Issue 142 (2019)

S. Nagorny, PhD in Physics, Researcher

Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory, Assergi, Italy

T. Dovbush, PhD in Chemistry, Researcher

M.P. Semenenko Institute of geochemistry, mineralogy and ore formation of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine



The studies and attempts to detail identification of the antique coin by means of analytical methods are described. The region of origin of the material components and the coin production period are determined. The coin material consists of copper (79%) and lead (16%) mined in the Limni deposit (eastern part of Cyprus). Copper-lead alloy is also doped with tin at 3%. The alloy also contains iron and arsenic as impurities at the level of 1%. The coin is classified as a small coin (folis) of the monetary system of Constantine Great. The production phase of the folis with high accuracy can be attributed to the second half of 324 BC. It is assumed that dilution of expensive copper with a large amount of cheap lead (16%) caused by the need for substantial savings in coin material due to an economic crisis in the Roman Empire after a long civil war. At the same time, the version of coin manufacturing by a counterfeiter is rejected.

Keywords: Constantine the Great, folis, lead bronze, physical and chemical research methods.

Received by the editorial board: 06.06.2019

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