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Athens tetradrachm

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Marc B3:
Thank you again.  I'm happy to get some feedback so quickly.  I'm a bit anxious about this now, but will wait to see if anyone else has any thoughts.

It is also very clean except for the dirt encrusted on the reverse.  I suppose that sort of thing can be faked as well.

I am no expert either, but it looks like a lovely coin and perfectly genuine to me. If it were cast, I would expect to see evidence of a seam (or attempted removal of a seam) along the edge. Both the style and flan look fine to me.

I also think that this coin is genuine. It seems to be part of the huge number sold these days:

The pitting and shiny appearance probably come from corrosion and heavy chemical cleaning.



Marc B3:
Thank you for your reply.  I do feel some better about it.  What are your thoughts on the pearls that Ron mentioned?

I'm looking a cast examples from the site.  The raised areas under the chin worry me a bit.  Sorry for all the questions.  I'm really new at this and am trying to understand the best I can.

Kevin D:
Marc B3,

The pearls that Ron mentioned, when seen on a fake cast coin or coin struck from a fake cast die, are raised perfectly (or nearly so) round impressions caused by casting bubble pits. If there is a tiny pit in the mold or die, there will be a tiny raised 'pearl' on the coin when the metal fills the pit in the mold or die. Pearls are always a cause for concern. But sometimes pearls can occur on genuine ancient coins, when the die becomes pitted from rust or wear. On your coin, there are some pearls seen in and around the lips and between the jaw/chin and neck on the obverse. But also in these areas, there are signs of die degradation: small raised clumps extending into the field above and below the lower lip, and above and below the pearls seen in the crook of the neck. So in the case of your coin, because I don't see anything else that looks 'wrong' to me about the coin, I attribute these few pearls to die degradation. If I saw more pearls, and something else that bothered me about the coin, like incorrect style, I would be suspicious. It's a judgment call, and I could be wrong, and sometimes I am.

In addition to looking for an edge seam, as previously mentioned, if I had your coin in hand, I would inspect with magnification the striking edge split that goes into Athena's forehead. These kinds of striking edge splits often don't look right on cast fake coins. If the split on your coin has good depth and rough interior surfaces, it could be a sign of genuineness. I would also check with magnification the right incuse square 'wall', next to the letters on the reverse. There are tiny striking lines on this surface made by the die. These can also be duplicated in a cast coin, and they can also be 'dulled' from being exposed to the elements over the centuries, but if they look so sharp that they seem unlikely to be cast, it might also be a sign of genuineness. However, these diagnostics will not work for detecting a cast die.

Did you buy your coin from a reputable and experienced seller?

I checked the following links for fakes that look like they were struck or cast from the dies that struck your coin, and I didn't see any (which is good). You can have a look to see fakes that have been identified. You will see casting pearls on some of these examples.

Forvm - Dr. Ilya Prokopov's Fake Ancient Coin Reports

Forgery Network

Modern Owl Forgeries


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