Pretty Dirty Coins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Orange Julius, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Nice coins that are squeaky clean are easy to find. Nice coins that still retain some great dirt or grime... and look better with it, are a bit rarer.

    I realize this super sweet GIII is about as common as they come but I really like the way it looks. I like that it looks ancient. I like that it has aged gracefully. I think it looks much better like this than it would blast-silver bright and cleaned. I wouldn't think of cleaning it.

    To those maybe new to ancients... Dirt, toning and patina add character to a coin and are part of its history. Many coins do not need to be cleaned and are even more special if they aren't.

    Let's see your pretty dirty coins. Thanks!


    Gordian III
    bust right, draped and cuirassed.
    Rev: AEQVITAS AVG - Equity standing left, holding scales and cornucopia.
    Rome mint: April-September AD 239 (3rd & 4th Issues, 1st Officina)
    RIC IViii, 34 - Cohen 17
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  3. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Within the realm of ancient Chinese coins, you have a lot of pretty dirty coins.

    galba68, Jovian363, Publius and 17 others like this.
  4. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Nice eye appeal Gordian III, one of mine that is definitely better with the mess left on and I will never clean is this Postumus. cRy82mWxC5Ra7k7TB3boWz6E4ZAjLn.jpg
  5. Jovian363

    Jovian363 Well-Known Member

    This is a great topic and a great OP coin. I have a thing for multicolored silvered antoniniani and folii, typically found in large hoards. Here are the two examples from a 1000+ 1990s hoard. MaximianIoviConservat.jpg AurelianRestitOrbis.jpg
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here's a TD sestertius I can't bring myself to clean:

    Trajan Decius PANNONIAE sestertius.jpg
    Publius, dlhill132, Okidoki and 11 others like this.
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    There are two kinds of uncleaned coins: those that might look better cleaned and those that definitely would look worse. There are two kinds of cleaned coins: those that were improved by cleaning and those what were impaired. It is easier to learn the difference between these second groups after the fact than it is the first before. There are two kinds of people who clean coins: those whith a chance of success and those doomed to fail. I am in the latter group. While I approve of NOT cleaning any of the above, I especially would not touch that Decius sestertius. I believe it would be easy to make it worse and unlikely to improve. I know I could wash the dirt out of the rough spots and ruin it.

    Have faith, some coins can recover from cleaning in only fifty years. Act in haste, repent in leisure. Scratches last forever.
    galba68, Okidoki, TJC and 5 others like this.
  8. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Hope this coin of Claudius II is as pretty as " dirty ". It reads VIRTUS on reverse.

    ClaudGoth 001.jpg ClaudGot R 001.jpg
  9. Alegandron

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


    RR AR Quinarius 89 BCE M Porcius Cato Crawford 343-2. Sear 248-OFFICIAL.JPG
    RR AR Quinarius 89 BCE M Porcius Cato Crawford 343-2. Sear 248-OFFICIAL
  10. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    This Anastasius small module follis is rather dirty :)

  11. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    Looks like a washer drawer
  12. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    You got to get some coins without holes. The bank has some
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  13. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    My latest favorite...Owl tet with find patina. Athena is one dirty girl!


    ATTICA, Athens
    AR Tetradrachm, 22x27mm, 17.1g, 12h; c. 454-404 BC.
    Obv.: Head of Athena wearing crested helmet right.
    Rev.: Owl standing right, head facing, olive sprig and crescent behind; all within incuse square; AΘE to right.
    Reference: Kroll 8, SNG Lockett 1842.
    Ex-Kerry Wetterstrom
  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I like the old cabinet toning on this coin and would never dream of dipping it.

    I also like how the flan has cracked at various points around its circumference from striking; it gives it that hand-crafted, ancient look.

    Faustina Sr AVGVSTA Ceres Denarius 2.jpg
    Faustina I, AD 138-141
    Roman AR denarius, 3.40 g, 19.7 mm, 5 h
    Rome, AD 147-161
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right
    Rev: AVGV STA, Ceres standing left, holding torch and short vertical scepter
    Refs: RIC 356; BMCRE 399; Cohen 96; RCV --; CRE 82.
  15. TJC

    TJC Well-Known Member

    Will not be touching this Gallienus / Mercury. Perfect just as it is:)
    GallienusMercuryO2_edited-1.jpg GallienusMercuryRx2.jpg
  16. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

  17. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Does this count? I love the patina on this one as well. Very slightly crusty like Chinese coins. :happy:

    D1C6B02F-DEA2-4146-A53D-9F5FA54C9DA0.jpeg E0DF0970-242C-4836-AB0F-0BDBE0D0F380.jpeg
  18. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    There's a lot to like there! Thats an amazing collection, including lots of nice colors/patinas. I need to study up and add some Chinese coins to my collection, thanks for sharing!

    Those antoniniani are amazing! It looks like they came right out of the pot they were found in... to your camera. It would be a crime to clean those.

    I really like that tetradrachm. I had never seen one with a dark find patina before this one. A special coin!

    And that Gallienus @TJC, very nice. I love those Antioch issues.... so much nicer than the Rome mint coins.

    @Roman Collector That Faustina II is awesome as well. I have nightmares about people taking great coins like these and polishing them.

    @Alegandron Coins Coins from the republic that still have toning or grime are hard to find. Great coin!

    @randygeki I love that Constantine... Ostia didn't stay open long as a mint after Maxentius did it? I have one of these from Rome but have been looking to get one like this from Ostia... Nice coin!

    @Caesar_Augustus Great emerald patina there. I have yet to have a coin of Anastasius... I need to work on that.

    @Ancient Aussie Yeah that Postumus is great the way it is... sometimes you can't improve something that took 1800 years to get where it is. I've swung and missed at many of these galleys... someday, I'll catch one.

    @7Calbrey I have a soft spot for Claudius II coins and that's a nice one. The obverse bust is really nice for his coins.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  19. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    I really like these dirty coins - that OP Gordian is one of the nicest I've seen, since toned Gordies are pretty hard to find, it seems to me. Most of mine are (too) shiny.

    Here is an Aurelian ORIENS AVGG that has silvering and orange stuff on it. One of the reasons I like dirt is that it tends to depress prices on eBay. I paid $3.25 for this and have no plans to clean it (or in my case, probably ruin it).

    Aurelian - ORIENS AVG ant Mar 2018.jpg

    Aurelian - ORIENS AVG ant Mar 2018a.jpg

    Aurelian Antoninianus
    (c. 270-275 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right / ORIENS AVG, Sol walking
    left, holding globe and raising right hand, foot on one of two bound captives. Mintmark X. RIC 62, X; Cohen 154.
    (4.22 grams / 24 mm)
  20. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

  21. Publius

    Publius Active Member

    I wouldn't clean these. Especially the Gordian. :) 90b Maximian I Herculius Cyzicus 12b.jpg 94 Constantius I Aquileia 26a.jpg s-l1600t.png
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