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Coin Eight Looks Roman To Identify?

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 Posted 10/03/2022  6:29 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Albert to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Am I right that Roman coins should be struck but not cast?
This looks cast and the crack suggests it is brittle?
SG is 10.0 and weight is 6.7 grams
Looks like some letters can be recognized

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 Posted 10/03/2022  7:57 pm  Show Profile   Check Victor's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Victor to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's struck and has a happens with ancient coins. It is Valentinian II with a GLORIA ROMANORVM. The mintmark is hard to make out, but is probably SMHB, from Heraclea; but possibly SMNB, from Nicomedia.

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 Posted 10/03/2022  11:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you're getting into ancient and mediaeval coins, you should be aware of this particular phenomenon of physics: the crystallization embrittlement of metals.

At a microscopic level, a piece of metal alloy is usually crystalline in nature. These crystals are typically very very small, which gives the metal typical "metallic" properties: you can bend it and stretch it and re-shape it, without shattering it. Coin-making would be impossible if this were not the case, as the metal would not "flow" under pressure.

But as a piece of metal gets older, these crystals tend to slowly grow larger. This makes metal more and more brittle as it ages.

Coinage silver is particularly noteworthy for having this effect. Silver is normally quite a malleable metal; if you get a thin piece of silver and try to bend it, it'll bend, no problems. But a thin silver coin that would happily bend or bounce back when it was new, will simply snap in half after a thousand years. Which is also why, if you find a mediaeval silver coin that's been bent (as metal detecting finds often are), you need to be very careful about how you unbend it, as it will very likely simply snap into two pieces, rather than unbend.

It can happen with ancient coins too. I have a little tiny hemiobol from the Greek colony of Selinus, on Sicily. I was putting it back into its plastic flip, when the bottom piece of it simply snapped off. It didn't take all that much force, and that certainly wouldn't have happened if the silver was still "fresh".

So, while ancient coins aren't as "delicate" as mint-state modern coins, they can be fragile in other ways.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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1469 Posts
 Posted 10/04/2022  03:28 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Albert to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not really getting into ancients at all. It's just that several were included in a small assortment but I know nothing about them.
So thanks for helping out by steering me towards what to write on the binder pages.
I manipulated the lighting to obtain a harsh contrast on larger pictures bringing out some of the letters if that makes it better to further identify.

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