Collecting Taste

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

  1. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    For the purpose of full disclosure to future owners of the coins below currently in my collection, I'll be recording the relevant quotes and keeping it together with the coins. :writer:

    RR - Q Crepereius Rocas Neptune Amphitrite 191.jpg ROMAN REPUBLIC. Q. Crepereius M. f. Rocus.
    AR Denarius. 3.69g, 18mm. Rome, 72 BC. Crawford 399/1b. O: Bust of Amphitrite or Venus right, seen from behind; octopus behind and E before. R: Neptune in biga of sea-horses, brandishing trident, [E?] above, Q. CREPER. M. F. ROCVS in two lines below.
    Ex @Andrew McCabe Collection

    Caracalla - x6 Antoninianus Oxen Biga 2588.jpg CARACALLA
    AR Antoninianus. 5.19g, 24mm. Rome mint, AD 215. RIC 245c; BMCRE 121. O: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right. R: P M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P, Luna Lucifera in biga of oxen galloping left, fold of drapery billowing in semicircle around head.
    Ex @stevex6 Collection; ex @Carthago Collection (“passed around CT like a doobie at a Phish concert”)
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  3. Macromius

    Macromius Well-Known Member

    Sanitize before you lick anything!
    panzerman likes this.
  4. str

    str New Member

    I would be honored to own a coin tasted by McCabe or Carthago.

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  5. str

    str New Member

    I need to tell you a little story that hopefully doesn't end like the story of Sanford Saltus. Last night I tasted a Croesus prototype heavy gold stater (apparently I had some desire to see if Lydian gold had any interesting-tasting impurities), and to my great surprise and horror, there was a strong metallic taste. Now those who like to taste coins will recognize that gold has no taste, so this is a problem. Lead? Arsenic? Cyanide? Let's hope I don't go down to natural selection. After waiting for a few hours to ensure that the taste went away and I remained asymptomatic, I washed the coin and then tasted it again. No taste. Good pure gold. But what did I taste before the cleaning? Maybe the spit of everyone who has tasted this coin over the past 2,580 years? Likely something worse than that. We'll see if I learn to wash the next coin before tasting.
  6. str

    str New Member

    For anyone who doesn't know, Saltus was the president of the New York Numismatic Club and British Numismatic Society when he poisoned himself with cyanide in a hotel room on a trip to London in 1922. Apparently he was using this cyanide solution to clean coins and had it sitting next to a glass of ginger ale. There is debate over whether he committed suicide over a secret engagement that wasn't going well, or whether it was just one of those misadventures in coin cleaning.

  7. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    I wonder what Crassus thought when he tasted that molten gold being poured down his gullet .
  8. MasterVampire

    MasterVampire Active Member

    “No more!”
    panzerman, Cucumbor and DonnaML like this.
  9. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    Gold literally has no taste, and that's why they use gold spoon for taste testing ice creams.
  10. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm glad @JayAg47 revived this thread or I would've missed all this.

    And yes, of course we're all familiar with the practices described by @Andrew McCabe -- but I would add I am sure I am not the only one who feels a slight reluctance when it comes to coins suspected of having old French provenances.

    For those not familiar with the incident, below is the account of what happened while Jean Foy Vaillant was returning by sea with ancient gold coins acquired for, I believe, Louis XIV (at least in part, and at least some of which are still in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris), as given in his biographical sketch in the American Journal of Numismatics... Vol 12 (2), Oct 1877, page 39: day the captain saw rapidly approaching them a piratical vessel of Salé. All hope of escape appeared in vain; the pursuer was no farther distant than the cast of a bolt from the cross-bow. Vaillant, looking out for himself and mindful of his former captivity, valorously swallowed the twenty golden coins restored to him at Algiers! Just then a high wind springing up, its impetus carried them near the shores of Catalogne, where they were almost wrecked. Soon after, the vessel was driven upon the sandy shallows at the mouth of the Rhone, where the cable having parted, and the anchor being lost, Vaillant entered a skiff, and, with four companions, landed upon the nearest shore.

    In the mean time, the weight of the coins he had swallowed - being five or six ounces - gave him serious inconvenience . He called two physicians into consultation, who, embarrassed at the new case, differed among themselves in suggesting remedies; this determined Vaillant to do nothing, and nature, a little later performed the task,- relieving him of more than half the coins before he entered Lyons. He narrated the case to a friend and fellow-student there, showed the coins regained, and described those yet to come. Among them there was a gold Otho....​

    Legend has it the ex-Vaillant provenance can still be verified by the methods discussed.

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
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  11. Hrefn

    Hrefn Well-Known Member

    Enjoy a cup of kopi luwak, the only proper accompaniment when sampling your ancient enterally cycled aurei.
  12. Cinco71

    Cinco71 Well-Known Member

    Just so long as that's the only orifice we're dealing with.

    Pulp Coin.JPG
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  13. svessien

    svessien Senior Member

    The ring test actually works on modern coins. I tested on a Norwegian silver coin vs a China fake. Don’t think an old denarius resonates well enough though.
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  14. fullhart

    fullhart Junior Member

    I would consider tasting them if they were used at a strip club........JK
    panzerman likes this.
  15. Bilbo1

    Bilbo1 Member

    Could you taste a slab and tell if it was a Chinese counterfeit?
  16. Phil's Coins

    Phil's Coins Well-Known Member

    Please tell me that none of the CT family does this. PLEASE!
    Semper Fi
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  17. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Well-Known Member

    This one tastes like mint...

    Faustina Jr Hadrianopolis Homonoia MB.jpg

    ... and this one like chocolate.

    Commodus Libertas Sestertius.jpg
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  18. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Nomen non est omen.

    Suddenly I'm looking at slabbed coins with a whole new appreciation...:)
  19. Dafydd

    Dafydd Supporter! Supporter

    Ok well this is my contribution. Not taste but smell so an olfactory observation.
    I also collect antique guns. In the gun community refinished guns are a "no-no" .
    If you have a gun that could be refinished with chemical bluing , if you rub it on your sleeve you can smell it - 100%. A period bluing never smells when you rub it.
    I attend some big shows like Tulsa and Reno and on occasion my shenanigans have raised eyebrows. Crazy Welshman.....
  20. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..ahahaha! ><:smuggrin::hilarious:
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  21. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I would never drink/ eat with/ off gold cups/ utensils. I did eat chocolate gold coins/ after removing gold foil:)
    There are chemical traces in your saliva/ fingers/ best is never to taste/ touch a gold/ silver/ platinum/ paladium coin. "For eyes only"
    ominus1 and Roman Collector like this.
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