Licinius I, 308-324. Aureus (Gold, 21 mm, 5.29 g, 12 h), Nicomedia, early 321. LICINIVS AVG OB D V FILII SVI Bare-headed, draped and cuirassed facing bust of Licinius I. Rev. IOVI CONS LICINI AVG / SMNΓ Jupiter, holding Victory on globe in his right hand and long scepter with his left, seated facing on throne set on platform inscribed SIC X / SIC XX; to left, eagle standing left, head to right, holding wreath in beak. Depeyrot 31/1. RIC 41. Very rare and with an intriguing portrait. A lustrous and well struck example of fine style. Light marks and with a minor scuff on the reverse edge, otherwise, good extremely fine.
The obverse legend of this spectacular coin, LICINIVS AVG(ustus) OB D(iem) V (quinquennalium) FILII SVI, translates as 'Licinius Augustus for the quinquennalia of his son'. This dates the issue to 321/2, when Licinius Iunior, who had been appointed by his father to the rank of Caesar in 317, celebrated his personal quinquennalia. At this time, Licinius Iunior was only six years old and still far from being his father's right-hand - unlike Constantine's oldest son Crispus, who was approaching maturity at the time and who would play a leading role in the civil war to come. Facing portraits had previously only very rarely been applied to Roman coins, not in the least because of the technical and artistic challenges that they brought along. The fact that they appear on the celebratory issue of 321/322 shows the great care that was put into the production of these coins, which were undoubtedly distributed among officers and soldiers to secure their loyalty to the Licinian dynasty.