prototype.
18 mm. 2.11 grams
This reverse type is common. The coin reminds me of Crispus, but he did not issue a vota piece with XX.
Left-facing bust, garbled legend of retrograde letters, mostly N's, with an S and an O
X X below crude upside down V, nonsense legend of retrograde letters, mostly N's and O's.
Exergue also illegible letter-like forms
Reverse prototype VOT XX inside wreath around which DOMINORVM NOSTRORVM or similar.
The dealer thought it was "possibly from Slovakia."
Helena, Mother of Constantine, imitations
12 mm. 1.26 grams.
Diademed bust of Helena right, ....LENA .....
PAX PVBLICA type
PA[X PVBLI]CA, Pax holding branch and transverse sceptre
TRS[dot] in exergue
Prototype: Sear 3810.
Bastien ANSMN 30 --, cf. FMRZ Lux II, plate VIII.2790 and FMRZ Lux I, plate XIII.3740-43, which are similar.
Constantine II (Caesar 317 - 337, Augustus 337 - 340)
Constantine II, 317-337-350
15 mm. 1.48 grams.
An imitation of nearly official style, but small.
IVN NOB C
RIC VII Rome 282 "326"
but the prototype is 2 mm larger. Only the small size makes me think this is unofficial. Is this official and simply small?
Found with three other anepigraphic imitations in a hoard of 8000 mostly GLORIA EXERCITVS coins. It fits their module.
Next is an official piece from Antioch.
Constantine II as Caesar
18 mm. 2.19 grams. Some dull surface-silver.
RIC Antioch 59 of 324-5.
Antioch is, by far, the most common mint for anepigraphic coins of the family of Constantine.
Bust left, looks like Constantine II/bulky standing figure
Very crude markings where the legend would be.
Found in the English midlands in 1996, with the typical English green patina/corrosion.
There are very many examples in very poor condition. Many of them are unidentifiable.
Go to pages on imitations of "Two Victories", GLORIA EXERCITVS, VRBS ROMA, or CONSTANTINOPLIS types.
Go to the page on imitations of types from 340-347.
Return to the main page on imitations of Roman coins.
Victor Clark has a page of similar imitations (off site in a new window): http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/barb2/