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Alex the great

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When I first saw that image when you posted it, I too thought something was off, and since Condor chimed in, thought I would. Notice how rough the surfaces are, like on his jaw area and the overall dullness of the features. That is what led me to think it is cast.

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I think what you are seeing is possibly the effect of the lighting - the coin itself has evidence of silver crystalization on the reverse - an indication that the coin has reacted with elements from coming from the ground. This is different from a cast silver coin.


From a website dealing with Ancient coins"


The majority of ancient silver coins have internal crystallization, as it tends to happen naturally to silver over long periods of time, but normally one see's no evidence of it on the surface. This is because the outer skin of a coin becomes highly stressed during striking, and such stressed metal normally remains non-crystallized. When this outer skin is removed, or if the conditions of burial force even the skin to crystallize, the coins surfaces become slightly rough.


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It is important to realize most ancient silver coins are internally crystallized, and cleaning them with any method that removes surface metal may expose the crystallization making the coin rather ugly. It is also important to note that crystallization makes coins slightly fragile and some ancient silver coins could break if dropped. Since you normally cannot tell the degree of crystallization by looking at the surfaces, all ancient coins should be handled carefully.


I know a dealer who dropped an ancient silver coin and it broke into several pieces and the crystaline structure of the coin was evident from the severe porosity of the metal.


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