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46 BC 180 Obverse Double Strike


This coin struck me as unusual, and I couldn't decide which way was "up" - so I didn't hesitate to pick it up. All three images below are the same coin - the obverse is photographed twice rotated by 180 degrees. The coin raises a lot of questions for me:


What happened? the obverse die would have been the lower one (fixed) so how did the flan/coin get hit again rotated by 180 degrees?

Which Apollo was struck first? I think that the one I show first (left side) was the one struck second (it is the one that is at ~0 die axis) - it looks to me like it is literally above the other image.

What happened with the reverse? it looks a little mashed to me, why isn't it double struck?


My best guess is that this was first a brockage, two flans struck at once leaving the reverse with a incuse impression of the obverse. Then someone tried to fix the mistake by striking again. The two obverse strikes are from different dies, which could suggest that the first strike was tossed aside and then picked up by a different team, knowingly or unknowingly striking a flan that was already struck once. In the photo there is a hint of a head-like depression on the obverse, that is easier to see in hand.

C Considius Paetus AR Denarius. 46 BC.

Obv: Laureate head of Apollo right

Rev: Curule chair, garlanded, on which lies wreath, C CONSIDI above, PAETI in exergue

Ref: Syd 991, Crawford 465/1b.


Here's a "single strike" version of this coin for comparison:

46 BC was a time when Julius Caesar crushed the remnants of Pompey's supporters in Africa. (See: Cato the Younger) It was also the last year of the pre-Julian caelndar, a 445 day year that brought the Roman world back to the solar calendar. (See: The Longest Year)

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