Classical Numismatics Discussion
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Author Topic: Maues AE coin in silver?  (Read 4425 times)
Graham S
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« on: April 08, 2020, 06:33:37 pm »

I bought an apparent Indo-Scythian coin of Maues. It isn't an area I have much experience of, and when I bought it I thought it was rather battered, worn and corroded but genuine (I paid very little for it - it was a one-off from a dealer with no experience of ancients who usually sells modern coins). Once I looked it up I found it is exactly a type Senior 5.1, elephants head with bell on one side, caduceus with 'basilews mauo' on the other. But it is silver, not bronze.  I can't find any reference to a silver version of this coin, but I only have access to online lists like wildwinds.  The size is the same as the bronze ones  (26mm) and the weight is a bit too light for a tetradrachm (8.04 grammes). Is this a modern fake, or an ancient imitation? Were there local imitations of Indo-Scythian issues?

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Graham
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Altamura
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2020, 12:12:03 pm »

On the picture it looks like bronze  :-\.

Could you please show us the other side as well?

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Altamura
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Graham S
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2020, 02:53:11 pm »

Definitely silver coloured in real life.

I'll another try at loading the obverse, hope it works this time.

Graham
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2020, 03:04:07 am »

To me this type is only known in bronze and in my eyes your coin on the pictures doesn't look like silver  :-\.
The weight of 8,04 g is also still within the weight range of these bronze issues.

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Altamura
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Graham S
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2020, 06:30:06 am »

I have never seen bronze this colour before. However, if it is silver it doesn't look like the relatively pure silver in the only other IndoScythian coins I have (Azes). To me it looks most like the low-grade silver in the 3rd century Roman coins I'm more used to. Or maybe a copper-tin alloy with a high proportion of tin. I might try working out the specific gravity following this: http://www.attilacoins.com/Calculate_Specific_Gravidity_coin.asp which is something I've never tried before.

Graham
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Graham S
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2020, 10:50:21 am »

I measured the specific gravity, it comes out at 9.825. According to the figures on attilacoins, this is too high for copper, bronze, or 'white metal' (copper + 50% tin). It's too low for pure silver, which would be 10.49, but could be a alloy of around 60% silver, 40% copper (which is like the late Roman silver it looked like to me). Or I guess it could be a copper/lead alloy, as lead has a higher sg than copper. I've never seen this, so don't known if the combination looks like silver. Are there any Indo-Scythian coins that use a copper/lead combination? If not, then I suppose it could also be a modern cast, if someone used lead to make a mix with a lower melting point. Though I can't see why anyone would bother making a cast in the the wrong metal of a coin in such a worn state (or how I could tell without an x-ray).

Graham



 
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