Interesting discussion. Since I am a bottom-feeder on a budget, I do not mind tooled coins so long as they are cheap. Tooling, like holes, jewelry mounts, etc. are for me just part of the coin's history - so long as this sort of damage is taken into account in the pricing. This isn't an ancient, but I thought I'd share it because it is the kind of tooling that is somewhat different (I think) than what is done to ancients. This is a silver thaler from Salzburg dated 1623 that has had the fields extensively tooled - my guess is this kind of tooling was done by jewelers before enameling (ancients are usually tooled to make the coin look better, not worse). The photos make the coin actually look better than it does - in hand the tooling is more obvious. I knew it was tooled when I bought it, but I was happy to pay $13.49 for it, which is almost in the melt-range. One of the other thing I like about such damage is that I can handle the coin guilt-free - not really worried about damaging a beautiful surface on this one!