Classical Numismatics Discussion
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Resources  |  Fake Coin Reports, Notorious Fake Sellers, and Discussions (Moderators: maridvnvm, Ilya Prokopov)  |  Topic: Seizure and metallurigical tests of Sicilian forger's output 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Seizure and metallurigical tests of Sicilian forger's output  (Read 215 times)
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« on: June 09, 2019, 02:56:06 pm »

As a consequence of police operations in Messina (Sicily), a huge quantity of perfect imitations of ancient coins, realized by a sicilian forger, has been recently found. Such
fakes have been realized by the lost wax casting technique and reproduce coins issued by different authorities in different historical epochs.
Five fakes from the Messinian faker were tested as samples:
- Brettii, Calabria. Second Punic War issue, Head of Herakles/figure right with spear and shield
- Fantasy but commonly found on ebay etc, gorgoneion/ two dots in an "H".
- Himera, female head left/six dots in wreath.
- Balbinus with PROVIDENTIA DEORUM reverse
- Roman republican, AE issue of issued by Sextus Pompey.

A pdf of the metallurigical test can be found here:

https://www.academia.edu/39184902/ANCIENT_COINS_AND_THEIR_MODERN_FAKES_AN_ATTEMPT_OF_PHYSICO-CHEMICAL_UNMASKING
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2019, 03:26:11 pm »

Thank you for sharing this information.
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Joe Sermarini
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2019, 03:49:23 pm »

Please do not call any fake a perfect imitation. Since these coins are cast, they cannot be perfect. Close perhaps, but do we really even know that? I have seen a lot of fakes made in Sicily, while they are often good, most are far from perfect.
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 05:39:56 am »

He's just quoting from the article. They make that false claim several times. They're scientists, so what can you expect? :-)
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 08:02:24 pm »

We previously discussed this topic.  http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=64867.0

In Classical Deception (page 54) Wayne Sayles mentions the excellent patinas on Sicilian fake coins starting in the 1990s. After his book was published I noticed copies of the coin Sayles used as an example appearing in the printed catalogs of several dealers.

Mezzasalma, Mondio, and Serafino analyze five fake bronze coins with false patinas. This is the recipe the forger confessed to:

“…one of the most used recipes for fakes artificial ageing utilizes a solution composed by penthydrated CuSO4 [Copper Sulfate] together with HNO3 [Nitric Acid] and NH4Cl [Ammonium Chloride] in distilled H2O [Water]. In this solution, warmed up until 80‐90°C, the just produced fakes (at about 100 °C) are immersed. Such a bath gives them an artificial patina with an “antique green” colour and a deceptive antiquity appearance. Drops of the above CuSO4 solution on clean bronze surfaces may form dendritic structures with the same characteristics of those observed in our fakes.”

I wish I knew of an easy way to analyze real and false patinas and categorize them.  Dealers just give colors.  I wish there was something like the "lead test" kits they sell at home depot to analyze patinas with a few easy swabs.
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 09:50:22 am »

Most of these fake patinas are very thin and tend to wear or rub off on the high points. 
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Resources  |  Fake Coin Reports, Notorious Fake Sellers, and Discussions (Moderators: maridvnvm, Ilya Prokopov)  |  Topic: Seizure and metallurigical tests of Sicilian forger's output « previous next »
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