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Why I like ancient coins


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I miss collecting ancient coins but have resolved to buy no more in 2024.  I retain interest in the coins I have and value most highly the friends I have made along the way.  One of the most valued of those friends pointed out to me a coin I would love to own but would not have purchased when it sold in CNG sale 123 lot 219 for well under its estimate.



 Here is its story.  I bought a coin in a Frank Robinson sale.  It was correctly described as a fourree.  IMHO, Frank remains a good guy in the hobby.  Back then he was a major source for coins for my collection. 



Shortly after that, I became aware of a coin being offered by the late Tom Cederlind (another fiend who is missed) list 85 coin 43 that was not listed as plated but weighed less than my coin's 13.8g AND showed what I believed was signs of very small spots of core exposure.  I notified Tom and he returned it to its consigner.  I have recently been giving away my coin catalogs and lists and no longer own that Cederlind list.  I have vague memories of later seeing that coin offered again by another dealer (but I forget who) that also delisted the coin after being made aware of the 'problem'.  I never had the coin in hand so I never photographed it.  

The CNG 123, 219 coin may or may not be the same specimen but I believe it is different because I do not recall that one being double struck.  CNG, IMO in error, read the date incorrectly due to the double striking.  The Cederlind coin was dated OE with a curved E in exergue.  My coin is poorly centered and that date is off flan. This I deeply regret!  Still, the die break across the body of Zeus and other design points demonstrate without doubt that the coins are die duplicates.  

The question is whether the CNG coin is also fourree.  I believe it is but I have never had that coin in hand either and possible pits of core exposure are very, very small.   However, the obverse chin of the CNG coin is dented which makes me wonder if there has been something going on under the surface.  I could forgive a hurried cataloger not recognizing that this coin was plated.  


Here is where I ask help from my Numisforum friends (current or future).  If you have Cederlind list #85, please show me his listing and photo.  If you have seen this or any other coin with these dies (with that die break on Zeus), please tell me about it and provide a link.  If you have any Arados coin of these types dated year O or later (OA, OB etc.), I would like to see it.  This is very late for this series and I have not seen a coin this late that is certainly solid.  CNG listed references: Duyrat Autonomous Series I, 1342–9 var. (unlisted dies); Price 3403; HGC 10, 61; DCA 771.  I have none of those books (especially Duyrat which I would love to see).  Do any of them actually apply to this coin or are they just Arados Alexanders in general?  

Thanks to all who read this.  


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Glad to see you around Doug. You really helped spark the passion for ancients in me as well as my 2 oldest children. Though you may buy no more in '24, I hope to have you around here on the forums. 

As for your request, sadly I can't help with that.

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One wonders how CNG listed that coin in good faith without mentioning the weight. If it's not a fourree, it'd have to be a forgery as it's severely underweight with no good reason to be. There are two in PELLA under Price 3403 that are between 14.86g and 15.36g but both are heavily corroded with significant delamination and I suspect at least one is also a fourree. Though as you say it may not be 3403 at all, though I don't think Price recorded any examples with OE.

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There appear to be multiple dies in a given year for these coins, if so, the OC coin seems a credible candidate for your doublestrike: CNG example https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=10389027


Here are a few more from the later years  from

Frédérique Duyrat, Arados hellenistique, étude historique et monétaire, 2005, Institut français d'archéologie du Proche-Orient


The following years are included on this page and/or represented in the catalog:

- ΞH Year 68 (Price 3400) = 192/1 plate coin 1331-33

- ΞθYear 69 (Price 3401) = 191/0 plate coin 1336

- OΔYear 74 (Price 3402) = 186/5plate coin 1339

- EO Year 75 (Price n/a) = 195/4 no image (only one referenced: Gorny Munich 42 11-Oct-1988 Lot 187 17.10g)

- Oς Year 76 (Price 3403) = 184/3 plate coin 1344 1348

- Πθ Year 89 (Price 3404) = 171/0 plate coin 1352

- ? Year 91? (Price 3405) = 169/8? plate coin 1353


Here's my example from Ξθ Year 69


In the name of Alexander III ‘the Great’, Tetradrachm (Silver, 29 mm, 17.11 g, 1 h), Arados, CY 69 = 191/0

Obv: Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress

Rev: AΛEΞANΔPOY Zeus seated left on low throne, holding long scepter in his left hand and eagle standing right with closed wings in his right; to left, palm tree; below throne, monogram of AP; in exergue, ΞΘ

Ref: Price 3401

Edited by Sulla80
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Before being too hard on CNG in this manner, I will need to see any listings for coins that late (perhaps year O or later) including weights.  I have no evidence that there is a coin of that group that is solid at any weight.  Do any of the references copied here give weights?   Year 69 used good weight but the listing "EO Year 75 (Price n/a) = 195/4 no image (only one referenced: Gorny Munich 42 11-Oct-1988 Lot 187 17.10g)" draws attention for being a miscopied listing and EO rather than OE for 75 seems odd.  Reading errors happen.   I wrote a, yet unanswered query to CNG on the matter but many people are on break this week so lack of quick response is not all that disturbing.  What bothers me most is that the same example keeps being listed and sometimes delisted suggesting someone out there is determined to sell it as a good coin when they are well aware it is not.  

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On a serious note, I only purchased two coins this year, well down on normal, as more mundane family matters have taken precedence. But I've done more reading and research, and have enjoyed that aspect of the hobby almost as much as the coins. So I hope you keep posting Doug, as this thread has been interesting to me.

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12 hours ago, Sulla80 said:

the relevant listings with weights from  Duyrat.  Worth noting on the EO example:


OE engraved upside down?image.png.f03897e511544be5a47dd8687d5bb87f.png


Excellent!  This listing not only confirms the expected weight but listed several fourrees heavier than the CNG coin.  Thank you very much.

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