Freakish Blue Patina? - Antoninus Pius Sestertius Slow Quadriga

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Marsyas Mike, May 16, 2018.

  1. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Thought I'd toss out this new arrival for comment. It was cheap, seller ran a pretty dark photo, and so I was surprised by the garish blue patina. Or is it a patina? Maybe it was spray-painted. The surface feels pretty hard and stable (which is to say it hasn't turned my fingers blue). Just wondering if anybody out there has seen this kind of blue? The third photo shows it with a couple of other bronze/brass Romans for color comparison.

    I believe it is RIC 720a, Antoninus Pius sestertius with a "slow" quadriga reverse. It weighs 25.55 grams.

    Ant. Pius Sestertius Horses May 2018 (1).JPG
    Ant. Pius Sestertius Horses May 2018 (3).JPG

    Ant Pius Horses Gord Faust II May 16 2018 (1).JPG
     
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  3. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    I don't recall seeing a patina that bright blue, though I've seen a few copper patinas that are definitely blue-green. Copper sulfate is blue, so maybe the coin was buried in soil with a high sulfur content?
     
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  4. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

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  5. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..it sure is purdy..altho i've never seen any quite like that unless it was here on a coin in my house with active BD... but it's more of a blue-green color and "WILL" rub off!...
     
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  6. Smojo

    Smojo dreamliner

    I happen to like the color, not sure were it comes from or how it happens or the cause.
    This isn't my coin and only have the reverse picture but it is bluer than this pic suggests.
    U25547F2EWDQEMAI.JPG
     
  7. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    One form of copper-carbonate mineral (azurite) is even deeper blue than that. I think it's plausible, but yeah, I'd do a double-take, too.
     
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  8. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Here's a coin with azurite (and other copper minerals) scattered about-- look at Perseus's head and shoulders and other places. The coin has since been cleaned.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Man, that one truly is



    This is the bluest patina in my collection, and it's only on the reverse:

    Gordian III and Tranquillina Odessos Tyche.jpg
    Gordian III, AD 238-244, with Tranquillina.
    Roman provincial Æ Pentassarion, 27.4 mm, 12.23 g.
    Thrace, Odessos, AD 241.
    Obv: ΑVΤ Κ Μ ΓΟΡΔΙΑΝΟC ΑVΓ CΕ-ΤΡΑΝΚVΛ-ΛEΙΝ[Α], laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Gordian III right, vis-à-vis diademed and draped bust of Tranquillina left.
    Rev: ΟΔΗCCΕΙ[ΤΩΝ], Tyche standing left, holding rudder and cornucopiae; E (denomination) in field, left.
    Refs: Moushmov 1697; Varbanov 4608; AMNG 2402.
     
  10. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

    Here's a better pic of my blue coin posted in Carthago's thread...

    100_5978.JPG

    My unintentional artificial patina was initially very powdery, but is not fairly stable.
     
  11. Ken Dorney

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

    This sestertius does not have a natural patina. Aside from the crazy color (never seen anywhere before), you can see in the photo the very bright brassy spots where it was over-cleaned and then...well, re-patinated is not accurate. My guess is it is simply painted.
     
  12. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Would an acetone soak be ok?
     
  13. tenbobbit

    tenbobbit Well-Known Member

    Here is a group shot as close to yours as I could put together.
    IMG_4746.JPG
    The patina of the Gordian & Faustina are still intact, light green & darker green.
    Whereas the A.Pius has been partially stripped and then left as is, no extra paintjob.
    I think your Gordian has received similar treatment to your Pius, the original green patina is showing through in a couple places but the bust and fields have ugly brown paint on them. I could be wrong but it looks altered to me.
     
  14. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Thank you all so much for your thoughts and blue/bluish and colorful patina examples. The more I look at all your examples, the more I am doubting my blue Antoninus Pius - I think Ken Dorney is right, it has been painted somehow.

    Here is the seller's photo - he did say it was blue in the description, but you can see why I was surprised when I saw it in hand. It was another one of my eBay gambles, but for $10 I am still quite happy with the purchase:

    Ant. Pius Sestertius Horses May 2018 seller photo.JPG

    As for the Gordian III in my OP, something's odd with that too, as tenbobbit suggests - my thoughts are a sand patina partially stripped? The reverse is considerably different, with almost no "sand" left:
    Gordian III Sest FORTVNA May 2018 (4).JPG

    Finally, the one "blue" ancient in my collection that I do feel fairly confident about - a Byzantine follis of Phocas. Only partially blue, however:

    Byzantine - Phocas - Follis Con Feb 14.jpg

    Again, thank you all for the input.
     
  15. Ken Dorney

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

    The one place you can get true blue patina is in China. I am not sure what region or circumstances create it, but I have seen it on coins separated by a thousand years. Here is one I currently have, dating to the second Century BC:

    1.jpg
     
  16. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    How can I learn to identify the patina minerals by name?
     
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  17. Dillan

    Dillan The sky is the limit ! Supporter

    I have purchased approx. 500 un-cleaned coins as of late , and there has been many different shades of blue on some of the coins. The coin in question looks somewhat artifical to all of the shades I have come across. Good Luck .with your coin .
     
  18. Alegandron

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

    Thanks for reminding me Ken. I have a few Chinese with blue, but more turquoise... not the cobalt blue in the OP:

    China Tang AE Cash  FSR 363.jpg
    China Tang AE Cash FSR 363

    China Shang Dyn 1766-1154 BC Ant Nose Ge Liu Zhu 2-6g 19-5x11 very scarce H 1-10.jpg
    China Shang Dyn 1766-1154 BC Ant Nose Ge Liu Zhu 2-6g 19-5x11 very scarce H 1.10

    China Zhou Dynasty  1046-256 BCE AE Fish Money 67mm 9.5g AB Coole Enc Chinese Coins 6920ff.JPG
    China Zhou Dynasty 1046-256 BCE AE Fish Money 67mm 9.5g AB Coole Enc Chinese Coins 6920ff

    China Wang Mang 7-23 CE Xin Dyn AE 5 Zhu 23mm Huo Quan H 9.43.jpg
    China Wang Mang 7-23 CE Xin Dyn AE 5 Zhu 23mm Huo Quan H 9.43

    China Zhou Dyn 1122-255 BC AE Chuan Bead Money 40mm.jpg
    China Zhou Dyn 1122-255 BC AE Chuan Bead Money 40mm

    China Qin ban liang 221-206 BCE rare.jpg
    China Qin ban liang 221-206 BCE rare

    China Ming Knife money 400-220 BCE bronze Hartill 4-42-3.jpg
    China Ming Knife money 400-220 BCE bronze Hartill 4-42-3

    China Tang Dynasty - Anon Early Type 621-718 CE.JPG
    China Tang Dynasty - Anon Early Type 621-718 CE
     
  19. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I'll look for the article. Although... I probably should have said, "likely azurite" or "azurite-like" :)

    ...

    Bronze patina recipes abound. Pick your favorite color... there is probably a recipe for that.

    https://www.sciencecompany.com/Patina-Formulas-for-Brass-Bronze-and-Copper.aspx

    I don't get too worked up about repatinated coins. It's part of the cleaning and restoration process. If a patina is applied like a paint, that's different though.
     
  20. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    It was paint...

    Before anybody scolds me for stripping a coin raw, I used only diluted alcohol and my thumb to do this. I was noticing that if I held it in my hand, it felt sticky, not a characteristic of a true patina (ha!). A tiny dab of diluted alcohol and this gunk came pilling up and off. Not just the blue but most of the brown. I haven't soaked it, or used a toothpick - only my thumb - so some of the paint is still in the crevasses.

    My guess is this was an overly-cleaned coin that somebody wanted to "tone down" with paint (and cover up pits). On the edge there are remnants of the original patina - a normal dark brown sort, hard and impervious to alcohol (see last photo). Because of the tiny pitting, I suspect this had what some call a Tiber patina.

    Well, it is a more honest coin now. And some details of the quadriga and horses came out that was slathered in paint before. In a thousand years or so it might re-patinate into something respectable.

    Antoninus Pius - Sest. Quadriga cleaned no Blue May 2018 (2).JPG
    Antoninus Pius - Sest. Quadriga cleaned no Blue May 2018 (6).JPG

    Antoninus Pius - Sest. Quadriga cleaned no Blue May 2018 (8).JPG
     
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  21. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee Well-Known Member

    Maybe it was someone's art project? :inpain::hungry:
     
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