Author Topic: Hammered Coins  (Read 3341 times)

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Offline Rangnath

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Hammered Coins
« on: June 26, 2007, 04:10:05 AM »
I found this image on Vijayanagara Coins (http://www.vijayanagaracoins.com/htm/history.htm).  I had wanted a look at a medieval mint, and here it is.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Hammered Coins
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2007, 09:17:03 AM »
Nice pic, but there is an element of fantasy, at least in the lower right drawing. Coins were not struck standing up after Roman times and in Roman times it is highly likely that there were two minters, taking swings in terms. It all has to do with the size and thickness of the coins.

Medieval coins are small and thin. It requires less force to strike them. If you have a chance to go to York (the one in Britain), yoy will visit the Viking museum. I hammered a coin there, sitting down and holding the upper die myself. It takes a good blow, but also, it takes holding the die at the right angle and in the centre of the flan. The flan was of a hard, white metal. I suspect that silver and gold need a more measured blow, while copper would be harder to mint.

One needs considerably more force to strike Greek and Roman coins. The hammering therefore takes heavier hammers and stronger bodies. There is a good amount of evidence to suggest that in Roman mints, three workers formed a team. One would hold the upper die and place the flans, the other two would swing the hammers in turn to produce the coins, allowing them to use both arms and to get some rest as their partner is producing a coin.

Furthermore, I suspect that in the Indian subcontinent also, there are people watching over the interests of the lord in whose name the coins are struck, making sure that they are of the prescribed weight and that the metal is used for coining only. I would have liked to see their instruments, if only an artist's impression.

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

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Hammered Coins
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 07:08:07 PM »
I enjoyed the picture on the top right.  One mistake out of a hundred and you'd need a new partner.  If the rules of the job were that they'd have to rotate positions and if I were a striker seeking long term survivial, I might be tempted to make a mistake before I had to rotate.

Do you think multiple dies were ever in use? 
In printmaking, regristration techniques are key to multiple passes.  Did anyone do that with coins?'
Richie

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Hammered Coins
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 09:30:50 PM »
Your comment led me to finding this paper on-line http://www.archaeologystudent.com/coinarch/paper.htm, it is probably very close to the truth, but not something i would like to do!  Here is the site I was hunting for originally:
http://www.grunal.charitydays.co.uk/index.html

Bruce
« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 08:51:49 AM by Niels »

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Hammered Coins
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2007, 02:10:58 AM »
Thanks Bruce, I enjoyed the two sites.  Well, actually, I would enjoy making my own coins, though I 'd have two problems: time, and figuring out what to put on them.  I once made pottery and was a bit disturbed with the notion that one of my ill made pieces might be discovered by some future archeologist 1000 years from now.  What conclusions might he come to about the nature of North American Culture just because the walls of my pot were uneven!  Wouldn't it be that way with hammered coins?
richie

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Hammered Coins
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2007, 03:19:39 AM »
1000 years from now, they would be wondering what those round items were used for!

Bruce