Author Topic: Coin die studies  (Read 1488 times)

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Offline Andromeda

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Coin die studies
« on: October 10, 2019, 02:08:57 AM »
Can anyone help out with information, articles or books illustrating die analysis? I am on a lookout for understanding the die corpus which includes die-identification, die linkages and how one can quantify a relative quantity of coins or calculate coins per year o production. Any help will be duly appreciated!

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coin die studies
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 09:56:49 AM »
I do not remember anything as general as what you are looking for. There are works on the most impressive die linking exercise (early English pennies). There are also references to the technique where a more modest exercise was undertaken. Not sure if research like the 1862 rupee qualifies for what you are looking for.

There are several books that contain information on die study of US coins. Some go as far as analysis of die crack progression. The purpose of such studies is not quite clear to me.

As for quantifying mintage with die identification, my understanding is that this is still a gleam in the eye of numismatists. I am aware of two projects, one French, one English, to get a grip on the number of coins that could be struck with a Carolingian die. Both were started a few years back, so there may be reports by now, but I  am not aware of them.

Even if an order of size were determined, you'd have to make some heroic assumptions, e.g. similar production methods and metal quality in all mints. Be warned that going from mintage to money quantity is another very difficult step to take. However, if you have some idea of money quantity and take precious metal content as a proxy for inflation, holding trade constant, you might be able to approach money velocity.

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

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coin die studies
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2019, 11:03:11 AM »
Maybe this article would be of interest to you?

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

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Coin die studies
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2020, 05:21:02 AM »
This goes back maybe a little farther than your interest... originally, coin dies were cast from high-tin content bronze.   Say 40% tin.    It melts at a low temperature, but is very hard, comparable to steel.   The next step was using punches, for detail, in combination with portraits cast first, or cast punches.   All of that, plus later techniques of casting coins, evolved from the earliest efforts to cast coins individually in clay molds.   

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coin die studies
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2020, 11:58:10 AM »
Very interesting to hear of metallic moulds. I guess controlling the temperature of the coin metal would have been vital: too cold and it wouldn't flow into the whole mould, too hot and the mould would melt. I wonder how the coins were taken out of the mould.

In the Roman empire, stone moulds would be used. Those who went to Rome with WoC will remember seeing them. Not quite same, but some bracteates are said to be hammered on wooden dies.

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

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Coin die studies
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2020, 01:54:15 PM »
I didn't mention metallic molds, but that was done for cash coins for at least a hundred years, around 600AD.   It was extremely complicated to produce them.   Cast bronze dies usually began with a lost wax stage.    Fine clay was pressed into that, which became the mold face of the bronze die.