The Adoptive Emperors - Coins of Antoninus Pius, 138 to 161 AD

Antoninus Pius effectively ruled the Empire for the last six months of Hadrian’s reign while Hadrian was ill and reclusive.  Although 52 when he became Emperor, he lived for another 23 years, maintaining the Pax Romana by careful diplomacy.  True to his promise to Hadrian, he raised Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus to succeed him.  His one military adventure was the advance into Southern Scotland and the building of the Antonine Wall.  His beloved wife Faustina (Senior) died only four years into his reign and is commemorated in an extensive series of coins.

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Silver denarii

Denarii were the standard silver coins of the Republic and of the first and second centuries AD.
25 denarii made 1 golden aureus and one denarius was worth 4 sestertii
A typical denarius measures approximately 18 mm in diameter.

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RC 2779 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - silver denarius


RC 2779 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - silver denarius of 155-156 AD
obverse - ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP IMP II
reverse - TR POT XIX COS IIII - Hilaritas or Pietas standing with two children
SOLD

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RC 276 – Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) – silver denarius


RC 276 – Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) – silver denarius of 157 AD
obverse - ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP IMP II
TR POT XXI COS IIII – Annona (wheat supply) standing with wheat ears, etc.,
modius (wheat measure) at her feet,
ship's  prow behind (representing import of wheat from Egypt)
£48

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RC 1790 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - silver denarius


RC 1790 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - silver denarius
obverse - ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P XII
reverse - COS IIII - Ceres standing with wheat ears and cornucopia.
£48

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RC 3069 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - silver denarius


RC 3069 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - silver denarius of 152-153AD
obverse - ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P XV
reverse - COS IIII - Vesta standing with implements.
£60

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RC 339 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - silver denarius


RC 339 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - silver denarius
commemorative issued by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus
obverse - DIVVS ANTONINVS
reverse - DIVO PIO - Statue of Antoninus enthroned with sceptre and olive branch
 £60

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RC 3329 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - silver denarius


RC 3329 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - silver denarius of 150/51
obverse -IMP CAES T AEL HADR ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP
reverse - TR POT XIIII COS IIII - TRANQ - Tranquility with rudder and corn ears.
A clear, well centred coin.
£75

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Faustina Senior - beloved wife of Antoninus Pius (she died in 141 AD)

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RC 3089 - Faustina Senior - silver denarius


RC 3089 - Faustina Senior - silver denarius of 141 AD
obverse - DIVA FAVSTINA
reverse - AETERNITAS - Eternity standing
£48

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RC 3181 - Faustina Senior - silver denarius


RC 3181 - Faustina Senior - silver denarius of 141 AD
obverse - DIVA FAVSTINA
reverse - AETERNITAS - Eternity standing
£55

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'Brass'  sestertii

One 'brass' (or 'orichalcum') sestertius represented one quarter of a silver denarius.
A sestertius was a substantial coin -  measuring about 30-35 mm across and about 3-4 mm thick.

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RC 2791 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass sestertius


RC 2791 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass sestertius (Rome Mint, 139 AD)
obverse - ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP
reverse - TR POT COS II - Pax (peace) or Fortune holding cornucopia and olive branch
£55

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RC 3140 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass sestertius


RC 3140 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass sestertius (Rome Mint, 151-2 AD)
obverse - IMP CAES T AEL HADR ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP
reverse - no legend - Antoninus seated with globe, being crowned with a laurel wreath by Victory hovering behind.
SOLD

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RC 1687 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass sestertius

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RC 1687 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass sestertius (Rome Mint, 158-9 AD)
obverse - ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP
reverse - VOTA SOL DEC II - Antoninus sacrificing over a tripod altar.
£65

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RC 1633 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass sestertius

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RC 1633 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass sestertius (Rome Mint, 151-1 AD)
obverse - ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP
reverse - TR POT XXI [COS II?] - Fortune, with upturned cornucopia, steering the ship of state.
£65

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RC 616 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass sestertius


RC 616 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass sestertius of 155-6 AD
obverse - ANTONINVS AVG PIVS [PP IMP II]
reverse - TR POT XIX [COS IIII] - Roma helmeted seated on pile of shields, holding globe and sceptre.
£95

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Brass dupondii and copper asi

A copper As was worth four quadrantes or two semis. A brass Dupondius (the same size as the as) was worth two asi.  Two dupondii (or 4 asi) made one sestertius. On the dupondius, the Emperor was shown wearing a radiate crown (representing the rays of the sun), as opposed to the usual laurel wreath, to help distinguish it from the similar sized (but different coloured) as.

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RC 3184 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass dupondius


RC 3184 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass dupondius
obverse - ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP IMP
reverse - [TR POT XX] COS IIII - Providentia standing pointing to globe at her feet
£58

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RC 604 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - copper as


RC 604 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - copper as of 138 AD
obverse - IMP T AELIVS CAESAR ANTONINVS
reverse - TRIB POT COS - Clasped hands holding wand and corn ears
£58

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RC 3320 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass dupondius


RC 3320 - Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) - brass dupondius
obverse - ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P COS IIII
reverse - SC - Minerva (goddess of war) standing with spear and shield.
A very nice, clear coin with attractive 'desert' patination.
£225

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 If you are interested in buying any of the coins featured on this page,
please email us to check that it is still available, quoting our reference number (beginning RC_).

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