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Constantius II - what level of detail makes sense?


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This Constantius II was the second ancient coin that I ever purchased. If I remember correctly, I paid almost nothing for it at a local show. For a few years I've had the following photograph for this coin, where it appears almost blackish in tone:


I had taken the photograph myself and, now that I look at the coin itself, I'm surprised that I didn't retake the photo, because the coin has more of a light chocolate color. So I decided to rephotograph it and received the result below, which far more resembles the actual coin, though the magnification really shows its obvious flaws. Perhaps the high-resolution effect actually detracts from the coin in this case? Is this an appropriate level of detail to photograph an ancient? Or is it too much? Or is the coin in this case just not nice enough to tolerate too much detail?

Cyzicus RIC VII 69 Constantius II AE3. 330-334 AD. FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate, draped & cuirassed bust right / GLORIA EXERCITVS,
two soldiers, helmeted, standing with spears & shields, facing two standards between them, dot on banners. Mintmark SMKΓ dot.

Edited by ewomack
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Getting a photo to represent a coin accurately is pretty much impossible. That’s why videos are increasingly used. In a different light, with the coin rotated to a different angle, the flaws will be more or less visible. Usually, people try to photograph in as much detail as possible, but prefer to at least find a flattering angle.

All ancients have flaws. The detail on the figures on the reverse is excellent. It’s also pretty unusual to have good centring and a complete mintmark, even on a common coin like this.

Edited by John Conduitt
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