Probus Ric 157

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Exodus_gear, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Exodus_gear

    Exodus_gear Active Member

    I have been unable to locate the composition of this coin, I've seen that they contain silver but to what extent? I ask because I came across another probus in my uncleaned lot and tempted to restore it to the shiny side if it's more of a solid silver coin.

    I know it's either R Crescent A or R Crescent dot A

    20200223_113215.jpg 20200223_113251.jpg
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  3. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    These are not silver. They are bronze coins with a small silver content that were originally silvered and silvery in appearance.

    Here is one of mine without any silvering left at all.


    And another nearlyfully silvered

  4. Exodus_gear

    Exodus_gear Active Member

    Oi, so it would be a flip of a coin basically to see if its one or the other under there. I'll have to think about this one for a bit. Just not too keen on the way mine looks at the moment.
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  5. svessien

    svessien Senior Member

    It's a very thin layer of silver that can be hard to restore.
    You can see the typical amount of silver on a Probus coin on this reverse:

    IMG_0359 2.JPG
  6. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    Here are two of mine. I am unsure if I should put anymore effort into cleaning them. They appear to have some silver content. 1 Probus 911 Obv.jpg 1 Probus 911 Rev.jpg Probus 911 Obv.jpg Probus 911 Rev.jpg
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  7. Exodus_gear

    Exodus_gear Active Member

    I know the feeling, aside from a bit of dirt left on it, I am not sure what else I could do aside from getting down to the base of it all. At the same time I worry that the coin has corrosion and I am better off leaving it the way it is.
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  8. Suarez

    Suarez Well-Known Member

    There's quite a bit of variance on the composition of the ants from the time period. The silvering itself is nearly pure silver and the core of the coin contains anywhere from a trace to as much as 10%.

    The surprising thing is that the decline in the silver content isn't as linear as expected. It's a gradual but erratic progression with many coin series having unexpected spikes in the silver content. My interpretation is that assaying went out the window and the mints used whatever stock was available to make new coins. At some point was evidently costlier trying to squeeze out that last bit of silver than just focus resources on output.

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  9. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    @Inspector43 Both your coins would be attributed as RIC 911 Bust Type H from Cyzicus like these from my collection

    First is CM / XXIQ
    The Second is CM / XXIP
  10. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  11. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    My second one seems to be XXIP. The other I haven't go deep enough into yet. Thanks for the feedback.
  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    When you see roughness under the dirt, you generally won't like the cleaned coin much better than the dirty one.
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  13. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    I have three different Probus ants -- unusual for me, since for the most part I have only one coin per emperor/caesar/empress. Each shows a different level of remaining silvering. Here they are, from most to least (none):

    1. Probus, 276-282 AD, silvered billon Antoninianus, Cyzicus Mint 280 AD. Obv. Radiate bust left wearing imperial mantle and holding eagle-tipped sceptre, IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG / Rev. Sol standing facing in spread quadriga, with right hand raised, holding globe and whip in left hand, the horses spread, two on l. and two on r., SOLI INVICTO. CM in lower center above XXI Q in exergue (Officina 4 - Quarto). RIC V-2 Cyzicus 911, Sear RCV III 12041 (ill), Cohen 682, Pink [Karl Pink 1949], p. 44, series 3. 23 mm., 4.1 g.

    Probus-Sol O1.jpg

    Probus-Sol R1.jpg

    2. Probus, silvered billon Antoninianus, Serdica [Sofia] Mint, 277-80 AD. Obv. Radiate, helmeted, and cuirassed bust left holding spear and shield, transverse leather strap across chest, IMP C M AVR PROBVS PF AVG/ Rev. VIRTVS PROBI AVG, Probus riding right on horseback, spearing enemy falling beneath horse’s hooves, with his shield lying under the horse. In exergue: KA • Γ [gamma] • (4th emission, Serdica, Officina 3). RIC V-2 878G(Γ); Cohen 912; Pink [Karl Pink 1949], 277. 24.31 mm., 3.26 g.

    Probus Ant. Serdica.jpg

    3. Probus, billon Antoninianus [no silvering left], Rome Mint, 279 AD. Obv. Radiate, helmeted & cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield, IMP PROBVS AVG/ Rev. Probus riding left, extending arm in salute & holding scepter, horse’s right front hoof raised over bound captive seated left, ADVENTVS AVG. In exergue: R - pellet in crescent - ς (digamma/sigma) [Officina 6]. RIC V-2 157(ς); Cohen 37; Pink VI/1 p. 57. 23 mm., 2.75 g. [See]

    Probus Ant. Rome.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  14. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Sticking with RIC 157s.....

    Patchy silvering where it has worn away on about half the coin
    Worn away at the high points
    What silvering there might have been has turned to golden toning
    No silvering left, just toned bronze
  15. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I am concerned with the roughness here that appears under the silver. My guess is modern replating. Would our CT Probus specialists care to comment?
  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    Well, that would be a huge disappointment, even though I paid only $50 for the coin! So although I defer to your superior knowledge, I hope you're wrong this time. The roughness doesn't show up in the seller's image, although of course the photos I took are much closer up.

    Image of Probus Soli Invicto split quadriga coin.jpg

    I bought this coin a couple of years ago from an ebay seller located in Chicago who seems to have been active on ebay from 2009 through 2018, but not since then. I see some of this seller's coins on member galleries at FORVM ANCIENT COINS, so I'm certainly not the only person who ever purchased from them.

    Would anyone bother replating a $50 coin?
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  17. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    I am afraid that the answer to that is YES. Here is a Constantinian AE3 that appears to have been replated.


    Full silvering on RIC 911s is possible but I would be troubled by surface roughness combined with full silvering as they should be mutually exclusive.

  18. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    But why wouldn't the person have smoothed the roughness before doing the replating? Oh well. If you and Doug are correct, there's nothing I can really do about it at this point, is there? At least the coin still looks nice to me to the naked eye, to which none of this is noticeable.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  19. I agree with Rasiel. From the 260-70's the silver content was all over the place but almost exclusively low-silver percentage "billon" coins. We have some silver appearing coins appearing as late as 268, (Postumus) but he was an outlier in the West where apparently they had more of the metal to work with.
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