Author Topic: Rhodes, Caria, AR Didrachm, 305-275 BC  (Read 208 times)

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Offline Overlord

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Rhodes, Caria, AR Didrachm, 305-275 BC
« on: January 28, 2018, 05:44:13 AM »
Why is that the rose on the reverse, which would be the high point, remains while the filer details have worn off? I have a similar question about my Alexander tetradrachm on which Zeus, which is a fairly high point, remains while the king's name has worn off.

Obverse: Radiate head of Helios (face of the famous Colossus) facing slightly right
Reverse: Rose with bud on right 


Offline THCoins

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Re: Rhodes, Caria, AR Didrachm, 305-275 BC
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 08:42:46 PM »
I think one factor protecting the rose is that it is in the center of the concave side of the coin.
In addition, it looks like your coin had a layer of horn silver removed. That will have wiped out the small details while preserving the large contours of the rose.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Rhodes, Caria, AR Didrachm, 305-275 BC
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 12:11:17 AM »
Found a very similar reverse on the net and showing it here for comparison. It's not the same type. Yours has a different text above the rose.

You are obviously wondering if the coin has been tooled. While I agree that the field is concave, the tip of the left leaf of the rose should have worn at least as much as the ear of grain (?) at 8 o'clock. I also agree that the coin has been cleaned, which I would consider normal. I would say that the cleaning was expertly done, so its effect would normally have been evenly spread, but the plant on the right has almost completely disappeared.

You'd have to examine the coin under a microscope, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had been tooled, in particular at 3 o'clock and 11 o'clock.

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

Offline Overlord

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Re: Rhodes, Caria, AR Didrachm, 305-275 BC
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 04:24:52 PM »
Many thanks for your comments, THCoins and Figleaf.
THCoins: The surface of this coin does look very similar to that of my Otho Denarius, which has horn silver, so I follow your observation.
Figleaf: What exactly am I looking for when I examine it under the microscope: scratch marks?

What attracted me the most about this coin was the obverse. On the regular coins, I find Helios' expression quite lively; sometimes even amusing. On this coin, the face appears as if frozen in time, almost like a death mask of sorts (which may be the effect produced by horn silver/cleaning agent).   

My Alexander tetradrachm has a similar reverse, as I mentioned earlier. It seems that coin, too, may have had horn silver removed from the reverse, but I am not sure if and to what extent it was tooled. I will post it this weekend.