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Thursday, 17 October 2013

The World's Most Valuable Currency That Explains Its Value

A few weeks ago, it was record that the lasubasta value of a coin struck by a silver dollar ‘flowing-hair’ 1794 by $10 million. A few days ago there was an excellent article published by Donn Pearlman on Numimaster that reveals the history of this coin and all numismatic research and marketing that enabled its reach to that exceptional value. The view is especially interesting that Pearlman having it played a central role as expert advisor to the various owners of the coin. The lessons of the case also apply to the ancient coins and so here are some details of the case and some general reflections.

From Record To Record

This issue of silver dollar is considered for many decades one of the best in existence and have a spectacular notable pedigree owners and auctions. In the first decades of the twentieth century, it was part of the legendary Edward numismatic collection of Colonel Green. In 1947, it was auctioned as part of the collection of Will W. Neil, when it reached $1250. In 1984, it was again auctioned for $264,000. By 1986, its value had dropped to 209,000. In 2002, Steven J. Contursi of Rare Coin Wholesalers purchased $2.5 million in a private transaction. Contursi sold in May 2010 for a record 7,850,000. In January surpassed its brand to reach just over 10 million.

Research & Marketing

Already in the description of the item for auction stated that 1984 was a twin copper dollar (which is now in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum) coined as a test before starting production of the first US dollars. Steven Contursi's role was central, for under his initiative, undertook a series of investigations that reinforced the idea that this coin could be the very first dollar minted in the United States.

In 2003 and 2004 the coin was removed from its plastic capsule to be examined by a dozen experts who confirmed the status as the best-preserved specimen in existence and, most likely, an early test minting. In 2003, the currency was taken to the Smithsonian to be compared with the copper test failed to detect any difference in the state. Not content with this, Contursi recruited some of the most famous American numismatic experts to study the piece and certify that it was the earliest state of the stamp witnessed.

Of course, it is impossible to prove scientifically that this coin was actually the first one out of the press. The certainty only goes up to say that at the time of its production, it did not seem to have suffered any wear-and-tear. The rest is just a clever marketing strategy that presents the results of investigations of how you can attract more attention from the media and the public. Contursi made this an exceptional work by organizing exhibitions of the piece in various numismatic conventions, press conferences with major media and everywhere highlighting the character of historic treasured piece.

The success of this strategy is in sight and clearly proves a point that the enormous added value generated numismatic and historical research in one piece in order to attract the collators to buy coin sets see complete rang by click-able link

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Collectible Coins - Francesco Gnecchi And Roman Medallions

Gnecchi Francesco was born in 1847 in the heart of a wealthy family of textile manufacturers specialized in the production of silk. He studied law at the University of Pavia, but after getting his degree, began to address the family business, an activity that combined with painting, producing mainly works of a landscape. Gnecchi began collecting Roman coins from 1870 and in a few years, his collection grew to become a basis for his studies, a series of pamphlets published in conjunction with his brother Ercole Gnecchi. Along with the latter and other enthusiasts, Francesco 1888 participated in the founding of the Rivista Italiana di Numismatica, initially led by Solon Ambrosoli and, later, by him and his brother. In its pages published important contributions to many fields of Roman numismatics. This magazine keeps appearing on continuously since that year and is now one of the most prestigious in this field. In 1892, Gnecchi was also one of the founders of the Italian Numismatic Society which still has its headquarters in Milan and carries forward the issue of the magazine.

 The rigor and quality of the work of Francesco earned him rapid international recognition and in 1906 was awarded the medal of the Royal Numismatic Society of London. His great contribution is the study of Roman medallions. Early on, Gnecchi became interested in particularly Roman medallions which concentrated its efforts as a collector and numismatist. Result of this interest, appeared in 1912 his most important work,

I Medaglioni Romani, in three volumes (the second and third with two parts each). Despite having already served a century, this work remains a source of reference and essential reference for these pieces.

Unfortunately, although it is in the public domain for decades, it is not available online in full as its only two parts have been digitized at the site including Francesco died in 1919 and he continued to buy collectible coins ( his last days coming to gather some 20,000 pieces in total of all periods of Roman history, but especially rich in medallions. One of his most notable was the magnificent ‘Senigallia Medallion’ which was discovered in 1894 and bought by Gnecchi. Fortunately, the unique value of the collection was recognized and the Italian state purchased it to their heirs in 1923.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

US Coin Proof Set Price - What Are Contorniatos?

Those who follow this blog must be interested in knowing more about the Contorniatos, so in today’s post, we are going to talk about this interesting subject.

It is commonly referred to as ‘contorniatos’ a certain kind of pseudo-monetary medallions produced in Rome during the IV and V centuries AD of the similar size to a sestertius. The name "contorniato" is a modern designation numismatic studies are already in the sixteenth century and comes from the Italian word "contour". With this term refers to the grafila, i.e. the thin sunken line marks the edge of the front and back and which is the main feature of Contorniatos.

The second feature is that almost all blanks contorniatos have slightly raised edges, hammering effect was obtained Flan singing. The grafila is generally recorded on the inner side of that edge. Clearly, this incision is performed once the piece had been coined as in some cases it can be seen that the letters short legends. The bill distinguishes the contorniatos finally also by the limited visibility of their motives and the thinness of the tokens used.

Besides this peculiar formatting, contorniatos share many other unique attributes. They are typically of brass, although some are also conserved brass and other alloys. The vast majority was coined similarly to the coins of the time, but copies are known cast and others who have been directly recorded in the flan. All share represented motifs finally bill similar style somewhat awkward, spelling errors abound in their legends. It is also common, find monograms etched on their faces.

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The reasons are varied represented and there seems to be a clear connection between the front and back, at least not one recognizable today. However, the great common denominator are representations linked to the great Roman games, especially chariot races in the Circus Maximus and theatrical themes.
The scientists have made the most different explanations about what its role has been in the history.

Monday, 14 October 2013

The Monetary Reform Of Diocletian – Part Four

The gold and silver coins were accompanied by a series of new denominations of fleece. The most important of all was a completely original piece, minted in 1/30 of the Roman pound, or about 10.8 grams and a silver plated representing between 5% and 4% of the total weight. This new piece is usually designated as follis (by assimilation of large bronze coin introduced by the monetary reform of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius), but probably it was known simply as nummus, the Latin term for currency. The term referred follis fact at this time to standard coin bags, containing 125 parts of silver and had a seal certifying the content, something very convenient when exchanging large numbers.

The nummus be produced in prodigious quantities to become the backbone of the new system. Also occurred, although to a much lesser quantity and quality, two fractional parts, which would quickly be discontinued; a) A small coin minted to 1/100 of the Roman pound (3.2 grams) with radiated bust made of bronze but with a thin silver coverage from 1 to 1.25% of its weight, and b) a bronze coin (now included in the collection of antique coins minted laureate bust in 1/200 of the Roman pound (1.6 grams). The value of this last piece amounted to a denarius communis (dc), the traditional name of the Roman system, for inflation during the third century, had become a currency of no specific monetary equivalent. The DC was still used to express the value of goods as we see clearly in the famous edict of Diocletian maximum prices of which more later on.

It is clear that all parts of the new monetary system had fixed exchange rates stipulated in DC in the following way;

Golden = 600 dc
Pentads = 300 dc
Argenteus = 25 dc
Nummus = 5 dc
Lacing fleece = 2 dc
Laureate bronze = 1 dc

That the nummus was tariff on 5 dc is demonstrated by Siscia and Alexandria parts that bear the mark of value XX and XXI, indicating that amounted to 20 sesterces, i.e. 5 pence. Some copies of Antioch carry also the letters K and V indicating 20 sesterces and 5 pence.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Monetary Reform Of Diocletian – Part Three

In the earlier parts of this series, we saw the steps taken by Diocletian before full reform of the monetary system i.e. improvement in the standard and quality of the gold coins. In this part, we are going to analyze the new names introduced in the year 293 AD.

The Introduction Of The New System In 293 AD

In the year 293 AD, with the appointment of Galerius and Constantius as Caesars, the political system of the Tetrarchy was finally established and the speed of administrative and fiscal reforms began to accelerate. In this context, we undertook a more ambitious monetary reforms pre-modern history, involving a radical break with the existing system.

Not know the exact time of its implementation, but was held without a doubt, between the years 293 and 294 AD, preferring the more recent authors as Kenneth Harl or Richard Abdy, the earliest date. The overall objective of the reform was to return to a system similar to the one introduced during the High Empire by Nero, that is, a nostalgic return to a golden past.

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In the golden reformed now joined a new minted silver coin weighing 1/96 of the Roman pound (XCVI number on the back of some emissions) i.e. about 3.4 grams, though most were wedged beneath the target weight. It was the first piece of pure silver out of the Roman mints and reproduced in a century, in fact, the standard of the denarius of Nero and his law of 95% purity. It seems that this piece was designated argentous.

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Monetary Reform Of Diocletian – Part One

We present here the first part of a series of articles devoted to analyze in detail about the currency reform introduced by Diocletian in the late third century AD, it would, in many ways, the starting point of the monetary system of the Lower Empire.

Diocletian's rise to the throne of the Roman Empire in the year 284 AD did not differ from that of most of his predecessors during the controversial shooting third century AD, the murder of an emperor confusing circumstances and choice, by the army, a successor from their own ranks, but the new sovereign achieved the current cycle of instability for decades and started a lasting reign marked by the significant reforms in many of the central aspects of the organization of the State. Some, such as the establishment of the Tetrarchy (multiple-emperor government) would only experiments that would lack continuity, but others, such as tax reform and the creation of a bureaucracy, laid foundation for what we know as the Lower Roman Empire.

One of the most complex political changes introduced by Diocletian and his colleagues was his effort to provide the Roman world of a new monetary system. The deterioration in the quality of the coin, the loss of confidence in it and inflation was three inherited problems which might have faced if Diocletian intended that fiscal and administrative plans viable. In the year 274 AD, Emperor Aurelian had already introduced a currency reform to address these challenges, but their impact was limited and new standards were quickly relaxed. The changes brought on by the Tetrarchs have, however, a much more profound impact, especially since it would implement in phases over an extended period of time.

Learning about the history of the antique coins, jeweler and other accessories like silver dollar belt buckle and other related stuff is the source of their sheer joy and we receive it in form of the comments from our readers and we thank them a lot and will continue the historical information work on.

The Monetary Reform Of Diocletian – Part Two

Gold Coins Diocletin - In the year 285 AD, Diocletian appointed Maximian as Caesar military experience, that is, as his colleague and heir to the throne. The following year promoted him to Augustus, establishing, in fact, a diarchy. During these early years of his reign, the consolidation of his power and the restoration of the borders remained busy with Diocletian and his colleague, so that monetary policy did not receive much attention continuing with the existing designation coinage.

Diocletian and Maximian gave, however, the first step to improve the standard of the gold coins leading in the year 286 AD, the golden target weight of 1/70 of the Roman pound to 1/60, equivalent to about 5.4 grams. Acuñarían also in the mint of Rome, some ceremonial golden 1/50 of a pound and numerous medallions or multiples of various sizes, such as those found in the famous treasure of Beaurains. The standard of the gold coins had deteriorated considerably during the third century with ever smaller pieces and less purity. To this was added a significant degree of variability in weight between different copies blanks, reflecting the poor manufacturing of the same. The new golden Diocletian, however, were minted with greater control and its weight is much more uniform.

The new gold coins were used mainly to pay soldiers and civil servants. In an inflationary environment and poor quality coin, it is certain that, according to Gresham Leyde, these pieces were especially treasured, so its impact on the monetary system was smaller.

The aforementioned Beaurains treasure is a clear example of this process. I recovered included twenty jewels (gold coin pendant, bracelets, earrings, buckles, rings, pendants, some of which were made with coins see the complete pics., various pieces of silver (a chandelier, two spoons, a slug), and 472 coins, of which twenty large gold medallions were minted by Constantine I. The medallions were minted at the mints of Trier and Rome, and who buried surely had received as gifts from the Emperors between 285 and 310DC, and it is likely that it was a high-ranking officer of the Imperial Army. The fact that coins and medallions were treasured for a long period of time in conjunction with other gold and silver items clearly shows that every object of these metals could serve as an ingot.