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  • Ae26

    Just a quickie, when a coin has AE26 next to it, am I right by assuming that the AE= copper and the 26 is the diameter of the coin = 26mm.

  • #2
    You're absolutely correct. Note that it is customary to measure the diameter at the center of the piece, from left to right, on the obverse. However, some prefer to measure it at the widest point, and some (fewer) prefer to give both a vertical and a horizontal dimension.

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    • #3
      thanks for the additional information

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      • #4
        Keep in mind though, this does not apply to Late Roman Bronze. AE1 through AE4 does not mean 1mm through 4mm. Here is an approximation of how LRB translates:

        AE1 (Bronze, >25mm)
        AE2 (Bronze, 21-25mm)
        AE3 (Bronze, 17-22mm)
        AE4 (Bronze, <17mm)

        Most likely, your question involving an AE26 was a Roman Provincial (also called Greek Imperials), a Greek bronze, Ptolemaic, etc. I just wanted to caution you about LRB in case you see those designations and tried to apply the same logic.

        --Zach
        VCoins Ancients Store:
        http://www.vcoins.com/beastcoins

        VCoins US/Banknotes Store:
        http://www.vcoins.com/us/beastcoins

        VCoins World Store:
        http://www.vcoins.com/world/beastcoins

        Beast Coins Research Site:
        http://www.beastcoins.com

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        • #5
          Yes, creating a die for 1mm coin would certainly be a challenge.

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          • #6
            Bill,

            That would be quite a challenge! Still, I'm always amazed at the level of artistry on any of the coins I acquire under 10mm, such as this one.

            Also, I've had some other nearly-impossible-to-photograph LRB at 8mm or less!

            --Beast
            Attached Files
            VCoins Ancients Store:
            http://www.vcoins.com/beastcoins

            VCoins US/Banknotes Store:
            http://www.vcoins.com/us/beastcoins

            VCoins World Store:
            http://www.vcoins.com/world/beastcoins

            Beast Coins Research Site:
            http://www.beastcoins.com

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            • #7
              8mm .46 gms

              Beast's coin has the best detail I have ever seen on a coin of 10 mm or less! fantastic.
              This hemi obol of Caria has a weight of less than half a gram and is about 8mm. I just started a thread on Greek coins asking how they did this when I stumbled onto this thread.
              Neat stuff isn't it. Can you imagine the size of the tongs that held this in place!:

              Tom

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              • #8
                Beast's coin

                The die itself for this coin must have been miniscule. Notice on the reverse that there is a distinct concavity. This illustrates that the die was not a broad flat surface with a tiny image engraved at its center. Rather, the die must have been just slightly larger than the image itself. With a coin of this size, that would mean a tiny spindle of a die. How could the workers hit such a die with a hammer without breaking it? I would assume that less pressure was required for such a small amount of metal, but even so it must have been very delicate and exacting work. Maybe the die was thicker at the hammer end than at the coin end. Having said that, we do find a lot of off-center fractions that would suggest they moved quickly in the production process. The topic of whether magnifying lenses were used to engrave these dies is one that has been discussed with great enthusiasm for generations.

                Wayne

                Wayne G. Sayles
                Wayne@ancientcoins.ac

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                • #9
                  Wayne,

                  Yes, the reverse is slightly concave, as you observed. I also must apologize on the size - I must have mixed up two of my notes. This particular coin is 12mm, so a little bit larger than I originally noted. It was sitting next to an AR Obol in the tray and when I was writing my notes, I must have picked up the wrong one. Still, it's a really great coin in hand and at 12mm, an amazingly small object with such great detail. I just can't imagine making something this small and detailed by hand.

                  --Beast
                  VCoins Ancients Store:
                  http://www.vcoins.com/beastcoins

                  VCoins US/Banknotes Store:
                  http://www.vcoins.com/us/beastcoins

                  VCoins World Store:
                  http://www.vcoins.com/world/beastcoins

                  Beast Coins Research Site:
                  http://www.beastcoins.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    http://dougsmith.ancients.info/microdigital.html

                    Most have probably seen these old images but the subject of small coins is dear to me so I will offer them here. The largest coin shown is 10mm. One really fortunate thing I have noted is that the smallest ancient coin in my personal experience has been 5 mm diameter so the conflicting scales (AE1 - AE4 for late Roman and AE+diameter in mm for everything else) don't overlap. The link above has several AR5 coins but I don't own an AE5. I'll add here my candidate for best art work (barely!) under 5mm although the little quail has a lot to say for it also.
                    http://home.comcast.net/~dougsmit/tinygreeksm.jpg
                    Doug Smith

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