Julius Caesar AR Denarius with gold toning

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by willkerrs, May 17, 2018.

  1. willkerrs

    willkerrs Active Member

    One of two Julius Caesar AR Denarii I recently bought. (Military mint travelling with Caesar, 49-48 BC. Crawford 443/1; CRI 9; RSC 49)

    Obverse: Elephant advancing right, trampling on serpent; CAESAR in exergue.
    Reverse: Emblems of the pontificate: simpulum, aspergillum, securis (surmounted by wolf's head - unfortunately missing, probably due more to wear than a poor strike - see picture IV, where you can just about make it out, and picture V with my rough outline drawing), and apex.

    VF, 3.75g, 19mm, 2h. Both sides have gold highlights, especially the reverse. See pictures III and IV, which I have darkened to show this.

    The condition of this Denarius is not too bad at all - the strike was probably a good one - even if slightly off-centre, more so on the reverse than obverse - but the coin has been circulated. As such, the elephant is a little worn on its body, as is the trunk, but overall not too bad. The reverse is generally better; the apex seems barely worn at all, although wolf's head atop the securis has been worn off.
    caesar denarius 1.jpg
    caesar denarius 2.jpg
    caesar denarius 3.jpg
    caesar denarius 4.jpg wolf head.jpg
    Jay GT4, Ajax, TIF and 18 others like this.
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  3. Alegandron

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

    Very nice Caesar and welcom @willkerrs ! You are posting some cool stuff!

    My Caesar: I like to say this series was minted during his Crossing of the Rubicon period. A HUGE decision by Caesar, his General Staff, and the Army that followed him. Nice critical juncture in Human History! "IACTA ALEA EST"

    My Elephant decided to be like parade horses, and offer up some road apples...

    RR Caesar AR Denarius 49 BCE Traveling Mint Elephant-Pontificates Sear 1399 Craw 443-1.jpg
    RR Caesar AR Denarius 49 BCE Traveling Mint Elephant-Pontificates Sear 1399 Craw 443-1
    Jay GT4, Ajax, TIF and 11 others like this.
  4. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  5. Orfew

    Orfew Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice elephant. Here is mine, Ex: E.E. Clain Stefanelli.

    CAESAR Elephant NEW.jpg
    Jay GT4, Ajax, TIF and 10 others like this.
  6. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Great example of an iconic coin! Here's mine, with a close-up showing the wolf's head. I hadn't paid enough attention to this detail before.
    Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 11.21.28 AM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 11.23.34 AM.jpg
    Jay GT4, Ajax, TIF and 10 others like this.
  7. willkerrs

    willkerrs Active Member

    Noob question - but I've never seen any literature on it - What, exactly, causes the gold toning / patina / iridescence and how long does this process take?
  8. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I'm no expert, but since no expert answered your question, I'll give it a shot. My understanding is that both the gold colour and iridescence is normally ordinary silver sulfide, i.e. silver tarnish, just in a very thin layer. If left to tone naturally it will eventually turn grey, then black. The speed will depend heavily on the storage method & local conditions, i.e. degree of air circulation, level of humidity, temperature, levels of sulfur in the storage material & air etc.
    Curtisimo, TIF, willkerrs and 3 others like this.
  9. Ryro

    Ryro Another victory like that will destroy us! Supporter

    Beautiful coin! Love the toning. Here's mine plus the ol "R" for Ryro bankers mark;)

    I'll leave out my, "I crossed the Rubicon and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!" t-shirt pic... CollageMaker Plus_20184618227104.png
    Julius Caesar
    49-48 BCE AR denarius (18
    mm, 3.43 g, 2 h). Military mint
    traveling with Caesar. CAESAR
    in exergue, elephant advancing
    right, trampling on horned
    serpent / Simpulum, sprinkler,
    axe (surmounted by a dog's
    head), and priest's hat.
    Crawford 443/1; HCRI 9;
    Sydenham 1006; RSC 49.
    Banker's mark on obverse,
    porous. Near fine.
    From the Expatriate Collection.
    The Expatriate Collection
    Expatriate comes from the Latin
    roots ex-, ""away from,"" and
    patria, ""one's native country.""
    The Expatriate Collection was
    formed by an American who has
    lived abroad for nearly fourteen
    years in Japan, Europe, Canada,
    and the Middle East. His
    collection was formed almost
    exclusively while living outside
    the United States
    Jay GT4, Curtisimo, Bing and 4 others like this.
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