Numismatic and History Discussions > Greek Coins

Gold Content of Samian Electrum types

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glebe:
At present we don''t know where Samos got its electrum, but gold percentages in the 70-80% range are certainly consistent with many examples of natural electrum.

These figures are also a lot higher than figures typical of the obviously artificial alloys used later in Lydia and elsewhere, and it is therefore reasonable to assume that the alloys of these early unfigured "Samian" types are natural and undiluted.

Ross G.

Joe Sermarini:
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Altamura:

--- Quote from: glebe on October 15, 2021, 05:52:34 pm ---... At present we don''t know where Samos got its electrum, but gold percentages in the 70-80% range are certainly consistent with many examples of natural electrum. ...
--- End quote ---
This is the same kind of argument being used some decades ago for the Lydian electrum coins, and it turned out not to reflect reality :-\.
Somewhere on the globe you probably find alluvial gold with such a concentration. But as long as we don't have samples of that found near Samos showing this, as long this is just a belief.


--- Quote from: glebe on October 15, 2021, 05:52:34 pm ---... These figures are also a lot higher than figures typical of the obviously artificial alloys used later in Lydia and elsewhere, and it is therefore reasonable to assume that the alloys of these early unfigured "Samian" types are natural and undiluted. ...
--- End quote ---
If the figures are higher than those of dilutet electrum then at present this just shows that the figures are higher, nothing more :-\.
There is no logic to derive from this that it has to be natural electrum. Perhaps the "Samians" (we still don't know where these coins have been produced) just had a different idea of how much gold a coin should contain. They also had a different idea of the weight a coin should have :).

For me it is therefore reasonable to keep the question of natural or artificial electrum for these coins open because we don't have clear evidence for one or the other.

Regards

Altamura

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