Valentinian I I just finished

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Inspector43, May 4, 2021.

  1. Inspector43

    Inspector43 73 Year Collector Supporter

    Here is a Valentinian I I just finished. Posted some time back when I was still working on it. I hope it doesn't look like it has seen a lot of tooling. I've been told that my work is considered tooling. Number 15 Valentinian I.jpg
    Spaniard, svessien, Andres2 and 9 others like this.
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  3. William F

    William F Well-Known Member

    What do you do to it that could be considered tooling? I don't see anything obvious, and I'm curious... :)
    Factor and Inspector43 like this.
  4. Inspector43

    Inspector43 73 Year Collector Supporter

    I mentioned smoothing in an earlier post. Some people think that means hiding defects in some way or another. I take coins that are covered with 2000 years of crud and make them look like the one above. I don't think I have altered any bit of it. I hope you like it.
    William F likes this.
  5. William F

    William F Well-Known Member

    I think it looks great! A lot of the time with ancients there is so much crud built up you can barely tell a Justinian from a Domitian lol, so if you want your collection pieces to be easily distinguished you got to do something to them...
    Inspector43 likes this.
  6. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    What's your smoothing process? I've tried with a fine grit diamond dental pick, but it just looks like the surfaces have been scraped with, well, fine grit sandpaper.
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  7. Inspector43

    Inspector43 73 Year Collector Supporter

    Part of it is a fine grit diamond dental pick. I leave as much of the last layer or so of crud and try to stay away from the base metal. Then with zero pressure I let the pick ride back and forth across surface marks other processes may have left. Do this in several directions to mask out, erase, the fine lines. I always have a photo of what the coin is to look like to use as a guide.

    Now freak out if you like, but I also use a very soft brass wire brush. It is so soft that it doesn't harm my fingers as I use it. I am in contact with my fingers constantly with no damage. Quickly across the coin in one direction only, turning the coin as you work.

    These techniques don't work if you are close to or in the surface of the original coin. Practice on some of you culls.

    Attached is a Constantine I that I just finished a few minutes ago.

    Number 13 Constantine I Siscia.jpg
  8. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Thank you! I will have to try your technique. You always have great mechanical results. Sometimes my chemicals just don’t do the trick
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  9. Inspector43

    Inspector43 73 Year Collector Supporter

    I use Distilled Water, Acetone and, mostly, 40 Volume Hydrogen Peroxide. Incorporated into the process is several soakings. Soak a little, clean a little. I also have a stereo zoom type microscope that allows me to do some very fine mechanical work.
  10. Inspector43

    Inspector43 73 Year Collector Supporter

    Here is one I am working with. I think it is as far as I can go. There is so much silver left that no more work can be performed. And, it really doesn't need any.
    17 Silver.jpg
  11. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    If you are removing metal, that is considered tooling. If you are removing dirt and crud, that is considered cleaning. Smoothing, I guess, is somewhere in between. Perhaps leveling out the patina?

    Nice work on the Valentinian.
    Inspector43 likes this.
  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Realizing when to stop is the important thing. Realizing that point has passed and we have gone too far is more common. You are doing what you can given what you had to start. Obviously what you are getting out of this in terms of satisfaction of doing this is more valuable than the coins themselves. If having coins that are smooth and beautiful is the goal, we can find coins that look smooth when found and do not require smoothing. These are two different hobbies.

    I consider your example extremely smoothed but not tooled. That is not bad; it is just the way things are.
    Inspector43 likes this.
  13. Alegandron

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

    Very nice job, @Inspector43 ! I do not have the patience, but I enjoy the work you have put into your coins. Congrats.

    RI Valentinian I AE3 364-375 CE Emp dragging captive XP std
    Johndakerftw and Inspector43 like this.
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