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Author Topic: Curious Faustina I lifetime issue denarius  (Read 223 times)

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Offline Luuk S

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Curious Faustina I lifetime issue denarius
« on: October 16, 2021, 06:03:19 am »
Hi All

Last week i received this curious denarius of Faustina the Elder. The legends on the obverse reveal that it's a lifetime issue of her, struck in the first year of Antoninus Pius' reign, so 138-139 AD.
The reverse is puzzling me, however. The legend reads PIETAS [AVG?], with CONCORD in the exergue. As far as i can find, no denarii were struck with Pietas for Faustina during her lifetime, nor with CONCORD in the exergue.
It gets stranger still, as the seated Figure (Concordia) is depicted holding a Victory, instead of the usual patera.
The coin has a nice patina, so i think it's a genuine ancient coin. Apart from the somewhat low weight, the quality and craftmanship is as high as the Imperial issues of the time, so i'm not sure of this is a contemporary counterfeit. Nevertheless, i cannot find a match with any known coins. Can anyone help me with this coin :-) ? Thanks in advance

Gr Luuk

Obverse: FAUVSTINA AVG ANTONINI AVG PP. Bust of Faustina to right.
Reverse: PIETAS [..], CONCORD in exergue. Concordia seated left, holding transverse sceptre and a small Victory.
Struck: 138-139 AD (based on the legends on obverse)
Weight: 2.68 g
Axis: 0600 h

Offline andi89

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Re: Curious Faustina I lifetime issue denarius
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2021, 10:22:36 am »
I agree, it is an genuine ancient coin. On the quality and the craftsmanship however I disagree. Particularly the portrait is a clear indication that the style is far away from official; it almost has some goofy appearance; I apologize for not being able to describe and explain better what I mean. Maybe comparing it with other official specimens of the time might help.
Best regards
Andi

Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re: Curious Faustina I lifetime issue denarius
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2021, 01:44:24 pm »
It is almost certainly an ancient plated counterfeit, a fourree
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Offline Luuk S

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Re: Curious Faustina I lifetime issue denarius
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2021, 01:06:45 am »
Thanks. I think it being an ancient counterfeit makes the most sense when looking at the curious reverse. Still, it is a nice counterfeit and assuming it is a fourree, the copper core is fully intact, with no signs of corrosion of the core yet.

Offline andi89

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Re: Curious Faustina I lifetime issue denarius
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2021, 12:10:17 pm »
I do not see any hints that this coin is plated.
@Joe: Could you tell us why you are so certain that it is a fouree?

Best regards
Andi

Offline Meepzorp

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Re: Curious Faustina I lifetime issue denarius
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2021, 01:04:09 pm »
Hi andi,

The low weight and the coloring.

Also, in some cases, the copper core is showing through.

Meepzorp

Offline andi89

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Re: Curious Faustina I lifetime issue denarius
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2021, 02:07:53 pm »
Hi Meepzorp.
I am aware of general signs of a fouree, like a copper core showing , but thanks for making it extra clear  ;D
The low weight I oversaw, valid point.
The coloring on the other hand can be caused by almost anything, I could not see a connection between a plating and the color of the intact silver surface. But let us end the discussion here, please.
Thanks and have a nice day
Andi

Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re: Curious Faustina I lifetime issue denarius
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2021, 02:26:27 pm »
It is not an official mint issue. It appears to be struck with unofficial dies. That leaves three possibilitie. Modern fake or ancient counterfeit, or ancient imitative. I think the style shows the work of an ancient mind and hand. Imitatives are far less common than plated coins in that period. That makes it very likely a fourree.  Larger photos would allow me to look for other indicators.
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