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Fake Or Real? Three Roman Coins

 
 
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Pillar of the Community
United States
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 Posted 05/19/2012  4:49 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add tzarmarko to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Ok, so my friend bought three ancient coins some time ago and is trying to find out whether or not they are real. I weighed and took pictures of the coins and am now asking you to figure this out. I would also like some more detailed info on these coins, thanks!

Coin #1:

Alexander the Great, 336-323 B.C W: 4.3 grams





Coin #2:

Marcus Aurelius Probus W: 3.5 grams






Coin #3:

Gordian III W: 4.8 grams




Thanks everyone!
Edited by tzarmarko
05/19/2012 6:14 pm
Bedrock of the Community
10045 Posts
 Posted 05/19/2012  5:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What does the first coin weigh? There are many mints for the Alexander tetradrachms, so the details can vary quite a bit. There are also many forgeries too, so it takes some time to scan the databases for matches. At first glance, Herakles looks a little different than I'm used to seeing--I haven't seen the hair look like yarn before as on this coin. However, I haven't seen every coin out there.
Formerly jwharper
4253 Posts
 Posted 05/19/2012  5:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bing to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can't vouch for the top coin as I know virtually nothing about Greek coins. There are others on this forum who will chime in once they see it and they are knowlegable. The other two coins look authentic to me.

The Probus coin I have attributed as RIC 359: Probus Silvered AE Antoninianus. Ticinum Mint, 276-277 AD. IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right / FELICITAS SEC, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus & cornucopiae; SXXT in ex.

The Gordian III coin as RIC 95: Gordian III AR Antoninianus. IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate draped bust right / VIRTVTI AVGVSTI, Hercules standing right leaning on club set on rock.
Edited by Bing
05/19/2012 5:27 pm
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22472 Posts
 Posted 05/19/2012  6:03 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have my doubts aboiut the first coin. The others are real an attributed by JW.
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 Posted 05/19/2012  6:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tzarmarko to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok, so I added in the weights. I completly forgot about them.
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 Posted 05/19/2012  6:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add stevex6 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hmmm? ... I'm pretty sure that weight is too low for an Alex TET? (it should be 17+ grams)



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Australia
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 Posted 05/19/2012  7:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
From the pictures, the Probus and the Gordian 111 look OK, but examination of the pictures is only one of many tests. From pictures only, the question of style can be considered. As DVC has noted, there can be style variations because this type of tertradrachm emanated from many mints, and should be compared to the date bases. I am not a specialist enough to identify these by mint.

As all of these coins, if genuine, are struck, there are usually small flan cracks to be found on the periphery. Have a look at these with a 10 x loupe or a coin microscope. The inside of the cracks should be rough, uneven and crisp.

If the detail of the metal surfaces on the inside of the cracks is very indistinct, you have to be lead to the idea that the coin may been pressure cast. Even the best quality casting cannot reproduce the characteristic distress metal disturbance found inside a REAL crack.

Have a close look around the detail on each coin with the loupe. In most but not all cases, metal flow lines are usually found on the surfaces of the fields next to higher relief detail. These lines are radial, because metal is forced out from the centre when the coin is struck.

This characteristic is found in a much finer extent in modern coins, and gives rise to the cartwheel lustre that we are all familiar with. These lines are much coarser on ancient coins, and when the mint lustre has long since disappeared the rougher radial flow lines on an ancient coin quite often survive.

From the pictures of the tetradrachm I cannot see any evidence of radial flow lines. They are obvious on the Gordian 111.

There does not appear to be any wear on the high points of the design of the tetradrachm at all. The coin seems to have the same texture of surface over the whole coin, which seems very odd for a genuine coin.

Edited by sel_69l
05/19/2012 7:19 pm
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 Posted 05/19/2012  7:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add stevex6 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Alexander III the Great - King of Macedonia 336-323 B.C.
Silver Drachm 19mm (3.97 grams) Teos mint: 323-319 B.C.
Reference: Price 2274




=> apparently, it could be a drachm, rather than a TET?
Edited by stevex6
05/19/2012 7:09 pm
Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 05/19/2012  8:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tzarmarko to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yea, that looks more like it.
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 Posted 05/19/2012  8:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
4.3gr would be the weight of a drachm.
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Australia
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 Posted 05/19/2012  9:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Oops! I called it a tetradrachm. Hmmm. That's not right!
Edited by sel_69l
05/19/2012 9:48 pm
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