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When coins are minted in ancient fashion, metal on the surface gets liquid for a second, and characteristic patterns form that can be seen on many Roman coins, of "streams" from inside to outside (see some examples here). Presence of them is a good sign, but in no way a requirement (coin minting was not exact, temperature may have varied, and so in some cases there was more flow, in others -- none, not to mention that patterns may have gotten worn off in time). Also, with some modern faking methods they can create an imitation of these flow lines. If you are interest in all this, you can go to Fake Ancient Coin Reports , there are a lot of discussions and photos of different fakes, including specific faking methods. You can also go to the FORVM there (this link is the specific part where they discuss fakes) and even show your photos and ask them to analyze it. •
But at the end, as I said, nobody can tell you for sure, there may be only suspicions one way or the other.
Sorry, just wanted to add this fascinating bit of trivia, maybe somebody does not know. Well, to be absolutely sure one has to look through all the Aurelian's ORIENS AVG antoniniani types with XXI. And even a cursory look at WildWinds (whose list is probably by no means complete) shows how numerous they are, quite a tedious task.
Coin identifications and valuations
I usually use the NGC database •
to have some idea of the rarity of a particular coin. It is useless for some countries and eras, but for German Empire, Weimar Republic, 3d Reich etc. it works pretty well. •
The trick is not to look at the actual prices there, but compare the prices in the same condition (say, XF) for different mints of the same year and for this year compared with the other years. Also, the mintage (Numista catalog here has these numbers too for most of the coins) is an important characteristic, usually (but not always!) it is more or less inversely proportional to the value. If mintage is in the millions, the coin is probably common (there are some exceptions to this rule too, e. g. if most of the mintage was destroyed), otherwise there is a good chance that it may be valuable.
Oops, BramVB bit me to it... Actually, just typing 5 milliemes in Google gets you as the very first hit this coin in the NGC database. •
Please help me to identify what this is. Quite small, about 16.5mm in diameter, ~0.9 g and very thin, probably ~0.2mm, edge smooth. Made of white non-magnetic metal, perhaps even silver. Cannot find anything even close in any catalogs or on the web. The portrait seems to be similar to the official 90th birthday portrait of Prince Luitpold made in 1911, and that was the time of huge celebration in his honor with some commemorative coins and many medals issued. This thing is obviously too small to be any of those, but perhaps there were also some little souvenir tokens issued too? Unfortunately the other side of the coin/token is completely obliterated and it is very difficult to say what was there (if anything). •
I know next to nothing about the numismatic market, but I am pretty sure that just like with any other market it is all about matching supply and demand. If something is in high demand and there is no adequate supply at the moment, it becomes "rare", the actual original production numbers notwithstanding. As for the 3d Reich/WWII coins, I think that mintage numbers themselves are poor guides, because due to the nature of that tumultuous time a lot of these coins were seized and defaced, melted, reminted, accidentally destroyed, totally rusted away because of their inferior material (iron or zinc) etc.
Me too. If you find something interesting in my swap list, please let me know. •
Yes, the NRI and bullion calculation immediately suffer, so it is hardly a good thing. I think I came up with a temporary solution: enter it as is, then export the catalog into the Excel format, copy only the lines of fakes into a different file -- and then delete the entries in the Numista web catalog. This keeps all the references for myself as well as all the relevant info on the real coins that were imitated. As for the others, I'll wait for the updatable fake section.
Well, this is a token for a free drink at the bar of that place or from one of the servers during an event. No vending machines involved, as far as I know.
Again, I must apologize. It was not my intention to offend anybody. I am not a troll and I did not come to this place to start any political discussions. •
Nevertheless, I am very grateful for all the replies. I did not realize that there was a clear genetic line of rhomboid ornaments from the Imperial and Provisional Government's coins and bills through the new Russian coins of the 1990s. So the separators on the new coins do not really appear out of the blue, they follow a well established tradition. •
Thank you, and sorry for disturbing anybody with my long and a bit too passionate posts.
Thank you! •
Yes, I already felt (surprisingly, I might add) warm welcome from quite a few members. To the point that I had to put the "temporarily no swaps" sign on my profile, because I want to handle those few swaps I am starting right now with as much care as possible, do not want to grab more than I can eat. •
In the process of these swaps I have already realized the need to make good photos of my coins -- and not "beautiful", but actually revealing as plainly as possible all the scratches and blemishes. Doing it with my phone right now, but the quality is hardly adequate. Will have to think of a setup to use my DSLR camera for this... Well, a lot to learn, but a lot of fun too. And combining together other things that I like to do -- social networking, photography, international communication... Coming here may have been quite a good idea after all. •
I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that this grade system is developed to mostly assess the condition of older coins made of soft metals (gold, silver and pure copper), for which wear would be the main degrading factor. But for 1960+ coins (that my and many other people's collections mostly consists of) this scale is very unhelpful. Judging by only feature visibility and recognizebility, almost all modern coins, even heavily circulated, should be placed either in VF or XF. Because, duh! Modern hard alloys... •
What interests me is how to assess the following factors of degradation of modern coins: •
- multiple small scratches on flat surfaces, which do not affect actual coin features, but definitely change the overall coin's look and "condition feel". •
- patina/tarnish, i. e. even changes in color of all kinds; especially interesting how to assess DIFFERENT changes in color, because under different conditions the same coin may develop very different k[...]
It was about 1979 and the Olympic craze started in the USSR. The Moscow Summer Olympics of 1980 were hugely publicized, unlike any Olympics in any country I've seen since. As I understand it now, it was because of the war in Afghanistan, Soviet leaders were desperate to create some positive image of their country. And so, as a part of the propaganda campaign, a set of commemorative "Olympic" rubles was minted (you can see the first, the most common one here, with the links to the whole set, there were 6 of them in total, of different rarity): •
This was not the first Soviet commemorative coin, but the previous ones were boring: Lenin, the revolution of 1917, the victory of 1945. Nobody cared much for them. However the Olympic rubles were different, suddenly the whole country became obsessed with them, everybody was looking for them and hoping to collect the whole set, even people with typically very little inter[...]