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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Resources  |  Authentication, Fakes and Frauds (Moderators: maridvnvm, Ilya Prokopov)  |  Topic: LATE BYZANTINE GOLD COIN, I.D HELP PLEASE 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: LATE BYZANTINE GOLD COIN, I.D HELP PLEASE  (Read 5499 times)
monty
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« on: January 24, 2008, 10:57:12 am »

hi, can anyone help me with an i.d on a late byzantine gold coin i have.


it measures about 23mm, and weighs about 4.3 grams.

i purchased it a few years ago at an antiques fair, and have just come across it again while sorting out my collection.

many thanks,  ade
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wileyc
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 11:08:51 am »

Gold Hyperper

Empire of Nicaea John III Vatatses
(1222-54)
Mint of magnesia, second coinage

much like the Thessalonica issues of John II Comenus, Emperor with a round cut beard instead of the forked beard in his silver trachea

 Attribution is debated

cordially
cw
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Alexios
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2008, 11:36:37 am »

Unfortunately your coin is fake and i think its not even gold... Undecided
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monty
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2008, 12:08:08 pm »

fake? what makes you say that.

as to not being gold, i am sure it is. the green marks on the one side you see are just particles from the box i stored it in, i didnt notice them until after uploading the picture.
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Alexios
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2008, 07:10:31 am »

Monty, try to scratch your coin with a needle and i think something white will show beneath. I am sure it is fake and i am almost sure it is not gold. Please let me know what will happen if you scratch it or cut the edge with a knife.
I cant explain you why the coin if fake (style mostly, edges, too heavy for that cut shape).
Waiting for the result.
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monty
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2008, 08:02:34 am »

hi, i can go one better than scratching.

as an antiques dealer i have an acid testing kit gold/silver.

i am reluctant to use this method on coins normally, but i have done so in this case. i can confirm the coin is in fact gold.

i have been looking now i have an I.D on wildwinds, and have to honest am happy with the comparison with some of the listed coins.
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joma-tk
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2008, 01:13:47 am »

For people who have seen many (too many...) Byzantine coins, it is very obvious that this coin is fake, even if they
can not immediately justify it.
It has to do with the flan, the shape of the figures, the color and other many details which you "feel" that are not correct.
Please  look side by side the specimen that Plami suggested and yours.
Apart from the loros, look the distances between the two bodies, the emperors right hand (I checked two more copies and
the emperors hand is sooo different), the akakia he holds in his left hand, Virgin's right hand, the details and length
of Virgin's clothing (right side) etc etc.
Sorry...
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monty
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2008, 02:22:34 am »

hi, thankyou for the reply. no need to say sorry, i just wanted some idea as why it is a fake. at the end of the day, i have a lump of gold if nothing else.

i still have doudts though. i have looked on wildwinds, and there are some in a very similar style. short flans etc.



my next question, is it old? made by a other culture copying it (such as happened in india with early roman aureous, or perhaps as in other eastern countrys mades as a wedding gift/jewellry piece old/modern?)

thanks,  ade
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monty
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2008, 03:42:05 am »

in answer to some earlier posts about it being gold plated.

to acid test a piece of gold you have to file the surface back, thus breaking any plate. (i have bought and sold gold/silver for a living for about twentey years, so as i am sure you will understand i know what i'm doing when testing)

as to the quote about green crap, that is just particles on the surface, and as you will see from my redone pictures just wiped off. i simply didnt notice them when i took the first pictures.

i thought it was similar in the below link. is that possibly fake? it has the same short flan, and upright style.

http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/sb/sb2073-o.3.jpg   http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/sb/sb2073-r.3.jpg

this is a most interesting learning curve for me, thankyou for sharing your knowledge.

cheers,  ade
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Obryzum
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008, 05:24:53 am »

I will go out on a limb and say that the coin is genuine.  Why?  Because nobody in their right mind fakes a gold coin that: (i) is common, (ii) is only worth $200, (iii) is scyphate, (iv) is technically not even Byzantine because it is an exile issue (and therefore has an even more limited market), and (v) would need to be designed from scratch and struck rather than cast  -- which is a lot more work for the counterfeiter (the arguments against authenticity are based on style and flan rather than evidence of a copy of a genuine coin). 

Is this a new Byzantine gold fake that has recently entered the market?  Sure it's possible, but if it is fake, is this the first specimen ever discovered?  Monty, does this coin have any provenance?  That is something I would want to know. 

Regarding the odd flan, compare to this example:
http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=166732&AucID=208&Lot=789

Regarding the distance between the emperor and the Theotokos, and the grid pattern of the loros, consider this example:
http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=159380&AucID=194&Lot=625

Regarding the grid pattern of the loros, consider this example:
http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=159382&AucID=194&Lot=627

Regarding the poor lettering consider this example:
http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=166731&AucID=208&Lot=788

Regarding the poor craftsmanship of the emperor's hand consider this example:
http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=5154&AucID=7&Lot=1492

Workmanship standards and style differences are so varied for this issue that I am not comfortable condemning the coin based on the photos, especially considering that the technical difficulties of counterfeiting a common scyphate and the limited market put this at the bottom of the list of coins I would suspect . . .
 
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monty
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2008, 05:42:15 am »

hi Obryzum,

thankyou for your insight on this coin. i agree it seams odd faking a common coin, time better spent chasing the big bucks.

i also see from the examples you have found, my coins weight of about 4.3 grams is within the accepted range.

the coin does not have any real provenance. i purchased it as scrap gold a few years ago at an antiques fair where it was bought to me. i purchase a lot of gold and silver this way from the public.

now before any one says no would sell an item like this for scrap, let me correct you. when prices go up for metal all sorts of items get turned in, i reguarly get old and interesting gold and silver coins as scrap, i recently fished a waterloo medal out of a batch of silver.

ade
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2008, 06:04:49 am »

I'm still in accordance with all the sceptics.

There are lot of byzantine coins restruck or casted with a lower catalog value - please remember the well known Nikomedia Year XII, officin B Follis of Justinian.

Most histamena of the exile period come very well struck on good modules. The one shown appears as completely different even in comparision with Obryzum's qouted ones (more than "out of stomach" feeling).

Byzantium exile gold from the time of Latin occupation seems to be a good candidate for fakes to sell without any problems vs. the governmental authorities of the "producing" middle east states. I'm pretty sure, this is a tourist fake (in exactly this sense) which was attributed as genuine more and more while changing several owning hands (every change with a little bit of profit Huh)


 
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Trachys forever !!!!!

kind regards
Stefan
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2008, 08:17:38 am »

I don't know is this fake or is this gold or gold-plated.... we have only a photo here....the style is some unusual, but no so...the weight is to high, but no so.... but I'm almost sure - this item have been cast, not mint  Embarrassed
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http://www.orthodoxcoins.com
Catalogue of the Late Byzantine Coins
monty
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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2008, 08:24:55 am »

hi, its not cast. there are no seams, spurs or bubbles, and the detail in the better parts of the cup inside are to good and fine for casting. there is also a small flan crack on the edge to the right of the christ figure.

ade
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Alexios
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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2008, 11:42:53 am »

The coin is cast and its covered with yellow metal maybe gold. I saw 4 such exemples on the market last year Smiley this one is made really good, but it screams fake for the experienced byzantine collector Smiley the edges are one of the good proofs of it, i think Orthodoxcoins knows what kind of marks left the byzantine scissors after the clipping Wink
The edges of this coin are almost round. Im curious to scratch the coin, what will show under the yellow layer?  Wink
The coin is contemporary forgery on 101% - and i dont speak if i am not 100% sure.
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Alexios
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« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2008, 11:45:52 am »

And the fact that bothers me...who told that the coins in wildwinds are 100% authentic??
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monty
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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2008, 12:12:54 pm »

hi Alexios,
 thanks again for your info.


i never said i think all the coins on wildwinds were real. in fact i asked the question could there be fakes on there  angel

an other point, i admit i dont know byzantine coins Huh, thats why i posted this here to find out more from those that do know,  but i do know gold, i make a living from dealing in it as metal, i can tell you 100% this coin weather fake or real is made of gold.

i'm not saying your wrong about it being fake, i have no idea, it may well be, others say you are right on this,  i do dispute your saying its not gold.

i have filed the edge (scratched if you prefer) and have acid tested it in more than one place, 100% it is actually gold and not plated.


regards ade
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Plami
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« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2008, 04:35:58 pm »

And the fact that bothers me...who told that the coins in wildwinds are 100% authentic??

I almost said the same thing but... Anyway, I just came back from a coin show in Virginia and saw a few gold coins, one of them I thought looked like what Monty is showing us here. But... that coin was 100% authentic and I had no doubts whatsoever. Again, being no expert in gold coins, I will pass on further comments. However, I am still sceptical, especially as Scott mentioned today at the show, this one does not look like a typical Byzantine clipping. It is clearly too smooth around the edges.

In response to a comment above regarding faking $200 coins. Of course there are fakes of coins that are in that price range, even below that. As Alexios and Stefan said, there are many tourist fakes, especially in Turkey. There are also some really good Bulgarian "fake masters" who are still in business. I recently purchased a silver coin in the $200 range which I thought could be fake based on just the photos. When I received it and took a few high quality pics, I knew it was fake and others confirmed that too. And it was "only" $200 and was intended to be $200.

Since Alexios mostly collects gold coins, I would tend to agree with his "feel". If Val says it is a cast, then it is a cast. No questions asked Smiley))

Monty, why don't you do us a favor and try to take a few very good close-up pictures of the coin. Take one of the edges as well. That might help. Then hopefully we'll have a better idea.

Cheers everyone!
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Obryzum
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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2008, 04:44:14 pm »

There are lot of byzantine coins restruck or casted with a lower catalog value - please remember the well known Nikomedia Year XII, officin B Follis of Justinian.

That is very true, but the Justinian follis is a much easier coin to counterfeit and mass produce through casting.  The market is also a lot larger -- tourists hear a lot about Justinian when they see all of the monuments, so it is natural that many of them would be interested in buying one of his coins.  In contrast, few people know about John III.  Why would a tourist want to buy a coin of John III?

Quote from: Orthodoxcoins on January 26, 2008, 08:17:38 am
I don't know is this fake or is this gold or gold-plated.... we have only a photo here....the style is some unusual, but no so...the weight is to high, but no so.... but I'm almost sure - this item have been cast, not mint  Embarrassed

If it was cast, wouldn't it make a lot more sense to use a real coin with better features to make the cast?  Why go to the trouble of hand-making a fake in the "wrong" style and then make a cast of it?

And if Monty tells the truth when he said that he has had this coin for years, why haven't any others been discovered and reported?  

I think this is a close enough question that I would want to examine the coin in hand before condemning it.  
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Obryzum
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« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2008, 01:02:12 am »

One more thought . . . I have made this comment on the fakes board and I think it makes sense to repeat it here:  When someone has already purchased a coin, I think people should be more reserved about condemning a coin than when someone posts a picture of a questionable coin that they are thinking about buying

Speaking from experience, last August I posted images of several gold coins in my collection on the fakes board.  Virtually everyone, including Alexios, piled on and said that it was "obvious" that my coins were fakes.  I had some reservations about a couple of coins, but I thought it was far from "obvious" that any of the coins were fake.  After reading the comments on Forum, I panicked.  I started doubting every gold coin in my collection.  I ended up sending seven of them to David Sear, together with a check for $280.  By email, I made out the case to Mr. Sear for why I suspected that each might be a fake

To my surprise, he authenticated all seven coins, and by the comments in his emails, he made it sound like it wasn't even a close question for any of the seven.  I learned my $280 lesson: be wary of fakes, learn as much as you can my reading the helpful posts here, but take the advice you receive here with a grain of salt.  People rountinely condemn coins here that David Sear certifies without hesitation.

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Plami
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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2008, 10:12:49 am »

Alright everyone,

I think this discussion could be safely moved to "FAKE COIN DISCUSSIONS". Here is why. I received an e-mail from a highly respected numismatist in Bulgaria, who has previously examined these types of coins. He is an authority in the field and is soon going to publish a book about hyperpera, where you will likely see these coins in the "fakes" section.  He first noticed these types of coins in an auction about 3 years ago. Later on he saw similar ones sold in Sofia at about $90 each. After questioning their low price, the seller addmitted that the coins are fake.

I am attaching some pictures which will hopefully convince Obryzum.

Best!

The reverse is exactly the same on Number 1 and Number 2.
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Plami
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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2008, 10:14:25 am »

The obverse is exactly the same on Number 2 and Number 3.
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Plami
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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2008, 10:19:08 am »

Take a look at Number 4 and Number 5.
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Plami
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« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2008, 10:20:34 am »

... and Numbers 6 and 7.
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Plami
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« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2008, 10:21:42 am »

Let's take a look at Monty's coin again and compare to the specimens above. police police police
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Resources  |  Authentication, Fakes and Frauds (Moderators: maridvnvm, Ilya Prokopov)  |  Topic: LATE BYZANTINE GOLD COIN, I.D HELP PLEASE « previous next »
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