Those wacky Romans… they deified and worshipped everything. This one, however, deserves your devotion: Venus Cloacina, Goddess of the Great Sewer.
Yep. That’s right. A Sewer Goddess.
Before you poo-poo Her importance, consider this: Rome’s Cloaca Maxima (Great Sewer) was in large part responsible for the health and prosperity of Rome. Waste-related bacterial burdens were reduced as the sewage flowed away from the city instead of pooling in populated areas. The sewer also drained the marshlands, greatly diminishing the breeding grounds for disease vectors such as mosquitos.
Moneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. L. Mussidius Longus, 42 BC. AR denarius, Rome mint. Radiate and draped bust of Sol facing slightly right / Shrine of Venus Cloacina: Circular platform surmounted by two statues of the goddess, each resting right hand on cippus, the platform inscribed CLOAC and ornamented with trellis-pattern balustrade, flight of...
I shared my U.S. Half Dollar Type Collection with this board in Summer of 2011, however since then I have found some new examples and have upgraded a few coins. So I wanted to share my updates. I have been working on this collection since January 2011 -- and as some of you know, I have a passion for coins with interesting color and/or toning patterns, so when I could find a colorfully toned example of a type, I made the leap.
Flowing Hair: I knew the early Flowing Hair Half Dollar was going to be a stumbling block. The Flowing Hair Half was the first Half Dollar type minted in the U.S and was only produced for two years: 1794 and 1795. It sports the "Small Eagle" reverse, a design that Ben Franklin complained looked more like a turkey than an eagle. According to the Guide Book of U.S. Type Coins, only between 3,500 and 6,000 Flowing Hair Half Dollars remain in existence -- so this is a very rare type coin. I wasn't sure I would ever acquire this early Half Dollar; but...
The Young Numismatist auction is a fundraiser held at the ANA Summer Seminar to help fund YN Summer Seminar scholarships. All of the auction items are donated and no one is looking to get a "good deal" on anything they purchase. However, being new to the Summer Seminar and YN auctions, I didn't know that various bidding antics were quite typical and that there were actually "no rules" during the auctions!
So when I saw this medal come up for bid, I raised my bidder number, but then someone else began bidding on it. What I didn't know was that my good buddy Todd Pollock was the other bidder and that he was using a "counterfeit" bidder number he had created of MY OWN bidder number - which meant in essence, I was bidding against myself! Once I discovered that the other bidder was Todd and that he was using my own number, he "graciously" dropped out, but there was another real bidder, so we both kept bidding higher and higher, until finally I won out.
This is the beautiful Cathedral...
Isotta degli Atti
by Matteo de' Pasti, c. 1456-60
Bronze, 41.2 mm Ø, 33.3 g
Obverse: Bust of Isotta degli Atti facing right, hair over high frame, confined by a crossing band fastened on top with jewel, and falling in two pointed masses behind. Around, · D · ISOTTAE · / · ARIMINENSI · .
Reverse: A closed book. Around, E L E G I A E · .
DOMINAE ISOTTAE ARIMINENSI
To the Lady Isotta of Rimini
Isotta degli Atti (c. 1432 - 1474) was born in Rimini, the daughter of Francesco degli Atti, a wealthy wool trader and banker. She became the mistress of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, after he noticed her while a guest of Francesco during restoration of his residence. They had a son, Giovanni, in 1447, though he lived only a few months. Their relationship became public in 1449, after the death of Sigismondo's second wife, and they...
The 1909 S VDB cent is probably one of the most sought after American coins in the numismatics. Think about it; nearly all collectors either got started collecting lincolns or collect lincolns seriously sometime whilst engaged in the hobby.
The problem with this is that there were only 484,000 of these coins minted. Considering the low mintage, the survival rate of this coin was probably fairly high due to the fact it was a first year issue and lincoln was quite a popular figure.
When you combine a great ever growing demand with a finite possibly shrinking supply you can deduce two things. There will be a lot of collectors that never get their 1909 S VDB and there will be a lot of collectors that purchase a fake 1909 S VDB. In a market where the price for even a specimen in good is constantly rising and quickly approaching $1000, it would be far better to be in the first column than in the second. But if you find yourself...
United States Coinage Overhaul Is Needed Now!!!
The United States Coinage needs change (no pun intended) and here's three reasons why:
Our current circulating coinage is staid, impractical, and change makes good budgetary sense.
Have you ever wondered why our coinage looks like it does? Why each coin is a specific size, shape and composition? Do you know that the latest coinage act was over 45 years ago?
When the US Mint first started coining money in 1792 the composition and weight of a coin closely approximated it's value. Coins were made of gold, silver, and copper, and ranged in denomination from Half Cent to Eagle ($10 gold piece). Over time, adjustments were made in order to keep the intrinsic value of the coins near but still below their face value.
The Coinage Act of 1965 changed everything. Our coinage would no longer be made of precious metal, but made of base metal assuring that the cost of manufacturing the coins would be less than their face...
I know we have been over this bridge a million times, but recent comments by someone here have made me think about this whole market grading vs. technical grading thing and although I have tried to explain my point of view in the past, I don't think that I have done so well enough to make the point clearly as it is in my mind.
My point of view is that there are 2 schools of thought developing in numismatics lately. I am going to focus on the technical graders, because that is the side I think I fall to.
To a collector, there is less of a difference in opinions when a coin is technically graded (either detail is there or not) than any other way. There are STILL going to be differing opinions!!! It is a matter of opinion whether or not a coin is attractive (part of the technical grade) for example, but for the most part whether detail is on the coin or not is more of (but not completely!) a black-and-white issue, and one that I personally feel some comfort with. It was how I...
Two Unfinished Masterpieces.The offset background on the front of the enlarged version of the portrait of Abraham Lincoln as depicted on the $100 dollar Gold Certificate.The portrait of Lincoln .Miscellaneous Die # 1029.was engraved by Charles Burt in 1869.The rest of the note was completed in 1908 by Edward M. Hall,G.U.Rose Jr,Robert Ponickau and Edward E. Myers.The source ofthis engraving was a photograph taken at the Matthew brady studio in 1864.
the $100 Gold Certificate Miscellaneous Die # 7046 was intended to be used for the 1908 Series.This Series was never issued.
From time to time we see references to the Sheldon 70 point grading scale when talking about the grading system that is currently being used in Numismatics today. For the benefit of those who are not familiar with what Dr. Sheldon did and why he did it, I’d like to offer a short summary.
William H. Sheldon was born in 1898. He first became interested in Early Large Cents at a young age while looking through his Fathers cigar box full of those big old coppers. By the time he was a teenager, he was pricing Early Large Cents for a local dealer and according to him, using a 70 point system. As the years went by he became quite the aficionado of Early Large Cents (those from 1793 through 1814). On three different occasions he assembled sets with the last containing all 290+ known collectable varieties at the time. To put that more into perspective, that collection contained at least 16 (sixteen) 1793 Large Cents! In 1948 he published EARLY AMERICAN CENTS detailing much of his research...
In response to a recent question by a member on another thread, I present here the science of toning. This article is adapted from an article I posted a couple years ago on the NGC chat boards. Save it, print it, reference it, use it in discussions of toning. While some simplifications have been made to make it easier to understand (BadThad – I know! ), the basic science is all here.
The science of toning is very interesting. Sometimes delving into the details of something takes away the mystery of it, but to a scientist and numismatist, it only serves to heighten the wonder of a coin. Toning on silver coins appears through something known as thin film interference of a layer of silver sulfide (Ag2S) on the surface of the coin. This silver sulfide is formed when the silver alloy reacts with hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the atmosphere....
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