20170806

A Visit to the UK and the New Pound Coin


In late July, during a visit to London and it's environs I encountered the New 12-sided Pound Coin in my change. The coin is obviously different from the old Pound Coins in that it is bimetallic and 12-sided to begin with, but it is supposed to be one of the most secure coins around (we shall see). Considering how the old pound was counterfeited, the Royal Mint better hope that it's micro-printing and other devices do in fact secure the coin for the foreseeable future.

Click on the link below to learn more about it's interesting features:

The New Pound Coin

20170715

A Visit to Canada 150

During a short visit to Ottawa this past week, I visited the newly opened Bank of Canada Museum across Wellington from Parliament Hill. I have to say that it was a wonderful visit to an engaging and enjoyable interactive museum experience. Not only for adults but for kids as well.

In addition, if you choose to visit this year, I also recommend visiting Park Jacques Cartier on the Gatineau, QC side of the Ottawa River where you can visit the amazing MosaϊCanada 150 outdoor sculpture garden. At the end of the tour, there is a Royal Mint of Canada booth where you can purchase commemorative coins for the 150th Anniversary celebrations this year. Many of the examples are 99.99% silver (as well as gold coin and colorized coin examples).

A circulating example of a 150th Anniversary coin is the "Loonie" without the Loon:
You would think that the portrait of the Queen would be less stylized and more authentic as it had been in the past, or as detailed as the reverse.

Another change since our last visit to Canada a few years ago was the introduction of Polymer bank notes. We found the notes in our possession seemed to wrinkle and stay that shape. Our Canadian friends said that the notes were not problematic to use and in fact they have no complaints about the new notes, that have been in use for about three years.  A black and white photo of a $5 bill in circulation appears below. The actual note is light blue in color. The notes have many examples of the latest in anti-counterfeiting technology and the Bank of Canada Museum has a great display relating to this and the history of Canadian paper money. Apparently, the polymer notes are expected to last 2-3 times longer then conventional paper money.



The key landmark in Ottawa is the impressive Parliament Hill Center Block with the Peace Tower as depicted below:



20170616

IRAN/Sasanid; Khusro II CE 590-628



AR Drachm, 4.04 g, 31 mm, 3h, AHM =Hamadan mint RN: 27= CE 616-617
Göbl 212

O:  crowned bust right, XUSRUI on right AFZUT on left  “Khusro, may he increase”

R: on right AHM on left regnal date "Haftbist"/= 27

20170608

ROMAN/Trajan CE 98-117



AE Sestertius 34mm, 28.84 g, 6h, Roma mint c. CE 106-107
RCV 3201 variety; RIC II 528; Woytek 204cA; Banti 168; BMCRE 813-4
O: Laur., draped bust with aegis, IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC PM TRP COS V PP
R: Victory stg r, l. foot on helmet(?) inscribing VIC/DAC on shield attached to palm stump.
SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI/ S-C in lower field.

Commemorates Trajan’s victory in the Second Dacian War.

20170607

IRAN/Parthia; Phriapatius BCE 185-170


AE Chalkous 2.78 g, 16 mm; Hekatompylos mint

S 8.2 var. (Mithradates I in Sellwood 1980)

O: bust left wearing a bashlyk
R: horse prancing right with retrograde APΣAKOY across the upper field

 

20170522

IRAN/PARTHIA; Vardanes I. Circa AD 40-47


AR Tetradrachm (14.16 gm; 28mm x 25mm) Seleukia mint, Dystros SE 354/February CE 43

Cf. Sellwood 64.14;
cf. Shore 350-351;
Sunrise 413.
O: Diademed bust left, wart on forehead

R:  Vardanes seated right, receiving palm from Tyche standing left, holding cornucopia.

top: ΒΑCΙΛΕΩC/ ΒΑCΙΛΕΩΝ /right: ΑΡCΑΚΟΥ/ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ/bottom:

 ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ/ΔΥCTPOC / left: ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥC/ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟC/ with year field

between Tyche and Vardanes ΔNT


There is graffito on the obverse left field that appears to be ancient based upon the patina
and it appears to refer to "ROMA" as the inscription is in Latin script not Greek.

 
Graffito highlighted above and as it appears without highlighting below
 

20170508

ROMAN/Gratian CE 367-383


AE 2, 23mm, 6.09 g, 12h, Roma mint CE 379-383

Sear 20006
RIC IX 43a2

O: DN GRATIA-NVS PF AVG, diad, draped cuirassed bust right.
R: REPARATIO -REIPVB/SMRP in ex., Gratian in military attire stg l raising with right hand a turreted female figure who kneels before him and holding victory on blob in left.

AN: XLVI
Ex: Warren Esty
Ex: Ron Bude/RomanLode

BYZANTIUM/Heraclius CE 610-641 & Heraclius Constantine CE 613-641


AE 12 Nummi, 17 mm, 4.45g, 5h, Alexandria mint c. CE 613-618

SB 853
DO 189
BMC 289-296

O: dd NN hERAC (apparently blundered and not entirely visible here)
facing busts of Heraclius bearded l, and Heraclius Constantine beardless r. each wearing a chlamys and crown with a cross.

R: large IB with cross potent on two steps between. in ex. AΛEΞ

20170428

Two Venetian Grossi of the 13th Century CE


Doge Jacopo Tiepolo CE 1229-1249
AR Grosso, 1.97 g, ---mm, ---h

O: IA TEVPL/DVX/SM VENETI
R: IC/XC

Biaggi 2769

Doge Jacopo Contarini CE 1275-1280
AR Grosso, 1.89 g, ---mm, ---h

O: IA 9TARIN/DVX/SM VENETI
R: IC/XC

Biaggi 2783

20170414

Brazil/Empire; Dom Pedro II 1831-1889


AR 1000 Reis, 29 mm, 12.6 g, 1857, Mintage: 512,000

KM # 465

Views of Dom Pedro's Brasil:

On the road from Rio to Petropolis, the Summer residence of D. Pedro

View of the Summer Palace in Petropolis

D. Pedro's final resting place in the Cathedral at Petropolis.

20170412

Three Cuban Non-Circulating Commemoratives

Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution 1959-1989
CN 1 peso, 30 mm, 11.3 g., Mintage: 2,000
KM # 257

Undated Commemorative of 2007 Commemorating the 40th Anniv. of the death of Che Guevara
issued in CN and Copper plated varieties, both depicted here, but the difference in these two examples is also noted in their respective weights. (Cu plated example is 3.6 g heavier)
 
CN 1 peso, 38 mm, 26 g., Mintage: n/a presently.
KM # 871
 
Cu plated 1 peso, 38 mm, 29.6 g. , Mintage: n/a presently.
KM# 871

20170411

ISLAMIC/Palembang; Mahmud Badruddin II 1804-1821


Tin Piti, 0.73 g, 18 mm, undated, Robinson #11.1 (R1)

Blundered legend should read:

ضرب في بلد فلمبغ دار الاسلام

ISLAMIC/Palembang; Muhammad Badruddin II 1776-1804


Tin Piti, 0.73 g, 18mm. AH 1203/CE 1789, Robinson #9 (R1)

Inscription reads:
السلطان في بلد فلمبنغ سنة ١٢٠٣

20170405

GREEK/Seleucid; Antiochos IX Kyzicenos BCE 114/113-95



AR Drachm, 4.02 g 16.5 mm 12h, Uncertain Mint (Spaer thought Northern Syria)
SNG Von Post 603 (this coin)
SNG Spaer 2720 
(from plate for SC 2400 which used Spaer 2720 as the example depicted)
Naville X 15-18 June 1925, lot 1483
 
SC 2400
HGC 1239d (R3) 

O: diad. Hd rt. Dotted border
R: Nike adv left holding out wreath, [BA]ΣIΛEΩΣ/[A]NTIOXOY on right  and [Φ]IΛ-OΠATOPOΣ on inner left with controls on outer left AΩ monogram above Δ 

From the three examples that have been identified, it appears that all of the three coins were produced from the same obverse and reverse dies, meaning a single die produced all three examples.  Without additional examples I think it may be premature to jump to any conclusions on the basis of just this observation at this time. If you are aware of other examples of this coin, please email me.

It may be that Von Post acquired this coin while he was Swedish Ambassador in Turkey from 1946-1951.  Though we can only surmise through this information that the possible find spot was somewhere in that region, perhaps even Cilicia where it is possible that it was minted.  Though no certain conclusions can be reached with our circumstantial evidence being stretched to such ends. Without the original information on the provenance of the coin we are left poorer and our theories on origin all the weaker.

Eric von Post
 
Ex: Sotheby’s (UK); Coins Medals & Banknotes Auction, "The Collection of Greek Coins formed by Eric Von Post (1899-1990)", 9 October 1995, sold as a portion of lot 228.
it appears that the write ups for the coins were taken literally from SNG Von Post. The information about the mint being Antioch and that the drachm is a variety of SMA 404 are wholly incorrect as we now know and likely an example of expediency rather than scholarship on the cataloger's part.
 
The winning bid of £638 for the lot exceeded the original estimates. In 1995 USD, that was equivalent to $1,006.70 or approximately $201.34 for each of the five coins in the lot.  With inflation, that winning bid would be approximately $1,623.58 or $324.72 for each coin in 2017 USD. (thanks to Ella Hall of Sothebys (NY) Coin Dept for price realized).


Resources consulted:
Sotheby's Auction Catalogue 9 October 1995
Houghton etal, Seleucid Coins Part II (Vol 1 & 2)
Newell, SMA
SNG Spaer
SNG Von Post
Naville X 1925
Hoover, HGC Handbook of Syrian Coins Vol. 9
Thanks are extended to ANS Librarian David Hill who provided copies of the pertinent portions of Naville X and the Sotheby's auction catalogues.

ISLAMIC/Palembang; Mahmud Badruddin II 1804-1821

Tin Piti, 19 mm, 1.29 g, undated, Robinson #14 (R1)

Inscription reads:
ضرب في بلد فلمبغ دار الاسلام

ISLAMIC/Palembang; Mahmud Badruddin II 1804-1821

Tin Piti, 17 mm, 0.80 g, AH 1219/CE 1804, Robinson #10 (R1)

Inscription reads from bottom left around to bottom right:
مصروف في بلد فلمبغ ١٢١٩

ISLAMIC/Palembang; Muhammad Badruddin II 1776-1804, Three Pitis


Left: 13 mm, 0.44 g  Robinson # 5.5 (R1) AH 1193 (though appears to be 1183 due to poorly executed numeral) /CE 1779

Center: 14 mm, 0.57 g Robinson #5 (R1) same date.

Right: 14 mm, 0.41 g, Robinson #5.9 (R2) date is poorly executed as 113 rather than 1193

The general inscription reads:
 السلطان
في بلد فلمبغ
سنة ١١٩٣

20170403

ISLAMIC/Palembang Tin Piti 18th Century CE


Tin Piti, undated though source appear to agree c. AH 1163/CE 1750
1.19 g/21 mm
"Alamat bilad Palembang"
Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin I CE 1724-1757

Milies 200
Robinson 4 (R1)

20170331

Great Britain/Hanover; Victoria 1837-1901


AR 1 1/2 d., 0.69 g, 11 mm, minted for use in Ceylon & Jamaica, 1839, mintage 760,000

KM# 728
SCBC 3915


ex: Stephen Album

DDR 50 pf 1950-A


Aluminum/Bronze, 3.38g, East Berlin mint 1950, 67,703,000 mintage

KM # 4

O: denomination above date and below Deutschland
R: plow in front of factory with tall smokestacks.

20170317

ROMAN/Maximianus CE 286-310


AE Antoninianus (----mm, 3.69 g) Tripolis mint, c. 286-290 CE

RIC V 626 var.
RCV 13144 var.

O: IMP C M AVR VAL MAXIMIANVS PF AVG, rad, cuir., bust right.
R: IOVI CONSERVATOR--I AVGG/TR in field and palm branch on left XXI in exergue.
Emperor on left receiving Victory from Jupiter

20170103

ROMAN/Gordian III CE 238-244---A footnote to the Holocaust

AR Antoninianus, 4.1 g, 23 x 20 mm, 12h, Roma mint, CE 239

RSC 194

O: rad, cuir., bust r IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG
R: Virtus stg l holding shield and spear, PM TRP II COS PP


This coin was part of a lot from Triskeles Auctions 322 lot 518 that closed 12/13/2016. The entire lot including this coin was identified as former stock of Robert Ball Nachfolger a Berlin, Germany coin dealer who was active from 1887 until his death in 1904 according to the write up accompanying the lot description.

In 1904, the Ball enterprise continued under Hugo Grünthal who ran the firm under the Ball name until he was forced to close the business in 1934 when anti-Jewish laws began to impact business enterprises who were no longer able to advertise or have other access to markets. This compelling information was not included in the auction write up for some reason. It was noted that the remaining inventory was sold in two sales by Grabow of Rostock in 1939 and 1940. It is surmised that the coins in this lot probably came from the stock sold at that time. 

    Original Envelope that accompanied the coin. Envelope is 35 x 35 mm.

What is not mentioned is that Hugo Grünthal (1869-1943) died in Berlin in 1943. It is not known if this was due to natural causes or not, though considering the conditions that Jews were compelled to live under, all deaths were unnecessarily premature.  A medal depicting Grünthal  (and his relationship to the Ball company is noted on the reverse) was issued in 1929 and is depicted below:




Grünthal's son Henry (1905-2001) left Germany in 1938 and came to the USA and went on to work in Numismatics and was a long time curator at the ANS in NYC.  

This just goes to prove that preserving the provenance of even the most pedestrian coin provides invaluable information not only about the coin but the people who owned it and the times in which they lived.