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    Description

    Pupienus, A.D. 238. AE sestertius. Laureate and cuirassed bust right of Pupienus/Concordia seated left holding patera and cornucopiae. RIC 20, C. 7. VF+, brown patina, but noticeably tooled; excellent portrait.
    Soil conditions will often cause incrustations to form on buried bronzes, which it has been customary to remove by tooling, that is, to take a small scraper (like a dental tool) to carefully remove the additions and achieve a smoother, more "original" look. Sestertii were struck from orichalcum or brass planchets, and were gold-like in appearance when struck and released for circulation. Most of today's collectors choose coins that have developed a layer of patination, liking green patinas best, then brown or red, then black.
    Sadly, today's problem is figuring out how much has been manually and/or artificially done to a bronze. Do you see tooling marks (as on this coin), especially in the fields? Worse yet, was the coin stripped completely of its patination, then smoothed, then artificially patinated, and finally highlighted with "earthen tones" by an epoxy adhesive? Most Jewish bronzes are now being treated in this manner, worked on both in Israel and in the U.S., and being sold to unwary collectors. Some of the most visible of all American specialists in Jewish coins do exactly this, and the "treatment" has now spread to Greek and Roman bronzes. Personally, I abhor this "processing," and will not buy or sell coins which have been stripped and artificially patinated. Know your dealers! Expect them to stand behind the originality of their coins, and to honestly describe exactly what cleaning methods have been utilized.
    (PCGS# 100494)


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    Auction Dates
    July, 2002
    27th-30th Saturday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 102
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