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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Resources  |  Fake Coin Reports, Notorious Fake Sellers, and Discussions (Moderators: maridvnvm, Ilya Prokopov)  |  Topic: Fausta and Helena Antioch/Nicomedia forgeries: part 1 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Fausta and Helena Antioch/Nicomedia forgeries: part 1  (Read 674 times)
romeman
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« on: June 13, 2018, 03:35:14 am »

Dear fellow coin collectors,

We need to do more to stop the avalanche of forgeries. Not only do they constitute a fraud, but they threaten our hobby (and they mess up my research as well). One thing we can do is to publish known forgeries, for the benefit of all.

We must also ask the dealers to spend a greater effort in researching the coins they sell.

I will here give a disturbing example of a large number of forgeries. They were published already in 1989 and 1990 in the Bulletin of Counterfeits (BOC). Unfortunately, the Bulletin is a collector’s item rather than a widely used reference (a complete run of the bulletin was sold in 2015 for over $2,000).

You who read this may well be the unlucky owner of one of the forgeries shown below. They have all been sold to someone. The sellers include a dozen of the major auction houses as well as respected dealers. They have sold the coins as genuine, unaware that they are forgeries. Sadly, had they checked the BOC they would have recognized that their coins were not genuine. But they didn’t.

These forgeries are so deceiving that it is almost impossible to identify them individually. I have bought two of these to study, and they are near perfect, but not entirely. I will not reveal what details in the coins themselves that show them to be forgeries because that information would then become available to the next generation of criminals. However, by die matching (see below) I can show that they are forgeries.

If you own further examples of these forgeries, or know of any, please let me know.

Lars Ramskold
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maridvnvm
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 06:32:06 am »

The examples from BoC 1989 and 1990 are in the fake reports.

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?pos=-7973

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?pos=-7972

as is another from BoC 1999

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?pos=-9328

Your additional examples are much better images of the fakes in the state that they enter the market than the greyscale images from BoC.

Regards,
Martin
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Germania Magna
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 06:37:27 am »

Thank you for this interesting contribution. For me, it is interesting to learn that even a good-looking patina is apparently no real obstacle to a skilled forger.
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Hydatius
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 06:59:39 am »

The style is wrong on all of them, especially the reverses.
Richard
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 07:35:02 am »

I agree with Richard, but to me, the obverses are even worse, horrible.
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romeman
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 11:34:21 am »

I wish Hydatius and Akropolis were right. But unfortunately the style is no clue. The forger/s have used genuine coins as templates, and the fake dies have not a single feature showing that they are not ancient.

I attach a figure of the four fake obverse dies compared with genuine coins.

This is the reason why no sellers have recognized the fakes, and no buyers either.
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 02:17:34 pm »

Discussion posts are nice.  Fake coin reports are better.  Fake coin reports please.
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romeman
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 03:37:19 pm »

Dear Joe,

These three dozen fake Helena-Fausta are a tiny sample of the hundreds and hundreds late Roman forgeries I have in my files. That's why I say "an avalanche".

Perhaps I can post these particular ones to the Fake Coin Reports. But there is no way I can post all my fakes, it would take several months full time.

I need to focus on the revision of the coinage of Constantine, which I hope to complete before my brains get too muddy. The forgeries are just a horn in the side, messing up my research.
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Germania Magna
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 03:45:12 pm »

Thank you for your efforts, anyway. Apparently you have inside knowledge which might be the one and only way to successfully and efficiently detect forgeries in the long run.
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 03:55:57 pm »

Dear Joe,

These three dozen fake Helena-Fausta are a tiny sample of the hundreds and hundreds late Roman forgeries I have in my files. That's why I say "an avalanche".

Perhaps I can post these particular ones to the Fake Coin Reports. But there is no way I can post all my fakes, it would take several months full time.

I need to focus on the revision of the coinage of Constantine, which I hope to complete before my brains get too muddy. The forgeries are just a horn in the side, messing up my research.


Maybe consider outsourcing the work to someone else if you are willing to share some credit. I’d be happy to publish them in KOINON, but I couldn’t do the editing for an article.  Someone might be interested, however.
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romeman
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2018, 11:41:15 am »

Dear Nicholas,

You are so right. I need an assistant. In fact, I need several assistants ☺ I keep finding all these wonderful new facts, and I have so little time to publish everything. On average, I publish only one numismatic article per year (but they are usually comprehensive, 50 pages things with masses of coins figured).

In 2016, I published, with Ron Bude and Zach Beasley, a whole paper of 35 pages on a single forgery (METHODS FOR AUTHENTICATING ANCIENT BRONZE COINS: A CASE STUDY OF CONSTANTINE’S “PANNONIAN CAP” COIN.).
Not all forgeries demand that amount of study, but some do. There are 20 fake SPES PVBLIC coins (they are the ones with the Chi-Rho over a labarum piercing a snake), I have made detailed studies of several of those, and they are demanding (I published the first one in 2009 in The Celator: Highly Deceptive Forgeries of Constantine's SPES PVBLIC Coinage). Perhaps someone noted that lot 813 in Roma Numismatics Esale 47 is withdrawn. Guess why  Cheesy So I keep working on making auction houses withdrawing forgeries, at least the forgeries that annoy me  police

I know about Koinon, but has it began it real life yet? I go to lots of numismatic institutions all over Europe (and outside) to study their collections, and everywhere they ask me to publish in their local journal. There is a surplus of journals and a lack of studies.

Best regards, /Lars
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romeman
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2018, 11:44:12 am »

Quote from: Germania Magna on June 13, 2018, 03:45:12 pm
Thank you for your efforts, anyway. Apparently you have inside knowledge which might be the one and only way to successfully and efficiently detect forgeries in the long run.

I wish I had some secret knowledge  Cheesy But ... no. I have a first class stereo microscope (I regularly buy the forgeries for study). And 40 years experience helps.
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romeman
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2018, 09:55:24 am »

Your additional examples are much better images of the fakes in the state that they enter the market than the greyscale images from BoC.

Dear Martin,

A late, grateful thank you for uploading the images from BOC ten years ago! Even if the b/w photos are not superb, the dies can be identified, and thus all the forgeries I posted come from the same workshop. And almost certainly, they were all produced prior to 1990!!!

As the old saying goes: Old fakes die hard. Very true. One fake SPS PVBLIC has been offered at four different auction, by four different prominent auction houses, and it has been withdrawn all four times (on my request). Since the fake is returned to the consignor, it re-appears over and again. I would prefer to have it destroyed. Or given to me for study. But the auction houses cannot do that.

So how many times have these 25 fakes been bought and sold since 1990? Once or twice? And nobody has noticed anything wrong. They are that good.

Worse: Yesterday I received three coins from a UK seller. Beautiful Constantinian coins. Too beautiful. Small pearls from casting, drag from stretching the imprint, file marks on the edges. I can tell for sure one is a cast. I can say with high probability the second is a cast. But the third one looks absolutely genuine (at high magnification in a professional Zeiss stereo microscope). My guess is that the third one is also a forgery, but one that cannot be identified as such. That is really worrying. Again, only obviously impossible die matches might be the only way to show what it is.

My work continues.
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2018, 10:43:52 am »

On a positive note, despite the "avalanche," the quantity of these late Roman bronze fakes is quite small compared to the vast quantity of genuine specimens.
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Joseph Sermarini
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2018, 11:52:06 am »


I know about Koinon, but has it began it real life yet?


Hopefully this fall.  We appear to be on schedule and have the publisher lined-up and ready!
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romeman
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2018, 06:44:09 am »

On a positive note, despite the "avalanche," the quantity of these late Roman bronze fakes is quite small compared to the vast quantity of genuine specimens.

Absolutely, collectors of LRBC can rest assured that these fakes do not affect their collecting. The reason is that since so many fakes go unnoticed, they are sold and bought like other coins and nobody knows they are fake.

An exact parallel is found in modern coinage. In the UK, it was estimated In 2017 that as many as three per cent of the old round pounds were fake, representing £50 million of fake coinage in circulation in the UK at the time. The old round coins have now been replaced by "forgery-proof" coins (haha, they are already discovering fake copies of the new type). Were people affected? No. Did it matter? No. Some criminals got rich, that's about it.

But for me this is a serious problem. Every fake coin introduces false data in my research. That's the main reason why I hunt them down.
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2018, 02:41:48 pm »

A large part of the reason why those fake £1 coins circulated so much was that nobody cared. They looked like £1 coins, they did the business, and if some of them got rejected by till machines when they came out, it was only a minor nuisance.
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Resources  |  Fake Coin Reports, Notorious Fake Sellers, and Discussions (Moderators: maridvnvm, Ilya Prokopov)  |  Topic: Fausta and Helena Antioch/Nicomedia forgeries: part 1 « previous next »
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