You might recognize the emperor on the obverse of the coin shown. He is the same as in tutorial 2, namely Antoninus Pius. The reverse depicts the Tyche (or city-goddess). The latter is a very common reverse design, making it necessary to employ additional criteria to find the relevant coin among the large number of positive returns. As was the case with the two previous tutorials the most appropriate search to identify this coin is the “Identification search”.
Searching the database
Select menu “Coin Database”
Choose the second option called “Identification search”
Press the “List” button next to “Obverse design” in order to get a list of common obverse designs
Tick the box next to “Antoninus Pius”, which is the first entry on that list and press the “Continue” button. (Alternatively, you could enter the text “Antoninus Pius” directly into the “Obverse design” search field.)
Press on the “List” button next to “Reverse design” in order to get a list of common reverse designs
Under the section “Filter the list”, either:
- change the “First letter” from “A” to “T” and press the “Filter” button; or
- change the “First letter” from “A” to “Any” and type into the “Search” field “Tyche”, then press the “Filter” button.
In both cases you should get a list containing the entry “Tyche, standing”
Tick the box next to the entry “Tyche, standing” and press the “Continue” button
Press the “Search” button
The search should return a large number of coin types of Antoninus Pius with a standing Tyche on the reverse. (By default, only coin types are shown for which there are images in the database.)
As mentioned in the introduction to this tutorial the large number of positive returns makes it necessary to add a further search criterion. In this particular case the reverse legend would be an obvious candidate. Looking closely at the photograph above you might be able to see that the reverse legend starts on the left with the Greek letters “ΝΕΙΚΟΠ”.
The “Identification search” contains a virtual keyboard for inputting Ancient Greek characters. To activate it you need to click on the keyboard symbol that follows the “Reverse inscription” search field.
(You can close the virtual keyboard again by clicking on the keyboard symbol a second time.)
Using your mouse/pointing device select the six Greek characters that make up “ΝΕΙΚΟΠ”.
Press the “Search” button
The search should return the coin we are currently looking for. It is a specimen of (temporary) coin type 4324, which was issued by the city of Nicopolis ad Istrum in the Roman province of Moesia Inferior.
Roman coloniae and municipia used Latin instead of Greek for their reverse inscriptions. You can search for those by inputting, with your own computer keyboard, the appropriate upper-case Latin characters directly into the “Reverse inscription” search field. (Try, for example, inputting “COR”. It is part of the Antonine standard ethnic “C L I COR” for C(olonia) L(aus) I(ulia) COR(inthiensis) — the Latin name of Corinth.)
By default, the “Reverse inscription” search field ignores spaces. If you know how to separate the various parts (full words or abbreviations) of a reverse legend you will be able to conduct more precise searches by unticking the box labelled “Without spaces” next to the Greek virtual keyboard.
When faced with a large number of results during an attempt to identify a coin (in the “Identification search” or the “Advanced search”) it might prove helpful to measure the diameter of the coin in mm and enter the value into the search field “Approx. diameter, mm”. The resulting searches are conducted with a margin of plus/minus 10%.
The overwhelming majority of coin types in the database are made of bronze. Thus, when searching the database for silver or gold coins, specifying the metal in the relevant field of the “Identification search” will normally lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of positive returns. (Doing the same when searching for bronze coins will not normally have the same effect.)
Some search fields, such as the Reverse design list in the “Identification search” allow you to select multiple search criteria and to decide whether the search should find the coins that match Any or All selected criteria, i.e. conducting searches with the logical operators OR or AND.
If the (simple) “Identification search” proves insufficient for a particular purpose you can transfer it into the “Advanced search” whilst keeping the currently selected search criteria. Use the “Advanced search” link at the bottom of the “Identification search” form, below the “Preferences” link.