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Post Your Lathe Marks


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  • Benefactor

This Ptolemaic coin is fairly low grade, but it exhibits a number of characteristics of ancient coin minting methods.  Most prominently the lathe marks and the casting sprues from the blank planchet.  Post your interesting coins showing minting remnants.


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  • Benefactor

Thanks for this. @Roman Collectorand I gave these marks the name "lathe dimples" over in the other place, so as not to confuse them with compass dots a/k/a centration dimples. The best explanation of them I've seen is on the  now-defunct classicalcoins website, which is fortunately still available on the Wayback Machine at https://web.archive.org/web/20210411064927/http://www.classicalcoins.com/flans1.html. (If you keep clicking "next page" at the bottom, or substitute the numbers 2 through 8 in the url, you'll see the subsequent pages of the discussion, all preserved at web.archive.org.) See also Butcher, Kevin, Roman Provincial Coins: An Introduction to the Greek Imperials (Seaby, London, 1988) at p, 67: "The coins [of Moesia Inferior] frequently have a small circular depression in the centre of the obverse and reverse, possibly the result of being clamped in a sort of lathe device used to smooth off the edges of the coin."

Just about all of my Roman Provincial bronze coins from Moesia Inferior, as well as those from Thrace, have these "lathe dimples." Here are some examples:

 Philip I & Otacilia Severa, Nemesis reverse, Mesembria (Moesia Inferior), jpg version.jpg

Philip II Moesia, Tomis (Gryphon & wheel) jpg version.jpg

Gordian III - Tranquillina Anchialus (Thrace) - jpg version.jpg

Macrinus & Diadumenian - Hermes photo jpg.jpg

Edited by DonnaML
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This coin has a little bit of everything! It has two flan chips from where the sprue was broken off of the cast flan. It has a compass dot between the emperor and empress from laying out the design before engraving the die. It has a lathe dimple from flan preparation. It has doubling of the obverse from a die shift during striking.


Gordian III, with Tranquillina. A.D. 238-244.
Roman provincial AE 4.5 assaria; 28.92 mm, 15.89 g, 7 h.
Moesia Inferior, Tomis, A.D. 241-244; Magistrate Pontianus.
Obv: AVT K M ANTΩNIOC ΓΟΡΔΙΑΝΟC // [C]ABINIA (TP)AN / KVΛΛINA, confronted laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian right and diademed, draped bust of Tranquillina left.
Rev: MHTPO ΠONTOV TOMEΩC, Nemesis standing facing, head left, holding arshin (rod) and sling, wheel at feet; Δ - < (denomination) in fields.
Refs: RPC VII.2, 1701; AMNG I 3537; Varbanov 5701; Moushmov 2279; Cf. SNG Cop 305.

Edited by Roman Collector
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Athens New Style Tetradrachm 144/3 BC

Obs : Athena Parthenos right in tri-form helmet
16.75gm 34mm Thompson issue 21
Thompson catalogue : Obs : GAZIANTEP 185 : Rev NEW
Rev : ΑΘΕ ethnic
Owl standing on overturned panathenaic amphora on
which month mark Ε control ΤΙ below
2 complex magistrates monograms
RF symbol : Filleted Thyrsos
All within a surrounding olive wreath


Notice lathe marks  under left of owl Mac, aka David MacDonald thinks this is to get some silver back. I'm not so sure cos good  conditioned  Thyrsos NewStyles  have weights that vary in the reduced Attic weight "standard" For silver this level of quality control seems pointless when weights per coin varied so much.  Gold is a different matter!


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