In her latest email newsletter (#31, published August 25, 2017), Shanna Schmidt discusses the Ex-Numis service, which uses digital image recognition to match modern coin images with
specimens illustrated in long-ago catalogues, greatly speeding pedigree research. -Editor
I received an email from my friend Jonas Flueck the other day about a coin that I have in my stock in which he uncovered a fabulous pedigree. I can’t stress enough the value of attaching
pedigrees to coins circulating throughout the market. It is through no fault of anyone that pedigrees were never of any great importance to collectors or dealers until more recent years. Aside from
the excitement of seeing your purchase in a catalog from sometimes over 100 years ago, there also is a serious need to start attaching pedigrees to coins for future generations.
While I do not believe that our hobby is under real threat of ending I think that it is nonetheless important to change how we preserve past ownership. This is why Ex-Numis is such a great
company. Jonas and his wife Pauline painstakingly scanned hundreds of catalogs so they could reunite coins with their pedigrees. The system is not perfect and they are still working on fine tuning
the process, but it is remarkable to say the least. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent in years past (and still do) pouring through old catalogs searching for pedigrees. I find it quite fun but
it can take loads of time and most of us don’t have all the old catalogs, nor the time for it.
So what did Jonas find for me? Well, a coin I purchased at Numismata last year in Germany without an extensive pedigree ended up being from a rather exciting collection (Ex Collection Côte) that
was auctioned off in a 1936 M.M. Feuardent sale in Paris. Jonas sent me the picture of the coin as well from the old catalog for my records. So in light of this new information I am happily making it
my coin of the week again since it already was that.
I highly recommend using the helpful services provided by Ex-Numis. You might end up with nothing but the small amount of money spent on this service is well worth it.
We mentioned this company before and it's a great service for collectors and dealers in ancient coins - a super application of the power of computers to save human effort.
Here's more information on the coin itself from Shanna's newsletter. -Editor
ATTICA, Athens. c. 467-465 BC.
AR Drachm, 4.24g (14mm, 2h). Athena / Owl standing facing with head reverted; olive sprig behind and ethnic ATE to right
Pedigree: Ex Collection Côte, Auction M.M. Feuardent, Paris 4 December, 1936, lot 17;
Ex Peus 388, 1 November 2006, lot 125
Price: $4,000 (hammered at 5,750 Euros in 2006)
Archaeological evidence suggests that Athens has been occupied by humans since before 3000 BC, however, the zenith of its growth occurred during the 6th century BC. Due to the silver mines at
Laurium, located about 60 km from Athens, the city was rich in silver. This gave them an advantage that few other Greek city states had: the ability to strike an abundance of coins. And strike they
did! All over the Greek world tetradrachms of Athens circulated. Some even to the far east reflected a Phoenician appearance and symbolism.
While we see many different styles of tetradrachms, to the point that even a die study of the type is impossible to achieve, we see less of the smaller denomination in silver. This coin is a
drachm which as it suggests is roughly ¼ the size of a tetradrachm. A very interesting type and one that is less visible in the current market.
References: Svoronos, Tf. 8, 38; Starr 85 (Gruppe II C)
Grade: Slightly off-center which pushes the face of Athena to edge. Reverse has lovely iridescent toning. EF
If you are interested in this coin please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in any other coins I have available please visit my website www.shannaschmidt.com
To read the complete newsletter, see:
Newsletter #31: What’s New at Shanna Schmidt Numismatics Inc.
To visit the Ex-Numis web site, see:
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
EX-NUMIS ENABLES COIN AUCTION SALE SEARCH BY IMAGE (http://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v19n05a07.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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