Julia Domna Coins of Alexandria, Egypt


This coin is featured for more than one reason. The coin is worthy of feature simply by virtue of being a decent example of the rare Greek legend coinage for Julia Domna as part of the series from Alexandria. Compared to the periods immediately before and immediately after, the Severans issued rather little from Alexandria. This coin is most interesting to this collector since it is dated to Year 2 (LB) or 194 AD which matches the start of the denarius minting operation from Alexandria.

Julia Domna TetradrachmJulia Domna Tetradrachm

The real reason, however, for this being the coin selected this week is to show the result achieved by this 'photo'. The illustration on the left is the result of a scan directly from the coin and involved no camera or film. While it seems a rather acceptable image, the quality of lighting is nowhere near what could be achieved using a camera. Perhaps someone out there could instruct me on a technique to improve results in direct scanning? Please. I updated this image from the original posting but the color correction and background account for most of the difference. What bothers me about the image remains: I have no real control over lighting angle other than rotating the coin. This was scanned inverted and rotated in software to what you see. For comparison a photo of the same coin using a camera and controlled lighting is shown at the right. Actually many people will find the direct scanned image more pleasing but the right photo does more closely resemble the coin itself. The photo still has faults making the right legend on the obverse less clear than on the coin and over emphasizing the pits at the top of the reverse. The scan (left) shows a surface granularity that is much more prominant than on the coin and the shape of the coin is slightly shortened from normal. Neither of these images is the perfect rendition of this coin.

The Alexandria mint denarii were assigned to that mint based on comparison in style with the Greek legend coinage. This distinction was first suggested by Laffranchi in 1921 and accepted by the authors of most later texts. The photos below are presented to demonstrate this similarity.

Alexandria mint tetradrachm Alexandria mint tetradrachm


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1997 Doug Smith