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David & Goliath


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Completely by accident these two coins appeared on my desk this evening. The large one is a so-called Silver-washed dirham of the latest decades of the Qarakhanid dynasty, probably minted in the year 1205 AD in Banakat, now in Tajikistan, at the upper Jaxartes river. These large copper coins with a slight silver cover replaced silver dirhams in the 1150-1250 period as a fiduciary solution for the silver shortage at that time and place - Central Asia only. Naturally, most of the coins are by now completely devoid of silver. But they are still quite impressive. This coin has a diameter of 38 mm and a weight of 5.76 grams. It is the type of Zeno 128051 but without ‘Imadi’. 

The small one is a silver tetartemorion (1/24 drachm), offered to me as from an uncertain mint in Cilicia? 4th century BC. Obv. Persian king or hero, in kneeling-running stance right, holding dagger and bow. Rev. Head (Male? Female? Athena?) to the right. 5 mm, 0.17 mm. 

I like the way that little Greek is looking unabashed up to that enormous bulk of coarse black matter, 1500 years younger.  

By the way, here's the little one in full. 



Enormously enlarged, naturally. So insignificant, yet so impressive, if you use a camera or magnifying glass. 



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Are you a telepath? 🙂 I was just about to post a very, very similar thread and I was struggling to take clear photos with my phone. 
I managed to buy today one of the coins that I hunted for years. Even before starting collecting ancient coins. It is the Leeuwendaalder, a Dutch coin from 16th-17th centuries that was very popular in Europe. In fact it is the predecessor of the US dollar as the name comes from it. 
It is a very large coin (more than 40 mm in diameter) and the problem with it is that the vast majority of them are poorly struck. Finding one that has a perfect flan AND a good strike AND good condition implies very serious prices. 

I am looking for one for at least 5 years, and I wanted a decent example with a decent price, which is not something you can find too easily. 

So here is my lion daalder in a close combat with a Miletos (...or Mylasa) tetartemorion (although I suspect this is a hemitetartemorion). I don't know who will win. 



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@Pellinore I always enjoy your coins from "off the beaten path".  Here's a favorite contrast of two coins from Hadrian - one from Rome and the other from Antioch (or minted for Antioch in Rome):


Hadrian, 117-138 AD, Æ Uncia (9.6mm, 0.95g), AE Sestertius (34mm, 25.7g)
Obv: Laureate head right
Rev: S C in wreath
Ref: RIC II 629b


An "uncia" with a sestertius - both Hadrian - the smaller coin is 1/12 of an As, which would seem to make sense with a quadrans (1/4 As) in the 4g neighborhood although my simple weight multiplication doesn't work out well when it comes to the sestertius (4 As which would then be in the 64g range) . Some or all of these small bronzes may be from the mint of Antioch in Syria. There was apparently a metallurgical analysis that showed the metal was closer to that of coins minted in Rome than provincial coins (See: CARRADICE, I., and M. COWELL. “The Minting of Roman Imperial Bronze Coins for Circulation in the East: Vespasian to Trajan.” The Numismatic Chronicle (1966-), vol. 147, 1987, pp. 26–50. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/42667496. Accessed 2 Apr. 2023.)  The small Hadrian probably from the start of Hadrian's reign and a short lived continuation of the series from Trajan.

Edited by Sulla80
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Thanks @Sulla80, I really appreciate your remark, that helps me posting in this forum (I'm now following 4 fora, I doubt that I can keep that up).

"What a great little piece, that uncia, I have never seen it before nor known it existed" I was going to add, and already started looking for it on Vcoins. Then I discovered this in my collection, full description: 

AE10 half quadrans Hadrian 117-138. Rome Mint for Antiochia Seleucis. Obv. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind. Rev. SC over Γ in wreath. 10 mm, 1.02 gr. McAlee 543 (‘V. Rare’, and with E instead of Gamma). RPC online III, Nr. 3711 (6 in collection, with Z instead of Gamma). (Ebay Lanz, 2018). Left in the pictures. 



The right coin is the Trajan you mentioned: 

AE11 half quadrans Trajan 98-117. Rome Mint for Antiochia Seleucis. Obv. Laureate bust right. Rev. SC in wreath. 11 mm, 1.48 gr. McAlee 526. RPC online Nr. 3680 (‘chalkous’, 5 in collection). (Ebay Lanz, 2018)



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