81 - Legend RR

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Unique ID: 81

Technical details
DataDescriptionProvenanceReferences

Denomination

Quarter Stater

Metal

Gold

Area

Belgic Gaul

Region

Artois

Issuing Authority

Atrebates (Gaul)

Issuer

Unknown

Weight

1.30g

Diameter

9.86mm

Rarity

Excessively Rare (2 to 5)

Date

52 BC to 51 BC (see note about dating)

Obverse Legend

RR

Reverse Legend

RR

Obverse Description

The obverse is blank apart from two “R” shapes, one above the other.

Reverse Description

The reverse is dominated by a tree or trophy shaped object with six branches at the top (in two groups of three) and an annulet at the base surrounding a pellet. Two long “roots” come from this annulet, one at each side. The one on the left resembles an elongated “S”, and the one on the right an elongated reversed “S”.

To the left and right of the tree’s trunk are two “R” objects. The one on the left lies flat rotated 90 degrees clockwise from vertical. The one on the left lies flat rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise from vertical. On this particular coin they are damaged, with the rounded upper portions missing. Below these, next to the roots, and two fat circles. The one on the left has the right side missing, so could be a “C” shape rather than a damaged circle. There are only two other known coins of this type, and they are from different dies, so we cannot be sure about this shape. On one of the coins, the fat circle on the right is replaced with a reversed “C” shape.

Below the tree, between the roots, is a large pellet. It is damaged so we can’t tell the original form. On one of the other coins it appears as a ringed pellet.

Divided Kingdoms

DT

DT 260. l’arbre et √† la ligne bris√©e

This coin is Gallo Belgic D (GB-D) “RR” type, one of the excessively rare “legend” types. The GB-D quarter staters were minted in Belgic Gaul to finance resistance to Caesar during the Gallic Wars. The “A” type (62) is thought to have been minted in preparation for the final year of the war (51 BC), so it’s possible that the RR type was minted at the same time.

The type is defined by the vertically stacked RR legend on the obverse which is repeated in the reverse. The other “legend” GB-D quarters have either “A”, “AT”, “AR” or “ATR” on the obverse, depending on how you interpret the monogram. It is thought that these refer to the Atrebates. It is not known what the RR might have meant.

This is only the third example of this coin I have been able to find. It was generally thought to have been unique.

GB-D types in the collection:

  • Branch Type (38 and 63)
  • Two Symbols (26 and 31)
  • Two Arcs Uniface (79)
  • Ornate Lines (54)
  • Two Rosettes (70 and 93)
  • Linked Rings (86)
  • Ringed Pellet Globular (47)
  • S-Wave Trophy (64)
  • Legend A (62)
  • Legend RR (81)