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Septimius Severus Denarius


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Hi everyone,

I am a novice collector who just got started and I acquired this particular denarius through an assorted lot of coins. I have researched the coin and just feel like something is off on it. I wanted to know your opinions on the coin. Is it a fake? A casting? or maybe it was struck with really bad dies? I tried to take the best photos I could. There are a few raised lies running across the obverse of the coin and on the reverse there is this bulge of metal. Overall a lot of the details are kind of smudgy. Thank you!

The coin weights 3.372 grams.

Obverse: SEVERVS PIVS AVG

Reverse: PM TR P XVIII COS III PP

 

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In my inexpert opinion, your coins is a "limes" issue - ancient, but not official.  The limes was the Roman frontier, populated by Roman soldiers, traders, and local "barbarians."  These coins are found in abundance in such areas and there is a lot of debate about whether or not, or to what extent, they were "official" or outright forgeries.  Heck if I know.  But they are very collectible and sometimes the workmanship is quite good - as yours is.  So congratulations.  

Coin Talk had several threads on limes coins, as this one:  https://www.cointalk.com/threads/limes-denarius.243995/   In that thread John Anthony linked this helpful article:  https://www.academia.edu/3632930/Plated_and_other_fake_Roman_coins

Here are a couple of limes Septimius Severus denarii I have: 

1891134285_SeptimiusSeverus-DenMinervalimesRIC68July2017(0).jpg.8e42b9eec3c723479ce66238f072119a.jpg

1726045842_SeptSeverus-LimesDenlotSep2019(0).jpg.c584037233118650e3d865ea98be3704.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Marsyas Mike said:

In my inexpert opinion, your coins is a "limes" issue - ancient, but not official. 

I'm glad you brought that up @Marsyas Mike -- I immediately wondered exactly that. Not quite sure how many "limes" I have (maybe a dozen or so?), but I've always really liked them for a variety of reasons. For one thing, I find the patinas really beautiful and fascinating when looking at them all together. For another, they're generally very cheap. I've bought group lots of them under $10 (USD) a piece.

A pair of related questions I've always had:
(1) Are "limes" cast coins? Or struck from dies cast from official issues? Or just struck in base metal using official or imitative dies? Or some cast, some struck? Never found a proper answer (but haven't looked that hard either).
(2) Can an "authentic" limes denarius have a casting seam? Do the seams on ancient casts look different from the seams on modern cast fakes? I've seen a few auction listings that describe ancient counterfeits with seams, but I don't know if I've ever seen a confirmed case in hand (unless that's what's going on with one of mine, which certainly looks like a "limes" not an AR Denarius, but about which I've always wondered if it were a modern fake instead).

These aren't great photos as they're actually frames captured from a video I made about my "limes" subcollection, but these are some of my Severan era limes denarii -- hopefully actual "limes," not modern fake, I'm more confident about some than others (I've got some Flavian & Adoptive too):

image.jpeg.26c0aee847f7daf49e47f1d85f7a66e2.jpeg

 

And then next to their "official," legitimate AR Denarii of similar types:

image.jpeg.393defd33092c5c6aac0fbeaae6e6693.jpeg

Edited by Curtis JJ
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Thank you everyone for your responses! They were super helpful and confirmed my fears haha. @Marsyas Mike Yeah I have my suspicions that the coin is a limes because it has that look of a limes but it still has the look of an ancient coin. My only fear is the coin I was after in the lot is a Hadrian denarius with a crescent moon and star for the reverse. the coin looks more like the real deal; however it being for the same lot and the weight being 3.014 grams makes me a bit nervous. Thank you all again I had a really great time reading your responses!

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4 hours ago, Curtis JJ said:

A pair of related questions I've always had:
(1) Are "limes" cast coins? Or struck from dies cast from official issues? Or just struck in base metal using official or imitative dies? Or some cast, some struck? Never found a proper answer (but haven't looked that hard either).
(2) Can an "authentic" limes denarius have a casting seam? Do the seams on ancient casts look different from the seams on modern cast fakes? I've seen a few auction listings that describe ancient counterfeits with seams, but I don't know if I've ever seen a confirmed case in hand (unless that's what's going on with one of mine, which certainly looks like a "limes" not an AR Denarius, but about which I've always wondered if it were a modern fake instead).

@Curtis JJ Nice limes denarii. I know very little about limes denarii. I don't know enough, to know, if your limes denarii are authentic or fake. Limes denarii are rather interesting. Here is an article on Forum Ancient Coins, which says, that some limes denarii were cast, and some were struck.

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=limes denarius 

Edited by sand
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