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Tiberian Coin Die - Julio Claudian Period

by Joe Geranio

Occasionally numismatic items appear that few have ever seen, and actual production dies are one of these, however a die used to strike ancient coins is an even rarer item. Below is some background on  unique example of an ancient coin die used to strike a Tribute Penny Denarius of the mint of Lugdunum, and perhaps the first known evidence of early coin brockage.  We hope you find this as interesting as we have.

See: http://artefacts.mom.fr/en/result.php?id=CMN-4001&find=geranio&pagenum=1&affmode=vign

The Stacks Catalog states the following:

"A Unique Die for a Tribute Penny Denarius of the mint of Lugdunum. An official die with the obverse of a denarius stuck on the top. Laureate head r.; TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS. 161.16 grams. Height: 36.8mm, circumference: 31.4mm at its widest.

In Catalogue des Monnaies de lEmpire Romain, Tiberius- Nero (Paris, 1988), Jean-Baptiste Giard listed 12 known dies, 11 of which having been found in the Lugdunum (Lyon) area (an area of 200km).

Four were found in 1863 at Paray-le-Monial (Saone-et-Loire) and are now in museums. Six were unearthed in Auxerre (Yonne) in 1799, four of which are now at he Cabinet des Mdailles de la BnF; the other two reside at the Musee montaire de la Monnaie de Paris. And one was found at Vertault (Cte dor).

This die come from an old collection in Poule-les-Echarmaux (Rhne), which is in the same area.

An analysis done on the back of the die here shows an identical composition to the other 12, hence showing that it is an official die. The likeliest hypothesis as to why there is a Tribute Penny Obverse showing on the top is that in the course of striking with the die, a completed Denarius was stuck inside the die and brockages were erroneously turned out for a short period.

When the mint worker caught on and attempted to pull the Denarius out so that the die could be used correctly, he couldn't. The few scratches before the face of Tiberius stands as proof of this deducement. Failing in his attempt, the mint worker placed the die on the side to be destroyed.

A historic and unique remnant of the ancient Roman minting process, and perhaps the first known evidence of early coin brockage.

Educational Use Only- Not to be re-used- Text from Stacks Auctions

Another Tiberius Precious Metal Coin Die

The rather startling photograph of a coin die of Tiberius caught my attention immediately. This appears to be a specimen from the 1863 Paray-le-Monial find of seven Roman Imperial dies, and is now at the Musee des Antiquites Nationales (at Saint-Germain-en-Laye).

This particular die is exceptionally well preserved. Other dies from the same find show differing degrees of corrosion. There is little doubt (none in my mind) of its authenticity.

There have been five obverse dies of this type discovered in France (two in this find, and three in the Auxerre find of 1799). One, from the latter find, was destroyed in testing in 1945.

Roman precious-metal dies of this period appear to have been made of a very hard alloy (about 25% tin bronze -- a bell-metal alloy).

See: http://flickr.com/photos/paul_garland/649558629/sizes/o/in/set-72157600535939705/

Paul Garland photo


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