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Salomons Cat

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  1. I don't understand why so many people here care so much about shipping speed. Makes no sense to me at all. When I want a certain type of coin, then I observe auctions and online shops during weeks or months. Until I find the right specimen for the right price. And after that, I really don't care if they need 3 days or 7 days or 2 weeks for the shipping. But I agree that you should get what you paid for. If they promised express shipping, then they should do that. And if they didn't, then I would ask for a refund.
  2. Salomons Cat


    There is an antiviral medication that I really like prescribing: Paxlovid. There is an indication if symptoms started less than 5 days ago and the person has any risk factors for a severe course of the disease. In general, there are no side effects to be expected. But Paxlovid can have interactions with many other medicaments, especially blood thinners or statins. Blood thinners would have to be replaced with other medicaments while taking it and statins would have to be paused. In my personal experience, it works very, very well. If I remember well, studies say that it prevents 80% of severe courses of the disease. Unfortunately, in Switzerland, the price for Paxlovid went up from $150 to $1150 since 12/2023… However, if you‘re worried and if you have symptoms since less than 5 days, then I think that it‘s worth calling your doctor to ask for a prescription. No advertisement here - I just worked in a geriatric hospital during a year and I have prescribed it quite often. And in my experience, most people don‘t know that there is a medication for COVID.
  3. I like your point of view, because it's very optimistic. In Switzerland, even after 2016, courts have rendered judgments defining all types of ancient coins as cultural property. The Swiss Federal Office of Culture itself lists a Byzantine solidus and a sestertius of Diva Faustina on its website as examples of cultural property (🤦‍♂️) without even specifying exactly what type of coins they are. Both coins were restituted to Serbia: In the case of a coin dealer who imported coins without declaration, there was an expert opinion stating that the coins were classified as archaeologically significant and accordingly classified as cultural property. The coins in question were: (Source) Of course, we don't know the details. If one knows where the coins were found, they might be archaeologically significant in an appropriate context. But I believe everyone here agrees that these coins are hardly interesting for numismatists and on the market, they would be almost worthless. Of course, the dealer should have declared these coins before importing them. But I find it difficult to understand why these coins were defined as cultural property? I would absolutely understand it if these coins were illegally looted. A newly discovered hoard could indeed provide archaeologically relevant information. But the article doesn't say so. When we compare what ordinary auction houses in Switzerland offer regularly, one must say that the Swiss Federal Office of Culture has published definitions on its website and Swiss courts have rendered judgments that contradict (i) international customary practices (for example, as outlined in the German Cultural Assets Protection Act), (ii) daily customary law of almost all countries including Switzerland and (iii) common sense. By the way, customary law is an official source of law in Switzerland. Has anyone ever submitted a coin to Leu or Nomos for auction from an EU country and import customs labeled them as cultural property? I don't think so. Because this does not commonly happen to Roman coins. The majority of Roman coins is not regarded as cultural property by anyone. Not even Swiss customs do that. So, unfortunately, in Switzerland, it seems that we are having an unclear legal situation regarding the import and export of coins. For once, German legislation and jurisdiction is better than the Swiss counterpart. It seems that Germany managed to create a clear and comprehensible legal foundation. But not all countries have that. Leu and Nomos don't seem concerned. And their activities are most likely monitored by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture. At least they claim to regularly review online auctions. Personally, I am particularly bothered that Swiss courts have rendered judgments and shaped definitions that seem to blatantly contradict international practice and even daily practice in Switzerland itself. Probably, for these court judgments, experts were consulted who weren't really experts. And now we have a mess...
  4. Not sure if these portraits were realistic. I think that they are rather flattering. Nevertheless, I agree that she got a very charming portrait with a nice smile. Here's the denarius version of your coin 😊 Julia Mamaea, 228 AD, denarius (3.29g, 20mm). Rev: FELICITAS PVBLICA, Felicitas standing left leaning on column holding caduceus. Ref: RIC 335
  5. The Tribute Penny is the coin that was shown to Jesus when he made his famous speech "Render unto Caesar...". There are various translations of this story, differing in details. What they have in common is that Jesus was asked by hostile "spies" whether Jews should pay taxes to the Roman authorities. They anticipated that Jesus would oppose the tax, as their purpose was "to hand him over to the power and authority of the governor". The governor was Pilate, responsible for tax collection in Roman Judea. Initially, the questioners flattered Jesus, praising his integrity, impartiality, and devotion to truth. Then they asked if it was right for Jews to pay Caesar's taxes. In some versions, they provocatively asked, "Should we pay or shouldn't we?" Jesus first called them hypocrites, then asked for a suitable Roman coin for paying Caesar's tax. One of them showed a Roman coin, and Jesus asked whose head and inscription were on it. They answered, "Caesar's," to which Jesus responded: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's". This phrase has become a widely quoted summary of the relationship between Christianity, secular government, and society, leading to multiple interpretations about when Christians should submit to earthly authority. Numismatists, however, mostly believe that the central focus of the story is the Roman coin. And what concerns them most is the question: Which coin was it?! TIBERIUS (14-37). Denarius, Lugdunum mint. Weight: 3.80 g. Diameter: 19 mm. Obv: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS. Rev: PONTIF MAXIM. Livia (as Pax) seated right on throne, holding sceptre and olive branch. RIC² 30. The traditional answer is that "The Tribute Penny" is a denarius of Tiberius. Firstly, because he was the emperor at the time and also because the translation suggests the coin was a denarius: the Greek text uses the word δηνάριον, a Roman denarius (Matthew 22:19). The word "penny" seems to first appear in Wycliffe’s Bible translation of the New Testament texts in the 1480s. At that time, the penny was the current silver coin, about dime-size, and equivalent to a day's pay, making it a natural translation of denarius. In fact, the old abbreviation for one English penny (or pence) was 1 d. (for 'denarius'). Thus the denarius of the Romans became a "penny" in the English language Bible. However, some scholars suggest that denarii were not in common circulation in Judaea during Jesus' lifetime. Therefore, the coin in question might have been another one if we do not take the bible text too literally. This “Alternate Tribute Penny” could have been a denarius of Julius Caesar, of Augustus, or even a tetradrachm. There is also the possibility that the Tribute Penny was an aureus because the Gospel of Thomas 100:1-4 (excluded from the New Testament) tells a slightly different version of the story: "They showed Jesus a gold (coin) and said to him: Caesar’s agents demand taxes from us. He said to them: Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar; give to God what belongs to God, and give to me what is mine." I would like to add another (admittedly very unlikely) alternative: The coin in question might have been an aureus fourré of the tribute penny. This would be a denarius, a penny in the sense of Wycliffe’s Bible, and a gold coin at the same time, thus satisfying most translators 😉 TIBERIUS (14-37). Aureus fourré over a denarius from the Lugdunum mint. Weight: 3.65 g. Diameter: 19 mm. Obv: TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS. Rev: PONTIF MAXIM. Livia (as Pax) seated right on throne, holding sceptre and olive branch. Remarkably, counterfeiting coins in ancient Rome was highly risky yet commonplace. The basis of Roman law concerning counterfeiting is considered to be the Lex Cornelia de falsis from 81 BC. During the time of the Principate, the historical sources that bring information about the content of the Lex Cornelia de falsis can be found in the letters from emperors to provincial governors. Being found guilty of counterfeiting, melting, clipping, washing or injuring any silver coin would have brought you banishment, lifetime work in the mines, crucifixion or capital punishment depending on the social status of the convicted one. All of these measures could take place when trying to abuse the silver coin. In the case of illegal actions made on gold coins, the sinner would have been thrown to wild beasts in the amphitheatre while slaves were tortured to death: “Quicumque nummos aureos partim raserint, partim tinxerint vel finxerint: si quidem liberi sunt, ad bestias dari, si servi, summo supplicio adfici debent.” The coin shown above is considerably lighter than a real aureus. I wonder if it really fooled anyone and what has happened to the counterfeiter. Sources: - Peter Paul Rubens for the painting - foumancientcoins.com: The Tribute Penny of the Bible - Wikipedia: Render unto Caesar and Tribute Penny - Gaspar, Răzvan Bogdan. “Counterfeiting Roman Coins in the Roman Empire 1st-3rd A.D. Study on the Roman Provinces of Dacia and Pannoinia.” Journal of Ancient History and Archeology 2.4 (2015) 31-74. Thanks for reading! Surprisingly, I think that this is the first topic that is dedicated to Tribute Pennies. Please show your Tribute Pennies, your Alternate Tributes Pennies, any fourrés and ancient counterfeits and anything that you feel that is relevant
  6. Yes, the terminology surrounding this issue is indeed imprecise, and the concept of cultural property, as outlined in the 1970 UNESCO convention, is inherently flawed. Applying the notion of cultural heritage (or property) to coins presents significant challenges. Firstly, many ancient coin minting sites are no longer inhabited by the same peoples, and ancient coins, particularly Roman ones, were widely circulated as a global currency, often ending up far from their place of origin. If a hoard is not documented when it was found, there is no chance to fill this gap in knowledge later. Thus, without a clear provenance, it becomes difficult for any country to claim that a specific coin would be part of their cultural property. I agree that a vague terminology based on a vague idea, in combination with the fact that the whole concept is inappropriate for ancient coins, just causes insecurity. And this is the main reason why we sometimes face problems with import customs. Fortunately, I believe that @DonnaML is right that regular collectors have not much to fear. At least as long as they do not try to cross a border with their collection. Take, for instance, the Roma Numismatics scandal a few years back, with the fake provenances. The authorities seized the coins of significant historical value with these falsified provenances, prosecuted the responsible parties, and left all other collectors undisturbed. There was no widespread investigation into the origins of all coins auctioned by Roma Numismatics. In fact, the absence of provenance alone has never triggered any investigations anywhere. And I think that this is important to remember, because it takes an unrealistic burden from sellers and collectors.
  7. Incredible!! I really enjoy looking at this. Honestly, I think that it's already one of the best websites that feature ancient coins that I know. There's certainly a lot of work behind that. I think that what is still missing is a "go back" button on the map.
  8. Elagabalus. Denarius (Silver, 18 mm, 2.93 g, 6 h), uncertain mint in the East, 218-219 AD. Obv: ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Elagabalus to right, seen from behind. Rev: SANCT DEO SOLI / ELAGABAL Slow quadriga to right, carrying the sacred Stone of Emesa decorated with an eagle and surrounded by four parasols. BMC 284. Cohen 268. RIC 195. Thirion 360. Ex Jay Smith Collection of coins of Elagabalus, ex Cayón 80, 28 February 2022, 3145.
  9. I just noticed that I have not reacted to this post yet. Great presentation of your coins! It's a very interesting selection. My favorites are Basiliscus (incredible coin!), Julia Domna with the Venus reverse and probably Priapus. The ancient Romans were certainly not prude 😄 I have not seen many coins with Priapus yet, so I assume that they're quite scarce. I cannot say anything about the last coin, except that I have absolutely no clue about US coins. I do not know what makes it special or why it is in a slab. That's how my friends must feel when I show them my ancient coins.
  10. Thank you @singig, that's a great explanation. I am investing heavily in coins this month 😄 And I'm very pleased with my most recent purchases. The coins are not only on exceptionally fine condition, but they also came with 2 pleasant surprises. Severus Alexander, 226 AD. 18mm, 286g. Rev: ANNONA AVG, Annona standing left holding cornucopiae and grain ear over modius. Ref: RIC 133 Severus Alexander, 232 AD. 21mm, 3.14g. Rev: MARS VLTOR, Mars advancing right holding spear and shield. Ref: RIC 246 Pleasant surprise #1: The coins came with 2 collector tickets that show provenances from 2002 and 2003. Both denarii have provenances from British numismatists, the one with MARS VLTOR probably from Graeme Monk and the ANNONA denarius from Andrew Barrett. Pleasant surprise #2: Swiss import customs have a reputation of being extraordinarily strict about the import of ancient coins. Every coin dealer knows that. Probably because Switzerland has had a bad reputation in the past, as a trade platform for illegally looted ancient artifacts. Quite often, import customs open my letters and packages and usually they charge me with ~ $40 for that. But sometimes they don't. I don't know how they decide when to do that and when not. Maybe it just depends on their motivation. Anyway - this time I did not have to pay import tax. Which is nice, especially since I became increasingly worried recently about the developments and possibly increasing restrictions concerning the trade with ancient coins.
  11. Lately, I've grown increasingly concerned about the evolving legal landscape surrounding ancient coin regulations. Despite the legal framework remaining quite stable in recent years, I've noticed a rise in practical difficulties when it comes to dealing with and shipping coins across borders. Import customs sometimes seize coins merely based on their age, without considering any other factors. This trend has become a source of worry for many collectors and dealers. While I've been fortunate to have my coins clear customs so far, I can't help but wonder how long this will last. So, how will these regulations develop? It seems to me that the protection of private property is not a priority for the authorities. The thought of whether it will still be safe in a few years to showcase my collection online is increasingly troubling. Will import customs start monitoring online forums for coin discussions in a few years? Are we risking our collections by posting pictures online? These uncertainties weigh heavily on my mind. Or am I getting paranoid? I just signed up for the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild and gave a small donation. Coin collectors barely have a voice and there is a good chance that we and our collections will just become collateral damage when new regulations that are aimed at restricting the trade with ancient artifacts are introduced. What are your thoughts on this matter?
  12. Interesting reverse. I don't know much about late Roman coins, my collection stops at Maximinus Thrax. Do you know what the reverse means?
  13. Cn. Lucretius Trio. AR Denarius, 76 BC. Obv: Laureate head of Neptune right, trident over shoulder; behind, LXI. Rev: Winged boy on dolphin swimming right; below,L·LVCRETI/ TRIO. Cr. 390/2; B. (Lucretia) 3. AR. 3.91 g. 17.50 mm.
  14. Divus Vespasian, struck under Titus, AD 79-80, RIC² 359a. Reverse: E-X; SC on round shield set on column, upon which an urn sits, laurel branch to each side.
  15. Nero Claudius Germanicus and Divus Augustus, under Tiberius or Caligula. Drachm, 33/34 AD or 37/38 AD, Caesarea-Eusebia, Cappadocia. 18mm, 3.68g. RPC I. 3623D, RIC I (second edition) Gaius/Caligula 62 Obv: GERMANICVS CAES TI AVG F COS II IMP, for Germanicus Caesar Tiberii Augusti Filius Consul Secundum Imperator (Germanicus Caesar, son of Augustus Tiberius, Consul for the second time, Imperator). Bearded head of Germanicus, right. Rev: DIVVS AVGVSTVS. Radiate head of Augustus, left. Next: A provincial coin that you would give the 'fine style' attribute to if you were working for NGC
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