A second Tetradrachm for the collection

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Gam3rBlake, Oct 27, 2021.

  1. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    I managed to pick up this Trajan tetradrachm today for a good price :).

    One thing I like about it is that it's a coin of Trajan's but it's not a normal Roman coin since the Romans didn't use tetradrachms but rather the denarius & aureus so this is a provincial coin from Phoenicia, Tyre.

    I also really like coins with eagles on them and Romans loved to put eagles on all kinds of things (including the coveted aquilas) so I really liked the design. ^_^

    Oh and I think I am actually going to crack this baby out of it's NGC slab just because I really want to hold it in my hand xD.

    PHOENICIA. Tyre. Trajan (AD 98-117). AR tetradrachm (24mm, 6h). NGC Choice VF. •ΑΥΤΟΚΡ ΚΑΙC ΝЄΡ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟC CЄΒ ΓЄΡΜ ΔΑΚ•, laureate head of Trajan right / •ΔΗΜΑΡΧ-•ЄΞ ΙЄ ΥΠΑΤ •Є•, eagle standing facing on club, head and tail left, wings spread. Prieur 1504. McAlee 439.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
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  3. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Nice! Enjoy that feeling of holding the actual coin in your hand, instead of only an image viewed through plastic.
  4. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Thanks I will! :)

    I believe it’s a relatively high purity silver coin too since coinage wasn’t too debased under Trajan. Unless I’m misunderstanding something?
  5. iameatingjam

    iameatingjam Well-Known Member

    I believe these are high grade silver even though alexandria was billon by that time. I'm not sure why the different policy. Anyone?


    This was one of my first. Good value the pronvincial tets.

  6. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Roman Egypt was a closed economy in terms of its monetary system, completely separate from the silver tetradrachms of Syria and other Eastern provinces. The Roman Egyptian "silver" tetradrachms were heavily debased and should be classified as billon from at least the reign of Nero. I don't think they even had that much silver in Egypt. and none came in from outside. After all, it's not as if Egypt was paid for its grain shipments to Rome -- that was tribute.
  7. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    I believe technically Egypt was the sole property of the Emperor right?
  8. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Anyone know the best way to open up an NGC slab without accidentally scratching the coin with broken plastic?
  9. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Nice addition.

    These are fairly common. Mine was $70 total. I just loved the dark/patina hoard look to it.

    'Trajan (98 - 117 A.D.)
    SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Antioch.
    AR Tetradrachm
    O: AYTOKΡ KAIC NEΡ TΡAIANOC CEB ΓEΡM ΔAK, laureate bust right
    R: ΔHMAΡX EX IΣ YΠAT Σ, Eagle standing facing on club, wings spread, head left, palm branch right. Struck 110 -111 A.D.
    McAlee 439; Prieur 1504 (Tyre).
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I believe that's the case. Members of the Senate weren't even allowed to visit without permission, from what I've read.
    Andres2 and Gam3rBlake like this.
  11. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    The Tet pictured below sold almost 4 years ago. I bought the coin a long time ago because of the amazing portrait despite the graffito on the obverse.
    McAlee 440, obv. (2).jpg McAlee 440, rev. (2).jpg
    Andres2, Cucumbor, Bing and 6 others like this.
  12. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, the Roman provincial tetradrachms of were debased, I think from Claudius forward, with billon fineness being the norm moving from the 1st century to the 2nd century AD.

    However, there seems to be the occasional exception. Here's a tetradrachm of Gallienus, Sol reverse, minted in 266-67 AD, that seems to have a somewhat higher silver content, at least according to Harlan Berk, and I think it does. How much higher is hard to determine.

    RY 14
    10.22 grams

    D-Camera Gallienus Tet;  253-268 AD, Alexandria, RY 14 266-267 AD, 10.22g HJB 7-2021 9-18-21.jpg

    What do you think?
  13. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    You got a better deal than me xD
  14. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Hmm I didn’t know that.

    All I knew was that the provincial Governor of Egypt appointed by the Emperor was the second most powerful man in the Empire.

    Like when Avidius Cassius was appointed there by Marcus Aurelius. Faustina the Younger got a false report that Marcus Aurelius had died and immediately fled to Egypt to convince Cassius to claim the Emperorship.

    Didn’t turn out so well after they found out Marcus Aurelius was very sick but not dead and eventually recovered.

    Poor Avidius got assassinated by one of his own centurions.
  15. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Sometimes graffito can be pretty cool if it was done in Roman times for a reason.

    Like these propaganda cups!

    Propaganda cup of Cato the Younger (the cup to the left, the one to the right being dedicated to Catilina), for his election campaign for Tribune of the Plebs of 62 BC (left cup).

    These cups, filled with food or drinks, were distributed in the streets to the people, and bore an inscription supporting the candidate to the election.

    I think that’s a pretty cool idea of handing out food & drink to people with your name inscribed on it as a sort of political advertising.
    Johndakerftw, DonnaML and Deacon Ray like this.
  16. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    I have no idea at all why your coin looks like silver. Maybe due to some natural chemical process? Or a modern surface silvering by electrolysis? You are certainly not willing to scratch it to verify if there is also silver inside ;)...
    I have another specimen of this coin, RY 11, and it looks like bronze.
    Gallien Alexandrie.jpg
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  17. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    I use a pair of vice-grips crushing each corner, then using a screw driver to separate the back or front sheet of clear plastic.
  18. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    My guess is his is due to silvering.

    A thin layer of silver on the outside and copper on the inside.
  19. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    According to McAlee all the Antioch Tets posted on this thread are 85% silver :happy:. The Trajan Tets struck at the Tyre Mint with Melqart on the reverse, like the coin pictured below are are 65% silver.
    McAlee 463, AD 113-114.jpg
    Trajan, AD 98-117 (struck Year 18, AD 113/114). AR Tetradrachm: 26 mm, 14.18 gm, 5 h. McAlee 463.
    Bing, Johndakerftw and Gam3rBlake like this.
  20. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Well-Known Member

    Thanks Al! :)

    Well darn I guess mine isn’t as pure as I thought. :(

    I was expecting at least 75% silver purity.

    But since it’s only 65% since it was minted in Tyre that means Trajan’s denarii were higher purity than these tetradrachms.

    It’s interesting because apparently debasement always began far from Rome until eventually the coins made their way there by which time it was too late to refuse them.
  21. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member


    Take your pick. :)

    EDIT: Ugh. my gifs aren't working :(
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