Jump to content

Show me your Modern Fakes!


Harry G

Recommended Posts

Hi all! I thought it would be interesting to share some of the modern fakes I've bought (knowingly or unknowingly) while I've been collecting, and hopefully see some of yours!

 

I've sorted them into two groups: Definitely Fake and Very Suspicious (if I suspect, but can't prove, that it's fake)

 

Definitely Fake

Nero Tetradrachm

FAKENeroTetradrachm-min.png.76f407ac66e3ff08fb431edf69e31a81.png

Poorly cast with an obvious casting seam on the edge. I foolishly didn't consider that it might be fake (the photos were very blurry). It's not a huge loss as it was very cheap and came with 8 other (genuine) coins, including a Pontius Pilate prutah. ex. eBay (cost £25 for 9 coins)

 

Constantine II Nummus / Probus Antoninianus

FAKEConstantineIIProbus-min.png.bf7080f90c67146bcba959d7a5cd72fc.png

I bought this intentionally (knowing it was fake) because I thought it was cool. It is pretty well struck, but has fake deposits and an impossible die combination; the obverse of a Constantine II Nummus with the reverse of a Probus antoninianus. ex. Aphrodite Art Coins (correctly labelled as a reproduction) (bought for €5)

 

Celtic Stater

FAKECelticStater-min.png.dc81d2bbf80dbd01a1aa44e0ecaf1df1.png

I didn't actually know this was included in the lot it came in, so it was a bit of a shock that I may have inadvertently bought a gold Celtic stater. Unfortunately, I contacted an expert on Celtic coins and they thought it was fake. The strike on the horse is very strange. It came in a small lot of mixed coins that I got for cheap (the lot was in an auction that had lots of coins in, but came after all of the "main" ones and in a different section of the auction). It was still an excellent buy (£30 for 17 coins). ex. "The Saleroom" auction.

 

Constantine II "Nummus"

FAKEConstantineII-min.png.3af0bf490427b022b0a4249d9ea4d78b.png

Very fake but I thought it was cool that the reverse dated the coin to 1965 (REPLICA MCMLXV). Bought intentionally knowing it was fake. (1 other genuine coin was included) ex. eBay (£6)

 

Probus Antoninianus - ADVENTVS AVG

FAKEProbusAntoninianusADVENTVS-min.png.5c1f27e38658c3b8aa233e5ee9020fc7.png

This coin was the first fake I ever bought. It has a die match to a well known fake of Probus. Bought as part of a small lot of genuine coins from a well-known dealer on eBay (cost £12 for 4 coins)

 

Constantius II Nummus - FEL TEMP REPARATIO

FAKEConstantineIIFollis-min.png.a5468d9f8e727dd8be931c6b18106d8b.png

It came in part of a large collection I bought. It has very soapy details, and obvious casting seam on the edge, and is struck in the wrong metal for the type. ex. "The Saleroom" auction (£80 for 54 coins, the others genuine)

 

 

Edited by Harry G
  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very Suspicious

Crispus Nummus

FAKECrispus-min.png.68c25bd24c19ed705c99110d009f5295.png

Pretty soapy details (but worn) and with a filed edge. The reverse strike is a little weird, and I'm not sure if it's genuine. Part of a large lot of ~100 poor condition coins. ex. eBay

 

Probus Antoninianus - PAX AVGVSTI

FAKEProbusAntoninianus-min.png.da0ccd4fe3309c4443b357f6b4189c9f.png

I'm not sure on this one. It was part of the same group as the coin above, and has a very weird patina; similar to lots of other that have come up on eBay as obvious fakes. It has realistic deposits, though, which is confusing me a little. Part of a large lot of ~100 poor condition coins. ex. eBay

 

Septimius Severus Denarius - FVNDATOR PACIS

image.png.a4295a170b7d30b34aa0d7082909ab88.png

This coin has very soapy details, and the strike looks weird. However, it appears to be plated so could be a fourree?

 

Please show me your modern fakes!

 

 

Edited by Harry G
  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Here is a definitely fake semis of Brundisium... I have seen several of these come on the market over the past decade or two with a variety of different patinas. I actually bought one of these with a black patina, then returned the coin after I found that the patina had been painted on. The second fake pictured has a completely wrong style and pellets showing it is a biuncia but the weight is completely wrong. That one was also sold a decade or so ago and the buyer still believes it is genuine (although it's not).

 

southern-apulia-brundisium-c-215-7766126.jpg

2023 January.jpg

Brundisium semis fake.png

Brundisium semis fake2.png

Fake obv.png

Fake rev.png

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two fakes (insert cry emoticon), which fooled me. Fortunately more experienced members of the community were kind enough to inform me, and helped me on my quest. Great people! Both coins were compensated for. The denarius of Drusus was quite a recent purchase. 

DrususHA.jpg.e38c9020147b045af306a4701277ee65.jpg

Hadrian_fake_yesorno.jpg.6c621297402ec1030cc689fb36af3b59.jpg

  • Like 10
  • Yes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geta-269.jpg.ae9ae1cedd6b531b921a49af2e02f9b7.jpg

I got stung with this fake denarius as a teenager 😒. Wayne Sayles pictures another example of this fake in his book Classical Deception, it was made by master forger Peter Rosa from NYC. Geta-269_01.jpg.c9c29e1f6b9bef01156b6add8c684de2.jpg

Nerocastfakedenarius.jpg.143f3fc0495cbad928a36103652fe402.jpg

Another teenage mistake, fake Nero denarius.

NeroFakeTetradrachm.jpg.65639cf6962667f36676bffae0121f7c.jpg

This one didn't fool me 😏. IMG_9111adjusted.JPG.4696df0762c449d04a92e31f0bcdf454.JPG

RomanusIIIFAKE.jpg.014af4d3283d5940463d06b23fbe0735.jpg

This is a quality die stamped fake I bought as genuine at a coin show in Rochester, NY in the mid 1980s. It imitates a histamenon nomisma of Romanus III, Argyrus, AD 1028-1034.

RomanIIIArgyrussolidusSear1820(2).jpg.e5e326313ff93909a55a79da56cdd313.jpg

The top coin in this photo is another fake Romanus III, Argyrus, histamenon nomisma I won at auction several years ago, & the coin below it was pictured in the Forgery Network, both coins were struck from the same dies. The auction house refunded my money.

Hill128.jpg.00a8914d053df29134387a2292cf4ba0.jpg

I won this coin at a CNG auction, it was made by the greatest forger of ancient coins. Many of his fakes sell for more than the originals 😲.

Edited by Al Kowsky
spelling correction
  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I have shown this before, but now I also found it on ForgeryNetwork. You will notice that all the flan shapes are very similar.

Constantine X Ducas (1059-1067). FAKE EL Histamenon Nomisma (27mm, 2.81g). Constantinople. Obv: + IhS IXS RCX - REGNANTINM; Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing. Rev: + KWN RACI - O DOVKAC / M - Q.; Constantine standing facing, holding globus cruciger, being crowned and blessed by the Theotokos (Virgin Mary). Ref: DOC 2; Sear 1848.

image.jpeg.33f99bb5720bbe0db5925c89ad87819c.jpeg

Forgery Network Item 5053.  IBSCC Bulletin on Counterfeits BOCS Vol 19 No.1 1993 Page 24 Fig 4a 

image.jpeg.97700e4309b67724e3ba39ee2be9c804.jpeg

Bertolami eAuction 113 (13 Mar 2022), Lot 788.

 

image.jpeg.1b6799088e84a15de1415da901d88b1b.jpeg

Roma E-Sale 7, April 26, 2014, Lot 1312

 

image.jpeg.bf65b0d44d331a171ad3b3798ae3924d.jpeg

 

 

CNG 236, 7 Jul 2010,  Lot: 534. Estimate $200.
 

 

image.jpeg

Forgery Network Item 5053.  IBSCC Bulletin on Counterfeits BOCS Vol 19 No.1 1993 Page 24 Fig 4a 

Edited by Edessa
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 2016 I won the coin below at an NAC auction, with my dealer bidding on it for me.  That same year, NAC contacted my dealer and notified him that the coin was a forgery, and fully refunded my purchase price plus fees and shipping.  It's still difficult for me to believe that the coin isn't genuine.

image.jpeg.cc3ec548747abe3b3fb2e46be43348f0.jpeg

 

  • Like 5
  • Cry 1
  • Gasp 4
  • Mind blown 1
  • Shock 3
  • Yes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, idesofmarch01 said:

In 2016 I won the coin below at an NAC auction, with my dealer bidding on it for me.  That same year, NAC contacted my dealer and notified him that the coin was a forgery, and fully refunded my purchase price plus fees and shipping.  It's still difficult for me to believe that the coin isn't genuine.

image.jpeg.cc3ec548747abe3b3fb2e46be43348f0.jpeg

 

...a masterful work of art...in any case..

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

I know conventional wisdom is that everyone's bought fakes somewhere along the line, and every collection contains at least a few. Well, without even a shred of false modesty, I haven't and mine doesn't. But... when I was collecting RR imitations I did get suckered like everyone else:

Click to close window

Click to close window

 

 

http://rrimitations.ancients.info/image/CassRev.jpg

This was offered as an ancient imitation by a reasonably reputable Spanish dealer (whose name escapes me) as an Ebay Buy it Now. I watched it for well over a year but never quite pulled the trigger. The price was fine, $100 or so, but something about it gave me a queasy feeling and I stayed away. Until... I was given the unexpected and wonderful opportunity to add the RBW imitations to my website. (The intention of the site--followed faithfully for the most part--was to document my imitations collection only, but this was a special case I couldn't possibly decline.) Sure enough, nestled without comment among a couple hundred perfectly genuine imitations, was a second example from these dies. That made me rethink my hesitation. (Imagine me cupping my chin, with a thought balloon over my head:  "hmm... if RBW thinks this is ancient, maybe I'm being needlessly paranoid... go for it Phil.") So I bought the damn thing. The queasiness never quite left me, but I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about either...

until... looking for something unrelated, the smoking gun shot me in the foot and my queasiness graduated into full-fledged nausea. I considered removing it from my site and pretending it never happened, but that sort of sleaziness didn't sit right either. So I bit the bullet (after removing it from my foot) and took one for the sake of numismatic science. Here's what I posted on my site:

Modern Forgery
M216+. This hybrid was struck from modern dies produced by the Slavey Studio of Bulgaria.  The actual dies are published in "Modern Counterfeits and Replicas of Ancient Greek and Roman Coins from Bulgaria," by Ilya Prokopov, Kostadin Kissyov & Eugeni Paunov, #'s 118 (O) and 114 (R). I never did "believe" in this coin; see my original comments below. Ironically, the existence of two examples convinced me to accept both! Original description [before discovery of the truth about this "coin"] follows:
M216+. Obverse type of Q. Cassius Longinus, reverse type of Spurius Afranius, after 55 BC; cf. Cr-428/3 (O) and 206/1 (R), 3.76g. Both sides somewhat stylized; accurate reverse legend. See  (M216)  for another example of these dies. Honesty compels me to add that I'm not entirely convinced that either of these pieces is ancient.

Here's a link to the entry on my site. (Note, the link is to the RBW entry, not the coin I illustrated upthread.) https://rrimitations.ancients.info/americancollection6.html

For completeness, a link to my example: https://rrimitations.ancients.info/imitations23.html

 

Edited by Phil Davis
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I buy most of my ancients on eBay, looking for bargains rather than reliable sellers.  This means I get burnt from time to time, which so far, has still been worth the cost of doing business.  Here's my latest - $2.25 for an Egyptian tetradrachm of Hadrian.  What could possibly go wrong?

Egypt-Hadriantet.ArtemisFAKEJul2023(0).jpg.232e13038a66e05bfa21eb4d47a7b595.jpg

Antoninus Pius       FAKE Tet. Year Ɛ =5 (141-142 A.D.) Alexandria Mint ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟϹ ϹƐΒ ƐVϹΒ, laureate draped bust right / L Ɛ; Artemis advancing right, drawing arrow from quiver at shoulder, holding bow RPC IV.4, 13479 (temporary) CAST FAKE  (8.37 grams / 22 x 21 mm) eBay July 2023 $2.25

Ah, the edge.  The seller made no claims about it being ancient, so I'm not returning it, complaining, etc.  

Egypt-Hadriantet.ArtemisFAKEJul2023(0edge).jpg.caa6787b3e5e46ed7363568f72b713fa.jpg

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Phil Davis said:

I know conventional wisdom is that everyone's bought fakes somewhere along the line, and every collection contains at least a few. Well, without even a shred of false modesty, I haven't and mine doesn't. But... when I was collecting RR imitations I did get suckered like everyone else:

Click to close window

Click to close window

 

 

http://rrimitations.ancients.info/image/CassRev.jpg

This was offered as an ancient imitation by a reasonably reputable Spanish dealer (whose name escapes me) as an Ebay Buy it Now. I watched it for well over a year but never quite pulled the trigger. The price was fine, $100 or so, but something about it gave me a queasy feeling and I stayed away. Until... I was given the unexpected and wonderful opportunity to add the RBW imitations to my website. (The intention of the site--followed faithfully for the most part--was to document my imitations collection only, but this was a special case I couldn't possibly decline.) Sure enough, nestled without comment among a couple hundred perfectly genuine imitations, was a second example from these dies. That made me rethink my hesitation. (Imagine me cupping my chin, with a thought balloon over my head:  "hmm... if RBW thinks this is ancient, maybe I'm being needlessly paranoid... go for it Phil.") So I bought the damn thing. The queasiness never quite left me, but I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about either...

until... looking for something unrelated, the smoking gun shot me in the foot and my queasiness graduated into full-fledged nausea. I considered removing it from my site and pretending it never happened, but that sort of sleaziness didn't sit right either. So I bit the bullet (after removing it from my foot) and took one for the sake of numismatic science. Here's what I posted on my site:

Modern Forgery
M216+. This hybrid was struck from modern dies produced by the Slavey Studio of Bulgaria.  The actual dies are published in "Modern Counterfeits and Replicas of Ancient Greek and Roman Coins from Bulgaria," by Ilya Prokopov, Kostadin Kissyov & Eugeni Paunov, #'s 118 (O) and 114 (R). I never did "believe" in this coin; see my original comments below. Ironically, the existence of two examples convinced me to accept both! Original description [before discovery of the truth about this "coin"] follows:
M216+. Obverse type of Q. Cassius Longinus, reverse type of Spurius Afranius, after 55 BC; cf. Cr-428/3 (O) and 206/1 (R), 3.76g. Both sides somewhat stylized; accurate reverse legend. See  (M216)  for another example of these dies. Honesty compels me to add that I'm not entirely convinced that either of these pieces is ancient.

Here's a link to the entry on my site. (Note, the link is to the RBW entry, not the coin I illustrated upthread.) https://rrimitations.ancients.info/americancollection6.html

For completeness, a link to my example: https://rrimitations.ancients.info/imitations23.html

 

This coin looks way too sloppy to come from the hand of Slavey Petrov (The Bulgarian), but could very well be a Bulgarian fake. There are many studios in Bulgaria manufacturing fakes. Slavey has been working in Germany for a long time making copies & fantasy coins like Carl Becker did. I bought the coin pictured below from a CNG auction 15 years ago, it's a Slavey fantasy of a Tenedos silver tetradrachm, circa 100-80 BC, made from pure gold. CNG1950396SlaveyreplicaSept.102008.jpg.6415496bdccfac35628bb6480dcf8343.jpg

Tenedos fantasy tetradrachm from the hand of Slavey Petrov, 1995-2005. AV 35 mm, 19.89 gm.

  • Like 6
  • Gasp 1
  • Mind blown 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, DimitriosL said:

Greetings, what are some obvious red flags of a fake? Inexperienced collectors like myself would benefit from your experiences.

I'm certainly not an expert on fake ancient coins but probably know more than the average collector since I've been an ancient coin enthusiast for over 50 years. Four RED FLAGS immediately come to mind are: weight, diameter, color, & feel. These red flags are determined by comparison to coins that are known to be genuine. Exposure to many ancient coins is the key to learning good from bad. One very helpful book I've recommended to many newbies is pictured below. I've seen copies for sale at Amazon for as low as $25.00. Chicago dealer Harlan J. Berk has an enormous collection of fakes & copies, & if you emailed him good quality photos along with accurate measure measurements (weight & diameter) members of his staff might give you an opinion whether the coin is good or bad.

ClassicalDeceptionAuthorWayneG.Sayles.jpg.e291e31498930ae641e5cc541fcc5c04.jpg

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 1
  • Thinking 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/16/2023 at 8:38 PM, Phil Davis said:

I know conventional wisdom is that everyone's bought fakes somewhere along the line, and every collection contains at least a few. Well, without even a shred of false modesty, I haven't and mine doesn't. But... when I was collecting RR imitations I did get suckered like everyone else:

 

Yep, I bought the same damned thing. I remember having that sinking feeling when you published this.

Ebay: Hermescoins, July 2003.

image.jpeg.39f97c896db356410e287031d3a101bb.jpeg

  • Like 1
  • Cry 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi All,

Here's one from my Black Cabinet. From eBay seller DETRITUSVT - Petar Stanchev (Bulgaria). Price of $112.00 was refunded in full after I complained this was a fake. Seller did not want to bother with returning the item. A real coin of similar type was sold at CNG Triton VII #150 for U$3,800 plus 20%

image.png.99ea198f9c9254555ed5a9826c1f397e.png

AUDOLEON
MACEDONIA, PAEONIAN KINGS, ca 315-286 BCE
Cast Fake Ar Stater (Tetradrachm)

Size: 26x28 mm
Weight: 19.09 g
Axis: 2:00
Broucheion Collection GFAKE-2009-10-05.001

Obv: Alexander the Great Head in lion scalp, facing right. No legend. Dotted border.
Rev: Zeus seated facing left, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long vertical lotus-tipped sceptrer behind in left arm. In left field: ΑΥ monogram. Legend: ΑΥΔΩΛΕΟΝΤ[ΩΣ] ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ
Refs: AMNG III 12; SNG ANS 1062; SNG Copenhagen Unlisted; Price 643b; See Waggoner, "Audoleon and his Alexander mint", in: RBN 129 (1983).
Prov: eBay seller DETRITUSVT - Petar Stanchev (Bulgaria).
Note 1: The Kingdom of Paeonia was a long-time an ally of Macedonia. King Audoleon's son, Ariston, distinguished himself at the battle of Gaugamela. One of Audoleon's daughters married Pyrrhus of Epirus. Audoleon was nearly defeated by the Illyrian Autariatae tribe, but was saved by Cassander. Astibus was probably the Kingdom's capital and mint city.

Note 2: From I MERKER (The Ancient Kingdom of Paionia (With two Plates), 1965) : "Audoleon, was already king in 310." ... "Demetrios, later surnamed 'Poliorketes' or the 'Beseiger' won a great naval victory at Salamis in Kypros from Ptolemy the ruler of Egypt. As a result, Antigonos Monophthalmos, or 'One-Eyed,' Demetrios' father, assumed the royal diadem and the title of king. Alexander's son had been executed in 310, but until 306 all the diadochoi ruled their territories not as Kings, but as satraps or viceroys. As soon as Antigonos ended this friction all the diadochoi, one after the other, likewise assumed the royal dignities. If we look at the coinage of Audoleon we can see his response to this activity. During the early part of his reign Audoleon struck silver tetradrachms with the head of Athena on the obverse and a standing horse on the reverse. These coins were issued on the same light standard that was used by his predecessors Lykpeios and Patraos. Later, however, we find another type of tetradrachm. This one is an imitation of the coinage of Alexander the Great. On the obverse is the head of Herakles wearing a lion's skin. This head is often considered to be a portait of Alexander in the guise of his ancestor Herakles. But its appearance here on the coins of Audoleon would lead one to believe that it is rather kist the head of Herakles. On the reverse is a seated Zeus holding in one hand staff; on the other hand an eagle is perched. On either side of Zeus is the legend ΒΑΣΙΑΕΩΣ ΑΥΔΩΛΕΟΝΤΟΣ, 'of king Audoleon.' The coin speaks as clearly as any other source. When the diadochoi assumed the diadem, Audoleon did exactly the same thing; he responded by issuing his coins in imitation of Alexander's, with his own royal title to proclaim to the world that he, Audoleon, was independent, and also a king. Audoleon does not seem to have minted very many of these coins, but they seem to have served their purpose."

- Broucheion

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...