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My lightest denarius.


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When I first held this coin out of the package it weighed really light, (the seller didn't include the weight), I thought it could be a fourree, but the edges and surface look fine. Weighs less than my Gratian siliqua! Maybe being a late issue under his reign be the reason? 


Commodus Denarius, 
Obv: M COMM ANT P FEL AVG BRIT P P, laureate head right.
Rev: CONC COM P M TR P XVI COS VI, Concordia standing left, holding patera and sceptre.
1.94g. 191 AD

Do you have any underweight denarii that are not fourree?

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The lightest I have owned is shown below. It looked as though it had undergone leaching in the ground meaning that much of the copper had been chemically removed from the alloy due to the ground conditions leaving a very light, potentially very brittle, porous silver coin.. 

Septimius Severus denarius

Obv:- SEVERVS PIVS AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:- AFRICA, Africa, wearing elephant-skin head-dress, reclining left with scorpion & cornucopiae; basket of corn-ears before
References:- VM 8/2, RIC 254, RCV02 6261, RSC 31



Edited by maridvnvm
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Overall, the quality of coins of Commodus is a bit so so. So i imagine the weight may vary too. Personally, I wouldnt worry, (although im no expert). 

This is my lightest coin. I dont know what the average weight is of these issues. This is one of, if not the, lightest I have seen. I do not make a study of it though. 


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A lot of denarii under 2.3 grams. 

This is the lightest - a Julia Paula with a weight of 1.93 grams. 



Slightly underweight Commodus - 2.22 grams





My Brutus is quite light for a RR (2,74 g) - and this made me a little worried about its authenticity. Frankly, when bidding on it I wasn't completely sure what I was looking at - a fourree or even the core of a fourree. In fact the coin is silver and, as discussed with several specialists, some of them from here, it's genuine. 


I am not an expert in chemistry, but I think crystallization can cause mass reduction in silver. (Oh, how I would need a little crystallization).

I don't think circulation wear is responsible for coins that are way too light. I studied modern coins too. Even coins with advanced wear did not show a large difference. 

My theory is that the planchets for these coins were already light for various reasons - officially or semiofficially.  

Edited by ambr0zie
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