Classical Numismatics Discussion
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Medieval, Islamic and Crusader Coins (Moderators: AlexB, quadrans)  |  Topic: Alchemical coins? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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JBF
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« on: February 02, 2013, 09:24:11 pm »

Can someone tell me about Alchemical coins and medals?  particularly about books and websites on them, but also if anyone researches them or collects them,
general impressions about them would be neat.  I have Vladimir Karpenko's Alchemical Coins and Medals.
I'd also like to know about their symbolism.
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shaddy
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 01:49:54 am »

I was interested in alchemical coins for sometime because of their relation to history of chemistry and developmetn of chemical knowledge. For symbolysm you can have a look on normal books and sites related to alchemistry.
www.alchemywebsite.com
Some alchemical text form I. Newton library are also available.

The alchemical coins are not so easy to collect because most of them a extremly rare and expensive. And yes, most of them from 17 century. Most common coin is Taler from Rudolf II, but it is for some reasons omitted by Karpenko as far as i remember.
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cuburo83
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 02:02:33 am »

best coins to study alchemy in my opinion, are old epoch  forgeries , because they are not used alloys in state workshops, and forgers who did it had a vast knowledge in the field, but in this case out  whit the question of silmbolysm
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JBF
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 11:01:36 am »

I would like to see if the alchemical coins could exhibit bits of alchemical theory that could be traced back to ancient sources such as Bolus of Mende in the 3rd century BC. or even the four elements of Empedocles of Akragas in the 5th c. BC.  My guess though is that there is not much to discover, and most of what there is, is there on a very superficial level.  Oh, well, I guess that I'll have to look for the secrets of the universe somewhere else! Wink  Back to the Pythagorean coins!

JBF
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shaddy
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 02:58:54 am »

2 cuburo83
Forgeries are just forgeries. 99% of have nothing to do with alchemical experiments. Some of alchemical coins could be described as forgeries because of poor gold. Some of them were officially minted. Actually it is two kinds of coins and medals related to alchemistry: 1. made from alchemical gold or rarely silver. 2. Bearing alchemical images on it with mostly unknown origin.
Some of them are very funny imho, like this one:

Alchemisty was extremly popular among kings and princes in baroque time.

2 JBF

I am not sure that symbolism of alchemistry remain the same over long time. Even if it presented on the coins of earlier periods, the meaning could be just lost over the time.
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areich
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 02:22:30 am »

I know nothing about these but does "made from alchemical gold" mean what I think it does?
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Andreas Reich
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 05:58:43 pm »

"Alchemical Gold" means gold that is the result of alchemy, whether one actually believes that claim, or believes that such things are the result of fraud is another story.  Gold is the most "noble" metal, but silver is also considered "noble" in contrast to the base metals of lead or iron.  There actually exist rare medals which are said by tradition (and their inscriptions) to be the result of alchemy.  I don't think you need to believe in the alchemy to find these medals interesting.  And whether alchemy is just trickery or whether it is (also) a noble, spiritual pursuit, it is interesting as well.
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JBF
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2020, 06:04:54 pm »

The post of Master of the Mint given to Isaac Newton was a sinecure (paid appointment with not any particular responsibilities), but Newton was quite active and involved in it for the last 30 or so years of his life.  Going after counterfeiters and establishing a new ratio between gold and silver.  I think that the fact that Newton was very interested in alchemy had much to do with his enthusiasm as mint master.

I am curious about whether he had a hand in choosing the types for British currency or legends?  Or, I wonder whether there were any medals commemorating him done during his life time, with or without his permission?  I imagine that he did _not_ have any role in choosing the imagery of British coinage, but ask the question anyways.
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