Finn bought an... itsy bitsy, teenie-weenie Troas, Kebren Hemitartemorion

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Finn235, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    I love coins on the extremes of numismatics, but I am beginning to develop a deep appreciation for the skill of the early classical Greek celatores working on these absolutely miniscule AR fractions.

    Troas, Kebren
    AR Hemitetartemorion (5mm, 0.09g... no really!)
    Early/mid 5th century BC?
    Obv: Head of ram right
    Rev: Male head (apollo) right


    Not the best-centered coin, but the portrait is exceptionally well done, almost three dimensional even! And since it's hard to get an idea of size without a point of reference...

    Just don't drop it!
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper Supporter

    I am so jealous right now. That is a fantastic coin. I'm a huge fan of tiny Greeks. I have about a dozen sub-10mm Greek coins, though my tiniest is only 6.5mm. :(

    Here is my smallest Greek.


    I need a 5mm like yours, or a sub-5mm badly. I'm looking around for the right one as we speak.
    Ryro, Chris B, Nathan401 and 9 others like this.
  4. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes?

    Dang, that is tiny! Very nice obverse portrait. I really like the relief on it.
  5. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    WOW. I've never seen a coin that small. When I read 5mm I couldn't quite grasp how small it was. Glad you put it next to the dime to show. Great obverse portrait. Too bad the ram isn't more centered. At least you can tell what it is.
    Again, very cool!
    paschka likes this.
  6. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper Supporter

    Because of the irregular flan shapes and the hand-made aspect, some of these tiny hemitartemorion coins can get as tiny as 4 mm. Basically, make sure you take out the coin after placing a bowl below to catch it if it falls, because if it lands on a carpet, good luck finding it.
    furryfrog02 likes this.
  7. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    The smallest coin I have is a Panama Pill. That is massive, comparatively, at 10mm. :p
    Kentucky likes this.
  8. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    The smallest coin I've ever seen (although not in hand, nor with reference pics) is this one sold by Savoca, reportedly just 2.5mm across!

    It isn't as much of a looker, but the only smaller (Greek) coin I own is this hemitetartemorion from Dardanos in Troas, apparently unique as I could not find another in this denomination. 5mm and 0.07g 20180712_Troas-dardanos-hemitetartemorion-rooster-horse.jpg

    I own a few of those "fractional fanams" reportedly from Vijayanagar; really just little specks of gold with a criss-cross pattern hammered in. From what I've read, the jury's still out on whether those are real coins, or just fantasy pieces.
    TypeCoin971793, Ryro, Bing and 5 others like this.
  9. Johndakerftw

    Johndakerftw Mr. Rogers is My Hero

    Tiny coins are way cool!

    My brother has a couple of 1/96th staters.

    This one is electrum and about 4.5mm:

    This one is an electrum fouree and is 4mm:


    It's impossible to get a decent pic of it. I'm not allowed to take them out of the flips. Both are sellers' pics. :confused:

    He would really like to get one like yours, Finn, with a lot of good detail.

    The ancient Greeks had some mad engraving skills.

    Andres2, Ryro, Bing and 7 others like this.
  10. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Wouldn't want to drop that in my carpet.

    Neat little coin.
  11. dadams

    dadams Well-Known Member

    Amesome teeny tiny coin there! Who was it that posted a pic of their tiny coin in the Berber carpet not long ago? Perhaps @TIF ?
  12. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    What an amazing portrait on such a small coin! Very nice, @Finn235 :)

    Yes, that was me-- my first itsy bitsy teenie weenie coin, barely in my possession more than a few minutes before it went flying. I locked the door to the office and had to crawl around on the floor, carefully moving furniture out of the way. It took 20 minutes or so to find it.

    MACEDONIA, uncertain
    c. 500 BCE
    AR 5 mm, 0.26 gm
    Obv: monkey squatting left
    Rev: round shield or pellet within incuse square
    Ref: "Uncertain Thraco-Macedonian Coins, Part II", Nomismatika Khronika (1998, Tzamalis), 67

    When I finally found it I took a picture because it was so unbelievable. It completely blended in with the carpet! See if you can spot it:

    It was on edge and resting in a crevice.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  13. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

  14. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    The size is six times, but the weight of the large coin is 38 times that of the small one.

    Large and small.jpg

    This is a multiple dirham of the Samanids, minted in Badakshan (now the south of Tajikistan) in 976-997 AD. 44 mm, 9.19 gr.

    The small one is a tetartemorion (quarter obol) of Kolophon, a city in Ionia (now the west coast of Turkey). It dates from 450-400 BC. On the obverse is Apollo to the right, on the reverse a stork with TE monogramme - meaning tetartemorion. 7 mm, 0.24 gr.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
    Andres2, Ryro, Cucumbor and 8 others like this.
  15. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Holy cow, that’s a nice one!

    My tetartemorion from Teos is also 5mm-ish, but a fair bit heavier.

    IONIA, Teos
    AR Tetartemorion. 0.14g, 4.7mm, IONIA, Teos, circa 540-478 BC. Cf. CNG 63, lot 506. O: Head of griffin left. R: Quadripartite incuse square with raised central pellet.

    Gratuitous perspective shot next to a grain of rice:

  16. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    TIF, Andres2, Ryro and 9 others like this.
  17. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

    That tiny little head on that OP coin looks great! I always dig seeing those little coin pics with the rice grain and cent! My smallest coin is a relative monster 7mm AE from Magnesia.
    TIF, Andres2, Ryro and 5 others like this.
  18. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    I showed it before, but here's the smallest I have.

    1004 Whirl ct.jpg

    AR 1/96 stater, 520-480 BC. Erythrae in the west of Anatolia (not Miletus), 520-480 BC. Obv. Whirl or millstone rotating clockwise. Rev. Incuse square with a dot in a crescent in each corner and a larger dot in the centre. 4 mm, 0.12 gr. SNG Kayhan 740; Klein 433 0.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
    TypeCoin971793, Andres2, Ryro and 7 others like this.
  19. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Battle of the itsy bitsies! Love the coin and the post Finn!
    I always wanted some electrum but on my budget had to settle for a fouree. It's a bunch like your bros @Johndakerftw! It's a lion paw. And it. Is. TINY.
    CollageMaker Plus_201846162810931.png

    Ionia, Ephesos circa 600-550 BCE
    1/48 stater EL
    3 MM,. 0.15 gr
    Lions paw/incuse

    Here is my oldest coins with one of my newest (for perspective)
    CollageMaker Plus_2018915173912316.png
  20. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    No fair showing it against the Guinness Book of World Records largest grain of rice!

  21. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    lot of action on this tiny coin:

    Johndakerftw, Bing, Ryro and 2 others like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page