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Author Topic: Between 30,000-50,000 coins were found off the coast of Sardinia and recovered  (Read 159 times)

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Offline Tacitus

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A diver off the coast of Sardinia spotted shiny metal under sea grass in the Mediterranean waters. The diver alerted authorities to the discovery of tens of thousands of bronze coins that could be the result of a shipwreck.

Authorities, including art, firefighter and police divers cooperated in the retrieval of the rare coins. Additionally, an art protection squad and others from Italy's Ministry of Culture, located in Rome, were sent to acquire the coins, according to AP News.

The stunning blue beaches of Sardinia are popular for tourists visiting the Mediterranean Sea. A ferry ride from Italy to the coast of Sardinia is between 5–8 hours, determined by speed.

At least one million tourists from Italy, various parts of Europe and America flood the Italian island each year. It's a wonder no one has previously noticed the heaping pile of ancient coins in advance of Saturday.

Sardinia's authorities, however, are severe regarding the protection of the island and beaches. In 2020, authorities caught and fined a French tourist $1,200 for stealing about four-and-a-half pounds of sand from a pristine Sardinia beach.

The sand is labeled as a protected resource, making it illegal to remove any from the island. The sand is federally protected since 2017 and stealing it could result in not only fines, but several years of jail time.

The coins found were dated from the first half of the fourth century, according to AP News. It is presently unknown exactly how many coins have been collected from the area, though it's estimated there could be nearly 50,000 based on their weight. It is also currently unknown how much the lot of coins are worth.

In a video posted on the American Numismatic Association website from 2017, Rod Gillis, education director at the organization, explains there are three important variables that factor into the worth of a coin in the United States.

he first is mintage number.

The U.S. Mint makes new coins each year, but despite what some might think, they do not produce the same number of coins annually. Some years, the Mint will make many coins, nearly 28 billion to be exact, while other years they will produce many fewer – by a wide margin. In those years when fewer coins are made, the product is estimated to be worth more in the future.

The second variable is grade or condition. Gillis explained that a higher grade coin with a higher state of preservation will be worth more.

Per a statement made by Italy's Ministry of Culture, the coins "were in an excellent and rare state of preservation."

The final variable is demand. Some coins are simply in higher demand than others, which, like anything else, drives up the price. How old a coin is has very little to do with its inevitable worth in the U.S.

Though the modern day Mint in Italy transmutes variables, they're likely interchangeable to those of the U.S. Mint. And while the coins found off the coast of Sardinia are regarded as ancient, only time will tell their worth.

However, Luigi La Rocca, a Sardinian archeology department official, said in a statement, "The treasure found in the waters off Arzachena represent one of the most important coin discoveries."

He added, that the find is "further evidence of the richness and importance of the archaeological heritage that the seabed of our seas, crossed by men and goods from the most ancient of epochs, still keep and preserve."

Offline Sap

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Is anybody else wondering how bronze coins can still be "shiny metal" after 1700 years under salt water?

Deep underwater and buried in anoxic mud, like in the Black Sea, is believable - but the shallow beaches of Sardinia are not. Occams Razor, and the laws of physics, say those coins haven't been there since Roman times.

I suspect they've stumbled upon somebody's attempt at artificial aging, either of cleaned genuine ancient coins or of modern fakes. That, or somebody's dumped their coin collection in the sea for some reason.
I'll have to learn Latin someday.

Offline Altamura

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Quote from: Tacitus on November 06, 2023, 10:42:22 am
A diver off the coast of Sardinia spotted shiny metal under sea grass in the Mediterranean waters. ...
Are there any sources for all that ????

The main one seems to be this article by Associated Press:

They do not speak of "shiny metal" but only of "something metallic", being not necessarily the same :-\.

It is said that the coins "were in an excellent and rare state of preservation" and that "The few coins that were damaged still had legible inscriptions". So we do not exactly know in which state these coins are, there are no pictures of them in the article. "Legible inscriptions" is not the same as "fresh from the mint:).

In an article by Panagiotis Tselekas about the coins found in the Antikythera shipwreck you can see how coins are looking if they have spent a long time under water:
And for bronze and silver this is neither shiny nor fresh from the mint  :).



Offline Thilo

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Offline agord

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All coins are guaranteed for eternity