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Size doesn't matter...


Old Miser
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I got a couple of little (literally) cuties lately, so I decided to post my collection of tiny Greeks!

One of the issues I have with coin photography (especially in forums) is that you cannot really tell how big or small a coin actually is. In a single thread someone can post an obol and then somebody else will reply with a tetradrachm, but the way the coins are photographically presented their size doesn't seem too different. 

So I decided to post all my tiny Greeks together to get a better idea of how tiny they actually are. Here goes:

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What we have here (clock-wise) is a rare obol from Nagidos in Cilicia (Aphrodite obverse - Appolo reverse), an obol from Greek Bactria (Eucratides obverse - dioscouroi caps reverse), a tetartemorion from Caria (lion obverse - bird with dots reverse), and finally a hemidrachm from Chersonisos (lion obverse - incuse sections with bee and monogram).

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As you can see they are rather small, the tray square is a standard 2x2. The benefit of buying small coins is that you can afford to find pieces with great detail for a fraction of the price of a bigger coin. They may be small, but they are impressive, that tetartemorion especially must have been a huge pain to strike as great precision would be required!

Here is a photo with the coins in hand (kinda). They look even nicer in real life as it is very difficult to focus on them properly with a plain phone camera.

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Please post your small coins in group photos (if possible) or in any way that it makes it easier to tell how small they are.

 

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One of my favorite collecting themes.

I also have a Cilician obol with Aphrodite but after my investigation, the other character on the coin is Dionysus not Apollo.

I fully understand why you like it as it's also one of my favorite coins 

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CILICIA, Nagidos(ca 400-380 BC) AR Obol
Head of Aphrodite facing slightly right; [N] to left
Rev: Wreathed head of young Dionysos facing slightly left; [N] to left.
Göktürk 2; SNG France –; SNG Levante 6.
0,56 g, 11 mm

 

When I received my first tiny denominations, I was also amazed. I knew they were small but it was shocking. I don't have many group shots but here goes 

image.png.51d623f65caec8235193b2586d51a036.png

The "base" coin has a 23 mm diameter. So not a huge one. The smallest coin in the group (9 o clock) is my smallest coin in the collection - a hemitetartemorion 

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Ionia. Miletos circa 525-475 BC. 
Hemitetartemorion AR Cf. Rosen 407/8. Klein 430; SNG Tubingen 3001; 
Head of a roaring lion l. R/ Quail standing l. within incuse square
5 mm., 0,08 g (!)
Possible Caria Mylasa
 

Another photo, this time not correctly focused, I sent it to a friend who was not aware of the actual size of Greek fractions and, like you correctly stated, seeing an auction pic does NOT reflect the actual size 

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Lesbos, Methymna AR Hemiobol. 7 mm 0.30 g Circa 400 BC. Bearded head of Silenos facing / Tortoise in dotted square frame. Unpublished with square frame but several known. Aufhäuser 14, 127; Lanz 117, 112; G & M 196, 1632. Cf Traité 2263 (circular frame)

 

I don't have many group shots (to be honest I am a little afraid to fiddle with small fractions too much) but I found some old ones from my first encounter with them 

image.png.82d9eb081de885159576327ac6e34e06.pngimage.png.8d5ceddf6aacec9880f003da9c923174.png

 

I really do NOT have large hands. 

Edited by ambr0zie
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4 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

One of my favorite collecting themes.

I also have a Cilician obol with Aphrodite but after my investigation, the other character on the coin is Dionysus not Apollo.


Ah, I thought it was Apollo, didn't realise it was Dionysus. It must depict him in his younger days before the heavy drinking took its toll 😅

 

4 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

The smallest coin in the group (9 o clock) is my smallest coin in the collection - a hemitetartemorion 

image.png.bf08cd7ecb19dad727c95c48569d90ec.png

Ionia. Miletos circa 525-475 BC. 
Hemitetartemorion AR Cf. Rosen 407/8. Klein 430; SNG Tubingen 3001; 
Head of a roaring lion l. R/ Quail standing l. within incuse square
5 mm., 0,08 g (!)
Possible Caria Mylasa

This is pretty much same size as my coin, only difference on mine  being that the lion is facing to the right and the bird has two dots either side. Does this mean that my tetartemorion is really a hemi-tetartemorion?

 

Also, I need your help guys... I want to house my small cuties in one of these:

https://www.abafil.com/en/miniminor/1411-miniminor-15-spaces-black-cocco-red-velvet.html

This is quite small and the squares are around 3cms I think. As I don't want the coins to move about too much, I would like them to also be inside double flips. However the majority of double flips (like Saflips) are either 2x2 or larger. Does anyone know where to get any that fit in the miniminor's squares (must also be PVC free of course).

 

 

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I’ve never taken delivery of an obol in a small double coin flip so assumed they don’t exist but I’d be delighted to be wrong. They are either in far too large flips or more usually in the lighthouse type  tiny round capsules.

I couldn’t find what you were looking for but as a second best those round inert capsules (easy to open) would fit well in that abafil. 
 

 

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7 hours ago, Old Miser said:

This is pretty much same size as my coin, only difference on mine  being that the lion is facing to the right and the bird has two dots either side. Does this mean that my tetartemorion is really a hemi-tetartemorion?

Hard to say without looking at it and probably hard to say even looking at it. 

You probably have something like this 

https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=2469150

The weight might clarify the denomination but I don't think you can be 100% sure. 

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Lycaonia. Laranda, circa 324-323. AR Obol (10mm, 0.53g, 12h). Obv: Facing head of Herakles with club over shoulder, 'H' to left. Rev: Wolf forepart right, star above. Ref: Gokturk, “Small Coins from Cilicia and Surroundings,” in Mecanismes et innovations monetaires dans l'Anatolie Achaemenid, pg. 149, 68-69.

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