This week the Featured Coin was selected for its photo rather than for some characteristic of the coin itself. It certainly is not a bad coin but what you see below is, so far, my best direct scan from a bronze coin without using the intermediate camera and film. The coin was placed on the flatbed scanner (mine is a Plustek Optic Pro 4800 but I see no reason a dozen other brands would not serve equally well) and the image inverted in software. I can not emphasize too strongly how important I consider this step to be since it results in the light appearing to be coming from the top rather than the bottom of the coin and simply looks more natural. Contrast and brightness were adjusted in the scanning software by trial and error with the final scan being close to what you see here. Touch-up corrections were also made to contrast and brightness after scanning but these controls should be reserved for fine tuning the image rather than making major changes. The background was painted black as is my general practice. I simply prefer coin photos on black backgrounds; if you disagree you can paint them another color or leave them alone. I would suggest using a white background if you want to print out the image on paper. This would save you a lot of pinter ink/toner.
Caesarea, Cappadocia was one of thousands of cities that issued coins during the Greek Imperial period. In fact, Caesarea offers one of the most extensive issues with several denominations of silver and bronze coins spread over more than two hundred years. This coin of Septimius Severus shows Mt. Argaeus (the foot of which the city was located) placed on an altar bearing the date 'ET B' or Year 2 of Septimius' reign (194 AD). The coin was struck in yellow brass (orichalcum) and is toned with a few colored deposits but no patina.
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© 1997 Doug Smith