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Xeno

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Here's a new coin I just ordered yesterday but absolutely cannot wait for it to arrive.

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy II Philadelphos. 285-246 BC. Æ Drachm (41mm/69.07gr). Alexandreia mint. Post-Reform, Series 3. Struck circa 261/0-246. Diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right / Two eagles with closed wings standing left on thunderbolt.
 
 
 

Ptolemy 69g.jpg

 

I am just enchanted by the size especially, I have another Ptolemaic kings coin that weighs 37g which was by far my largest coin! Cannot wait to feel this 69g monster in hand! Post your massive coins for me to see! I'm sure a forum member can top 69g!

Edited by Xeno
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Congrats! There is something fascinating about these giant chunks of bronze. I wonder what it was like using them in daily commerce?

Looks like we have very similar types. If you've not pinpointed your coin's attribution, here's an online resource I like to use:

Ptolemaic Coins Online (numismatics.org)

 

PtolemyIIdrachm.jpg.d2474d0d8f74798f06756654a6721834.jpg

PTOLEMY II, 284-246 BC
AE Drachm (43.29mm, 72.67g, 1h)
Struck 266-261 BC. Egypt, Alexandria mint
Obverse: Horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia with basileion
Reverse: ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ on l. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r.; two eagles with closed wings standing left on two thunderbolts; monograms between legs
References: CPE B241
Warm brown surfaces. A massive piece, over two and a half ounces of bronze.

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4 minutes ago, Heliodromus said:

I wonder how these beasts were actually used, and what their purchasing power was? They seem unpracticably heavy to be carrying around on the off-chance you want to spend one ... more for a pre-planned payment perhaps ? More bullion than coin ?

 

 

I was just wondering the same thing. I was chuckling a bit imagining someone bringing 20 of these bad boys down to the liquor store to buy a 6 pack and some snacks... or the ancient equivalent, a ridiculous situation I know but amusing. I would imagine they were more valuable than that though, like you say I kind of doubt these were circulating as much as smaller coins because they would be less practical. Although maybe still more practical than the tertartemorions... at least with one of these chunkers it wouldn't be lost.

 

If anyone has any idea what the purchasing power of one of these would have been please let me know.

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Ptolemy III Euergetes, Ptolemaic Kingdom
AE octobol
Obv: Diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right
Rev: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle with open wings standing left on thunderbolt, head right; E between legs
Mint: Alexandria
Date: 246-222 BC
Ref: Svoronos 446; SNG Copenhagen 142 (Ptolemy II); Lorber series 4
Size: 48 mm, 93 gm

ptolemyiiioctobolvk.jpg.91eda1af83edfc2d20bc1eff9c4a8391.jpg

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3 minutes ago, ValiantKnight said:

 

Ptolemy III Euergetes, Ptolemaic Kingdom
AE octobol
Obv: Diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right
Rev: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle with open wings standing left on thunderbolt, head right; E between legs
Mint: Alexandria
Date: 246-222 BC
Ref: Svoronos 446; SNG Copenhagen 142 (Ptolemy II); Lorber series 4
Size: 48 mm, 93 gm

ptolemyiiioctobolvk.jpg.91eda1af83edfc2d20bc1eff9c4a8391.jpg

Wow 93 grams!!! I absolutely love it! I wonder if someone has one over 100...

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It's a bit early, but happy 2024!

Nice examples posted!

Here's my rough (corroded) Ptolemy II drachm.  This coin came loose in a box from Germany that was partially open.  It was pure luck that it didn't fall out in transit.

Ptolemy II Philadelphus,  AE drachm, circa 265 BC, Alexandria, delta below eagle.

SV 431

66.91 grams

D-CameraPtolemyIIPhiladelphusAEdrachmc265BCAlexandriadeltabeloweagleSV43166.91g7-4-23.jpg.1687ca065188cd6b2734d42a1f0eea11.jpg

 

Edited by robinjojo
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5 hours ago, Heliodromus said:

wonder how these beasts were actually used, and what their purchasing power was

 

5 hours ago, Xeno said:

If anyone has any idea what the purchasing power of one of these would have been please let me know

This is one of the most complicated subjects I’ve ever read about and the best reference is a UChicago (of course!) PhD dissertation on it which takes 850 pages to sort of explain it. With the huge proviso that this is a best guess and that not long after this coin’s time there began a giant inflation, silver was worth around 60 times the value of bronze (largely by diktat and that silver was not freely tradeable abroad) and wages averaged 1.125 obol a day. For context after the move to the bronze standard and the inflation that resulted by 182BC wages averaged 83 obols a day!

It’s hard to say exactly what that 1.125 obol would buy as so many prices were fixed by the state and the units so complex but it’s a reasonable assumption that that was a subsistence level wage for periods when not tending to one’s own land (again, who owned land is a screwed up subject but not the farmer!)

Note 6 obol equal one drachma.

Insane levels of detail for masochists at UChicago B. Hayden PhD thesis. She references other more established authors of course but the thesis is fairly new which is important for the  data - especially from whatever new crate of Oxyrhynchus papyri at Oxford is being opened -which keeps changing.

 

Tldr- this coin is from a time when the silver to bronze ratio was fairly clear and so really worth 1g of silver which  was about a week’s wage for a day laborer. This is a tiny compared to a similar laborer in say Athens at the time. I have no idea why especially given all that is said of Egypt’s great riches and the 200,000 person (?) immigration of Greeks into it though of course they weren’t looking for day laborer jobs!There were only 24 data points used for the wage estimates of 1.125 obols so it all may be screwed up and this reply should just be deleted.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Deinomenid said:

 

This is one of the most complicated subjects I’ve ever read about and the best reference is a UChicago (of course!) PhD dissertation on it which takes 850 pages to sort of explain it. With the huge proviso that this is a best guess and that not long after this coin’s time there began a giant inflation, silver was worth around 60 times the value of bronze (largely by diktat and that silver was not freely tradeable abroad) and wages averaged 1.125 obol a day. For context after the move to the bronze standard and the inflation that resulted by 182BC wages averaged 83 obols a day!

It’s hard to say exactly what that 1.125 obol would buy as so many prices were fixed by the state and the units so complex but it’s a reasonable assumption that that was a subsistence level wage for periods when not tending to one’s own land (again, who owned land is a screwed up subject but not the farmer!)

Note 6 obol equal one drachma.

Insane levels of detail for masochists at UChicago B. Hayden PhD thesis. She references other more established authors of course but the thesis is fairly new which is important for the  data - especially from whatever new crate of Oxyrhynchus papyri at Oxford is being opened -which keeps changing.

 

Tldr- this coin is from a time when the silver to bronze ratio was fairly clear and so really worth 1g of silver which  was about a week’s wage for a day laborer. This is a tiny compared to a similar laborer in say Athens at the time. I have no idea why especially given all that is said of Egypt’s great riches and the 200,000 person (?) immigration of Greeks into it though of course they weren’t looking for day laborer jobs!There were only 24 data points used for the wage estimates of 1.125 obols so it all may be screwed up and this reply should just be deleted.

 

 

@Deinomenid Thank you so much for the detailed response. Absolutely fascinating to compare these historical phenomena to what is happening today around us, it is nothing short of eye-opening.

 

On another note, once again I am humbled and stunned at the research abilities not only of this community but of the scholarly works referenced. It is inspirational to see such incredible research ability from so many people.

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6 hours ago, Xeno said:

@LONGINUS Do you happen to know the weight of these beauties? They are lovely.

New Years greetings, @Xeno  — and a belated welcome to the NVMIS FORVMS.

My apologies for forgetting to add the weight — the Ptolemy IV weighs 46.67 g. and Ptolemy VIII &III weighs in at 27.45 g.

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10 hours ago, LONGINUS said:

New Years greetings, @Xeno  — and a belated welcome to the NVMIS FORVMS.

My apologies for forgetting to add the weight — the Ptolemy IV weighs 46.67 g. and Ptolemy VIII &III weighs in at 27.45 g.

@LONGINUS A very happy new years too you! And thank you for the welcome! You guys are the best. 

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This one gives me a chuckle:

Ptolemy II issues an Obol at 6.7g...

image.jpeg.74ac45b3e9025e5533de7c521033809f.jpeg

Egypt Ptolemy II 285-274 BC AE Obol 20mm 6.7g  Alex III Eagle Tbolt Plain SV 601

 

Then, ole Ptolemy III has to one-up him with one at 10 times larger -  67g...

image.jpeg.f75898b02dff27f81d05bd6222a28900.jpeg

Egypt Ptolemy III AE Tet 41mm 7.2mm thick 67.5g Zeus Ammon Eagle Cornucopia XP Chi-Rho

Edited by Alegandron
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But with all these honkin' big-as coins from Egypt, I still enjoy my baby DiChalkon from Trajan:

RITrajanEgyptAEDichalkonLaureatehdLRhinoceroswalkingLLI-Zyr17CE113-11412_9mm1.25gEmmet719var.rhinoright.JPG.ddae70dc863c930dc0c86a6cb2d2bd6b.JPG

RI Trajan Egypt AE Dichalkon Laureate hd L Rhinoceros walking L LI-Z yr 17 CE 113-114 12.9mm 1.25g Emmet 719 var. rhino right

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I do not have any big AE coins

But I have a 1969 Proof Set from Uganda/ 5 gold/ 6 silver.

 

The 1000 Shilings weighs 140 g/ a  modern 40 Dukaten size coin. Beautifull design for modern coin. Set has 7 oz. gold.

1163595.jpg

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On 12/31/2023 at 3:08 PM, Heliodromus said:

I wonder how these beasts were actually used

Probably in warfare, as sling bullets.  You could knock the life outta somebody with one of those, if you fired it from a sling!  Would probably make a mean buzzing sound as it flew to its target, too.  😉

Edited by lordmarcovan
Edited to add "wink" emoji
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This honkin' huge Siberian 10-kopecks of Catherine the Great is my largest coin.  Per Numista, the specs are: 45 mm diameter, 65.5 g, 4 mm thick.  It only barely fits inside a standard NGC holder (the older, pre-prong style).  The slab even bulges a tiny bit.  Since mine is an all-slabbed collection, and I choose not to include anything in oversized holders, this is about as big as anything in my collection is likely to get.

 

coins european medieval to other russia siberia 1781 km copper 10 kopecks of catherine the great suzun mint

coins european medieval to other russia siberia 1781 km copper 10 kopecks of catherine the great suzun mint

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3 hours ago, panzerman said:

I do not have any big AE coins

But I have a 1969 Proof Set from Uganda/ 5 gold/ 6 silver.

 

The 1000 Shilings weighs 140 g/ a  modern 40 Dukaten size coin. Beautifull design for modern coin. Set has 7 oz. gold.

1163595.jpg

If y'all will forgive me for continuing the brief digression into modern gold, I would like to inquire if @panzerman has one of these.  At 35 mm, it's not absolutely huge, but pretty big for a gold coin.  31.4890 g and 1.0114 oz bullion content.  I know it's ultra modern and looks like a guitar pick, but hey, I like it.  (What's not to like about that much gold, right?)

coins bermuda 1997 gold 60 dollars bermuda triangle wreck of the sea venture

 

OK, modern digression is over now.  Resume discussion of Ptolemaic "hockey pucks" or other ancient heavies.

 

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5 hours ago, panzerman said:

I do not have any big AE coins

But I have a 1969 Proof Set from Uganda/ 5 gold/ 6 silver.

 

The 1000 Shilings weighs 140 g/ a  modern 40 Dukaten size coin. Beautifull design for modern coin. Set has 7 oz. gold.

1163595.jpg

John, It's amazing that coins like this one & the Bermuda $60 gold coin that L.M. posted survived the melting pot when the price of gold surged 😃.

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