Re: Roman (and other) numismatic marks

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Wed Jun 09 2004 - 10:49:21 CDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Roman (and other) numismatic marks"

    Michael Everson <everson at evertype dot com> wrote:

    >> Take a look at the Web page James cited, with its screen shot of a
    >> numismatic database. You will see many mint mark images that cannot
    >> be created from any combination of existing Unicode characters.
    > But if some of them can?

    Then I suppose one could use combining sequences. But I remember from
    the discussion of the austral and guarani signs that precomposed
    characters were preferred over combining sequences for currency signs.
    I don't see why that wouldn't be the case for mint marks as well. They
    are the same type of symbol.

    >> This is not an open-ended collection of glyphs.
    > I find that hard to believe.

    "Not open-ended" in the sense that, as James said, new mint marks are
    not being created as we speak. The modern trend is to use ordinary
    letters, or to do away with mint marks altogether.

    As to whether the collection is open-ended going back in time, it is
    possible -- despite centuries of study -- that a previously unknown mint
    mark could be discovered. This is about as likely as a new Greek
    letter, say SHO, being discovered and encoded. It is certainly not
    "open-ended" in the sense of new Han characters being created on the
    spur of the moment, say for race horses.

    >> There is widespread agreement as to which "glyph variations"
    >> represent the same abstract mint mark.
    > What are the authoritiative printed sources listing them exhaustively?

    Like James, I'm not a collector of ancients (I have exactly one coin
    minted before 1300) so I don't have the relevant books. I know they are
    out there. For British coins going back to the 800's or so, Seaby would
    probably be the best reference. I have another book on British issues
    (somewhere) that may help.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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