Collecting Taste

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Carausius, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    I've heard from several collectors that they taste their silver and gold coins (ancient and modern) to confirm metal content. Apparently, silver and gold have certain flavor profiles. Who knew? I certainly didn't, and I've been collecting for a long time. This made me wonder how widespread this practice may be. Do you taste your coins?

    DISCLAIMER AND PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE: I am NOT recommending this practice. Coins, including ancient coins, may contain potentially harmful metals, like lead. Coins are also exposed to harmful chemicals, substances and metals through cleaning, storage or in-ground deposit.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
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  3. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    Interesting--never heard of it before.
    panzerman likes this.
  4. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    I vaguely remember hearing about this. But no, I don't go and taste my new babies.

    Who knows what they may be carrying about thousands of years. The last thing I want with Covid roaming around is getting Antonine plague due to licking.:eek:
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  5. Alegandron

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

    I believe Humans, as with any animal, use several senses to collect information to their brain. Many have different dominant or tendencies of using senses to collect info. I do not think it unusual to use more than sight to collect info about coins. Many of those senses may be more subliminal.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
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  6. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    Very true @Alegandron . Some even use sound, with the "ring test". With my coins, I've always relied entirely on sight.
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  7. Andrew McCabe

    Andrew McCabe Well-Known Member

    Of course I taste my coins. Everyone does. Kinda weird not to. Also sniff them. Taste and smell are sure guide to whether patina is new, or old and stable.

    Anyone with a serious interest in Provenance tastes and smells potential coins. You see it all the time at high end auction viewings.
    Edessa, panzerman, Magnus87 and 16 others like this.
  8. pprp

    pprp Well-Known Member

    Biting gold coins was a method to detect fakes. I never heard of anyone licking their coins but surely there are more extreme fetishes :angelic:
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  9. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis

    I've found that traces of mahogany and pipe tobacco are a sure sign of a good old provenance. On the other hand, you can be sure the toning is fake if you can still taste the egg on the coin.
    Edessa, panzerman, Ryro and 8 others like this.
  10. Carthago

    Carthago Does this look infected to you?

    I've tasted my coins. Not necessarily to test the metal, but because I have some instinctual desire to do so from time to time. Been doing it since I was a kid. And, I have tasty coins.

    Be warned, it might lead to handling hand grenades with your beer, but it works for me.
  11. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

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  12. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker

    Some chemicals used for treating bronze disease like benzotriazole are toxic to the touch and remain on the coin forever. I would be very cautious about licking or even touching a coin treated this way. Problem is you really don't know who's done what to a bronze coin in the past. if a coin has pitting that looks like it might have come from bronze disease I wouldn't be licking it.

    Edessa, Ed Snible, DonnaML and 2 others like this.
  13. J.T. Parker

    J.T. Parker Well-Known Member

    Perhaps it's time for some to consider joining the new discussion group:C.C.C.
    Coin Cannabil Conversations!
    (Perhaps a Late 'April fools' thingy?)
  14. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    Miam Miam ! It taste the ancient Vending Machine !


    By the way, never heard about Pica disorder ?
  15. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

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  16. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    Yep. See the "Disclaimer and PSA" at end of my OP.
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  17. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Be sure to wash those dirty old coins with water and soap before tasting!
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  18. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    "How's your brother who swallowed the aureus?"

    "There's no change yet..."

    I'll get my coat.
    thejewk, louielouie, Sulla80 and 13 others like this.
  19. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Wow. You meant taste, like... as in... literally.

    I didn't see that coming!
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  20. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Well-Known Member

    When they taste like chocolate you know they're OK! :happy:;)
  21. Restitutor

    Restitutor Well-Known Member

    This is a great new idea. I usually test my coins by seeing if they float- if they do, I know they’re fake! :artist::artist::artist:
    panzerman, ominus1, svessien and 3 others like this.
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