85-65 BCE, time of Mithradates VI Eupator
AE29, 19.5 gm
Obv: helmeted head of Athena right; gryphon on helmet
Rev: AMI-ΣOY; Perseus standing facing, holding harpa & Medusa's head; Medusa's body at his feet, monograms flanking him
Ref: SNG BM Black Sea 1166; Stancomb 684; SNG Copenhagen 137 (best guess)
purchased from a local jewelry store May 2014
(click picture to enlarge)
This coin was an unexpected find. A certain jewelry store has many tragically high-end coins set in pendants and rings; occasionally they have some unset culls.
At a glance the attribution was obvious. The price was surprisingly low despite the condition; ancient coins are typically greatly overpriced in such stores. While the opal-colored oxides are lovely, I wanted to see if good details remained under the corrosion.
I soaked it for half a day in several changes of vinegar, scrubbing lightly with a toothbrush and cotton-tipped swab. After that, a distilled water rinse, an hour soak in a hot solution of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, then another rinse, dry, and treatment with VerdiCare.
I was astonished to find such crisp details under the corrosion!