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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Numismatics ▸ CounterfeitsView Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Counterfeit Coins

Counterfeits of some of the very earliest coins prove that counterfeiting is nearly as old as coinage. The coins on this page are not the official issues of the various Greek cities or kings, or of the Roman or Byzantine empires, but they are all ancient, historic, and collectible. These are not modern replicas.

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy X Alexander, c. 116 - 80 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

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This is an unusual ancient counterfeit with a Cypriot style portrait of Zeus Ammon. The central "dimples" on this counterfeit type were actually cut into the dies and struck into the flan. On the official coins the "dimple" resulted from a production process and was not a feature of the dies. This is the third specimen of this counterfeit type known to Forum.
GP84120. Bronze AE 21, cf. Svoronos 1698 (official mint), VF, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, pre-strike casting sprue remaining, struck imitations of centration dimples, weight 5.201 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial Cypriot mint, c. 116 - 80 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus Ammon right, central "dimple"; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, two eagles standing left on thunderbolts, side by side, heads left, wings closed, cornucopia left, central "dimple"; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00

Roman Republic, Faustus Cornelius Sulla, 56 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

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This type honors Pompey the Great, Faustus' father-in-law; three trophies were engraved on the signet ring of Pompey the Great symbolizing his victories on three continents
RR43583. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. SRCV I 386, Sydenham 884, Crawford 426/3, BMCRR 3909 and RSC I Cornelia 63 (official, Rome mint, 56 A.D.), VF, core exposed, weight 2.372 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, illegal mint, obverse laureate and diademed head of Venus right, scepter on shoulder, SC behind; reverse three military trophies between jug and lituus, FAVSTVS monogram in exergue; SOLD

Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit

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Small bumps are often found on fouree denarii. They are normally about 2-3 mm in diameter, sometimes open revealing rich copper salts or, after cleaning, the copper core. These bumps are created by chemical reactions ocurring in between the copper core and the silver plate. The bump on this coin is by far the largest we have seen.
RS32178. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC II 20, RSC II 134, BMCRE III 48 (official, Rome mint), F, weight 3.019 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 270o, illegal mint, after 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse SALVS PVBLICA (health of the public), Salus seated left, heads of grain in right, left elbow on throne; SOLD



Campbell, W. Greek and Roman Plated Coins. ANSNNM 75. (New York, 1933).
Metcalf, W. "Two Alexandrian Hoards" in RBN CXXII (1976), pp. 65 - 77, & pls. 1 - 2.

Catalog current as of Monday, February 19, 2018.
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Ancient Counterfeit Coins