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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Resources  |  Authentication, Fakes and Frauds (Moderators: maridvnvm, Ilya Prokopov)  |  Topic: R stands for what on a Coin ??? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: R stands for what on a Coin ???  (Read 799 times)
Adrian W
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« on: March 25, 2013, 03:18:56 pm »

I was doing my usual auction trolling yesterday for things to buy and sell and take what I find and make money on to buy one of the coins.

One of the descriptions at the auction house was the following.

A small group of Roman coins, to include a "Julius Ceasar" Venus head denarius (with bankers test mark), an "Agrippa" Neputune AS, a "Domition" AS and Constantine I London mint Follis

The J.C. sound interesting but the bankers test mark threw me so I asked for jpegs this is what they sent me.

I told them that R stands for REPLICA.

So we will see what happens with that.

I did send them a link from the Forum to help them in the future.

Adrian
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 03:23:42 pm »

Are you sure it's replica?
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Adrian W
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 03:33:59 pm »

Here is the other side and I sent them this link with a similiar looking R

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?album=21&pos=381
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 07:40:04 pm »

I don't see any reason why this should be suspected as a 'replica'
based solely on the presence of the "R" banker's mark. It is a mark
that seems to be quite well known, including this example of the
same type of coin from a large auction firm - here:

[LINK REMOVED BY ADMIN]
(many other letters are known)

Walter Holt
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Howard Cole
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2013, 07:46:15 pm »

A long time ago it was a practice of coins to stamp their coins in their collections.  That is what most likely happen to these coins.
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 08:03:05 pm »

The denarius stamped with R in the auction lot, however, is an exact duplicate of the one in the fake reports that is also stamped with R, though on the reverse not the obverse. Since they are identical twins, those two coins must be modern replicas.
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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 08:45:13 pm »

The denarius stamped with R in the auction lot, however, is an exact duplicate of the one in the fake reports that is also stamped with R, though on the reverse not the obverse. Since they are identical twins, those two coins must be modern replicas.


Thanks Curtis,

For the benefit of others I have manually adjusted the relevant
images and posted them together for comparison's purpose.



I guess I have questions about the reasons behind condemning
the item in the fake report in the first place. If the only reason
was that it was simply claimed to be so on a particular auction
site, then I cannot say that that is convincing. The presence of
the "R" does nothing, by itself, to add to that. If there are any
other reasons, then they should be made clearer by the poster.

Additonally, and not wishing to be contrarian, the two pieces
are visually quite similar, but I still have my doubts about them
being 'identical' - without the benefit of further evidence.

If there are other reasons to condemn, then I would feel more
comfortable about condemning these pieces after hearing those
reasons than I do now.

I expect you will agree that the presence of the "R" by itself is
insufficient reason to determine matters either way. Please kindly
correct my misconceptions if you feel I am in any way mistaken.

All the best,

Walter Holt
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2013, 08:52:37 pm »

Thanks for the juxtaposition!

Clearly the two coins are not identical as I thought, eliminating the only conclusive argument for condemning them!
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Curtis Clay
Adrian W
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 09:09:01 pm »

Boy do I feel like an idiot,I figured that a coin stamped with an R would automatically make it a replica though I am apparently wrong.

I drew that from the conclustion that comparable in the fake reports had a similar R though the coins are not identical and this coins is
often faked.

As they say you learn something new everyday.

Sometimes this hobby is too confusing, I think I better stick with early 17th and 16th century Bibles as those I do know what I am talking
about.

Oh well

Adrian
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 09:43:43 pm »

Boy do I feel like an idiot,I figured that a coin stamped with an R would automatically make it a replica though I am apparently wrong.

I drew that from the conclustion that comparable in the fake reports had a similar R though the coins are not identical and this coins is often faked.

As they say you learn something new everyday.

Sometimes this hobby is too confusing, I think I better stick with early 17th and 16th century Bibles as those I do know what I am talking about.

Oh well

Adrian

Dear Adrian,
Don't get disillusioned by this one experience. This is a very broad
and varied hobby with a great many facets and directions.

Always remember to use your critical thinking skills when assessing
a matter or before drawing a particular conclusion.

There is almost always more than one single aspect that condemns
any particular coin, and so try to consider as many as you can and it
is only when all point in the same direction that you can better, and
more properly, conclude on the matter, either way. Best of all, if you
don't know, you can ask any number of people on a place like this.

The more you get into these things, the more I am sure you will
enjoy it. Your experience will grow and things will become easier.

To compare with your own area of knowledge, how much did you
really know when you first began on early bibles? Your knowledge
and experience grew with exposure and time. The same can be
said about this, and probably most other hobbies. Jump in! Enjoy!

Walter Holt
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 10:35:10 pm »

Except...I think I have seen this same R on other replicas.  Not sure, but I think...
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Lloyd Taylor
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 10:55:01 pm »

Except...I think I have seen this same R on other replicas.  Not sure, but I think...
Definitely the case... this time on Greeks... image lifted from http://counterfeitcoins.reidgold.com/replicas.html

Not saying it isn't so, but this is the frst I have heard of R as a banker's mark on Roman coins. What is the reference, if any, that documents this as an authentic banker's mark?

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Lloyd Taylor
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2013, 11:20:27 pm »

Addition to the preceding... The letter R is freshly stamped (i.e. unworn) on the Romans posted in this thread and clearly post-dates the "wear" of the coin! Anyone else think this a little strange? It would only work if the banker countermarked a worn coin then it was hoarded it immediately, preserving the fresh banker's mark. Possible, but it seems unlikely that all such countermarked specimens would show such an inconsistency in "wear" pattern for the countermark versus that of the overall coin.

My money is definitely on R for REPLICA for all the examples posted on this thread... they also bear other characteristics suggestive of a non-struck origin.
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OldMoney
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2013, 02:25:39 am »

Not saying it isn't so, but this is the frst I have heard of R as a banker's mark on Roman coins.
What is the reference, if any, that documents this as an authentic banker's mark?

Hi Lloyd, did you see the CNG piece above? Smiley
I am not sure why it would/could not be so. There are a lot
of letters used as banker's marks, and "R" is a Latin letter.
Besides which, the two "R"s on the illustrated Caesar coins
are quite different in shape, and perhaps size.

There is also another one for Ahenobarbus here:

http://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=185970
So either CNG have been fooled, or there are at least two!

And that is just from a few seconds scan of their holdings. Who
knows what else is out there among other dealer's holdings.

As I said above, the "R" in-and-of-itself is NOT what condemns
any coin, there MUST be other factors of note. Some of those
factors are clear and obvious on the examples you illustrate.
Suspicion is not enough, you must have substantiation.

Another example of an "R" on a reproduction coin, or even "RR",
are the Ready electrotypes produced at/for the British Museum.
However, those stamps are usually on the edge.

Again, the "R" stamps/marks alone DO NOT comdemn anything,
at worst they are merely signposts to look for other signs that
may give some indication or otherwise about authenticity.

Addition to the preceding... The letter R is freshly stamped (i.e. unworn) on the Romans posted in this thread and clearly post-dates the "wear" of the coin! Anyone else think this a little strange? It would only work if the banker countermarked a worn coin then it was hoarded it immediately, preserving the fresh banker's mark. Possible, but it seems unlikely that all such countermarked specimens would show such an inconsistency in "wear" pattern for the countermark versus that of the overall coin.

The wear makes perfect sense. You don't mint a coin and then
immediately stamp it - you get a coin in circulation, probably a
little worn, maybe very worn, and then it gets stamped. Don't
forget that the stamp is incuse, not in relief as is the rest of the
coin. This really shouldn't be such a difficult concept to grasp.

In fact, do what I did, and search for "bank mark denar" and
see just how many turn up, and the variety of letters that are
presented. Do you also arbitrarily condemn the "C" as copy,
or the "D" as doubtful, or the "F" as fake? Of course not, you
would need additional information for each, and the same
must be so for the "R", or any other letter for that matter.

Quote
My money is definitely on R for REPLICA for all the examples posted on this thread... they also bear other characteristics suggestive of a non-struck origin.

I am interested in reading your reasons - and evidence - for
condemning the CNG coins, and both of the Caesar pieces. It is
quite clear (or should be) that the ugly 'Athens' and 'Alexander'
'tetradrachms' are modern fake copies.

If I can offer anything else, please let me know. I am happy to
clarify whatever I can to assist.

All the best,

Walter Holt
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Lloyd Taylor
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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 04:24:40 am »

Walter - thanks for the clarification of the banker's mark R. 

As I said, its the first time I have seen any discussion of this letter as a bankers mark, and I'll defer to those more knowledgeable of the Roman series on this.

But that said, I would be cautious of these coins, not simply because of the letter R, but other aspects including what appear photographically to be inconsistent wear patterns, although admittedly the images are pretty lousy and prone to much ambiguity. I certainly would not consider buying such coins based on images alone, either with, or without, the R mark.

As for the CNG coin I don't like the surfaces and wear pattern, although a worn obverse die may be part of the problem .... again maybe imagery may have a lot to do with it, and the R has such a prominant standout modern quality that it leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling.  With such coins I'd like to see reference to  a scholarly work on bankers marks to provide additional comfort in the attribution and description.

So yes I would be pretty gun-shy when  it comes to considering coins with any such letter marks that are also utilized to signify modern relplicas.  I would have to be an expert and collector focused on banker's marks for them to capture my interest with confidence in authenticity.  In this game it pays to be cautious and there are plenty of unequivocally authentic coins of this type available that make it unnecessary to take the risk, be it a real bankers's mark or otherwise.  My money would definitely remain in my pocket when it came to these examples. I suspect many others would have similar concerns and even if authentic these R marked coins would I expect find fewer buyers and be harder to move on when the day comes to do so.
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Andrew McCabe
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2013, 04:44:18 am »

 Thumbs Up

I agree with Lloyd's comments. Although letters were occasionally used as bankers marks in ancient times, including R, the letter R, in modern form, on top of 'coins' that are degraded to this extent, is not very comforting, given that the same letter is also used to indicated modern replicas. Best avoided unless the host coin is of a quality that allows it to be authenticated irrespective of such marks.

I note in the initial post "I was doing my usual auction trolling yesterday for things to buy and sell and take what I find and make money on...". Forgive me if I misinterpreted, but isn't this rather taking advantage of our host's hospitality, in pre-screening purchases, compounded by doing so for a commercial gain rather than to enhance a coin collection?
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Adrian W
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2013, 05:35:50 am »

Andrew,
You are correct  I have no interest in these coins at all as I have them already but I enjoy trolling auction listings for items of interest and I do look at coins.I was just illustrating that this auction house is suggesting that this coin is genuine which I assumed it was not and just posted it as such on here and I did not mean to open up a huge discussion.

I would never pre-secreen purchases here as I know I would get my head bitten off.I still would stay away from coins with an R or a C just to be on the safe side.

I did buy yesterday a 1619 King James Bible,some single book leafs from the Folio Society and 4 South Carolina Bank notes 2 x$50 and 2 X $20 but no coins.

This R looks some what different from the ones posted here and what confuses here is that the R on the coin in Fakes has an R for Replica so I assumed the same obviously
wrongly
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2013, 01:47:26 pm »

If you were an ancient Roman how would you make a punch with a nicely formed letter on it? 

Ross G. 
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Lloyd Taylor
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2013, 11:22:01 pm »

If you were an ancient Roman how would you make a punch with a nicely formed letter on it?  

And with modern typeface quality at 2-3 mm scale.... a damned good question!
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