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Aurelian double strike

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This coin is a more unusual double strike and examining the resulting coin gives us a useful insight into the manufacturing process in an ancient mint.


An initial look at the coin doesn't necessarily indicate anything too special.



There is something very odd about the reverse legend however. It looks like it reads SOLI INS AVG, which is completely meaningless. We do know that at this time at this mint (Ticinum) the mint was producing two coins that use this reverse type (Sol standing left, raising right hand, holding globe in left, between two seated captive seated at his feet) and that it was used with the legends "SOLI INVICTO" and "ORIENS AVG". Knowing this information we can see that the reverse legend on this coin is in fact the result of a combination of both these legends. The reverse of the coin is the result of a major double strike but using two different reverse dies, one SOLI and the other ORIENS. They were combined with the same obverse die.


This gives us a small insight into the manufacturing process of the mint at this time, where a single obverse die was combined with two different reverse dies on consecutive strikes. It is thought that one die (in this case the obverse) was fixed in place, whilst the other was perhaps on a Y-shaped yoke and the reverse die was changed between strkes. This may have been to reduce the damage that would be caused by consecutive strikes if a single die pair had been used.


I have also included an enlargement of a section of the reverse, where the remains of the first strike can be see in the head of Sol, the heads of the captives etc.


I hope to track down some other examples from the same dies some day but this is likely a forlorn hope as there seems to have been many, many dies used in this mint at this time.





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