To the Editor: More on the Found Coin Story


More on the Found Coin Story

I was contacted by Maryam Shumate about her son Conner’s metal detecting find, and was happy to offer my opinion on its attribution. I am the author of Astronomical Symbols on Ancient and Medieval Coins, and collected these coins for many years. However, I sold my entire collection and all of my numismatic reference books in 2012 and told them that I would do my best from what I remembered.

When I first looked at one side of the coin, I said that it was definitely a hammered, base metal, medieval coin struck between 1300 and 1600, and might be from a German State or the Spanish Netherlands. When I turned the coin over, I saw the classic lion and castle (Leon and Castile) motif of the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal), and said there was no question that it was either from there or one of their western hemisphere colonies. When I looked at the edge of the coin, I mentioned that it was more likely a modern replica, but couldn’t be sure.

I did photograph all of my coins when I had them, and my web site has a virtual coin cabinet of the coins I once had in my collection, and can be viewed by the public at

Marshall Faintich


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