Numism > For the New Ancient Coin Collector

Bad Strike, Worn dies, or just wear?

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Severus_Alexander:
I was wondering what the best way to distinquish between a poor strike, worn dies, or wear on a coin?  Does a sharply struck obverse with a poorly defined reverse give any clues?   What do you look for?

Thank you.

Robert_Brenchley:
I can't see any way to make sense of the contrast between the sharp obverse and worn reverse on this Postumus except by supposing a worn reverse die. The missing letters on the obverse inscription are presumably down to a blocked die.

curtislclay:
     The three phenomena are fundamentally different, so easy to distinguish.
      DIE WEAR affects the sharpness of every detail of types and lettering, and is usually like a fog rising from the surface of the coin, blurring the lines where types and letters meet the surface but allowing the higher relief to stay fairly clear.  The rev. of Robert's Postumus ant. is a good example.
       COIN WEAR is pretty much the opposite:  it immediately affects all of the HIGHEST points of the design and legend, but leaves the coin surface and the less raised parts of the types virtually intact.  If the die was in good condition, the lines where types and legends meet the surface will still be sharp even on a worn coin.
       WEAK STRIKE means the dies were not hammered hard enough to force metal into the deepest recesses of the types and legends.  Usually it affects only one edge of the coin, so will be revealed by the contrast between the weakness there and the sharpness everywhere else.  Moreover weak strike must inevitably affect the same area of the flan on BOTH SIDES of the coin.

sid:
So is this just an extreme example of a weak strike, or is there another explanation? One half of the coin is very sharp, the other half is completely blank. What makes me curious is that the flan is perfectly round on the good side, and stretched out on the bad side. Perhaps it was hammered flat, and thus stretched, after it was minted?

whitetd49:
Classic example of a bad strike.  The strike was not aligned properly so one edge is sharp and the other flat.

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