Ancient coinage and environment

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Environmental problems was the hottest topic in 2019; don’t forget to recycle, stop your engine’s car at a red light, avoid wasting the water, build a compost bin...even Greta was in Montreal to remember me that I stole his dream and childhood...
    But what about coinage in Antiquity. Do they bother about environment 2000 years ago ?
    It is important to remember that the extraction of the ore and the refining of the metal are extremely expensive operations in materials and human lives having an action on the environment. It is estimated that each ton of silver produced required the extraction of 1,500 tons of ore, the combustion of 2,000 tons of charcoal and therefore the felling of 10,000 tons of wood. It also costed the lives of several hundred people. Fortunately some rulers in the past were aware of pollution and environmental issues. For example the emperor Carausius who reused old coins to struck his own ! That’s what we call recycling.

    Carausius Antoninianus
    Overstruck on a Gallienus(?) coin

    So just for fun on this quiet Sunday, please show me your examples of “recycled”
    coins or rulers who were eco-friendly !
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  3. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Haha, interesting topic !

    I don't think I have any recycled coin, but I do have green ones :D !!







    :) Q
  4. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    LOL. Excellent! Yes you can also post your GREEN ones.
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Cogito Ergo Sum

    A bit greenish in hand....

    Balbinus. AD 238.
    Æ Sestertius, 33mm, 22.9g, 12h; Rome mint. 1st emission.
    Obv.: IMP CAES D CAEL BALBINVS AVG; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev.: CONCORDIA AVGG; Concordia seated left, holding patera and double cornucopia; S C in exergue.
    Reference: RIC IVb 22, p. 171.


  6. otlichnik

    otlichnik Member

    For the least environmentally friendly coins I would look at anything made from Spanish silver mined from mid-1st through 2nd century AD. Pliny described the ruina montium method of mining which used the channeling and release of huge quantities of water to literally erode away thousands of acres of nature to reveal the minerals beneath. Probably nothing done on this scale until 19th-20th century strip mining... The Las Médulas UNESCO site in Spain bears witness to this process.
  7. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I have lots of recycled coins...

    Here is one from Louis XIV
    AV Louis d'or 1691-I struck over a older version..... lf (89).jpg lf (88).jpg
  8. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Supporter

    A Green Licinius that I’ve posted too many times. 4809C06F-2B95-46C8-AD1D-5B4C24854F33.jpeg 355F269D-EDDA-4620-98F9-70F249B30F9A.jpeg
  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here's a recycled denarius of Faustina struck over a previous issue.

    Faustina Sr, AD 138-141
    Roman AR denarius; 3.83 g, 18.2 mm
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, draped bust, right
    Rev: AETERNITAS, Fortuna standing left, holding globe and rudder
    Refs: RIC 348; BMCRE 360; Cohen 6; RCV 4577.

    If I rotate the reverse 90 degrees counterclockwise, you can see a throne and what I think may be a cornucopiae beneath it. Coming down from Fortuna's face is a roughly spiral-shaped vertical object I think is a goddess's shin:


    I postulate it was a CONCORDIA AVG issue of Sabina:


    Another example:

  10. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Elementary, my dear Watson!
    Roman Collector likes this.
  11. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    First paragraph of the article:

    Rise and fall of Roman Empire exposed in Greenland ice samples

    By Katie LanginMay. 14, 2018 , 3:00 PM

    Modern people aren’t the only ones who’ve polluted the atmosphere. Two thousand years ago, the Romans smelted precious ores in clay furnaces, extracting silver and belching lead into the sky. Some of that lead settled on Greenland’s ice cap and mixed in with ever-accumulating layers of ice. Now, scientists studying annual deposits of those ice layers have found that spikes and dips in lead pollution during the Roman era mirror the timing of many historical events, including wars fought by Julius Caesar.


    Carthage LIBYAN UPRISING Mercenary War 241-238 BCE 7.36g AR DiShekel Herakles Head in Lion's Head- Lion walking R SNG Cop 240f

    @TIF NAILED this for me... even suggesting in the end that the Overstruck coin was an OVERSTRIKE also! Recycling / Repurposing at its best!

    "I just stumbled upon the correct coin!! I'm sure this is the undertype :). The "E" is a Punic M. From CNG's archives:

    CNG 96, Lot: 18. Estimate $500.
    Sold for $850. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
    CARTHAGE, Libyan Revolt. Circa 241-238 BC. AR Shekel (21mm, 7.45 g, 1h). Wreathed head of Tanit left / Horse standing right; three pellets and M (in Punic) below. Carradice & La Niece pl. 9, 40 var. (control marks); MAA 50b; SNG Copenhagen 236 var. (same). Good VF, lightly toned, overstruck on uncertain type. Rare

    The wheat grains are partly off flan on the example host coin but I think in total it is enough to declare it a definite match for the undertype :).

    Interestingly, it looks like the example undertype was itself an overstrike. I wonder if your coin is an overstrike of an overstrike? If so, wouldn't it be awesome to identify the original coin?" @TIF's comments.

    Looks like the Carthage Mercenries were WAY ahead of Carausius, overstriking coins (cuz they HAD to), 550 YEARS before that Emperor!
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    @TIF is amazing, isn't she?
    Severus Alexander and Alegandron like this.
  13. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I would say Europeans/ Americans/ Canadians area living a"green lifestyle".

    Problem lies with polluters like India/ China/ Russia most Third World Countries. Ninety-nine percent of the crap in the Oceans comes from Asia/ Africa/ S. American Countries. In China the Yangtze is a dead River,
    octavius and Theodosius like this.
  14. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Beyond amazing. And just a great person, also.
    Roman Collector and panzerman like this.
  15. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Don’t forget, though: US / Canada / Europe exported an ENORMOUS amount of our manufacturing to China and the “Third World” due to low-cost labor, to make lower-cost items that WE ALL import into our Greener Nations. It is no-one’s fault, and it is everyone's fault. It is the cost of being a Human at this point in our History. :)
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  16. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Fortunately, states and rulers of the past have realized that there are other ways of obtaining the metal necessary for minting: 1) war. This is the case of Trajan grabbing the gold of the Dacians. 2) the taxes likely to be recovered from trade. For example the Ptolemies requiring the mandatory exchange at the entrance of Egypt. 3) the purchase from large private operators. So this way they could sleep like a rock. No pollution. Only thousands of dead soldiers and poor citizens getting poorer...
    Theodosius, Alegandron and Orielensis like this.
  17. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Cogito Ergo Sum

    The mineral and ore reserves of Afghanistan...
  18. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Watch out guys. We are approaching the limit of the rule “no political discussion here”...:muted::muted::muted:
    Alegandron likes this.
  19. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    In the Byzantine era of the Roman Empire, coins were often overstruck like this one. Although it was likely not for environmental reasons.

  20. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    While I hope the idea of recycling coins by overstriking was in any way ecology was posted as a joke, I do favor recycled coins although I do prefer ones that are easy to ID. I know I have shown all mine before but I really do love these.
    This Boeotian Federal coin was overstruck an Antigonas Gonatas type. I prefer to own the undertype coins for comparison when possible. I don't always show them but really should make composites like the one below when possible.

    This Magnentius over Constantine II composite shows not only the plain undertype but two rotations that make it easier to see what happened.

    The easier way is just to rotate the overstrike so the undertype top is on top. This is Constantius Gallus FH3 over Constantius II 2 captives from Aquilea. I wish I could convince myself what mint made the Gallus. I want to say Siscia but I may be wishing.

    Not making composite images but showing two rotations means I use two of the ten images Coin Talk allows in a post. This is Carthage AE17 overstruck on an earlier coin but I'm less than clear exactly what was under there. When I rotated the second inage, I was trying to convince myself I knew but, today, I am of the belief I was wrong and that image does nothing to help. Help. Please.
    g82087fd3450.jpg g82087fd3450r.jpg

    This Carausius /Pax was struck on a Victorinus / Salus with snake. In this case I turned the reverse upside down to favor the Victorinus undertype. I believe the obverse shows well as is since the Victorinus legend is clear at the left.

    Still, it never hurts to show a plain under coin.

    Of course I still claim the G.O.A.T. overstrike is my Anonymous Class A3 Byzantine over a Gordian III as. 700-800 years is a long time to wait. I have promised this coin to someone but I won't be around to see the transfer.

    Byzantine overstrikes are a dime a dozen but coins with identifiable under-under types are harder to find. My example here is Heraclius/Focas/Tiberius II???. Corrections appreciated. The coin gets estra credit for the reverse being M/XXXX but loses ponts for my inability to see the design of the under-under coin on the reverse. I can not explain the boldness of the TIb at obverse left so I may have the whole thing wrong.

    My first overstrike is the least obvious of all but when a coin has been in my posession for over 50 years, it earns big points. I believe I see a nose (Commodus???) in Julia Domna's hair. Further diagnosis on this one would really be appreciated.

    My late friend Roger Bickford-Smith had a coin I really wanted but it went to the British Museum rather than to his sale. It was clearly and unquestionably a denarius of Septimius Severus overstruck on one of Pescennius Niger. I have looked at many coins hoping to find one. Maybe someday???

    This Septimius may be unofficial and may be overstruck on something interesting but that is too many 'mays' to say much. I still like the coin. It appears to be a LEG VII CL. Again, help reading would be appreciated.

    That is ten photos for eight coins. Out.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  21. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Supporter

    I’m really amazed at the time and dedication it must have taken to decipher these!
    panzerman likes this.
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