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Index Of All Titles


Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Counterfeits
Ancient Glass
Ancient Weapons
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Folles
Anonymous Follis
Anonymous Class A Folles
Armenian Numismatics Page
Byzantine Denominations
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
A Case of Counterfeits
Clashed Dies
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Edict on Prices
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Friend or Foe
Greek Alphabet
Greek Dates
Greek Mythology Link
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Helvetica's ID Help Page
Historia Numorum
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Latin Plurals
Latin Pronunciation
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
Maps of the Ancient World
Military Belts
Mint Marks
Nabataean Numerals
Not in RIC
Numismatic Bulgarian
Numismatic Excellence Award
Numismatic French
Numismatic German
Numismatic Italian
Numismatic Spanish
Parthian Coins
Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet
Phoenician Alphabet
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Roman Names
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Syracusian Folles
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
The Sign that Changed the World
The Temple Tax Hoard
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Tyrian Shekels
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Widow's Mite



Tooled coins are coins that have suffered from modern re-engraving in a misguided effort to "improve" them.  Tooled coins should be avoided.  A untooled ancient coin, no matter how poor the condition, is preferable to a tooled (spoiled) coin.  Tooled coins may be recognized by the following:

1.  Unnaturally flat fields.  Un-tooled coins often have a slightly convex obverse and slightly concave reverse

2.  Uniform smooth black or brown surfaces.  Most often the original patina has been removed and the surface of a tooled coin is darkened bare metal or some other artificial patina.

3.  The details are often incised, rather than in relief.  For example, the details of the hair, a laurel wreath or drapery on a tooled coin often consist of simple lines cut into the original worn surface.  These details may look original at a glance but the difference between incised and relief details is often easily detected with a careful examination.

4.  The style is often a crude caricature of the style of untouched coins.  Drapery in particular rarely captures the realistic three-dimensional flowing quality of the original die engraving.

5.  The style of lettering may be different from the original.  Tooled lettering may rise more vertically from the field of the coin than on untooled coins.  Tooled lettering is often uniformly wide and the top surfaces of letters are flatter than normal.

If you suspect a coin has been tooled, you should compare it with un-tooled coins of the same type.  

This coin, nicknamed Mr. Tooly, is the most infamous horribly tooled coin on planet earth!

See other examples of tooled coins in the fake coin reports: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/thumbnails.php?album=23


 MacDonald, David. An Introduction to the History and Coinage of the Kingdom of Bosporus. Lancaster, PA: Classical Numismatic Group, 2005. 


The use of tools on blown glass