Defaced Coins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Orange Julius, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    I bought this coin because I thought the defacing marks were interesting. It didn't cost much so it's a fun curio.

    Of course, there's no way to know exactly what was going through the mind of the person who made these marks but I understand that some coins were defaced and then used as weights.

    Does that explanation work here? Anyone have any theories on why you'd spend time marking up a coin, other than boredom?

    The damage appears ancient. The face of Faustina wasn't targeted so it probably wasn't personal. Thoughts?

    Also, let's see your anciently defaced coins!

    12.75 grams.
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  3. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

    Or maybe they did hate Faustina! :punch:

    Would this issue be considered Graffiti?
  4. MontCollector

    MontCollector Well-Known Member

    I have one of Marcus Aurelius that has been swiped hard in his cheek. Marcus.jpg
  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    While the coin in the OP was deliberately damaged, it doesn't seem to have been a specific attack on the portrait of Faustina, as mentioned , so it is probably not a damnatio.
    Orange Julius and Stevearino like this.
  6. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    Dueling scar. ;)
  7. Alegandron

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

    RI Fausta 325-326 CE AE3 Spes stdg 2 infants SMHA 20mm 3.48g
    - scratch over eye

    RI Aemilianus 253 CE AE24 Viminacium mint Moesia Bull-Lion
    - Scratch over neck and eye
  8. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    Not an ancient, but fun...

    "Weird Wellington & The Penguin Lady": bizarre folk art carving on 1811-13 Canadian "Marshal Wellington" halfpenny token

    Host coin: Undated (ca. 1811-1813) pre-confederation Canadian "Marshal Wellington" halfpenny token (Breton-971?), large leaves variety.

    Obverse: bust of Field Marshal Wellington with front outline of profile recarved.

    Reverse: seated Brittania altered into bizarre bird-headed woman with small animal inverted on her lap.

    This was a dirt-cheap impulse buy that was so unusual I just couldn't pass it up. It cost me the princely sum of six dollars. Could you have passed it up for that price?

    Boy, "Penguin Lady" sure is spooky, isn't she? How'd you like to run up on her in a dark alley? Brr... there's some nightmare fuel. Look at that sharp beak... those muscular arms. And that poor creature in her lap, which she appears to be... spanking? Petting? Eviscerating?

    And what the heck is that critter, anyway?

    I think I'll call it "The ArmadilloFox".

    Behold, the ArmadilloFox, right-side-up:
  9. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    This type of marring appears to be something like a shovel mark rather than something done intentionally.
    Brian Bucklan likes this.
  10. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Looks like a female figure on the reverse. Maybe just your typical misogyny.
    Severus Alexander likes this.
  11. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C. Bronze AE 18, 4.435g, 17.6mm

    obverse modified/defaced into a pattern of lines.
  12. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I too find these kinds of things fascinating. Mine I believe to be for the purpose of a game... Flip a coin: Scratches or Dots??

    Appears to be a gaming token crafted in antiquity over a VRBS ROMA type.

    Constantine I, AE3
    Rome Commemorative, 335-337 AD

    Obverse: VRBS ROMA, helmeted head of Roma left, wearing imperial mantle and ornamental necklace.
    Reverse: She-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, [two stars above].
    Exergue: [unknown]
  13. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    Here's a Domitian fouree denarius:

  14. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Interesting thread. I just got a sestertius of Severus Alexander that has damage to the portrait - it is as if somebody bashed it with a small hammer, with the portrait suffering from slight indentations. The damaged areas toned/patinated darker than the rest of the coin.

    Who'd do such a thing? Severus Alexander was a nice guy.

    Severus Alex - Sest Aequitas Nov. 2019 lot (0).jpg
    Severus Alex - Sest Aequitas Nov. 2019 lot (0det).jpg
    Severus Alexander Æ Sestertius
    (226 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IMP CAES M AVR SEV ALE[XANDER AVG], laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / AEQVITAS AVGVSTI S C, Aequitas standing with scales and cornucopiae.
    RIC 547; Cohen 20.
    (17.94 grams / 30 mm)
  15. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

    Here's something that puzzles me: why would a coin user (presumably) remove a mintmark? Note the defacement is only on the cornucopia.

    This drachma coin is Lorber CPE-B0395 (Sv-0964, pl xxix, 19 [about 70 listed]; SNG COP-0171 to COP-0172; Sear-7814; BMC 06.055, #087-088). Ptolemaic series 5B.

    Lorber notes: "The XP monogram series is noteworthy for its fine style. Metallurgical analyses have confirmed that the alloy is comparable to that of [Ptolemaic] Series 3 & 4, with relatively high tin content and low lead content, see T. Faucher (2013), pp 45 & 49 …"

    And why would someone want to turn an LRB into a serrate (or gear)?

    RIC VI Alexandria, 46a (OFF B)

    - Broucheion
  16. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    I have seen coins converted to scale weights, but most of the time, the coin edge is shaved to reduce the weight. Your 12.75 gram coin would be a bit light for a semuncia or 3 solidus weight, 13.6 grams.

    the 1 nomisua (N or four dots) weights are about 4.55 grams

    This is not a coin weight, and the weight does not fall in an even number of solidi. it was described by the seller:
    A discoid bronze weight with inlaid silver crosses and a column(?). 15.11 grams, 19mm (3/4").
  17. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I don't think anyone was out to deface the deified Faustina II here; it's just pretty scratched up. The scratches are UNDER the patina, and therefore happened in antiquity:

    Faustina Jr CONSECRATIO funeral pyre sestertius Timeline.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  18. Stevearino

    Stevearino Supporter! Supporter

    Cut himself shaving or trimming his beard. Pre-safety razor days.

    Alegandron likes this.
  19. Alegandron

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

    Maybe not a today’s “safety” razor (hey, I cut myself on one this morn!), I snared a pretty early version of a razor!

    This is an intimate and personal item that targets a basic Human need... a razor from the Celts.... cool.

    Ancient Celtic Shaving Razor 8th-6th c BCE Rare Bronze Age Hallstatt Type 48mm x 40mm
  20. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Sometimes a small metal disc might come in handy to protect something else. I wonder if that's the case here?

    Some dedicated weights (probably):

    Screen Shot 2019-11-16 at 1.44.21 PM.jpg

    Screen Shot 2019-11-16 at 1.44.33 PM.jpg

    4.16g (my favourite):
    Screen Shot 2019-11-16 at 1.44.42 PM.jpg
  21. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Thx! :p:D
    Justin Lee likes this.
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