16. Coin production, technical aspects


Gitler, Haim


Chemical analysis of medieval Islamic coin dies / Haim Gitler and Matthew Ponting


London : Royal Numismatic Society, 2006


Offprint from: Numismatic Chronicle 166 (2006) p. 321–326


Ancient coin dies which have survived to the present day are rare and are consequently regarded as particularly important numismatic objects, yet little is known about the metal alloys used to produce them. Ascertaining the chemical composition of these objects gives us the possibility to determine with a high degree of certainty whether they are offi cial products, ancient forgeries or, as in many cases, modern copies. Coin dies found in controlled archaeological excavations fall into the first two categories,whereas those coming from the antiquities market should be carefully examined in case they are modern fakes.The purpose of this study is to analyse fi ve supposed coin dies from the medieval Islamic period and determine whether they are original or fraudulent objects. All these dies come from the antiquities market and have been previously published. Three of them, from the Paul Balog collection, now belong to the Israel Museum. The other two which were originally acquired by L.A. Mayer are kept in the Israel Antiquities Authority.