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Man, that tet is too good to be true! Yep, that's cause it is.


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"Is this real?" & "What's it worth?" Have got to be two of the most tedious questions randos ask on ancient coin sites. 

As, fan favorite, @dougsmit has said, "You CANNOT verify if a coin is real by pictures. But sometimes you can verify it's a fake."

To my eye this coin falls into the former category:


Good artistry, plenty of wear to show that many a hand exchanged this piece of large change and no major pimples or craters...

And then we pull the thread and it quickly comes undone. 

Sometimes lots of wear helps hide how "soapy" a forgery coin looks. 

Just to make sure it's legit though, let's check the sides of the coin for any signs of casting. Looking for any straight lines/ casting seems that would be caused by casting/pressing a coin as opposed to hammering it:


Our coin looks great... on this side. 

Searching the other side aaaand BAM!


And then BOOM BAM!!! The regular tet should be right around 16-17 grams...


And our coin weights half that. 


So, we now know that we have a modern forgery copied from an artistic yet worn original that is worthless to anyone with scruples. We have an original picture that looks like a perfectly acceptable and VERY popular ancient coin. And Ole Ryro's black cabinet gets one more addition. 


So please, share your fakes, frauds and forgeries that you think would fool others by picture alone, real Lysimachos in the name of Alexander tets or whatever is worth a chuckle. 

Edited by Ryro
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Forgery a.jpg

forgery b.jpg


Thankfully, the story ended with a happy ending ... one of my favourite dealers immediately refunded my coin-cash "and" allowed me to keep the forgery as well (bonus, right? ... it almost took the sting out of the whole thingy)

Cool thread idea, Ryro



Edited by Steve
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This is the 1st forgery I bought as a "newbie" over 50 years ago.



This one is a pretty bad Nero fake 🤢.



This is a good quality die struck fake of a Romanus III solidus, Sear 1819. I sold this one for a little over melt. 


For comparison this is what a good one looks like ☺️.




The top coin I won at auction several years ago, Sear 1820, it's a rare variant of Sear 1819, with the Virgin Mary depicted without a halo. Everything about the coin is perfect 😊, except it was a double die match for the bottom coin that was pictured on the website Forgery Network 😲. The auction house director graciously took the coin back & refunded my money. The coin I won was the "mother coin" or just another high quality fake from that batch ☹️...



This coin is a masterpiece of the forger's art. Everything looks right on this coin. It's good enough to fool most collectors & dealers. I won the coin at a CNG auction.



This is a high quality die struck Fatman $ fake, good enough to fool most dealers & collectors. The giveaway was the weight, a half gram overweight 😏. I bought this one at a coin show in Rochester, NY many years ago.



This coin has an interesting history ☺️. I bought this coin at a coin show & sent it to NGC for slabbing & they returned it in a body-bag. I later sent it to Heritage raw with other Chinese coins, & NGC slabbed it for Heritage 🙄. You don't mess with the big boys 🤣.

Edited by Al Kowsky
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Sometimes fakes can be scary good.

Indo-Sassanian is generally safe from fakes, with this notable exception


It's the correct weight, size, appears to be silver, and everything about the style and fabric is spot on for an authentic specimen- in fact I can only assume that it was transferred from an authentic specimen. The only thing that tipped me off was that the seller sold another one with the exact same flan shape, same flaws - a perfect duplicate of mine. Which sold, and another was listed. And another. They are clearly manufactured fakes, but are die matches to Maheshwari 190 (and possibly 191), presumably authentic coins


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Every now and then, I search "Indo-Greek coin" on eBay.  Invariably, the bulk of what I see are very obvious fakes.  And they're clearly identified as such, too--provided you know the weights [edit: or are practiced enough to spot obvious fakes--not everyone is, sadly].  It pisses me off, because these you-know-what-orifices are busy selling cheap fakes as if they were real, and apparently there are a lot of people in the world who simply don't know the difference.  They're not getting into too much trouble with the payment processors because by clearly posting their (ridiculous) weights, they avoid having any serious buyers buy their wares.  I've tried reporting them in the past, but eBay does nothing.  There oughtta be a law!

Edited by NathanB
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