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Fake Ancients

 
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Pillar of the Community
United States
941 Posts
 Posted 09/17/2015  11:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add lrbguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here is a seller that is just closing off ten lots of cast copies of the silver stater of Istros:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/262043376314

Of the 10 only one was in the proper weight range for a stater/drachm, the rest being too light by a gram or more. All have mush details, and some show the typical pitting of a cast coin.

A rather inauspicious beginning for a new seller.

You might want to link to the completed listings from this one and look over what was being offered. These are deceptive fakes.


Before I took a good look I was hoping that the lightest one might have been authentic, since it was an odd denomination. Nope.

What worries me is that I have seen some like these at Vcoins.
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
14726 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2016  09:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have to agree:
the fabric and 'mushiness' of one of them appearing on vcoins looks to be disturbingly similar.
Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
 Posted 07/15/2016  10:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add drk1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yikes! I thought VCoins was thoroughly reputable. Are there online stores that people here consider more trustworthy? I know caveat emptor applies always and everywhere, but dang, I'm starting to get a little paranoid now...
Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
 Posted 07/20/2016  12:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add drk1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Okay... Well, if nobody has any suggestions about alternatives to VCoins, can anybody who's been decrying mushy coins on VCoin care to mention the name of the dealer there who has been trafficking in same?
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United States
21967 Posts
 Posted 07/20/2016  1:54 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not sure what dealer your talking about, if you can post an example of some of the coins and the dealers name it would help. Vcoins tries to vet dealers before they allow them to join, but there are hundreds of thousands of coins listed there which would be impossible to check every one of them. If you find questionable coins, report them to Vcoins so they can investigate and if the dealer is found to be selling fakes they will be removed.
Pillar of the Community
United States
3964 Posts
 Posted 09/10/2016  9:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In determining fakes, it's often the details that make the difference. When details of a coin-in-question match those of a documented fake, it follows that the coin-in-question is a fake too.

A couple of years ago I learned this lesson the hard way. Here is an Osroes I drachm that I used to own. I had won it some years back from a major auction house:


I realized mine was fake when the coin below, listed by a German auction house, was publicly condemned as fake because it matched a documented struck fake that had been published years earlier in the Bulletin on Counterfeits. Both the condemned fake and the image from the Bulletin are below.



I realized my coin was fake after a thorough examination of its details. I noted that the pattern of dots in Osroes' hair matched the pattern on the fakes. I also noted that in both the Bulletin on Counterfeits image and in the fake coin from Germany, there was a tiny extension of the vertical line of the king's iris...the line extended just a bit beyond his lower eyelid. This was no doubt a slip of the hand of the (modern) die engraver. My coin had this exact same feature.

Luckily for me the auction house took the coin back and gave me a full refund.

With this lesson in mind, let's now look at examples of the obverses of a very rare tetradrachm from Phokis, Delphi. There are no more than a dozen known examples of this type...so these three represent at least 25% of extant examples of the type:


Now, let's get in close and consider the very minute, barely legible legend below the two rhytons that are in the form of ram's heads:


All genuine examples of this very rare coin have these barely readable, tiny legends. Now let's consider documented fakes/replicas of the type:


Notice the legends, both how the letters are drawn and their placement. Consider their legibility compared with genuine examples.

Below is a recently posted coin. I am not condemning it. Rather, I leave it for you to decide:


Next let's consider the obverse of a rare coin from Terone, Macedon. Here is a genuine example:


Here are two documented fakes of the type, struck from identical modern dies:


For consideration now, a coin recently posted to the board:


Remembering that identical details tie coins to the same source material (meaning to the same dies or molds, as the case may be), let's compare the stars on the recently posted coin (it is the middle one in this image) to the two known modern fakes, below. Of course lighting, camera focus, and camera angle can throw things off a bit, but the question a collector should ask is: is there enough resemblance to warrant concern? You decide:


In this image a detail of the left grape cluster of the recent post is shown alongside one of the known fakes. Again, allow for differences in the photography:


I'm not expressing any opinions here about the posted coins. Rather I'm just stressing that, when known fakes of a type exist, it is prudent to compare the details of a coin-in-hand to online images of the known fakes. Photography differences make it a challenging process. So do things like forgers' reworking (re-engraving) of a die after a series of strikes, or adjustments made to molds...sometimes there are "different generations" of casts made, each fundamentally the same but with some minor differences. Buyer beware!
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United States
21967 Posts
 Posted 09/10/2016  9:40 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Bob, excellent thread, very informative. These counterfeiters are really getting so good that it really takes a good eye and understanding about the type to tell the good from the bad.
Pillar of the Community
United States
3964 Posts
 Posted 09/29/2016  08:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Much food for thought in the posts here: https://numismaticfakes.wordpress.com

Some very frightening fakes, many listed by important auction houses and major dealers. Not sure if all of the condemnations in the posts are accurate, but no doubt many are on target.
Edited by Bob L
09/29/2016 08:47 am
New Member
United States
5 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2017  11:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nsoukar to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hello,
Talking about fakes and forgeries, I've recently got a Greek coin of Alexander the Great, but strange inscription was noted under the high resolution magnifier, can anyone help with this one?
It is about 1cm in diameter and just over 1.2 gr.
Thanks a lot


Pillar of the Community
Poland
3201 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2017  12:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DL20K to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If in Cyrillic script, it says "SLAVEI".
New Member
United States
5 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2017  10:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nsoukar to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you
I just searched this one all day yesterday and you are right, it is by Bulgarian counterfeiter Slavey Petrov
Does it worth any $$$?
Take care
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United States
256 Posts
 Posted 03/28/2017  7:07 pm  Show Profile   Check louisvillekyshop's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add louisvillekyshop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here are three photos of coins I use for talks that can't be sold I keep in the black box with normal obvious cast coins. These by themselves are pretty dangerous in my opinion as they are struck.





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United States
21967 Posts
 Posted 03/30/2017  7:36 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very informative, and excellent study tools to help tell fakes.
Valued Member
United States
118 Posts
 Posted 04/03/2017  6:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Gallienus to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Recently a friend sent me the following photo of an Alexander stater which he had been offered. The coin is mounted in a bezel so a weight is not obtainable. I believe the coin is counterfeit and advised him caution before buying it. Any comments?

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United States
256 Posts
 Posted 04/03/2017  8:35 pm  Show Profile   Check louisvillekyshop's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add louisvillekyshop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well "BASigma;ILambda;EOmega;Sigma; Pi;YPPOY" comes up as Kingdom of Epirus, Pyrrhos (297-272 B.C.)
Anyway the coin does not seem to have ever been exposed to anything that an ancient coin would have. A specific gravity of the coin itself might be useful if you wanted the price for the gold they used to make it. Rule is if you can't find a reference as well, and you can't even inspect it etc etc. No it should not be sold as an authentic Alexander Stater in my opinion. Link to a Pyrrhos coin below in the middle of the page.

http://www.baldwin.co.uk/prospero-highlights/
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