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Help With Ancient Coin (Or Modern Fake) | Brass Of Trajan

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Valued Member
United States
80 Posts
 Posted 10/07/2009  7:20 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add trainhater to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Bought this for $5 at a pawn shop, it looks like bronze to me. I know nothing of ancient coins but it appears real, for the $5 I won't cry if it is fake. So anything you may know would help. Sorry about the picture quality, I can take more if you need. Thank you in advance.

Identified - moved to Ancients forum - Sap
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13096 Posts
 Posted 10/07/2009  10:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It appears to be a brass coin of Roman emperor Trajan; either a sesterius or dupondius, depending on size (a sesterius is about 33mm across, a dupondius about 27mm); I'm leaning towards sestertius because the dupondius normally has the emperor wearing a radiate crown.

Reverse type is Aequitas (Equity) standing holding scales and cornucopia, legend SPQR OPTIMIO PRINCIPI around. Not listed in the Sear catalogue, but it's number 497 (for the sestertius) or 498 (for the dupondius) in the RIC catalogue; example on Wildwinds.

So, is it genuine? I can't really tell from those pics, but there are known copies of this same design; this one on FORVM's fake database has the word "COPY" stamped on the emperor's neck, which yours doesn't seem to have. A genuine sestertius would cost a lot more than $5 (more like over $100) from a knowledgeable dealer.

The only problem I have with it is the colour; an ancient brass coin shouldn't still look brassy (brass turns black after a couple of thousand years underground). If it's genuine, it's been thoroughly cleaned some time ago.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Valued Member
United States
80 Posts
 Posted 10/07/2009  11:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add trainhater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, For some reason the color on the picture is much brighter than the actual coin, the coin is pretty dark but not black. I meant to say brass not bronze, my bad. I am sure someone has cleaned it over the years. I have never weighed it but it is heavy and thick and as you can see irregular. The pawn shop lets me rummage through the coins and I have gotten some great deals, silver coins that should go for much more she sells cheap but yet wants $30 for a roll of common date wheat cents that should go for under $2.00.
Again, thank you for your help, it is much appreciated.
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