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kevikens

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  1. If the price had been right I think I might have bought it. I can't see any problems with it and the weight is correct. if you ever send it out please tell us what the results were when it came back.
  2. That coin of Sabina is one of the best of her I have ever seen!
  3. Splendid display. I wish I had something like this to browse through at a show or shop.
  4. Interesting. I wonder if the Diocletian era and afterwards have their follis coins from the Alexandria mint thick and dumpy in the fourth and fifth centuries. It would be fascinating to discover that the Alexandria mint, whether turning out tetradrachms, folles, or nummi had gotten so used to that kind of fabric that they continued the practice right up to the Arab conquest.
  5. Thanks. I did not know that there was an octodrachm. I guess I see the doubling sign of the radiate crown found on the earlier dupondius and the later antoninianus.
  6. Do you have the weights on these. The last tetradrachms of Alexandria were about seven grams.
  7. Nice coin. Question. In my OP I mentioned my difficulty in distinguishing among the various Ptolemies. If you did your own attribution what was it that said Ptolemy I and not some other member of the dynasty? Also I noticed the circular impression, one similar to the one on my Ptolemy II. I am guessing that this is a Ptolemaic bankers' test mark for an official product of the mint. I don't think I have any but Ptolemaic coins with this kind of bankers test mark. Do you know if this a typical or perhaps even exclusive Ptolemaic bankers test mark?
  8. I probably would pass on it if I saw it at a show. It's not the weight that is a problem. I do have a denarius issued by his son with the father's image on it. The fabric is wretched but at that point Sextus was in big trouble with his faction about to crumble. The weight of my denarius is quite close to yours. I know some don't like it when collectors of ancients pass up on a coin just because of the way it looks but after a few decades of viewing and handling these coins' one does get a feel for them.
  9. There is also a tetradrachm often attributed to her but I cannot distinguish those of her father, Ptolemy Auletes and those being attributed to her.
  10. You know, I never thought about that, a possible continuation of an old tradition. I don't have a lot of Byzantine but I will take a look. Just looked. No I don't but in looking at Sears Byzantine coins I did notice the 12 numia of Justinian illustrated and it certainly does look like one of the older tetras. Also i had never noticed that the other copper of Byzantine Alexandria have other unique denominations which may, perhaps, be explained by their use of their own unique coins of the Roman period. Thanks for that heads up.
  11. I have seen a few of Elagabalus that have just enough silver in their alloy that have a silvery sheen to them. I think the tets of Diocletian were the very last ones issued.
  12. Oh, I forgot, but for those interested you can find a good deal of reading material if you wish to investigate further. I recommend Harl's Coinage in the Roman Economy, Richard Duncan-Jones, Money and Government in the Roman Economy, and Butcher and Pointing's the Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage. All three are excellent and I use them all the time for just pleasurable reading as well as research.
  13. I thought that today we might want to take a look at a denomination and a mint which was turned out by the Mint of Alexandria for some six hundred years, something noteworthy where other such denominations, as coins, have not lasted nearly as long. Consider that the US Dollar, as important in commerce as it is, is only a little over two hundred years old. The French Franc is a coin of the French Revolution. The Euro is only a few decades old. Yes, the English penny has been minted in some form for well over a Millenium but the Alexandrine tetradrachm is the winner from the Ancient World, being continuously coined from ca. 300 BC to ca. 300 AD, something the more famous denarius cannot match. The origins of the Alexandrine tetradrachm go back to the reign of Ptolemy I, kinsman and successor to the Egyptian portion of Alexander the Great's Empire. Almost from the very beginning the tetradrachms were minted at a weight slightly less than the more common weight of the tetradrachm that the Ancients were familiar with, the Attic standard, and for the next 300 years or so they kept it that way. They also kept pretty much the same design and the same with the reigning monarch on the obverse with a standing eagle on the reverse. Keeping it that way has make it difficult for today's collectors of these. I myself have difficulty identifying these coins a Ptolemy the First up to Ptolemy the Umpteenth. The fabric and fineness of these tetras also remained the same for some time, with a fineness of silver of about 97-98 %, as good as they could refine the metal at that time. As time went on, by the middle of the Second Century BC, their fineness had declined to about 80 to 90% silver, though the weight remained at the usual 14 grams or so. By the mid First Century BC, thanks to trouble with Rome, their fineness plummeted to about 33% and remained that way into the reign of Cleopatra. As a Ptolemaic coin the Alexandrine tetradrachm was finished, but not for long as the conquering Romans resurrected the coin under Tiberius. The Roman imperial government decided not to replace the Alexandrian tetradrachm, but to adapt it for the benefit of the Empire, mainly by continuing a closed system of coinage, one used exclusively within Egypt, one that would allow greater manipulation of the coins weight and fineness of silver for Rome's benefit. At first, under Tiberius and Claudius (there are no known tetras of Caligula) the new Roman version was similar to the last of the Ptolemaic coins, about 14 grams of a debased 32 % silver. However, under Nero the tetradrachm was debased further to about 16% though again the weight and somewhat dumpy fabric remained the same. For the next two centuries the debasement of the Alexandrian tetra was went hand in hand with that of the denarius, the practice seeming to be to keep the tetradrachm equal in value, at least for accounting purposes, with a rate of one tetradrachm to the denarius.. By the latter part of the Second Century the tetradrachm of Alexandria had pretty much lost its silvery appearance and a good deal of its weight, though, again, retaining much of the dumpy fabric. By the end of the Third Century AD the Alexandia tetradrachm, with its fine ness of silver approaching vanishing level and its weight falling to about 7 grams was finished off. With Diocletian's coinage reforms of about 300 AD the mint of Alexandria would join in and mint coins of the same weight, fineness and fabric of the rest of the Empire. For us, collecting these coins, is not difficult. Alexandria, especially under Roman control, issued an avalanche of these coins and even the later Ptolemaic tetradrachms are quite reasonable in cost. Yes, their actual minting techniques produced some mighty unattractive coins but as the ones shown here illustrate some were quite well struck and quite appealing to the discriminating eye. The coins I have are displayed, mostly in chronological order, except for the last three, which show that their cellators could be quite skilled, even up to the end of the denomination. The top three are Ptolemaic minted coins, Ptolemy II, Ptolemy VIII and the IX (maybe), well struck and good silver, each weighing a bit under 14 grams. The next three are early Roman period coins of Nero, Vespasian and Hadrian, all of about 16 % fine silver and about 13 grams. pretty good strikes as well. The last three clearly show coins declining in weight and fineness. Thy are of emperors Commodus, Trajan Decius, and Maximianus (or Galerius). The last three are a tetradrachm of Claudius, regnal year LB (42 AD) with Antonia, the emperor's mother on the reverse, a somewhat pricey Alexandria coin, Gallienus, only 4% silver but well struck and attractive and again one of Maximianus, regnal year Z, close to the end of the coinage but still well struck and attractive. I hope you enjoyed this post and I am looking forward to seeing examples of this long run issue
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