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Lava Coin, Italian coin in a lava rock

WillieBoyd2WillieBoyd2 Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 11, 2024 7:14PM in World & Ancient Coins Forum
My friend has this coin in a rock.

image
Rock showing coin

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Rock backside

The coin is a bronze Italy 5 Centesimi 1919, about 20mm diameter.

It is encased in a rock, possibly lava.
The rock is 2-1/2" x 2" (6cm x 5cm) and weighs 87 gm.

My friend told me her parents had the item and that it may have been from a building fire.

We were speculating that someone pressed the coin into some hot or warm lava.

Any ideas?

image
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Comments

  • coinpicturescoinpictures Posts: 5,345 ✭✭✭
    That coin rocks!













    (Sorry... I'll go away now...)
  • PokermandudePokermandude Posts: 2,709 ✭✭✭
    Looks like someone pressed the coin into some still warm lava.
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  • trozautrozau Posts: 3,455 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Looks like someone pressed the coin into some still warm lava. >>



    I, too, think that is the case.
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  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,194 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That's really neat.

    If it could in fact be established that that's really volcanic lava that it's encased in, perhaps it's from the 1944 eruption of Vesuvius?

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  • StorkStork Posts: 5,205 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Coinpictures ---> image

    That is pretty neat, I wonder if someone geologically oriented could figure that out for you. Or, take it to Pawn Stars, those guys seem to either know, or have an expert who knows, everything. Or...send it to NGC (and who knows, maybe PCGS), they offer to do a metallurgic analysis for a 'small' fee. Send that one in, surely they have an oversized slab for it and a details grade. No more body bags for 'environmental damage', insist on a slab image.

    It would be extremely awesome if that was lava from the 1944 eruption, though I wonder if the coin would be more distorted. Have you seen the Coke can video on You Tube? Maybe that lava was hotter.

  • AndresAndres Posts: 977 ✭✭✭
    the coin without the rock image

    image
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  • WillieBoyd2WillieBoyd2 Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I just found this article on coins in lava:

    http://www.ymtblog.org.uk/2013/09/16/lava-coins

    image

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  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,194 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nice find, WB2. Sort of lends credence to my pet theory that it's from Vesuvius. The example they pictured looks a lot like the piece in the OP, lava and all.

    Must've been from the 1944 eruption, then, unless there have been fissures producing lava all along?

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  • JCMhoustonJCMhouston Posts: 5,306 ✭✭✭
    Also Mt. Etna in Sicily might provide the lava, it has ben erupting almost continuously for the past few thousand years. Virgil (the poet) even wrote about it's eruptions.
  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,194 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Also Mt. Etna in Sicily might provide the lava, it has ben erupting almost continuously for the past few thousand years. Virgil (the poet) even wrote about it's eruptions. >>

    I guess that makes as much (or more) sense. One's mind automatically goes "Vesuvius!" when associating volcanoes and Italy.

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  • WillieBoyd2WillieBoyd2 Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I received an email yesterday from an man in Italy who said that the lava rock was colored
    more like a piece from Mt. Etna in Sicily than Mt. Vesuvius.

    He also wrote that there are lots of souvenir shops near Mt. Etna selling lava pieces,
    but he did not see any with coins in them.

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  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,194 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Neat. I remember this post from before. Very cool item.

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  • LochNESSLochNESS Posts: 4,829 ✭✭✭
    That's an exciting update! If someone did press the coin in, and it does appear that way, I hope they used a pole or really thick gloves. Even "warm" lava can melt your finger. Usually it is only "warm" on the outer crust.

    It's neat that you can tell where the lava came from by the color. I always thought all lava rocks looked about the same (black). I guess I watch too many movies and not enough NatGeo image
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  • WillieBoyd2WillieBoyd2 Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another example of lava coins from a different part of the world.

    In 1907 Martin Johnson (later the African explorer and filmmaker with Osa Johnson) hired on to the boat the Snark which was owned by writer Jack London and his wife Charmian.

    They sailed to the South Pacific and visited various islands. At one island, Upolu, a volcano was erupting. The crew members walked on dried lava and watched slow flows moving down the mountainside.

    Then they stuck coins onto the ends of sticks and dipped them into the lava to make souvenirs.

    (By the way my friend gave the above lava coin to me some time ago)

    :)

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  • SimonWSimonW Posts: 572 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting, maybe lava, could be slag though.

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  • SimonWSimonW Posts: 572 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One thing that I notice is that there are formed pebbles or mineral crystals incorporated into the matrix. Something different from the parent lava/slag matrix.

    This would lead me to think that it was in direct contact with the ground when it was formed. Lava cools much too quickly for any real crystal growth, so if it is lava, the pebbles would need to have been picked up by the lava flow itself. If it is lava, this looks closer to an AA lava flow rather than a Pahoehoe. AA tends to have a crumbly appearance because of a cooler temperature and different mafic makeup than the ropy Pahoehoe lava flows. I assume this because the rock appears more Basaltic, which generally means it would form in or near the oceanic plates.

    Vesuvius would be a fairly dangerous volcano to approach, different from volcanoes like the Hawaiian ones, that are fairly mild from a “violent eruption” standpoint. It would be fairly dangerous to collect something like this, I would think.

    Just some thoughts.

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  • sylsyl Posts: 885 ✭✭✭

    I'll go with pressing into warm lava or even driling a hole in it, since the coin hole is very smooth and looks drilled. It looks so round to accomodate the coin and it is greatly recessed in. I think running lava would have left ot on the surface.

  • I'm pretty sure it relates to WW2. Lots of Allied servicemen came back with them after Vesuvius erupted. Whether the locals just sold them lava from any old volcano, I don't know.

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