Munten, Gordiaans III, Antoninianus
242-244 - Antioch - ZF+ - Billon - RIC:216
- Nominale waarde: Antoninianus
- Jaar: 242-244
- Atelier: Antioch
- Metaal: Billon
- Diameter: 22
- Hoofdpersonage: Gordiaans III
- RIC : 216
- Reign over Roman Empire (Western and Byzantine): AD 238–244
- Period: Crisis of the Third Century
Originally from Anatolia (Asia Minor), Marcus Antonius Gordianus was born in January 225 and died at Circesium in Mesopotamia (modern-day Al-Busayrah in Syria) in 244. He was scarcely 19 years of age and reigned over the empire for just 6 years.
Gordian III was but 13 years old when he was thrust to power by the citizens of Rome. The Empire then faced internal revolts and felt strong pressures at its borders, in particular that of the Parthians in the East. His reign fell in the middle of the Crisis of the Third Century, also known as the “Military Anarchy”, during which tyrants and emperors succeeded one another at a terrific rate from the death of Alexander Severus, assassinated in 235, until the arrival of Diocletian in 284.
Picture: Bust of Gordian III, The Staatliche Museen’s Collection of Classical Antiquities, Altes Museum, Berlin - Picture taken by Marcus Cyron (CC)
An “AU(50-53)” quality
As in numismatics, it is important that the state of conservation of an item be carefully evaluated before it is offered to a discerning collector with a keen eye.
This initially obscure acronym comprising two words describing the state of conservation is explained clearly here:
This means – more prosaically – that the coin has circulated well from hand to hand and pocket to pocket but the impact on its wear remains limited: the coins displays sharp detailing and little sign of being circulated. The number (50-53) indicates that at least half of the original luster remains. Closer examination with the naked eye reveals minor scratches or nicks.
You might be wondering why there are different ranges of numbers behind the same abbreviation. Well, we’ll explain:
The numbers are subdivisions within a category, showing that the state of conversation is the same but coins may be at the higher or lower end of the scale. In the case of AU, the range (55-58) indicates that the luster is better preserved in than a similar coin described as (50-53).