Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Carausius, Oct 13, 2020.
The old jokes are the best
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...not to mention it could be hazardous to the health..
You know I can remember watching Westerns on TV and a bad guy would taste or slightly bite a gold coin to confirm its authenticity. If I can think of the name of the movie I'll post.
I've usually been able to limit myself to only eating small fragments (25% or less)...
For this one, I had a little bit more:
Although I have not read the comedies (i.e., The Birds and The Wasps), it's my understanding that the playwright Aristophanes discusses how the Athenians, being ever wise and restrained, made their coins last longer by sucking on them like lozenges instead of taking big bites.
I'd imagine that depends on the thickness of plating... With modern methods of (especially electroplating) the plating may be too thin to sustain a dent-by-biting (i.e., it would have the effective hardness of the metal underneath).
But on ancient fourrées, the thickly plated / foil-wrap ones, I wonder if the bite test would've worked. I haven't looked closely at gold ones, but the silver often seems thick enough I'd imagine it might be dent-able by tooth.
I'd be fine sacrificing a plated denarius to test it out. I just wouldn't want to sacrifice my teeth if the metal wins.
Actually I have had Indian deserts with both silver and gold foil and have imbibed geltwasser.
I was of the understanding that fake gold coins would often be coated lead to give the coin that "heavy" feeling, and you can easily bite into lead...I've proven that with many lead sinkers while fishing.
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