Author Topic: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made  (Read 11923 times)

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Offline metalsincoin

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Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« on: October 26, 2014, 09:04:10 PM »
I wonder if anybody knows when the attached object could have been manufactured?

Researchers have interpreted the text to be:

HARALD
CVRMSVN+
REX AD TANER
ER+SCON+J
VMN+CIV
ALDIN+

Two tests have determined the following metals in the object:

First test:
AU 88,5         
AG 4,2           
CU 3,5
FE 1,9     
 
Second test:
AU 91,2         
AG 3,9
CU 3,6
ZN 0,6
                             
The object was found in Wollin year 1840 besides other objects, for example other coins from the Viking era. Some theories is aiming at Harald Bluetooth as the object weighs 25 grams (today) with perhaps 3-4 grams in weight loss during the centuries and therefore it could have been used for determining the value of other coins. New research shows that Harald made a limited coin reform.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2014, 11:37:00 PM »
The reference to Harald Gormson could very well refer to Harald Bluetooth, whose father's name was Gorm. However, this object is confusing.

- gold was very scarce indeed in the 10th century and European gold coins of this age are rare. There was some gold production in the Frankish empire and in the German empire, but it amounted to little. Moreover, a gold content of around 90% seems a technological feat for the Vikings. Are there any examples of Viking gold artefacts with such a high gold content? It could be re-melted Roman gold, though...
- more important, the design is completely different from the known coins of Harald Bluetooth. The small, blockish letters don't fit, the spelling seems too good and the lack of symbols - not a hammer in sight - is striking.

I would find it reassuring to think of the object as something else than a coin and not Danish. Frisian coins of this period do have such vertical texts and they use similar smallish letters. That would not explain the reference to Harald (not a Frisian name) or the use of gold.

Pure speculation and just a scenario to fit what little we know: Harald was threatened by the German emperor Otto I, who wanted the area to convert to Christianity. I could imagine this piece starting out as a gold bar, or Roman gold medal meant to bribe the Frisians into staying neutral or even joining the Danes against the Germans. The Frisians could have turned it into a trophy piece (not sure of the meaning of the last three lines.) If so, the piece could be dated 935 -974, likely towards the end of that period.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline metalsincoin

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2014, 08:58:01 AM »
Thanks Peter, interesting theory. But there is a symbol if you look on the backside. One theory is describing the baptism of Harald Bluetooth.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 10:21:11 AM »
Didn't have the benefit of looking at the backside before. That makes it post 974. The reverse is Frankish-influenced (includes the HRI), not Danish at all but you could find Frisian examples. Obviously, it was made for a special occasion, it must have been a small treasure all by itself in its time. Do you have clues on the last three lines of the text?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline metalsincoin

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 11:59:07 AM »
VMN+CIV
ALDIN+

Could mean Oldenburg in Holstein

 http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldenburg%20in%20Holstein?uselang=en

Aldinburg Civitas (Adam of Bremen)

Harald Bluetooth´ father-in-law (Tove´s father) was prince Mistivoj.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistivoj

Mistivoj belonged to the obodrits. A bit west is Oldenburg.

The bishops in Oldenburg had contacts with both Mistivoj and Harald Bluetooth regarding the Christianity.
A theory is that the object is a gift from bishops in Oldernburg

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2014, 12:12:41 PM »
Makes sense. However, priests would have ended the text with ECC+ALDIN, not with CIV+ALDIN

So we are left with ER+SCON+J VMN. Since the spelling is remarkably good (which pleads for priests), we can rule out that ER is a misspelling for ET, so SCON is not necessarily a geographical name. J could be for Jarl (earl), though. I see no indication of baptism, Poppo or christianity.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 12:28:34 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline THCoins

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2014, 01:02:07 PM »
I dont read:
REX AD TANER
ER+SCON+J
but:
REX AD TAN
ER+SCON+J
So the ER is accounted for ?

The JVMN before CIV(itas) might that be derived from the Latin "ciuium" for citizens ?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 01:13:19 PM by THCoins »

Offline metalsincoin

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2014, 02:04:08 PM »
Yes, true.

A German historian wonder why it refers to Rex ad Tan(er) and not Rex ad Dan(er), could it be something with Harald Blatan?
In Chronicon Roskildense from 12th century Harald Bluetooth is for the first time named as “Harald Blatan” (not Blåtan.. Blåtand was invented much later)

https://wikihost.uib.no/medieval/index.php/Chronicon_Roskildense



Offline metalsincoin

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 06:05:45 PM »
So, one interpretation of the texts could be:

HARALD GORMSEN, KING OF DANES, SCANIA, JOMSBORG, CIVITAS OLDENBURG (=ALDINBORG=Oldenburg in Holstein)
 

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2014, 06:36:53 PM »
Well, if it's just titles, there goes my hope that the text would contain a clue on the occasion. There's no real information there. The last title (Oldenburg) would likely refer to the place where the piece came from, but the occasion remains unknown, unless there is more information on the piece elsewhere.

I am not impressed with the Taner/Daner argument. That is a very minor spelling issue that would have no importance in those days. Also, Bluetooth would be in the wrong place: his Danish name would be the equivalent of Harald Bluetooth Gormson. A more likely scenario is that christians may have found the Bluetooth part a bit too uncivilised and left it out.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline metalsincoin

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2014, 09:20:22 AM »
Make sense Peter. During which period do you consider that the object was made? Between 974 - ?

Regarding the cross, it reminds of a taxila cross or a shield. Somebody said that one of the four dots reminds of a leaf and one of an anchor if tyou look on a high definated picture and that this perhaps could mean something.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2014, 10:03:20 AM »
Harald died around 986, but the text could have been posthumous. You can narrow the date range only when you have a better idea of the occasion.

The reverse is based on your typical Germano-Frankish short cross coin. On those coins (not on this piece) it served to cut the coin in halves or quarters. The devices in the corners are normal. My impression is they are just heraldic coins (big round dots, like in the arms of Portugal) and that some are deformed by the pits you see all over the field. The slightly thicker ends are formed by the way a "chisel" moves when held at a low angle.

A Norman infantry shield would typically be round (the cavalry shield was drop-shaped), like a coin. That may actually explain the eight-sided shield: the christians did not want the reverse design to be interpreted as a war instrument and therefore shaped it into a non-shield.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline metalsincoin

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2014, 10:33:20 AM »
Also make sense Peter. If you are willing to describe your theories regarding the object you are more than welcome to contact me...
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 11:14:01 AM by Quant.Geek »

Offline Quant.Geek

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2014, 11:15:13 AM »
Removed email address to protect WoC member.  Please use PM instead for exchange of contact information...
A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2014, 12:42:29 PM »
Got my hands full with this site plus a few other things, mic. If you think it is useful, you are welcome to quote me, though. Keep in mind that much of what I said amounts to speculation that happens to fit the facts, please.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.