Numismatic and History Discussions > Ancient Coin Forum

Test Cuts on Ancient Coins


Virgil H:
Not exactly sure where to put this, but this question may transcend the various coin categories, although this is a Greek coin and most test cuts I have seen are on Greek silver coins. So...

I recently acquired this coin at what I consider a good price. I have seen these go for way more and the difference seems to be the absence of a test cut. This is one of or perhaps my favorite coin to date. Condition is excellent, with the exception of the test cut. In this coin's case, the test cut doesn't detract at all. In fact, I have a few others with test cuts and I like them because it tells me the coin was actually used in commerce, at least in some way. Anyway, I love this coin and am super happy I got it for the price I could afford.

My question is what is the general thought on coins with test cuts? Does it always lower today's prices? Does it even matter? Maybe I got lucky, maybe I got a less desirable coin. I don't know. I love it, so no complaints either way.

PAPHLAGONIA, Sinope. Circa 350/30-300 BC. AR Drachm (17mm, 4.80 g, 8h). Theoti–, magistrate. Head of nymph left, hair in sakkos; aphlaston to left / Sea eagle on dolphin left; ΘEO[TI] above tail feathers. RG 24; HGC 7, 391; SNG BN 482. Test cut, flan crack, scratches, scrapes. VF.


Generally speaking, a test cut will reduce value versus a similarly preserved specimen without a test cut. This offers opportunity if you can find a coin where the test cut is in an unobtrusive location. 

Virgil H:
Thank you, that seems to be my experience. I guess it is good I don't mind test cuts and in many cases I actually like them, as with this coin, although some cuts were made with no consideration to collectors 2000 plus years later. LOL.


Jay GT4:
That's a great looking coin Virgil.  I don't mind test cuts, especially when they don't obliterate the details.  I got this one for far less than if it didn't have a cut.

Virgil H:
That one is a beauty and I agree, the test cut doesn't detract. In many ways, it makes a coin more interesting.



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