Author Topic: Weight of this penny found at Aachen 2008  (Read 329 times)

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Offline EWC

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Weight of this penny found at Aachen 2008
« on: December 21, 2017, 12:50:34 PM »
This coin find was so famous that it even got its own wiki page, but none of the web pages I found actually mention what it actually weighs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aachen_penny_of_Charlemagne

I know of course the theortical weight for the issue, c. 1.70g to 1.71g

But can anyone assist with its actual weight?

Thanks

Rob T

Offline THCoins

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Re: Weight of this penny found at Aachen 2008
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2017, 06:06:11 PM »
Sorry, Rob, I don't know the weight of this actual specimen.
Your question made me curious though. With theoretical weight you probably mean that there were supposed to be 240 of these to the pound ?
Did encounter some other specimen of these browsing the internet. Weight seems to range between 1.3 and 1.6 grams on these.

Offline EWC

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Re: Weight of this penny found at Aachen 2008
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 06:34:44 PM »
Thanks for looking Ton.  I wondered if some German paper had the answer?

The theoretical weight has been done to death I think.  Morrison 1967 reviewed much earlier work statistically and got a range from 1.66 to 1.74g for early Carolingian pennies - so assumed the theoretical weight was 1.74g

Grierson I think took the correct approach - that there were 15 Roman ounces to C's coining pound, each of 16 pennies - which gives us the c. 1.70g which is the result I prefer.  It fits the facts well enough.

Miskimin went for 1.81g.  Seems he wanted 16oz to the pound and was not going to let the facts get in his way.

There are other approaches giving much lower results - but in part because they seem to me to include damaged coins. 

Also all Morrison's bar charts show big left side skews around the mode - that might explain what you are seeing too.

Rob T




Offline Figleaf

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Re: Weight of this penny found at Aachen 2008
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2017, 12:27:31 AM »
Checked the live links in German. The info they contain is very similar to that in the Wikipedia lemma. None mention weight.

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

Offline chrisild

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Re: Weight of this penny found at Aachen 2008
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2017, 12:47:11 AM »
Usually Charlemagne's denarius coins have a weight of (a little) more than 1.6 grams; there are very similar coins issued under Karl der Kahle / Charles le Chauve that weigh (a little) less than 1.6 g ...

Christian

Offline EWC

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Re: Weight of this penny found at Aachen 2008
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2017, 10:30:23 AM »
Usually Charlemagne's denarius coins have a weight of (a little) more than 1.6 grams; there are very similar coins issued under Karl der Kahle / Charles le Chauve that weigh (a little) less than 1.6 g ...

Yes, you mention Charles the Bald who weighs low, but note in contrast that Louis the Pious weighs high.  The theoretical figure I tend to go with is in the range 1.70g - 1.71g.  Its the conclusion of a range of independent detailed studies by Grierson, Naster, and Suchodolski, which Morrison was clearly sympathetic to.

No point really in casual debate of this matter, as I mentioned at the very outset.  If anyone wants to highlight the merits of one of the alternative studies I would be interested to hear.

A point I would make here is Grierson seems never to have published a picture of a coin without a caption telling the reader exactly what that particular coin weighed.  Almost exactly the opposite is true of modern archaeological practice - they almost never tell you the weight - even of weights!  All part of an ongoing decline in academic standards - in my own opinion.  The situation in the UK is now dreadful, and this German matter seems a bit depressing too

Rob