How Do You Tell a Banker’s Test Mark from a Planchet Flaw?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by johnmilton, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I am curious about how you can tell the difference and how much the banker’s mark affects the value of the piece.
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  3. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

    By looking at an image of the coin and the mark in question. o_O
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  4. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

  5. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    What are these "images" you speak of?
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  6. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    It's in the link which is to a "safe" auction site. They won't let me download the photos. I would if I could.
  7. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

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  8. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Thanks Clawcoins. I don't know how to do what you did.
  9. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  10. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    In this case I think both spots are the result of the process of making the coin. The 6 o clock spot looks like a spot where the edge split from spreading during striking.
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  11. Plumbata

    Plumbata Well-Known Member

    Both are "natural" flaws/artifacts of the striking process which detract little and often enhance the appeal of ancient coins in my opinion.
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  12. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    It would be quite unusual for a banker's mark to show up on a Commodus denarius. For reasons I do not understand, banker's marks are far more common on Republican and early (Augustus) denarii.

    I agree that the coin in question has an edge flaw, probably as a result of a small planchet lamination. Here is a Faustina denarius with a more dramatic example of this:

    Faustina I - AETERNITAS lot Aug 2017 (0).jpg Faustina I - AETERNITAS lot Aug 2017 (3).JPG
  13. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    I don't have any facts, but I have a theory as to why banker's marks decreased in the later Empire. Perhaps it was for the same reason that there are almost never any marks on modern US coins, even pre-1965 silver. The coins, even silver coins, were given higher fiat value than precious metal value. There was no reason to test a coin's metal because it was relatively insignificant. That would be why many of the later Roman coins were silver plated yet circulated without test marks.
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  14. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    That is a good theory. The prevalence of Chinese chopmarks on Spanish silver dollars (and US Trade Dollars, etc.) would fit in with this theory - they circulated in China based solely on their weight. There was no "fiat" aspect to these coins, just their bullion value.
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