Need some help with a Seleucid tetradrachm

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Basileus Antialcidas, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. Basileus Antialcidas

    Basileus Antialcidas Active Member

    I saw this Antiochos III tetradrachm and really felt in love with the portrait, so I ordered it. I understand that it is completely personal if someone likes a coin or not but I would really like to read some opinions. I bought it in a lower price than normal because of a cut in the ear. Do you find it undesirable in your opinion due to this, or it doesn't really matter. Have also in mind that as a student with a part time job buying a tetradrachm is really hard for me to find the money, so small problems that don't retract for me much from the eye appeal is my only way to obtain some really expensive otherwise coins. Also what could this cut be? I am really wandering. Could it be a test cut so small and so precise? Maybe type of grafitto? Again I want to clear, I made my mind and ordered it, I am just asking to read some opinions from other collectors on this matter. Thank you all for your time in advance!

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    BenSi and Carl Wilmont like this.
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  3. Ancientdia

    Ancientdia New Member


    I personally wouldn't say that the cut to the ear makes the coin undesirable. It's still a beautiful piece and otherwise in pretty wonderful condition given its age. Everyone has a different budget. I too don't have a massive budget, not big enough to get the really highest grade coins.

    At the end of the day, it's a hobby and a passion. If you like the coin regardless of condition, it's authentic and you didn't massively overpay for it, then good for you!

    As to just what it was, I can't really say. I've seen some coins with strikes like that where people have tried to scratch out the face, for whatever reason but never just one like that. It definitely looks intentional. Maybe somebody wanted to check if it was silver? (Yes, I've seen people scratching at silver and gold to see what's underneath).
  4. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    If you like the coin, you should buy it, regardless of what anyone else says. Personally, I don't find that cut distracting and would have no problem buying that coin. My denarius of Julius Caesar has a banker's mark on the head, but I don't think it is too distracting and I still love that coin.

    As for how it happened: It looks too regular to be an accident, and not big enough to be a "damnatio memoriae". Someone just carving a coin to mark it as theirs would probably choose the field instead of the portrait. So, by process of elimination, it's probably a test cut to check that the coin was indeed silver.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  5. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Maybe the owner had a curse placed on the king so he could not hear of something he ought not to. And then it was dropped into a sacred spring wherein dwelt a powerful deity where it remained for over two thousand years until a subway system was extended into the suburbs a few years ago. Why not? I suspect all ancient coinage, every single coin, has a story to tell. I have so many coins that have oddities and issues about them that I could fill a library with their stories. Enjoy your collecting and be sure to post some more of your coins here on Coin Talk.
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