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  1. I would encourage you to differentiate between the difficulty of articulating terms like "style" and "engraving delicacy" vs. (perceived) lack of helpfulness and sincerity. It's my observation that the replies you received are indeed sincerely trying to be helpful, but I agree that for a beginner, they're not going to be perceived as very clear or useful. My own experience in collecting ancient coins for the relatively short period of 17 years is that it's almost impossible to adequately describe differences in "style" (and other terms that arise) when discussing forgeries even after you've viewed literally thousands of pictures of genuine ancient coins, and hundreds of pictures of known forgeries. Thus it's not a surprise that you find the posts here less-than-explanatory even though the posters are sincerely trying to be helpful. Plus, as many of these posts state, poor style and soapy-looking fields (the flat surfaces on a coin) are rarely dispositive in determining whether a coin is a forgery. You need additional measurements, viewing the coin in hand, and in many cases the opinion of a known expert who can examine the coin closely. The most constructive suggestion I can offer is to go to ACSEARCH.INFO and type in the search string "julius caesar denarius voconius" and look at ALL the 200+ results. Examine them to see if you find any coins that look very, very similar to the coin that you posted above. In addition, enlarge the pictures and examine the surfaces, and look especially closely at Caesar's portrait and neck for similarities. You'll see most of the surfaces look different -- less "soapy" -- and the narrowing of Caesar's neck is unusual in his portraits. While this is not proof that your coin is a fake, it will help you understand why others here are uncomfortable with it. Finally, if you want an interesting saga about how difficult it can be to ultimately determine a good forgery, try this old link: https://www.cointalk.com/threads/hadrian-aureus-a-tale-of-subtle-differences.283959/
  2. Congratulations! Your coin's obverse is pretty much the artistic apex of Galba's portraiture, and the sharpness of Roma on the reverse is outstanding. I think your coin is RIC 448, if I'm not mistaken. Despite his less than stellar record as a ruler, Galba's bronzes might be the overall best in the first century A.D. It is certainly one of the best in my collection: GALBA 68 - 69 A.D. AE Sestertius (28.10 g.) Rome late summer 68 AD RIC 309 IMP SER SVLP GALBA - CAESAR AVG TR P Laureate and draped bust r. Rev. LIBERTAS - PUBLICA Libertas standing l., holding pileus and long scepter; S - C in field
  3. As I read through this thread, it seems that a more descriptive title for it might be "Head Scratchers and Regrets: Whatever was I thinking when I bought this coin?" Mostly I agree with the opinions that "ashamed" is too pejorative to really apply to a coin that was once deserving of our ownership, but I do find insight and amusement in many of the coins and stories posted in this thread.
  4. I agree with your observations above, which convince me that the two coins are an obverse and reverse die match. However, when I try to figure out if a coin is a forgery (at which I'm not an expert), I look for exactly the following characteristics: For me, the probability that the devices (such as the beading) would be similarly centered, and taper off/intersect the edges at exactly the same places on two supposedly different-sized flans is exceedingly low. This makes me very suspicious of both coins.
  5. Thanks! The gold color is indeed gold leaf, and it is slightly 3D -- there's enough relief to show most of the coin's devices, but I didn't want so much relief that it detracted from the artwork. The pointillism-style renderings of your coins are really stunning -- they really capture the artistry of the original coins and illustrate the 3D nature of the coins without actually being 3D. Congratulations on your serendipitous connection with the artist.
  6. Two of the primary reasons I collect ancient coins are for their history (both real and mythical) and artistry. Generally, the obverses show the bust of a ruler, fulfilling the historical reason for acquiring the coin. (I'll always try to acquire a coin whose obverse image is engraved with better artistry than average as well.) The reverses are varied, some being more historically focused than others, but most times they invoke a deity or event of some sort, rendered as artistically as the skill of the engraver allows for the size of the coin. Every once in a while I'll acquire a coin in which either history or artistry is by far the overwhelming characteristic of the coin. My Parisii stater is one of those coins. Since my personal preferences run toward modern abstract art, this coin, with its ancient abstract depiction of Apollo on the obverse, and a stylized galloping horse on the reverse, had an artistry to which I was always attracted. I was fortunate to acquire one about two years ago: A short while later, my wife and I were browsing an art gallery featuring works of a local abstract artist, and after purchasing one of her works, it occurred to me that both her style and artistic sensibilities lent themselves to creating individual art pieces of both the obverse and reverse of my Parisii stater. She recently completed the commission and we now a fabulous example of ancient abstract (coin) art that is also, literally, modern abstract art hanging on our wall: The picture doesn't do justice to the works. The gold leaf coins gleam as if with original luster in almost any light, day or night, and they seem to brighten the whole room despite each of them being only 15" x 15". I'd love to see any other collector's methods for displaying their coins (photographs, drawings, etc.) in their homes -- please feel free to display yours.
  7. Pompeii: Breathtaking new paintings found at ancient city Archaeologists unearth significant new paintings in the ancient Roman town buried by a volcano in AD79. Read in BBC News: https://apple.news/AbRsZZepITcyLvFt5gwaaiA
  8. "Guarantee" needs further definition and clarification as used in this paragraph. What, exactly, is their liability if the coin is later proved a forgery? We know for a fact that NGC does NOT guarantee refunding the full purchase price (hammer price plus buyer's premium and shipping) in the event that the authenticity of the coin is later proven to be false. As far as I know, there is no third-party grading company that guarantees to refund the buyer's full costs in the event that the slabbed coin is a forgery. I believe guarantees such as the one quoted above to be essentially worthless.
  9. I, too, find Heritage's T&Cs confusing and contradictory. In addition to the excerpt you quote above (TERM G) they also include the following: COINS and CURRENCY TERM D Coins sold referencing a third-party grading service are sold “as is” without any express or implied warranty, except for a guarantee by Auctioneer that they are genuine. Certain warranties may be available from the grading services and the Bidder is referred to them for further details: Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), P.O. Box 4776, Sarasota, FL 34230, http://www.ngccoin.com/services/writtenguarantee.asp; Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), PO Box 9458, Newport Beach, CA 92658, http://www.pcgs.com/ guarantee.html; ANACS, 6555 S. Kenton St. Ste. 303, Englewood, CO 80111; and Independent Coin Grading Co. (ICG), 7901 East Belleview Ave., Suite 50, Englewood, CO 80111. What does the phrase "referencing a third-party grading service" mean? I would reasonably interpret it to include slabbed coins, since the T&Cs do not otherwise clarify this phrase. I would be wary purchasing a slabbed ancient coin from them, unless I clarified this issue directly, in writing, with an authorized representative of Heritage.
  10. I'm not sure that this assertion is correct. For example, here is part of CNG's Terms and Conditions for purchases from their coin shop: II. TERMS OF SALE (ORDERS FROM COIN SHOP) 1. General Information. The point of sale for all items online is Lancaster, Pennsylvania. All orders are sent from Pennsylvania. 2. Guaranty and Return Privilege. All items are guaranteed genuine. Any coin order may be returned within fourteen days of receipt for any reason. Coins that have been encapsulated ("slabbed") by a grading and/or authentication service may not be returned for any reason, including authenticity, if they have been removed from the encapsulation ("slab"). The customer shall bear the cost of returning all items and shall insure them for their full value. Books are not sent on approval and are not subject to return. I've highlighted in bold their guarantee of authenticity. Notably, it does NOT exclude encapsulated items unless the coin has been removed from the slab; nor does it have a time limit. There is similar language in the Terms and Conditions of every auction house from which I purchase, although I rarely find myself bidding on encapsulated coins. Having dealt with hundreds of written contracts during my life (although I'm not an attorney), I personally would interpret this language as a non-expiring guarantee of authenticity for encapsulated coins -- the fact that it specifically uses the phrase "including authenticity" when referring to encapsulated coins makes it even more likely that slabbed coins are guaranteed to be authentic. To me, it doesn't make sense that an auction house wouldn't guarantee the authenticity of a slabbed coin. Personally, I would never bid on a coin, slabbed or not, whose authenticity isn't guaranteed by the auction house or dealer, and I assume most other collectors would feel the same. In response to the questions in your latest post, I would defer to DonnaML or any other attorneys on this site, but assuming that CNG had the same or a similar clause about authenticity in its 2006 T&Cs, then the current owner could possibly force a return to the 2018 seller via an expert's opinion that the coin is a forgery, and thereafter the 2018 seller (if he/she is the next most recent purchaser) could force a return to the 2006 purchaser, who would then make a claim to CNG. My guess is that the authenticity would end up being argued between CNG and any expert's opinion of non-authenticity, but that's a different matter.
  11. What if someone started a topic titled: "I think I've discovered a misattributed coin in an auction. Here's my research and logic." Would anyone seriously object to such a thread? Probably not. The above title itself implies that the author: (1) is not accusing the auction house of bad faith or incompetence; (2) has researched the issue and is ready to present supporting facts and logic; and (3) allows for the possibility that he/she could be wrong about the his/her conclusion. I think the issue in this topic comes from the use of the phrase "... "out" misattributed coins..." which seems to imply that the auction house is absolutely wrong, and there is no room for possible disagreement on the facts and logic. But reasonable people can, in good faith, disagree on facts and conclusions. Why not just present the facts dispassionately and objectively, and let others draw their own conclusions?
  12. I've thought about this issue -- restoring a painting vs. tooling a coin -- many times, and for me the answer lies in the fundamental nature and intention of these two different objects. Paintings are intended to be unique (or limited edition) works of art, and if it were possible, the artist would use material that would never degrade, thus preserving the original artistic intention. The painting is not intended to circulate, be touched, have smoke discolor it or other detritus adhere to it, etc. All of this deterioration is sadly inevitable, and thus it makes perfect sense (and is completely justifiable) to apply whatever minimal restoration that preserves the painting. Coins, on the other hand, are intended for circulation and thus are expected to be worn and degraded over time. They are not ever expected to last forever, thus making well-preserved, uncirculated examples extremely desirable, since they represent the untouched original vision of the engraver/artist. Thus tooling or re-engraving a worn coin is a defacement of the coin, rather than a restoration, relative to its original purpose, and consequently it is unjustifiable to tool a coin.
  13. I want to thank everyone for their compliments and comments. I especially enjoyed seeing other collectors' coins illustrating ancient myths, many of which helped me learn myths that I didn't know existed. Nor did I realize that there's even historical fiction based on this myth! This site really helps expand my horizons on ancient coins, via the coin-related threads, the range of casual-to-scholarly research, and the ensuing discussions. I continually look forward to seeing new coins and new topics!
  14. You're right -- I misunderstood. My statement that most AEs have been "smoothed" -- according to my definition of "smoothing" -- is based on two observations: (1) debris and detritus will form on the surfaces of essentially 100% of AEs unless the AEs have been submerged in, say, a river; and (2) at least some of this debris and detritus is usually removed during cleaning, leaving the center of the fields of the AEs smoother-appearing than the sections of the fields that are closer to devices and legends. Again, it's inappropriate to sidetrack this thread but I've also been told by dealers and experts that smoothing of AEs is typical and common.
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