FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board

Resources => Fake Coins and Notorious Fake Sellers => Topic started by: Flav V on April 08, 2021, 01:58:27 am

Title: Zeno solidus
Post by: Flav V on April 08, 2021, 01:58:27 am

Those three coins are with two unlisted officinas... The problem is the two holes you can see on the obverse of the first coin and those same holes (duff?) in the same place on the second and third coin. It seems to me that this is the same obverse die on the coin illustrated in the RIC X n°905, plate 30.
Title: Re: Zeno solidus
Post by: Hydatius on April 08, 2021, 08:18:41 am
1. The three coins share the same obverse die and nos 2 and 3 share a reverse die. That obverse die is the one illustrated in RIC 10.905.

2. Unlisted officinae don't mean much. Kent was pretty sloppy with such details and was working very quickly to put the volume together.

3. I don't see the two 'holes' you mention on the obverse. There's the obvious dimple on the reverse that has caused a raised point on the obverse, and an (almost) matching pock mark on the second obverse, but the marks aren't the same.

Title: Re: Zeno solidus
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 08, 2021, 09:07:37 pm
I see the holes, but I don't think they match exactly, and close doesn't mean fake.
Title: Re: Zeno solidus
Post by: Flav V on April 09, 2021, 01:07:54 am
Dear Hydatius, here is the hole that im talking about.

@Joe, for me the hole is the same everytime. Do you consider it as a deposit or die break that then print this hole?
Title: Re: Zeno solidus
Post by: Hydatius on April 09, 2021, 11:08:06 am
Okay. This is perplexing. I'll set out the details and others can chip in their two cents' worth.

1. Lacam. This is the plate coin for RIC 905, from Guy Lacam's massive book on the gold coinage from the end of the Empire. This is Plate CXLIX, p. 612 of vol. 2. Kent's plate is also taken from this book. This is the best scan I can get of this since the actual photo is as wide as a piece of paper and my scanner won't let me reduce scans. Note that this is an early state of the die and the coin itself is in excellent condition with little wear. It is listed in RIC as R5 (unique).

2. May 2015= and June 2016=. These are two photos of the same coin. They are much larger than the ones Flav V posted. 2015 is Monnaies d'Antan auction 17 lot 395 (23 May 2015) and the other is Numismatik Lanz (München) auction 162 lot 415 (6 June 2016). d'Antan misidentified the coin as 910, but Lanz recognized that this was a second specimen of 905—although that detail was lost in editing somehow and the coin was mistakenly listed as 'cf. 3633', which is a western issue—and offered it with an estimate of 3000 € (!; I don't know what they got for it). Note that both coins have what appears to be a pin hole in the left obverse field that leaves no trace on the reverse and a small ding between Zeno's hand and neck, just above the cuirass (as Flav V noted in his last post). The obverse die is at a later state than the Lacam specimen: you can see the loss of detail in the helmet's crest and there is damage around the V and G. The reverse die is different from the Lacam specimen (Lacam's is a ς; this is an A).

3. March 2017. Again, this is a larger version of the same coin posted above. It was offered in Paoletti & Bernardi E-Auction 1, Lot 9 (25 Mar 2017). This is the most suspicious of the bunch: its very soft and is very much like #2. It has the same ding just above the cuirass and what appears to be a test punch from the reverse that comes out almost exactly where the pin-hole is on #2. The reverse is from officina Z.

4. June 2020. Again, a larger photo. This is Roma Numismatics E-Sale 72 lot 1712 (25 June 2020). Here the die is at a slightly later state than #2: less of the crest is visible, the damage around the VG is greater, and the ZE are starting to break down. This specimen, too, has the ding above the cuirass, although it seems to be fresher than that on #2, and perhaps a little smaller, and you can more clearly see the initial scrape just below the pit. It has the same A officina as #2 and its die is at a later state as well, as can be seen from the expanding damage at the wing tips, the A, and the B of the mint mark.

So what does all this mean? If it weren't for the duplicated ding on #2 and 4, I'd say that they were two new specimens of 905 and that #3 is a cast of #2 with a different reverse. But I can't explain the ding. It definitely seems to be a fault of the coin not the die.



Title: Re: Zeno solidus
Post by: Joe Sermarini on April 11, 2021, 10:51:43 am
I think they may be a sort of banker's mark.
Title: Re: Zeno solidus
Post by: Hydatius on April 12, 2021, 08:05:06 am
I think they may be a sort of banker's mark.
I've never seen anything like them on late Roman gold before.