Romania English Netherlands

Obverse or Reverse?

For numismats, the correct identification of the obverse and reverse is a very important aspect. Until now, no consensus was reached on the problem of the obverse (the issuer side).

Most scholars consider that the obverse is the face of the coin with the legend KOΣΩN. Others, like Judita Winkler, Octavian Iliescu or Carmen Maria Petolescu have sustained the hypotesis according to which the face with the eagle is the obverse and the one with the lengend the reverse.

A strictly technical, numismatical, opinion on this matter is this one:

”Because the Koson coin imitates two reverse, specialists who dealt with this subject over the time have different opinions regarding the relation between the two faces. We noticed that the dies used to stamp the coin side with the eagle are much numerous then the ones that show the face with the consul between the lictors; but we know that in most cases, the more numerous dies ar the mobile, reverse, one, because they are exhausted faster.”

Mihai Dima, Dan Ilie, ”Tezaurul de monede de tip KOSON descoperit la Târsa, com. Boșorod, jud. Hunedoara. Lotul păstrat la Banca Națională a României”, in Simpozion de Numismatică, organizat cu ocazia comemorării Sfântului Ștefan cel Mare, domn al Moldovei (1504-2004), Chișinău, 29 septembrie-2 octombrie 2004, Bucharest, 2007, p. 36.

Carmen Maria Petolescu wrote:

”The opinions differ when it comes to the question: which image is the obverse and which is the reverse. Thus, some authors consider obverse the side with the eagle, whereas others think that the obverse is the side with the legend KOΣΩN, monogram and the three characters wearing toga.”

Carmen Maria Petolescu, Monedele regelui Coson, p. 65