VAL CONSTANTINVS LICINIVS N CAES, laureate head right / IOVI CONSER-VATORI CAESS, Jupiter standing left, chlamys across left shoulder, holding Victory on globe and leaning on sceptre, eagle with wreath left. Left field: K. Right field: wreath over X over A. Mintmark ALE, officina A. 21mm, 3.28 grams. Alexandria mint. RIC VII Alexandria 21(a). SKU X3397-53416
A beautiful quality numismatic mystery. It is an extremely rare follis of Licinius II as Caesar, minted 317 CE in Alexandria, immediately after two-year old Licinius was given the princely title of a Caesar. On this type, the name of Licinius II is given as VAL CONSTANTINVS LICINIVS N CAES ("Valerius Constantinus Licinius, noble Caesar"). However, the name of Licinius was Valerius Licinianus Licinius, not Valerius Constantinus Licinius. The name on this very early type is extremely strange, and there is no good explanation as to why he is named Valerius Constantinus Licinius here. The most likely explanation is that it is just an engraver's error who confused and conflated Licinius II and Constantine II, but coins of Constantine II were not yet minted in Alexandria at this stage. I've seen suggestions that it was a different son of Licinius I and Constantia (the sister of Constantine the Great), but there is no historical evidence that another prince named Valerius Constantinus Licinius existed. It is also possible that Licinius II at birth was named Valerius Constantine, but the name was changed to Valerius Licinianus around 317 AD.
Whatever the explanation is, this fascinating type is known from only a few coins. It is rated R5 in RIC and is of highest rarity. This coin is of superb quality, showing the original patina.