I repaired an ancient coin today, oh boy.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Oct 27, 2021.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    When I purchased this pile of coin that is one of the most iconic coins out of Magna Graecia I had no intention or thought of repairing the coin.


    Bruttium, Kaulonia. Circa 525-500 BC. AR Nomos (31 mm, 6.63 g).
    Obv. Apollo advancing right, holding branch aloft in right hand, left arm extended, upon which a small daimon, holding branch in each hand, runs right; KAVΛ to left; to right, stag standing right, head reverted.
    Rev. Incuse of obverse, but daimon in outline and no ethnic.
    Noe, Caulonia Group A, 1 (same dies).
    Rare. Cracked in three parts, otherwise, very fine/fine
    Purchased from Auctiones gmbh March 2021

    I do not believe in, or at least think it wise, to alter ancient coins. 98% of the time it is to the detriment of both the appearance of the coin and desirability.
    200 (1).gif

    Heck, I was so excited about it that I sent it to David Sear... and received his thumbs up:

    Despite having it in a capsule, every now and then it would get moved and then slip out of shape. The tiny crystallized pieces of metals grinding against each other, just made me cringe.
    Add to that the fact that, at this point, the pieces still fit together (other than the poor left looking stag head, which was gone when I purchased the beauty) and it is obviously less likely to break further if repaired...
    So I decided to do something about it.

    I'm surprisingly pleased. I was very worried about how it would turn out. And it's pleasurable. In hand I feel like I can enjoy the coin more and it's artistry... instead of its parts.

    Anybody else made the decision to repair a coin? How were your results? Thoughts and other Magna Graecia coins are appreciated.
    Curtisimo, Scipio, Etcherman and 27 others like this.
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  3. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I think it looks great! What did you use? I'm sure I would make a horrible mess if I ever tried to do something similar. I think I failed gluing in kindergarten, and haven't improved since.
  4. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Much appreciated :happy:
    I just went with the, less is more, method with clear epoxy.
  5. Ignoramus Maximus

    Ignoramus Maximus Nomen non est omen.

    Nice job!
    Grinding edges sounds like a nightmare.:(
    The black background in the new photograph makes the hole stand out more prominently, though. If it were mine, I'd probably go back to white.
    But a great coin either way.:)
  6. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    A very nice repair!

    Over time, if the pieces were kept separate, one or more might get lost, and, as you mentioned, the crystalized edges would slowly disintegrate.

    It all came out very nicely in the end.
  7. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight I AM the Senate! Supporter

    I bought this as two broken pieces for $20 back in 2014 or so (the seller did not have the other missing third of the coin). During transit it further broke along the edge. It is my first and so far only coin repair. I’m tempted to use acetone to separate the thin edge piece and then re-glue it, so the glue/repair won’t look as obvious as it does currently.

    Charles the Bald, Carolingian Empire
    AR obol
    Obv: Monogram of Charles
    Rev: + METVLLO around cross in circle
    Mint: Metallum
    Date: 840-877 AD
    Ref: MG 1060

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
  8. Marsman

    Marsman Well-Known Member

    Very nice repair. Well done !

    My repaired coin. I needed this one to complete my 12 caesars in silver……


    Otho, denarius
    Rome mint.
    2,89 g. 19 mm.
    Obv. IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right
    Rev. SECVRITAS P R, Securitas standing left, holding wreath and sceptre.
    RIC 8
  9. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    You made a great job of it.

    LaCointessa, ominus1 and Ryro like this.
  10. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    I think you were wise using clear Epoxy over super glues as it gives you much
    more time to clean up and errors in application. Nice coin and repair, the coin
    is certainly worth it.

    On another note, I didn't know David Sear was still with us. What a guy.
    Ryro and sand like this.
  11. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    He's not all that old! He was 16 when he began working at Seaby's in 1958.
  12. ominus1

    ominus1 Be seeing you!.. Supporter

    ditto! :)
    Ryro likes this.
  13. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    I haven't heard much about him lately. I contacted him twice about some scyphates I had acquired, as well as a very rare Constans follis from Cherson (S.1145c)I had
    acquired at a local coin show from a dealers large lot with about 100 coins. I purchased 5 coins for under $100.

    There was no image of the coin in Sear and I didn't find it in the non pick listing. I finally found a line drawing of it in Harlan Berks small book Eastern Roman Succesors of the Sestertius. I checked with the ANS and spoke with William Metcalf to check if there was one ANS holdings. He confirmed there was indeed one there. He generously sent me a b&w Polaroid print of it. At that time he indicated only five were known.

    There is much more I could add to our conversation. Suffice it to say he didn't know who actually owned the others. A recent sale of the coin appeared and was sold. I love this community. We learn from others.
  14. Nvb

    Nvb Well-Known Member

    @Ryro as you know I have a similar coin in a similar condition.
    I too have considered repairing it before the broken edges get chipped and the opportunity is lost.
    I have not yet taken the plunge but your results are encouraging.
    Well done
    Ryro likes this.
  15. LaCointessa

    LaCointessa Supporter! Supporter

    I think the repairs shown in this thread look great.

    I have a broken coin on my nightstand right now. Actually, I broke it because I thought it was 2 coins stuck together. Eeek! I was planning on examining the interior of the coin more closely. I suspect it is not a healthy coin.
    broken Indian.png
  16. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Thanks so much everybody for the comments and positivity:)
    Great call out @Ignoramus Maximus I tried to fill in the missing area manually, as the free site I use didn't pick it up. Though, I still recommend them highly for most coin pick back ground removal:
    Here's one with the closest back ground colors to the area you see in the stags left facing head Crack (why would auto correct spell Crack with a capital c when I swipe Crack??) Which I gotta say, matched up pretty dang good.
    Screenshot_20211026-090922_PicCollage-removebg-preview (1).png

    I'd prefer the white except, again, the hole being distracting with the different colors.

    @ValiantKnight Wonderful Carolingian:wideyed::cigar:
    I think it looks great as is. But in hand things look different. I've got great coins that photograph poorly and poor coins that photograph greatly. And that coin photographs greatly:singing:

    @Marsman that is a FANTASTIC Otho:woot: Extra points for strong detail on the wig:shy:
    Here's my old boy, from Frank Robinson a few years back. Deserves a better pick than I took back then... but it's still better than Frank's:p

    @Nvb it was the little flecks of metal at the bottom of the capsule it was in that got me to finally take that plunge. The coin will simply live longer in its cherry@$ ssform.
    I do recommend using a toothpick to apply your adhesive. And remember, it is stronger than we think. A dab'll do ya.

    And he sure is @Black Friar I even had a very friendly dialog with him via email during the process and after. BIG fan of the man:bookworm:
  17. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    For those who would like to know his story:
    LaCointessa and Ryro like this.
  18. LaCointessa

    LaCointessa Supporter! Supporter

    So enjoyed reading David Sear's story so far.
    Thank you for linking us to that.
  19. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    I echo LaContessa, thanks for the David Sear link ChitChix. Glad he is still with us.
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