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Pertinax, a tough nut for me to crack

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Hello everybody, I'd like to hear your opinion about this coin which purports to be a sestertius of Pertinax. The strange thing is the soft surface it has, but otherwise there are no signs of casting, i.e. no pitting and especially no trace of edge filing, seams or . The patches of patina seem genuine. If it is a forgery, it would have to be a rather old (19th century?) cast of excellent quality. If the coin is real - oh well, this is unlikely, and it would be too good to be true. What do you think of it? If you need details, I can post parts of the big pictures which are very sharp.

Thank you in advance,


Apart from the absence of a seam or filing, what does the edge look like?  Any cracks or fissures that would argue against casting and for authenticity?

The edge shows neither evidence for casting nor for striking. No cracks :(. The edge is just - well, unspectacular. I made a few pictures, hard to focus right, this is the best one:

Mark Farrell:
My first thought when I saw the edge was that "this can't be genuine, it's too regular." So I went to some larger coins I've recently received, mostly larger (25+ mm and fairly heavy) provincials that show similar wear. And darned if the edges of those aren't pretty smooth also! However, they are also more rounded, not as sharp an intersection between face of the coin and the edge.

I cannot image how the edges on such heavy bronzes are not more dinged up because the coins are fairly worn on both surfaces. The edges of smaller AE3s (with similar wear and no patina remaining on the edge) I looked at after that are much more "chewed up."

I'm punting on opinions on the Pertinax -- I am a newbie -- but just thought I'd share my observation. Certainly someone who's handled thousands of large bronzes will have a more valid opinion.

But the generalized question is, "how much wear would be typical on the edge of one of these coins?" That is a lesson I can take away from this discussion.



It looks fine to me, just really worn.  I have a sestertius of Commodus that looks just like this and an even more worn one of Marcus Aurelius (which I bought once for 8 bucks [Canadian!]).  They have been smoothed over all their surfaces, even the edges.  These types of coins remained in circulation for many decades, at a high velocity of circulation, and it's up to a century of handling that you can see here.  You can probably still smell the Roman sweat and oils imbedded in it!  You won't get any closer to real Romans than this.


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