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This paper deals with the results of detection of 161 Teiranes’ staters from the 2011 Phanagorian hoard by X-ray spectral analysis. This is the largest homogeneous assemblage of Teiranes’ coins. One purpose of present investigation was to determine the original silver content of alloy. The other was to ascertain the silvering technology used by the Pantikapaion mint after AD 275/276. The investigation showed the poor silver content of the Teiranes’ staters varying, with an average, between 5 and 6‒9%. These staters are comparable with the antoniniani of Aurelian, Tacitus and Florian in respect of their percentages of silver and silver coating. The Teiranes’ staters and the synchronous Roman antoniniani were struck in alloy, which contained bronze and small amount (3‒4% and sometimes little more) of silver, and were covered with a thin wash of silver. This thin wash wore off soon, and coins looked that of mere bronze. The new data show clearly that the Pantikapaion mint followed the Roman trend in solving the problem of silver coin nadir; it could apply different techniques of silvering. It is especially obvious for the coinages of Sauromates IV and Teiranes.

The investigation showed that if the low-silver Rhescuporis’ V staters do not bear any traces of surface-silvering, then the Teiranes’ staters had more less silver percentage in alloy and suffered the process for silvering. Their plating was probably obtained by combination of wrapping of blanks in a silver foil heated to at least 950° and then cold striking.


Bosporus, Teiranes, coin production, technical aspects, silver-plated staters, XRF, silvering process

Mikhail G. Abramzon, Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University, Magnitogorsk, Russia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Olga L. Gunchina, State Historical and Archaeological Reserve “Phanagoria”, Sennoy, Russia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Irina A. Saprykina, Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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