VCoins: Caligula As - interesting cleaning job

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Clavdivs, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Firstly I could not afford this coin .. and if I had the money I could think of a few other things to spend it on. But I did find this VCoins addition quite interesting - so I was looking to see what the thoughts are on this?

    *This isn't a post to slam the seller at all.* I actually appreciate that they show the "before and after" .. which I have never seen before on VCoins.

    Is this simple cleaning, restoration, or too much?
    Thinking too much.


    Here is the VCoins link showing the obverse, etc.
    robinjojo likes this.
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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..the obverse looks better cleaned..but that price...:eek:
  4. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, they ruined the coin.
  5. Bradley Trotter

    Bradley Trotter Well-Known Member

    I'd sure wouldn't buy it even if the price was much lower. It just doesn't have good eye appeal and the color just looks unnatural. Not to mention, a Vesta as isn't all that uncommon compared to other Caligula portrait coins.
    Magnus Maximus, Spaniard and DonnaML like this.
  6. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    I agree.
    Spaniard and Ryro like this.
  7. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I would say it's more like preserved. That kind of green does not look stable to to me.

    But, yes, it's too much money. They would be better off if they didn't show the before and after.

    This is about the only way to get a Caligula without paying $5 or $6 thousand. That seemed to be the going rate for a denarius that had still been worked on.
    John Conduitt and ominus1 like this.
  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I wouldn't say it's ruined, and I sort of like the obverse, but the reverse is unappealing to me. In the before pictures, it looks like the kind of Caligula Vesta as that should sell for about $400.
  9. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I should add that $400 is a little more than what I paid for my example of this type earlier this year. Sure, the one posted above is better, but mine is good enough for me, with the legends completely preserved. And I didn't have to pay $2,310 for it. (N.B.: the obverse on mine is darker than it looks in the photo; that's the light shining on it, I think.)

    Caligula As, Vespa reverse COMBINED.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
  10. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Too much.
    I'm sure many people would disagree, but if I had to choose, I would pick the coin posted by @DonnaML without second thoughts.
    I don't like the coin. It just seems unnatural, "repaired".
    DonnaML likes this.
  11. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Electrolysis, probably. It'll look nice in another 30 years or so.
    ominus1 likes this.
  12. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    But who's young enough to be able both to afford it and to wait that long?
    Orielensis and ominus1 like this.
  13. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    @furryfrog02 JUNIOR.
  14. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    It’s not possible to ruin an ancient coin by cleaning it as long as you do not damage the underlying original object. An ugly coin stripped of a pretty patina was still an ugly coin to begin with. The historical interest is still there.

    I think the OP coin looks better and I imagine the original die cutter would agree. More of the original design and artistry is apparent. Particularly the details in the chair on the reverse and the contours of the portrait (such as the nose).
    Justin Lee, DonnaML and ominus1 like this.
  15. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    He will be 39 years old (gasp!) then. I certainly hope he:
    1) Is still interested in coin collecting at that age. Imagine what 30+ years of knowledge will look like then. Like some of the old timers here...Not gonna call anyone out ;)
    2) able to pick up a nice example like this but at not such a high price!

    FWIW, I think the "restoration" looks better in that the details are much clearer. Unfortunately, it stripped all the history away.
    I like @DonnaML 's example. It shows some good honest wear and has an attractive patina.
    DonnaML and ominus1 like this.
  16. Bradley Trotter

    Bradley Trotter Well-Known Member

    It wouldn't be that long after my 51st birthday. However, I plan on having one of these well before then.
  17. bcuda

    bcuda Supporter! Supporter



    My two Caligula's . They have different obverse legends. First one was over $500 and second one was under $400.
  18. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    W/out the cleaning, we wouldn't know that 'Bootykins' was Pontifex Maximus and Tribune Potestate.

    While I do enjoy a finely-aged green patina, when it obscures the sharper details of the coin; it's a tough call on when/where to stop the cleaning/restoration process. The unknown is whether aggressively cleaning a coin will expose rough corroded services, and in doing so; make the coin look worse. Therein lies a gamble.

    As a personal preference, I actually don't mind leathery/beef jerky toned coins.

    I've read somewhere that green patinas are the more preferred among Euro collectors, whereas brown/darker patinas are more favored by N. Americans.

    I would wager that the AE coins that hammer for the most @auction have been expertly cleaned to remove any semblance of crud; to best highlight the devices on a coin.

    As for the above coin(over inflated price aside), I would think it would/will fetch more in its present state, than before -- Due to the features now exposed on the portrait of the emperor, and the release of the legend from encrustation.
    DonnaML and Sulla80 like this.
  19. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    The reverse only tells half the story. I was VERY disappointed to see the reverse...but for those who don't like clicking links, here is the obverse which you couldn't really see before. I wish they could have done this without destroying the patina:
    DonnaML, ominus1 and svessien like this.
  20. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    I don’t think the coin is ruined, but I definitely think it’s overpriced.
    It’s 4 times more than I paid for this Caligula as:

  21. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I mean, it really did make the coin's details come out. It is a shame that the, what I am assuming is original, patina was destroyed.
    I know that unless I hit the lottery, I will never own a coin like this. Either the original crusty or the "new and improved" cleaned version.
    Hopefully FFIVN will have that opportunity in the future.
    DonnaML likes this.
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