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Nero Tetradrachm Question

 
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Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
4090 Posts
 Posted 12/29/2018  12:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ben to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Good thinking - could be the case. 'Leaching' copper out of coins to make them appear to be finer silver is a common practice and would also enrich the gold content (you'd expect they'd remove the gold from modern silver, but I don't know about that). Strong acid would also cause this sort of surface. I think the only way to be sure would be to make a test cut...
Valued Member
Canada
167 Posts
 Posted 12/29/2018  12:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add AlRashid to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Ben. I think that most likely the case. I did test on a modern sterling silver ring and it had only silver and copper gold and lead content was zero. I think modern refiners take out tracesof gold from silver I think the only way for a silver to have a traces of gold and lead is to melt down anothe ancient coin but I doubt they would do that for this common coins for rare coins more likely they do that. What do you think?
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
4090 Posts
 Posted 12/29/2018  12:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ben to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think you are probably right. It would also be interesting to see if old sterling is devoid of gold - theres still loads of old sterling cutlery getting melted down. That being said, I sincerely doubt that would affect this case.

What is interesting is that people who make fake ancient statues have been known to melt down old coins to make them - that would take an awful lot of grots to achieve.
Valued Member
Canada
167 Posts
 Posted 12/30/2018  01:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add AlRashid to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Ben

I also have a Tetra of Caligula with agripinna. This coin is for sure authentic as it is plate coin from McAlee book and his personal collection and also comes from Numismatic Fine Arts 1982
I also did XRF for this coin and I got below results.I attached the XRF for this coin. The article you sent has 2 examples for caligula with 55% and 71% fineness silver. Mine has 90.6% ..Based on this I am thinking probably we can not just go by the numbers given in this article and there could be variations.



Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
4090 Posts
 Posted 12/30/2018  05:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ben to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting. Presumably, their coinage was all authentic, so I wonder why the numbers are so off? Or maybe all the numbers are fine and you simply have higher silver content at the surface of your coin.

Do you have any low silver billon coins around? I'd be interested to see how low the silver content can go before it stops looking silver.
Valued Member
Canada
167 Posts
 Posted 12/30/2018  09:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add AlRashid to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yea I have a billon coin of the Vologases VI last parthian king . here is the coin and XRF result for it.


Valued Member
Canada
167 Posts
 Posted 12/30/2018  09:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add AlRashid to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ben, I am thinking that maybe my coins were cleaned and that chemical used to clean them causes some leaching and enriched the surface silver to be higher as you can see both Caligula and Nero coin have close reading on silver and on the gold content and also both coins surface looks porous . I attached the XRF for Nero for comparison

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