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Jana wrote:

My mother got this copper coin. It has a bust with the nose on the right of the coin. Long hair tied in the back. Prominent adams apple. On the shoulder are 4 flaps like the flaps of armor. On the back is a lady reclining facing left. In her right hand is a flower. In her left is a long staff or spear under which is a round object possibly a shield.

Any ideas?


Dear Reader: It is quite difficult to zero in on what your coin might be from your description. It might help if you could copy down as much of the lettering on the front (obverse side) and back (reverse side) of the coin as you can and email this information to me. Copy the inscriptions exactly, including periods, abbreviations, etc. If the coin is old, perhaps 200 years or so, the inscriptions might very well be Latin. The trouble is, many European nations adopted or modified classical Roman styles of portraiture and reverse devices for their coinage during the last three hundred years. Your coin might be Roman, but on the other hand, it sounds like it has an equally good chance of being English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish. Some early U. S. coins look like the one you describe on the obverse but the reverse is usually a wreath or some ind of eagle. How large is it compared to a United States quarter, nickel, penny, etc.? Is the edge round? is it smooth, ragged, or milled with little teeth like are on the edge of a quarter? Even with these details, it could still be hard to identify. If you can scan the coin or have a friend who can scan an image of it you could email it to me and I might have a better chance of identifying it.

If you are interested, you might visit a coin shop. Many times, a good coin dealer can help identify odd old coins. Lots of old coins like the one you describe that are one or two hundred years old can be bought for $1 to $8. I have some really beautiful, almost new Roman coins in my collection that cost me less than $25, and some pretty decent ones with all the legends and portrait readable for $5 to$10. If you visit a reputable coin dealer's shop and pick his/her brain, listen to the stories they might have to tell, and buy a few inexpensive items, the things you learn will be worth the time and money spent. However, if you email me back with some more information, I will try to do my best to identify it for you Regards,

Jay King

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