A yellow coin from Otho...?

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Rudi Smits, May 22, 2013.

  1. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

    My latest catch (no, i didn't win the lottery, just been lucky at auction)...:
    Some tooling on the hair, but quite happy :p
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  3. NormW

    NormW Student Of Coinology Supporter

    Very cool. Considering he was emperor for merely months, any coin of his is rare.
  4. Windchild

    Windchild Punic YN, Shahanshah


    Amazing Aureus!
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Rudi, I think you must have hit the lottery. I own one silver denarius of Otho, not in nearly the shape of this, and that wasn't cheap. Great coin my friend.
  6. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    cha CHING! that is one totally amazing coin rudi....wow.:yawn:
  7. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

    No jackpot, no lottery... Just very lucky at auction !
  8. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    Wow, that was indeed lucky. I was considering looking at that auction but was distracted by NAC/Nomos, as I imagine most people were. A collector friend of mine was considering bidding on that aureus but I pushed him to get the one at NAC instead (which he did end up winning, albeit for several times more than your example). You got that for a fantastic price - I would have bid several times more than it realized. :thumb:
  9. icerain

    icerain Mastir spellyr

    If that tooling on the hair is bothering you, feel free to send it to me. :D Seriously though, really sweet coin.
  10. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Wow, gorgeous coin!! ...


    ... sadly, I don't have any gold coins, yet
  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    A few questions: How do you believe the tooling (possibly also on the reverse figure?) affected the price? A name off flan coin worn to fine would still bring a lot of money and there are more collectors who want an aureus even in good that the coin is in no danger of going unloved. I'm wondering if the coin were sold fully disclosed as to what had been done to it if the bottom line would have shifted one way or another. A second question would be how this same degree of touch up would affect an aureus of Vespasian (or any common ruler) where buyers have more room to be picky. As it is, I like the coin but my purist side always says I'd rather people keep their tools off of coins even when done as well as this was.

    I would absolutely love to see before and after photos of the same coin but this would obviously never happen. Repairs and 'upgrades' are not the sort of skill that we see openly admitted by the people who can do it well. If I owned a coin that I wanted 'fixed' I would not have the slightest idea who I could pay to do the work.
  12. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

    The auctioneer stated 'some tooling on the hair', and it was holed and plugged a well. Besides the bizar ear, i cannot find any trace of a hole, so job well done ! I had an amazing price on this one (2 bids above starting price, whereas equal Otho aurei gets double in price, or more... I don't mind some minor tooling, or even a plugged hole, as long as it doesn't effect the coin too much... Imho I had a great deal on this one, and I'm very happy with it ! This coin was sold in the '70's for $8500 + fees in a German auction...
  13. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    My only portrait coin of Julius Caesar was holed and plugged and a former jewelry mount. Whoever did the plugging on it did not do a very good job. Since I do not plan on parting with this coin, I would love to find someone to repair my coin as well as they did your Otho.
  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    It might help to know what backs up what but if the coin has 6H or invert axis, I could see the hole was left of the ear and where the tooling is so obvious. That means I was wrong assuming that the tooling was to correct wear and that the hair detail on the top of the head is original. That makes it more likely that the reverse figure is all original making the coin very nice except for the hole. The face looks original on your enlarged photo. Gold damages easily so I assumed the messed up hair behind the ear was damage rather than less skillful tooling. If the hole was left of the ear in the hair would the exit on the reverse fall left of the figure's legs in that very smooth (well smoothed?) area?

    Did that old German auction from the 70's failed to mention the hole? This is a great example of why I will never be able to buy an aureus and feel good about it.
  15. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

    I dont have the Otho in hand actually, but on the pics, there is no indication of where that whole was... He has a strange ear though :p but on rev no sign of any restoration in the center... It's a job well done !
  16. Rudi Smits

    Rudi Smits Member

  17. Ardatirion

    Ardatirion Où est mon poisson

    I'm surprised. These problems would be total deal breakers for me.
  18. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Well-Known Member

    When I first started reading this thread, my reflexive reaction was the same (as above). Gold coins are rarely tooled or re-engraved, and because gold is inert, harsh cleaning is hardly ever needed to get them to their final condition for collecting. So when a gold coin has as much obvious re-engraving as this one, that's a huge negative for a collector who values non-tooled coins highly.

    But there's another perspective on this topic, especially for an emperor as difficult to collect as Otho. And while this still wouldn't be a coin I'd consider for my collection, I do understand the appeal of a very rare aureus at an affordable price. Clearly, the re-engraving was done to blend the filled-in hole rather than just leaving that area featureless. So the question becomes, which is the least undesirable: a hole, a filled-in hole without re-engraving, or a filled-in hole that's re-engraved? None of these options is good, but since the coin already had a hole, it will never be a top-notch collector's coin anyway.

    It seems to me that if your desire is to have a representative aureus of Otho, a coin with a hole just doesn't fulfill that need. Maybe a featureless filled-in hole is OK, or maybe some moderate re-engraving to represent the detail that was missing due to the hole is what you're looking for. Either way, the representational value of the coin exceeds its collector's value, since you now have a coin that pretty much looks similar to when it circulated 2000 years ago.
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