Unique Semissis or Heavy Siliqua Pattern
Valens, 364-378. (Bronze, 19 mm, 2.60 g, 12 h), pattern for a gold semissis or a heavy siliqua, Sirmium, c. 364. D N VALEN-S P F AVG Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Valens to right. Rev. GAVD-IVM R P/ SIRM On the left, Valentinian, taller, standing facing, his head turned to right, in military dress and holding spear in his right hand and globe in his left; on the right, Valens, shorter, in military dress and holding spear in his right hand and globe in his left. Unpublished, save for a note dated August 2000 on Wildwinds (http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/ric/valens/uncat.txt). Of the greatest rarity, apparently unique. Remains of deposits and with some cleaning marks, otherwise, extremely fine.
From a Swiss collection, ex Nomos 16, 10 May 2018, 230.
This coin is proof that even a well-studied series can produce major surprises! This must have been issued soon after Valentinian, who had become emperor on 26 February 364, made his brother Valens co-emperor on 28 March. That Valentinian was the senior emperor is clearly shown by his being portrayed as taller than his brother on the reverse of this coin. This was certainly not intended to be a normal base metal issue: legends with GAVDIVM are actually only found on gold of the House of Constantine; though the formula, Gaudium r(ei) p(ublicae) is seemingly unique to this piece. This coin tells us of the empire's 'joy' at having two legitimate emperors; while that would explain why the minting authorities in Sirmium produced this reverse type, it was undoubtedly not authorized by the imperial government. In any case, the type was not only not approved for general issue, it was not even allowed to be produced as a donative at Sirmium itself.
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