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Legit "Extremely Fine" Sasanian? Unofficial? Fake? Kosher? Struck?

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Pillar of the Community
United States
4333 Posts
 Posted 01/03/2019  11:22 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I know next to nothing about Sasanian coins. But I do know that I've grown more disillusioned with VCoins' vetting of its dealers and their wares in recent years. More and more often I find myself looking at an item on the site, and then going back and rereading, for the umpteenth time, their Code of Ethics. Fake patinas and (imo) suspect antiquities have made me wary.

Anyway, curious to see your thoughts about the following coin, uploaded today at VCoins. It certainly gives me pause. But, then, Sasanians are not my thing. Maybe it's fine for the type - or just an oddball contemporaneous imitation(?).

I will say that it doesn't even come close to ones of the ilk that I've seen - meaning similar Shapur II AR's (although from other mints) with ribbons rather than attendants alongside the fire altar. Those all seem pretty crisp and struck on thin-looking, broad flans. Not dumpy at all. Those that I have seen are all quite attractively engraved.

Think this fellow is indeed struck?

And what about its "EXREMELY FINE" grading by the VCoins dealer? Really?

Anyway, just thought I'd post it for your consideration and thoughts since, as I say, it gave me some pause today. Is this kosher?

The listing is here:
Edited by Bob L
01/04/2019 12:27 am
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United States
22484 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2019  03:28 am  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Shapur II had a very long reign from 309-379 it has been said that he was crowned king while still in his mothers womb. Over the course of his rule his coins went through a change from well made example in the style of his father Hormizd II to later ratty looking debased silver examples that showed very little care in design and detail.

Looking at this coin and going through my limited resource material I can not find and coins that were struck in his name that resemble this one. So unless this is an unrecorded official type, I would suggest that it's either and unofficial type or an imitation. I'm leaning towards an imitation.
Bedrock of the Community
15629 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2019  05:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Bob L: I agree with all of your suspicions.
Fabric, style, patina and grade all sus.

These were the methods that experienced antiquarians used 100 years ago to check for authenticity. They are still relevant - along with provenance.
More modern testing methods augment these age old tests.

Some good dealers just drop their guard with laziness, sometimes. Doesn't happen often, but I have seen it, and was once a victim of it. In my case, I got my money back, and was able to keep the dud.

I have even made this sort of authentication error against myself. Not good, but I did learn.

By the looks of it, this coin is pressure die cast.

I admit that in this case, I have not researched the possible type as yet.
Bedrock of the Community
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United States
12478 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2019  07:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well, someone thought that it was worth $260. I don't have any experience with NBJ, but agree that at a minimum this coin was over-graded.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
Pillar of the Community
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1483 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2019  07:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Bob I noticed this seller this morning and thought the same...

Here is a couple more..Authentic I dont know...But grading!

But I'm probably missing something here?..Rare mint!?
Good VF!$360

Edited by Palouche
01/04/2019 07:31 am
Valued Member
167 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2019  11:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add AlRashid to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Bob I totally agree. I noticed many fakes in the VCoins too. I don't think it is as credible as once was anymore. The only source to purchase that I trust them more now days is CNG .

The coin you posted is an obvious cast the surface and texture of metal indicates this.
Pillar of the Community
United States
4333 Posts
 Posted 01/05/2019  12:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting to note that the capitalized "EXTREMELY FINE" in the original listing was, at some point after my post, changed to "VERY FINE." Either way an unrealistic grading. Well, whatever opinions we may hold, somebody apparently parted with $260 to acquire it.
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