PONTOS, Amisos

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!