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bulgarian perfect copies of coins sold in auction houses


Briac

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i want to inform you about a seller on ebay who can cheat any of us who show a little over-enthusiasm  (it was my situation last year)

this guy does sell perfect copies of genuine roman coins which where sold in auction houses between 2016 and 2020

I sure they are fakes because I'm or I know the owners of the genuines

his ebay shop is https://www.befr.ebay.be/str/getod4?_trksid=p2047675.m3561.l2563

picture 1 IMP CAE (Sic !) M ANT GORDIANVS AVG only specimen known
top fake from this dealer (mine)
bottom genuine from solidus numismatik auktion 9 lot 476 (hungarian collection)

picture 2 IMP CAES M ANT GORIANVS (Sic !) AVG (4 specimens known)
top fake from this dealer (hungarian collection)
bottom genuine from Tauler y fau Subasta 61 lot 1340

picture 3 IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG/ P M TR P II COS P P Jupiter seated holding thunderbolt (9 specimens known)
top genuine from solidus numismatik auktion 9 lot 474 (french collection)
bottom fake actually for sale

VIRTVS CAE.jpg

PAX GORIANVS.jpg

P M TR P II Jupiter.jpg

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1 hour ago, Briac said:

i want to inform you about a seller on ebay who can cheat any of us who show a little over-enthusiasm  (it was my situation last year)

this guy does sell perfect copies of genuine roman coins which where sold in auction houses between 2016 and 2020

I sure they are fakes because I'm or I know the owners of the genuines

his ebay shop is https://www.befr.ebay.be/str/getod4?_trksid=p2047675.m3561.l2563

picture 1 IMP CAE (Sic !) M ANT GORDIANVS AVG only specimen known
top fake from this dealer (mine)
bottom genuine from solidus numismatik auktion 9 lot 476 (hungarian collection)

picture 2 IMP CAES M ANT GORIANVS (Sic !) AVG (4 specimens known)
top fake from this dealer (hungarian collection)
bottom genuine from Tauler y fau Subasta 61 lot 1340

picture 3 IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG/ P M TR P II COS P P Jupiter seated holding thunderbolt (9 specimens known)
top genuine from solidus numismatik auktion 9 lot 474 (french collection)
bottom fake actually for sale

VIRTVS CAE.jpg

PAX GORIANVS.jpg

P M TR P II Jupiter.jpg

Thanks for the alert 😊! This scumbag has an amazing selection of copies 😮.

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24 minutes ago, ambr0zie said:

The thing that scares me the most in ancient numismatics is this kind of situation.

I wouldn't be able to detect these myself.

I was in the same situation when I bought to this dealer the VIRTVS... 

I thought I had finally been able to buy the coin previoulsy sold by Solidus but a few times later, I saw a publication on a facebook group and with exactly the same coin so I talked with the owner. By the way I know him from about 10 years on FAC so I did send him the copy for study and metal analysis, we are waiting for results now

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@Briac Yes! Thank you for sharing! These posts are extremely helpful for all of us inflicted with coin mania.

That said, as much as I love coins, and as much as I have a growing appreciation for ancient coins, these stories always reinforce my decision to never put real money into them. From reading and researching over the years, I have basic "fake detector" skills, but no guard seems to exist against the new "terminator" breed of fakes that have arrived on the scene in the last 10 - 20 years. I believe it was Jack C. Young who used to post cases of nearly perfect counterfeits, most fully certified, on CT. I could afford more expensive coins, but the fear and risk of paying $1,000 - $5,000 for a fantastic looking coin, only for it to turn up phony, keeps me from doing that. My most expensive ancient, so far, cost $275 and I agonized over spending even that amount. For those reasons and more, I'm very glad that people continue to share these stories and that people continue to look out for these situations. Regardless, circumstances like this one will keep me buying few, and relatively inexpensive, coins and keep my collection relatively small.

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7 hours ago, Briac said:

i want to inform you about a seller on ebay who can cheat any of us who show a little over-enthusiasm  (it was my situation last year)

this guy does sell perfect copies of genuine roman coins which where sold in auction houses between 2016 and 2020

I sure they are fakes because I'm or I know the owners of the genuines

his ebay shop is https://www.befr.ebay.be/str/getod4?_trksid=p2047675.m3561.l2563

picture 1 IMP CAE (Sic !) M ANT GORDIANVS AVG only specimen known
top fake from this dealer (mine)
bottom genuine from solidus numismatik auktion 9 lot 476 (hungarian collection)

picture 2 IMP CAES M ANT GORIANVS (Sic !) AVG (4 specimens known)
top fake from this dealer (hungarian collection)
bottom genuine from Tauler y fau Subasta 61 lot 1340

picture 3 IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG/ P M TR P II COS P P Jupiter seated holding thunderbolt (9 specimens known)
top genuine from solidus numismatik auktion 9 lot 474 (french collection)
bottom fake actually for sale

VIRTVS CAE.jpg

PAX GORIANVS.jpg

P M TR P II Jupiter.jpg

I almost bought this denarius, thinking its genuine..But, with a help of a member of this forum, I avoided buying, I must say, well done fantasy coin..

 

IMG_20210624_164822.jpg

IMG_20210625_161549.jpg

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Much appreciate you bringing these to everyone’s attention. Very scary!

7 hours ago, Briac said:

picture 3 IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG/ P M TR P II COS P P Jupiter seated holding thunderbolt (9 specimens known)
top genuine from solidus numismatik auktion 9 lot 474 (french collection)
bottom fake actually for sale

Are you completely sure that these aren’t the exact same coin? The flan shape is an absolutely perfect match, dings indents and all.  Further, the texture of the fabric is the same. Note the roughness in the field to the right of Jupiter and the scratches in front of the nose on the obverse. That level of duplication would be difficult to achieve. 

Edited by Curtisimo
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36 minutes ago, Curtisimo said:

Are you completely sure that these aren’t the exact same coin? The flan shape is an absolutely perfect match, dings indents and all.  Further, the texture of the fabric is the same. Note the roughness in the field to the right of Jupiter and the scratches in front of the nose on the obverse. That level of duplication would be difficult to achieve. 

The issue for me on these two coins is the flan flaws.  I've circled below, in matching colors, the flan flaws that are in EXACTLY the same place on two supposedly different coins.  From a strictly probabilistic point, I have to believe that the coincidence of these flaws occurring  in exactly the same place on two different flans is vanishingly close to zero.  My conclusion would be that at least one, and possibly both, are forgeries.

image.jpeg.53a8dfcbff3571768693cc6208776848.jpeg

I'm assuming that these ARE two different coins to start with, of course.

Edited by idesofmarch01
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This seller, numis-gallery, has been on the fakesellers list:

http://augustuscoins.com/ed/fakesellers.html

since August. Note that the surfaces are porous or uneven, unlike well-struck silver. 

It is too bad there is no way to get eBay to remove criminal sellers. Repeated reporting to them of a firm as a fakeseller does no good. They do not remove the seller. eBay provides a way for criminals to bilk victims. Now they even collect the money and pass it on. Is there no way to make eBay responsible for facilitating criminal activity?  

 

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1 hour ago, ewomack said:

@Briac Yes! Thank you for sharing! These posts are extremely helpful for all of us inflicted with coin mania.

That said, as much as I love coins, and as much as I have a growing appreciation for ancient coins, these stories always reinforce my decision to never put real money into them. From reading and researching over the years, I have basic "fake detector" skills, but no guard seems to exist against the new "terminator" breed of fakes that have arrived on the scene in the last 10 - 20 years. I believe it was Jack C. Young who used to post cases of nearly perfect counterfeits, most fully certified, on CT. I could afford more expensive coins, but the fear and risk of paying $1,000 - $5,000 for a fantastic looking coin, only for it to turn up phony, keeps me from doing that. My most expensive ancient, so far, cost $275 and I agonized over spending even that amount. For those reasons and more, I'm very glad that people continue to share these stories and that people continue to look out for these situations. Regardless, circumstances like this one will keep me buying few, and relatively inexpensive, coins and keep my collection relatively small.

price doesn't matters, I just bought an antoninian today in auction for 30€ which is only the second specimen known and I'm sure it's a genuine since I can see the crystalisation of the silver (and also because I have been fooled by the VIRTVS AVG here over)

buying fakes is sometime a good deal to since the most important is knowledge 😉

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1 hour ago, Curtisimo said:

Much appreciate you bringing these to everyone’s attention. Very scary!

Are you completely sure that these aren’t the exact same coin? The flan shape is an absolutely perfect match, dings indents and all.  Further, the texture of the fabric is the same. Note the roughness in the field to the right of Jupiter and the scratches in front of the nose on the obverse. That level of duplication would be difficult to achieve. 

yes I'm sure those are 2 different coins my friend in france did confirm he stil have his own at the bank 

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3 hours ago, idesofmarch01 said:

The issue for me on these two coins is the flan flaws.  I've circled below, in matching colors, the flan flaws that are in EXACTLY the same place on two supposedly different coins.  From a strictly probabilistic point, I have to believe that the coincidence of these flaws occurring  in exactly the same place on two different flans is vanishingly close to zero.  My conclusion would be that at least one, and possibly both, are forgeries.

image.jpeg.53a8dfcbff3571768693cc6208776848.jpeg

I'm assuming that these ARE two different coins to start with, of course.

Agreed. In fact, what I was trying to say is that the little details match up so well that I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a photo of the same coin.

Look at the scratches in front of nose. If one or both of these were cast, would the process be so sophisticated as to pick up the detail necessary to reproduce the scratches and surface texture? I would think if fake they would have to be cast because you would never get the exact same flan shape with a fake struck from a transfer die.

E7EC3FED-51B6-4637-9802-9AC01C89105B.jpeg.2391d2c5d7863fe6efeb61c3f1461db9.jpeg

Perhaps some shenanigans where the seller is using an old photo of a coin he doesn’t really own? Or perhaps one or both of these are just extremely good fakes.

2 hours ago, Briac said:

yes I'm sure those are 2 different coins my friend in france did confirm he stil have his own at the bank 

Interesting.

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11 minutes ago, Curtisimo said:

Perhaps some shenanigans where the seller is using an old photo of a coin he doesn’t really own?

This is a more likely explanation.  Suppose the seller uses Photoshop on a picture of a better coin -- maybe even the coin from which the forgery was copied -- to slightly blur the details and features.  When the buyer receives the actual forged coin, even though it's a little different from the seller's picture, most of the features are similar enough to the picture that any differences can be explained away as photographic artifacts by the seller/forger.

Edited by idesofmarch01
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34 minutes ago, idesofmarch01 said:

This is a more likely explanation.  Suppose the seller uses Photoshop on a picture of a better coin -- maybe even the coin from which the forgery was copied -- to slightly blur the details and features.  When the buyer receives the actual forged coin, even though it's a little different from the seller's picture, most of the features are similar enough to the picture that any differences can be explained away as photographic artifacts by the seller/forger.

Yes maybe Photoshop is part of the problem. There wouldn't be a need to produce such a perfect copy with every scratch for a coin you'll sell for $30. He's also the absolute master of taking photos of coins in his hand. They're always flat to the camera, lit nicely and in focus, no matter how his fingers are placed. He should teach other eBayers how to do that.

4 hours ago, Briac said:

yes I'm sure those are 2 different coins my friend in france did confirm he stil have his own at the bank 

Presumably, your friend has the genuine one. But the question is whether the one for sale now is actually that coin, or whether a photo of the genuine coin is being used to sell a fake, and two identical coins do not exist in real life.

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15 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

Presumably, your friend has the genuine one. But the question is whether the one for sale now is actually that coin, or whether a photo of the genuine coin is being used to sell a fake, and two identical coins do not exist in real life.


check the VIRTVS AVG

I bought the fake, the picture is mine and the coins is actually in Hungary with the genuine, 

Even is my picture is of quite low quality you can see the scratches on both coins on reverse  (between shield and leg) or on obverse (between CAE and head). 

those coins are perfect copies, the picture on ebay are the actual pictures of the copy 

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Crazy stuff. This is why I continue to be so paranoid about buying potential fakes. I appreciate the ongoing vigilance of the members of this forum to keep us all aware of the increasing sophistication of forgers out there. It makes me much more wary when I am buying a coin, either off EBay or even in an auction. If the style is a bit off or the details look too mushy, I will usually pass, but a telltale sign should also be when the surfaces and flan of the coin are too perfect. Now even that may not be enough.

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Since at least the 1990s, fakes cast with modern technology can be virtually undetectable until a twin is found. Many of the fakes of this type originate in Bulgaria as noted above. One must be vigilant, especially with Roman denarii, including common mid-grade examples. Greek coins of Bulgarian type are problematic as well. Be wary not only of individual coins but also of "large lots" which sometimes include a small percentage of fakes seeded among otherwise genuine coins. Large lots of common material sold on consignment by major auction houses may not receive the same level of scrutiny as higher-end individual lots. Fortunately, Bulgaria is also a source of literature regarding counterfeit detection. The series Coin Collections and Coin Hoards from Bulgaria (CCCHB) includes a number of volumes on this topic. Dr. Ilya Prokopov, one of the authors, has kindly made free pdf versions available through academia.edu:

https://independent.academia.edu/IlyaProkopov

Print copies are available now and then on eBay and through second-hand booksellers.

 

Edited by DLTcoins
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18 hours ago, Factor said:

I am glad fakes of Provincial coins are less common and the coins are more unique so one doesn't need to keep thousands examples in memory to spot suspicious doubles. 

I saw some realy good fakes in provincial too., especially in Thracian and moesian

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16 hours ago, DLTcoins said:

Since at least the 1990s, fakes cast with modern technology can be virtually undetectable until a twin is found. Many of the fakes of this type originate in Bulgaria as noted above. One must be vigilant, especially with Roman denarii, including common mid-grade examples. Greek coins of Bulgarian type are problematic as well. Be wary not only of individual coins but also of "large lots" which sometimes include a small percentage of fakes seeded among otherwise genuine coins. Large lots of common material sold on consignment by major auction houses may not receive the same level of scrutiny as higher-end individual lots. Fortunately, Bulgaria is also a source of literature regarding counterfeit detection. The series Coin Collections and Coin Hoards from Bulgaria (CCCHB) includes a number of volumes on this topic. Dr. Ilya Prokopov, one of the authors, has kindly made free pdf versions available through academia.edu:

https://independent.academia.edu/IlyaProkopov

Print copies are available now and then on eBay and through second-hand booksellers.

 

even in famous auction houses you can find fakes in individual lots I remember a modern provincial medallion sold by Roma Numismatics and later by CNG (withdrawn by CNG when I send them a mail)

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6 hours ago, Tejas said:

These are really excellent fakes. Many thanks for the alert. However, I did see his offering before I read this thread and I can say that I thought immediately that the silver coins are all fakes. I couldn't even say why.

Yes I was thinking the same. I think it's because a) the seller is from Bulgaria; b) all the coins look similar; and c) a few of them are more obviously fakes, which then makes me immediately reject any coins from that seller or photographed in a similar way.

What I'm less sure about is if you took one of the best fakes and sold it through a more reputable channel, would I have any chance of spotting it?

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