Folks, I've completed a large section in my ongoing work on the ERIC series. I posted about a month ago that I'd begun on this chapter and that it was like pulling teeth getting through it. I never did find my mojo with this emperor and so it took me an embarrassing 47 days to complete a ~4000 coin survey but now that the draft is complete I'm ready to celebrate its completion. I'm not really sure how I'm going to go about publishing my next revision of ERIC so I thought perhaps to try a "shareware" approach as one possibility. To this end I'm posting the complete section here for download and if you find it worthwhile and want to toss a buck or two my way that would be really appreciated. If you don't like it or can't afford it, really, no guilt from me.
For those of you who have Aorta or ERIC II you'll see the overall layout remains familiar but each entry is now much denser with information. For those not familiar here's a rundown on usage:
The heart of the cataloguing system aims to condense a lot of information into a small space (as there are tens of thousands of coin varieties this is the only practical way to publish it economically). For ease of use the book employs a consistent methodology throughout that breaks down any given coin into four elements: 1) obverse bust design, 2) the obverse legend, 3) the reverse legend and, 4) the reverse type design. Every known element is listed and numbered and the catalog then enumerates all the known combinations of each. The mint is appended as a fifth element that is excluded where obvious. Each coin is described on one - and always only one - line. With ERIC III the notes section that precedes the catalog will be expanded with general information pertinent to this reign and at the end of the catalog will be found the plates containing the best available photographs of obverses and reverses. New also for ERIC III there is an intense focus on rarity. Whereas up to now most references have lumped issues into vague rarity bands of questionable accuracy we will now get to see exactly how rare or common each coin type really is.
Let's take a couple of different line entries to explain:
141) B19, O24, R047, T050, M02 Exe: K/S over V/ANT $10 VF eBay 2/1999 3 300-301 RIC 55b (VI, Antioch), 63818
142) B19, O24, R047, T050, M02 Exe: K/e over V/ANT $60 VF Rauch 5/2005, $10 VF eBay 12/2010 75 300-301 RIC 55b (VI, Antioch), 863818
In these two (fictional) entries - which unfortunately don't line up into columns due to plain text here - we find a description of the coin encoded in the five elements spoken of previously. B19 would correspond to line 19 of the busts header and so on. Then, in the case of LRB especially, we find mintmark info appended after the Exe: (for exergue) which uses a format placing the letter K on the left field, S over V on the right and ANT in the exergue. The fields are separated by forward slashes. If we had a coin with only an A mark in the left field and ANT in the exergue we would write it as A//ANT to show that the right field was empty.
Then comes pricing information giving you an idea what a given coin of this type is worth. Normally I can fit a couple in each line, assuming a couple were actually for sale at some point. In the first line we have an issue of this variety having gone for $10 in VF condition on eBay and date of sale (my grade, not theirs). Then we come to the rarity where I note how many of this sort of coin I've come across. If, as in the example for Galerius, there were three recorded out of a total of 4,000 that would mean you can have a reasonable expectation of coming across one like this out of every 1000 coin sales of Galerius in general or so, making it rather rare indeed, while the line below, at 75, makes the variant with officina E approximately 25 times more common.
The mint date is given next and references are listed last. The bare numbers at the end are for a direct reference to a sample of this variety from the database used in putting together this and all other sections (coinvac.com) so that you can quickly find this variant for comparison. Line entries with references grayed out remain unconfirmed while lines in normal black type but without a bare number simply mean that the variety was confirmed but is not archived on coinvac.
Each denomination has additional pricing information at the head of the listings to give one a quick idea of what to expect to pay at auction divided as eBay and "everywhere else". Sales from about two dozen of the most prominent auctioneers are being recorded. For a number of reasons, in ERIC III I will not be tallying pricing from fixed coin sales regardless of venue; however, they are counted towards determining marketplace rarity.
It's my hope this section will be useful to anyone with an even passing interest in Galerius and if not at least it should give a sense of what to expect for the rest of the book.