With the season of the witch upon us I thought I'd kick things off with a spook-coin-tacular post of scary, macabre and just plain gory imagery on ancient coins.
We can thank the Celts for Samhain and a bunch of awesome near abstract stylized knock offs of our favorite ancients (Gods bless those pagans). Over 2,000 years ago the Celts would have celebrated their new years bash and harvest festival on the 31st of October (November 1st was new years day for them). And these parties were epic! The greater the previous years sacrifice the more abundant this years harvest. Keeping in mind that the history on them is written by those who would want them remembered as a bunch of debauched, lustful, psychos
We are told that they felt that it was a liminal time. Due to the changes going on with the world the boundaries between our world and others was thinned and we would be more able to communicate with the spirits and fairies.
Though, we can...
A long and boring post without any exciting coin eye candy follows. I’m so sorry!
Anyway, I have been reading a bit lately about the role of provenance in the fine art world (eg the record of who has owned the art and where it has been since it was created) and that started me thinking about it’s current and future role in the coin world.
On these boards a coin’s connection to a well known collection, horde, or use as a plate coin is generally seen as a plus and in auctions is often advertised by a seller, presumably as it will lead to a higher price. And I’ve seen several people on this board and Forvm suggest keeping dealer and any old collection tags.
But for the most part, when it comes to coins, or at least, most low value coins, it seems provenance is generally over looked. That makes sense of course, the time and paperwork involved in tracking the provenance of a low value coin with relatively low margins on sale is going to be uneconomical, and there are privacy issues...
As of today, the old VAMWorld, hosted by Wikispaces since 2006, is no longer accessible. It's replacement, VAMWorld 2.0, has been live for a couple months, and the vamworld.com domain has also already been moved, such that casual users might have only noticed a slightly different look when going to the VAMWorld home page.
VAMWorld was started in mid-2006 by Rob Joyce, now Senior Advisor to the Director NSA for Cyber Security Strategy. He thought it would be easier to have a wiki for the growing VAM catalog that it would be for him to release another print edition of "Fun in 1921," which was guide to neat die breaks on 1921-D Morgan dollars. His first post to the message board was short and sweet, "Just wanted to see if anyone ever looked in the message boards. Not sure if they are something we should use for VAM discussions or not." Twelve years of activity and counting have answered that question.
The transition to the new VAMWorld was made challenging in part by Wikispaces,...
Longtime regulars here might remember the ruler/coin I've been wanting the most, practically since I've started collecting ancient coins. Proud to say that I finally managed to acquire him for my collection after all these years, and after much saliva lost drooling over the examples that a couple of members here (@Brian Bucklan , @Valentinianvs ) have and other examples elsewhere on the internet. First king of Italy Odoacer is now a part of my collection.
Odoacer, Kingdom of Italy
Obv: OD[O-VAC], bare-headed, draped, cuirassed bust right
Rev: Odoacer's monogram (letters ODOVA) within wreath
Date: 476-493 AD
Ref: RIC X 3502
Provenance: Ex Classical Numismatics Group (CNG) 81, 20 May 2009, lot 1157; Ex Gemini, XIII, 6 April 2017, lot 265; Ex Harlan J. Berk (HJB), 2018 September
As a late Roman/early medieval...
Every so often I wonder if all our newest collectors are aware of all that exists in the way of options for their hobby. This post is to remind of a fact that I suspect we all know but rarely consider fully. Before there were 'coins' mankind carried on trade using a variety of found objects. A bit later, it was decided to modify some of these objects to certify or standardize them with regard to value or acceptability as money. Finally it was found convenient to produce objects that would be recognized as money and accepted at a 'face' value. These last objects are what I would term 'coins'.
Some will argue as to the number of separate inventions of 'coins' and whether we can prove that this was an original invention or a modification on a theme seen elsewhere. I will discuss three traditions that I consider inventive enough to be considered original. Your job is to correct where I err and support others that you find worthy of a top level separation.
Coins as we...
It's rare that thinking about an upcoming auction keeps me up at night for multiple days due to the excitement.
This type has always been at the top of my wantlist but I never thought I'd manage to acquire one due to its absolute rarity. It's necessary to be patient and opportunistic when you want a coin of which only two are available to private collectors (especially when one of those two is owned by a friend who won't ever sell).
If this coin were sold in a better publicized auction, I likely would have never been able to buy it. It went for roughly half of my max bid and I felt I only had a weak chance of buying it even at that level.
Needless to say, I'm thrilled. And, without further ado:
ATTICA. Athens. AV Diobol (1.43 gms), ca. 407/6 B.C.
Svoronos-pl. 15#7. Head of Athena facing right wearing crested Attic helmet adorned with palmette and olive leaves; Reverse: Two owls standing confronted, olive branch between, ethnic in exergue. Minor...
The Yan state was the originator of the knife coin, basing their currency off of the tool commonly used by the populace. The knife was an important and widely-used tool, so the shape had familiarity and value. The Chinese place much value on objects and ideas important to the function and prosperity of society, so the early currencies were based off of tools that contributed to the prosperity of China: knives and spades. It is estimated that knife currency was introduced around 600 BC, though it could be earlier or later. The State of Yan produced these knife coins until it fell to the Qin state in 222 BC.
(Image from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yan_(state))
The earliest knife coins had broad, rimless blades that came to a pointed tip (so they are fittingly called pointed-tip knives). The “cutting edge” of the blade is unobstructed as on actual knives. The back of the blade has a relatively tall ridge, which represents the reinforcing...
That’s right… the Kingdom of Castile & Leon. I hadn’t heard of this kingdom before two weeks ago when I saw what I thought was an interesting looking English medieval coin, like a John or Henry*. After reaching out to (and the gracious help from) CTer @TheRed , he shared with me that it was in fact from medieval Spain, the Kingdom of Castile and Leon.
Here is that coin that sparked this conversation, searching, and studying.
Kingdom of Castile & Leon
Enrique IV, 1454-1474 AD
BL Medio Cuartillo, Burgos Mint
Obverse: + ENRICVS : CARTVS : DEI : G, around a bust crowned frontally inside a circular border.
Reverse: + ENRICVS : REX : CASTELLE, around a castle with B (mint) below, inside a circular border.
References: (Does anyone have MEC vol. 6 The Iberian Peninsula???)
Ok, so I decided I'd spend the last $4.50 I had left on my paypal on an uncleaned, constantinian bronze coin lot. I recieved four coins, Two of which I am treating for bronze disease. I was able to get the dirt off with a needle, and had no idea what I even had. One of the coins I am yet to identify, but the other had decent detail; yet was completely unidentifiable as a roman bronze due to not having a profile.
So I decided I'd research bronzes from other ancient regions. Finally I got to Judean coins; and the first thing I see is the coin that I have.
As it turns out, this is not a "4th century AD Constantinian Bronze",
but a 37-44 AD bronze prutah of Agrippa I.
And I see they are selling for much more than I got it for, so its always nice to get a 1st century coin in a constantinian lot.
So now that I know that this lot consists of more than just roman coinage, what could this bronze coin be? It has a strange shape....
It's been a long time since I posted on here, but I need the community's help.
My currency collection was stolen in St George, UT not far from Las Vegas NV. My entire life's savings tied into the collection.
Can y'all please keep a lookout for the following notes on auction sites? Besides a police report, what other things can I do? Can I notify PMG/PCGS in case a dealer buys it and submits it for grading?
Also, if anyone can post a link to this thread on the PCGS forums, it would be greatly appreciated.
I'll post other notes in this thread as I'm able to recover some photos. Unfortunately, my laptop was taken with the list of serial numbers.
The 1928 $1 Red Seal is no longer in its holder. I cut it out when I received it.
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