Tuesday, 2 February 2010

A New CLARITAS of Crispus


CNG Electronic Auction 226, Lot: 564. Estimate $100. Sold for $451.
Crispus. Caesar, AD 316-326. Æ Follis (19mm, 3.31 g, 7h). Londinium (London) mint. Struck circa AD 317. CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / CLARITAS REIPVBLICAE, Sol standing left, raising hand and holding globe; S/*-P//PLN. RIC VI -. Good VF, brown patina. Similar to RIC 119-123 but those issues have a + below the S.

(Image courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.- www.cngcoins.com)

That was the auction description. The S over star issue of London is rare and difficult to come by. Until recently, all of this issue were SOLI INVICTO COMITI types. Then a few CLARITAS REIPVBLICAE types for Constantine began to appear - I know of half a dozen examples only. Then a few weeks ago, this coin of Crispus appeared in the CNG electronic auction . The description is essentially correct but the + suggested for RIC VII 119-123 is essentially just a stylised star and the more usual * is the more common mark. This is the only example of this issue with CLARITAS for Crispus that I know of. This coin is now in the DiMarzio Collection and I am grateful for Paul's encouragement to publish it here. I would also be interested if anyone knows of any other examples.