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Three Types of Cast Fakes (10 Specimens) of Cleopatra VII in Tripolis, RY 2 (36/5 BCE)

Curtis JJ

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I hope the way I'm sharing this is all kosher. I noticed the first type of cast fake some time ago but only yesterday put in the effort to gather the images and other data.

After sharing the first type in a comment here yesterday, I promptly noticed what appear to be one or possibly two other distinct sets of casts. This is based only on a relatively quick "convenience search," so I'm sure there are many more examples to find, and possibly more "types."

Disclaimer: I don't blame the auctioneers or RPC or attribute any lack of competence or honesty. I've already informed RPC and one auction house; both have taken preliminary action and I'm sure will do what's appropriate after evaluating; so please don't bombard them with unnecessary messages.

If anyone disagrees about anything, please let me know! (E.g., I'd draw your attention to one curiosity: the top "Type 2" example may have a countermark ["K"?] under Cleopatra's chin... Seems like there might be traces on the other 2's and 3's. Not sure what to make of it.)

Coin TypeCleopatra VII Thea Notera, struck in Tripolis, Year 2 of Cleopatra in Phoenicia (36/5 BCE), AE (c. 20-21mm, under 7.5 to over 10g, 12h). Reference: RPC I 4510.

Below: Two images (10 specimens, 3 types total); pooled descriptive data; links to the FORVM fake reports; thumbnail of the "quick reference image" of 3 types.




Whether or not to distinguish between Type 2 and Type 3 as two different sets is not entirely obvious to me. They are much more similar to each other than either is to Type 1. It's possible that the difference is only in how they were produced, "aged," and patinated. For now, I've kept them separate:image.jpeg.e852e242af1cdd63e9b6de84960882a6.jpeg



Type 1: All reportedly 20mm with 12h die-axis; reported weights 9.26-10.10g (9.26g, 9.66g, 9.78g, 9.82g, 9.99g, 10.10g).
Sold: 2005, 2010 (x2), 2012, 2022 (x3). One collection provenance, but acquired in 2012.

Types 2 & 3: All reportedly 21mm w/ 12h die-axis; reported weights 7.53-10.06g (7.53g, 10.10g [Type 2]; 7.90g, 8.30g [Type 3]); sold 2010-2020 (2010, 2011 [Type 2]; 2013, 2020 [Type 3]).


Other Notes:

I’ve added these to Forum’s Fake Reports in two separate reports (you may need a FORVM login to go directly to the URL):

Type 1 (six specimens): https://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?pid=22444
Type 2 & Type 3 (two each): https://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?pid=22445

Quick reference image showing all three types (just the thumbnail -- it expands!):


I haven’t found any other mention of these fakes elsewhere, or any fakes of Cleopatra Tripolis AEs (e.g., on Forum Fake Reports or Forgery Network). If anyone has seen it pointed out before, please let me know.

I’ve shared the info with an auction house where one is live now but I believe they will be withdrawing it shortly.

I notified RPC; they removed specimen nine as the “digital plate coin,” but specimens eight and nine can still be seen on the website.

Most sold for over $1,000 USD, the priciest that I checked was 4,500 GPB + fees (over $6,300 USD).

Edited by Curtis JJ
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