The Age of Gallienus
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coin Dates
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Oil Lamps
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Class A Folles
Armenian Numismatics Page
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
Caesarean and Actian Eras
Campgates of Constantine
A Case of Counterfeits
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Corinth Coins and Cults
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Denarii of Otho
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Edict on Prices
ERIC - Rarity Tables
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Friend or Foe
The Gallic Empire
Greek Coin Denominations
Greek Mythology Link
Greek Numismatic Dictionary
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Helvetica's ID Help Page
Identifying Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Islamic Rulers and Dynasties
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Later Roman Coinage
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
Maps of the Ancient World
Not in RIC
Numismatic Excellence Award
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Representations of Alexander the Great
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Rome and China
The Sign that Changed the World
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Taras Drachms with Owl Left
The Temple Tax Hoard
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
What Did The Julio Claudians Really Look Like?
What I Like About Ancient Coins
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.