What caused this rough surface?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Neal, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    I recently purchased a Seleucid bronze identified by the seller as Antiochos VIII Epiphanes. I noticed the edge has a bumpy rough area, as do several lower areas in the fields. Silver will do this with recrystallization, but I did not think bronze did that. Was this present on the original flan before striking, or did it occur afterward with corrosion? Or is it a sign of a fake? Thanks in advance for any help you can give on this!
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  3. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    These flans were cast before striking. My guess is that during casting some rougher surfaces were left in the recesses of the edge.... and/or that crud was protected in those recesses from wear and cleaning. The coin looks fine to me.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  4. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    I would agree and add that what you are seeing is not crystallization. This silver Scripulum is very crystalized under magnification and very brittle because of that.
    Curtisimo, zumbly, cmezner and 6 others like this.
  5. Silverlock

    Silverlock Well-Known Member

    This is just a guess, but lead oxidizes white. Ptolemeic bronzes can have high lead content, 30% or more, and sometimes the mixture of white from the lead and green from the copper can look like that surface. I don't know the lead content of Seleucid bronzes to know if that's a possibility for this coin, though.
    Beginner345 and Neal like this.
  6. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Orange Julius. That is what seemed most probable to me, knowing they were cast, but I have learned on CT that I really am ignorant about these things.
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  7. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all. Silverlock, I didn't know that about the lead being so high or causing that kind of surface. Love learning on CT.
  8. Beginner345

    Beginner345 Active Member

    its a nice coin- not worth much but I always like the coins of those Post Alexander III/Pre Roman Rule Greek states. Seleucid Dynasty,etc I like the ones like you have- that look like a button- rounded edge on 1 side, flat on the other. I wouldn't clear that. its already worn. legend is barely visable.
    Neal likes this.
  9. Beginner345

    Beginner345 Active Member

    Hmm. interesting

    Does Ptolemy XII late silver tetradrachm( somewhat debased) have lead in them, Silverlock?
  10. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    I like both the looks and the history behind them. Yes, I know it is not worth much (I paid about $15 for it), but the great thing about ancients is even those of us who can't afford the rarities can enjoy history and the beauty of the coins themselves.
  11. Beginner345

    Beginner345 Active Member

    I totally agree. I am a cheapskate who usually doesn't like to spend more than $200 for anything , . Its better that way in case you get a fake , you aren't out too much money.

    I would avoid NGC for the most part then- they don't guarantee authenticity- just grading- and the coins are cost 2-3X more than a non- slabbed coins.
    I like to actually feel the coin in my hand- to have a piece of history between my fingertips
    Neal likes this.
  12. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    At some point your coin was completely covered in that crud. Someone managed to remove enough of it to identify the coin but left it in the recessed areas to avoid damaging the coin. Wise decision in my opinion. Nice coin. $15 is a reasonable price. Seleucid bronzes are as good a place to start as any--lots of fascinating history to discover.

    Welcome to ancients.
    Alegandron and Neal like this.
  13. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I'm not totally new to ancients, just ignorant. I bought my first Roman Republic denarius and small bronze from Scepsis back in 1962 when I was 11 or 12 years old. I paid $6 for the denarius, $3.25 for the other, and still have them. (I've owned the denarius for 2.6% of its 2144 years of existence!) I began buying ancients again about 20 years ago, but almost none cost more than $25, most for a lot less. I have only recently bought a couple of Seleucid coins, so I am definitely a newbie for them. Back when I could get them for $.50 apiece, I used to buy batches of uncleaned Roman coins to give to my 8th grade world history class. Instead of just teaching the Roman Empire, I could afford to give them an actual piece of it! They loved it. And its that feeling of holding a connection to history that draws me to the hobby. Still, I have learned more from CT in the last year or two than in all my years of collecting, and I continue to learn.
  14. Alegandron

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

    WOW, great story! Similar to my experience, but I did not teach History, just loved Ancient History.

    Warm welcome to Coin Talk Ancients Forum!
    Orange Julius and Neal like this.
  15. Beginner345

    Beginner345 Active Member

    Ive done that before. I cleaned some of those bronze coins ( late RIC) With heat( only with solid bronze of copper), even a wire brush tip on a dremel. Many came out very well after all the corrosion was off. I wouldn't do that with just any coin. but late RIC coins are so cheap it doesn't matter. heres an example of how clean I got one full of corrosion.
    constantine lefts-l500.jpg
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