A simple numeric algorithm for ancient coin dies identification

Luca Lista


A simple computer-based algorithm has been developed to identify pre-modern coins
minted from the same dies, intending mainly coins minted by hand-made dies, designed to be
applicable to images taken from auction websites or catalogs. Though the method is not intended to
perform a complete automatic classification, which would require more complex and intensive
algorithms accessible to experts of computer vision, its simplicity of use and lack of specific
requirement about the quality of pictures can provide help and complementary information to the
visual inspection, adding quantitative measurements of the Ŗdistanceŗ between pairs of different
coins. The distance metric is based on a number of pre-defined reference points that mark key
features of the coin to identify the set of coins they have been minted from.

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