Anyone have a tinyer coin than this??

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Steven Michael Gardner, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    Twice as tiny as my baby fingernail this Silver coin is one of the smallest made I
    believe..? If you have a smaller one I would love to see a showing of them here! There are many small Silver Hemiobols to be found of forepart of Bulls,
    however I can not locate one example to match the reverse Star exactly as I have
    like mine...
    I find it very unique because of its size, but I am quite distressed that there are no examples out there that match mine... Is this simply an unpublished coin or possibly a fake? I find it hard to believe tiny coins such as this would be created as moderen replicas?
    Anyone that can locate a reference for this would be most helpful to me as I am thinking of putting it on the market!
    Caria -- Uncertain mint
    AR Silver Hemiobol
    Circa; 400 - 350 BC.
    Bull-Star.jpg
     
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  3. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    I often wonder how these Greek denominations were feasible for every day transactions, although the Romans were pragmatic and made large billon coins with low silver content without reducing the size itself!
    My smallest Greek is this Attica hemiobol at 0.22g!
    owl.png

    And my smallest coin is from Nepal, 1 Dam - Rana Bahadur Shah, 1777-1799. At just 0.04g!!
    nepal.png
     
  4. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
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  5. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    I need to get a new image just of these, but I am perpetually terrified that I will somehow drop them in the carpet and never find them.

    Vijayanagar "bele" (fractional fanam) come in at 0.04g and range from 2-3mm. Next are Mysore fanam (1800s) and Soloi tetartemorion, both 5mm, then a Phokaia diobol and Kyzikos hemiobol, both about 10mm. 20180524_2018-05-24-14.56.50 (1).jpg
     
  6. Evan Saltis

    Evan Saltis College Dorm Collector Supporter

    Quite impressive size. This made me want to take a look at my smallest coin, which is much more modern than yours.

    https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces1041.html

    14 millimetres! Yours is half that, and this coin is tiiiiiny. Even my lightest coin (little more 'ancient') is twice that weight. Thanks for sharing.

    I've seen the gold fanam coins pop up often, but never got one. They are pretty cool.
     
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  7. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

  8. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Biblical Coins Supporter

    I almost did that—with a denarius of all things. I couldn’t find it anywhere and was beginning to believe that it had fallen through a time tunnel back to the first century A.D. (After all, Stephen Hawking said that time travel was theoretically possible :bookworm: didn’t he?)— My wife saw me down on the floor with my flashlight and I told her about the coin that had disappeared into the Twilight Zone. She asked me if I had checked the cuff of my pants? Anyway—there it was :singing:.

     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Y'all have me beat. At 9 mm, this is presently my smallest.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. TuckHard

    TuckHard Well-Known Member

    These are definitely my smallest coins and are amongst the smallest standardized coins in the world by weight. They were minted by an unknown Mon city-state issuer in the Gulf of Martaban (present-day Myanmar/Burma) around c. 700-830 AD. They average 0.03 grams and are quite accurate; I have a group of 10 with an average of 0.029 and only a couple 0.02/0.04 outliers. They range from 6 to 8mm wide which is not unusually small, in terms of small coins, but they are absolutely paper thin and feel as if they could float on water or fly away in the wind.


    Michen.png
    Mon Kingdom of the Gulf of Martaban
    Present-day Myanmar (Burma)
    c. 700-830 AD
    AR Bracteate | 0.03 grams | 7mm wide
    Obv: Extremely simplified srivatsa motif in the shape of a four-petaled flower with a dimple and stem​
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    Sometimes I wonder how the Greeks & Romans kept track of these itty-
    bitty coins and just what value they would have toward purchasing items..?
     
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  12. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    Thank you for searching, I too have found several examples such as this, however the Star clearly is not a match, but is one of the closest looking that I have come across as well..!
     
  13. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    It really is interesting to consider.

    I’ll bet a lot got lost, and metal detecting in some of those places would be very interesting indeed, were it legal, which I imagine is not the case most if not all of the time.

    I’ve often thought this about those tiny Indian gold fanams as well. I lost one in a friend’s living room one time. We searched everywhere- even turned the couch upside-down and shook out all of the cushions. No luck. Months later, he or his wife found it... while sweeping under the fridge in the kitchen (where we had not been sitting when it vanished).
     
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  14. iameatingjam

    iameatingjam Well-Known Member

    I think you got me beat, this isn't exactly my smallest, but its my favorite tiny coin.

    Caria, Mylasa 450-400 BC, Hemiobol 0.5g

    Jm4a7GfEqyB69L9oiH3H2DmzWig58q.jpg

     
  15. mikebell

    mikebell Member

    There are some pretty small ancient coins - with weight accuracy about 2x above that which was possible in the 17thC (c0.2g). Lost techniques no doubt, since 1/96th staters are half that, and reasonably accurate.

    This coin is a hexas (1/6th litra) of Gela - but weights in at 0.06g, similar to the emissions from other Greek cities in Sicily. This is intrinsically half what it should be. They also survive at full weight to complicate it further!
    CNG 411 Lot 10.jpg
    Ex CNG
     
  16. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    That is a great Gela. My similar hexas is from Syracuse but suffers from exfoliation making its weight (0.05g) less than it should be.
    g20420bb0595.jpg

    Relatively huge at 0.2g but a favorite having three animals (2 tunny fish and a boar) is this AR tetartemorion of Kyzikos.
    g61525fd0953.jpg

    Smaller at 0.13g but from an uncertain city in Caria is this triple bovine hemitartemorion.
    g61665fd0914.jpg

    I discovered an error on my tiny coin web page so I am no longer promoting it. My small Greeks (under 10mm) are the only part of my collection that my daughter has indicated an interest in keeping after I pass. That makes them special to me.

    Those who like Eastern coins of smaller size may like SNG Kayhan which is now available online. In truth, I prefer the Western tiny coins.
    https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=sng kayhan
     
  17. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

  18. whopper64

    whopper64 Well-Known Member

    Wow! Great examples of tiny coins. Thanks for the pics!
     
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  19. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    One of my more prized Tiny coins, I love Wildlife, and enjoy any ancient coin
    that includes some type of animal on it...
    280-Octopus-ARETHUSA-CUTTLEFISH.jpg
    Cuttlefish. / Octopus
    ΣVRA. Head of Artemis-Arethusa right, hair turned
    up behind under diadem of beads
    SICILY, Syracuse, 470 - 460 BC.
    Silver AR Litra (5.5mm) (0.58 gm).
    Sear 929.
     
  20. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    As I understand, these tiny coins may have been held in the cheek. There’s a scene from some Greek comedy where the unscrupulous merchant gives change with silver fish scales, which the buyer realized when he put them into his mouth.
     
  21. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I had not heard that one but I recall fish scales being mentioned. The standard story from Aristophanes was the man who was taking his grain to the miller to be ground into flour but was startled along the way by a special bird. When he looked up in awe, he swallowed the coins that were to pay the miller so he had no flour.

    We all see what we want to see. On this Athenian obol I choose to see dents in the surfaces of both sides consistent with teeth marks. I choose to believe this coin has been in a mouth. I love numismatic fantasy.
    g41210wn1380.jpg
     
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