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My first billon coin?  
 

 
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Valued Member

United States
100 Posts
 Posted 07/12/2018  8:36 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add gtkwml to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I have cleaned coins with a partially flaked off silver coating, but this one is solidly silver colored. No lettering left to identify the emperor, radiate, 21 mm. Would this be billon?


Valued Member
United States
199 Posts
 Posted 07/12/2018  8:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add josephrg to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
looks like Postumus silver coin
Valued Member
United States
100 Posts
 Posted 07/12/2018  9:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add gtkwml to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I didn't know silver would get so pitted. I thought only a copper/silver alloy would get pitted. But I'm a newbie with a LOT to learn. With little to lose on an electrolysis cleaned coin, I also tried a bit of silver polish to see what it would do -- but it remained very dull. That's why I thought billon rather than silver. Thanks for the info!
Valued Member
United States
299 Posts
 Posted 07/12/2018  10:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jskirwin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Probably billon. My understanding is they used metal with a low silver content then used acids to eat away the billon to leave the silver. Could explain some of the pitting.
And agree that it looks like Postumus.
Valued Member
United States
205 Posts
 Posted 07/12/2018  10:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kushanshah to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, you coin is billon. Billon is defined as an alloy of silver containing less than 50% precious metal. The table below is from Kenneth W. Harl (1996), Coinage in the Roman Economy 300 B.C. to A.D. 700, Baltimore, p.130.
Edited by Kushanshah
07/12/2018 10:50 pm
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