Coin and Paper Money Collecting/pope medal composition


i purchased a pope medal today under the impression (labeled on coinholder) that it was silver. the front ( i think) has joannes pavlvs II pont. max. the other side says o.l.czestochowa ora pro nobis. italy only appears on the side with the mother. there are dots all around the inside of the rim on both sides. i have seen online that it is silver plated, but the medal i have differs from those pictured slightly.( dots around pope side of coin, no italy under his head) the coin dealer offered to take it back but it would be a good deal if it was silver. any help as to its composition and weight would be awesome . coin is between 1 and one and a half inches round.

Hi Frank,
These are novelty pieces sold in Rome to tourists. Vast majority are silver washed and not solid. The few solid silver and gold pieces I have seen are always marked with a purity stamp, such as .750, .800 .900 or .925.
I encourage dealers to use the magnetic slide technique to test questionable items for exactly this reason that some items really look silver when they are not.
Thanks for the question! =)

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dmitry Livshits


My specialty is world coins from the 18th to 20th centuries, primarily non-US foreign coins and related areas such as errors and exonumia (tokens, medals, etc.). I can answer questions relating to identification, grading, selling, preservation and evaluation of such items. In addition to catalog value, I can give you the practical market value and trends for specific types of coins. I will also take questions regarding counterfeits (both modern and antique) and on how to identify them. I am NOT knowledgeable in paper money/banknotes, ancient or "shipwreck" coins. Thank you.


Collector of world coins since early childhood. Access to a variety of auction records and reference material. You can also find me on Facebook.

A.S. in Psychology (2006), B.A. in Forensic Psychology (2008), M.A. in Forensic Psychology (2011).

©2017 All rights reserved.