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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.


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Barbaric Imitative

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The style of this coin is unlike that of any Roman mint. It is an ancient imitative, likely struck outside the Empire for local use, perhaps by a Germanic tribe. Imitations of Roman coins were struck and cast in Germany, in Dacia, and as far east as India and Sri Lanka.
RS87245. Silver denarius, cf. RIC IV 5 (S); RSC III 260; BMCRE V p. 21, 8 (official, Rome mint, 193 A.D.), VF, double struck, flan flaws, weight 3.271 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial (Germanic tribal?) mint, 193 A.D.; obverse IMV CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG (slightly blundered), laureate head right; reverse LEG II ADIVT, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards, TR P COS (or similar) in exergue; rare; $150.00 (127.50)


Roman Republic, c. 169 - 91 B.C., Unofficial Issue

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Crawford notes, "The very common quadrantes with M and N (as Milan 351) are clearly unofficial."
RR79715. Copper quadrans, cf. Milan 351 (from Crawford appendix p. 309 unofficial issues of bronze coins), Sydenham -, VF, centered on a tight flan, light marks,, weight 4.182 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 135o, unofficial mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, ROMA below, three pellets before, M above; ex FORVM (2006), ex Goodman collection; $140.00 (119.00)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.
RS85049. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC III 19, RSC II 804, BMCRE IV 66, Hunter II -, SRCV II - (official, Rome mint, 10 Dec 180 - 10 Dec 181 A.D.), aVF, well centered, toned, bumps and scratches, edge cracks, copper core exposed in a few spots, weight 2.713 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, c. 181 - 182 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TR P VI IMP IIII COS III P P, Providentia standing half left, head left, wand in right hand over globe at feet, long grounded scepter in left hand; $55.00 (46.75)







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REFERENCES

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 Friday, July 20, 2018.
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Ancient Counterfeit Coins