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Document Details :
Title: An Unusual Cut Bronze Coin of Tigranes the Great
Author(s): SARYAN, L.A.
Journal: Revue des Études Arméniennes
Volume: 28 Date: 2001-2002
The practice of cutting coins for commercial purposes began in ancient times and has been practiced occasionally until fairly recently. We have excellent evidence that bronze coins were sometimes cut into halves as a means of making change for transactions in ancient times, and silver coins were cut into two or more pieces for the same purpose until as recently as the nineteenth century. A few studies of this interesting phenomenon have appeared in numismatic literature.
When a commercial transaction required payment in a smaller denomination coin than was readily available, a coin on hand could readily be divided into two pieces of equal size by cutting the metal diametrically in half. Further divisions were rare in ancient times, but during the American colonial period large Spanish-American cobs equivalent to a silver dollar might be divided into as many as eight or even sixteen pieces.