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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Unofficial & Barbaric||View Options:  |  |  |   

Counterfeit, Unofficial, Imitative and Barbaric Roman Coins

Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Divus Augustus Reverse

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Tiberius left his estate and the titles of the principate to Caligula and to Tiberius' own grandson, Gemellus, who were to serve as joint heirs. Although Tiberius was 78 and on his death bed, some ancient historians still conjecture that he was murdered. Tacitus writes that the Praetorian Prefect, Macro, smothered Tiberius with a pillow to hasten Caligula's accession, much to the joy of the Roman people. Suetonius writes that Caligula may have carried out the murder himself, though this is not recorded by any other ancient historian. Seneca the elder and Philo, as well as Josephus, record that Tiberius died a natural death. Caligula had Tiberius' will nullified with regards to Gemellus on grounds of insanity, but otherwise he carried out Tiberius' wishes.
SL88182. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC I 2, RSC I 11, Lyon 157, BnF II 3, BMCRE I 4, SRCV I 1808 (official, silver, Lugdunum, 37 A.D.), NGC VF, strike 4/5, surface 1/5, core visible (2490386-001), weight 3.336 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 315o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, 37 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR POT COS, bare head of Caligula right; reverse radiate head of Divus Augustus right, flanked by two stars; rare; $380.00 (334.40)


Geto-Dacian, Roman Republic Imitative, c. 82 B.C. - 1st Century A.D.

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In ancient Greek and Roman writing Dacus (plural Daci) and Geta (plural Getae) were interchangeable names for tribes of the Dacia region, distinct from but influenced by and possibly related the Thracians and Celts. Modern historians prefer to use the name Geto-Dacians.
CE93052. Silver imitative denarius, Davis website -, Davis Apvlvm -, Davis-Paunov -, et al. -; for the Rome mint prototypes see: Crawford 363/1 (obv.) and Crawford 379/2 (rev.), VF, crude, light toning, die wear/rust, a little off center and uneven strike with some weak areas, weight 2.990 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, c. 82 B.C. - 1st Century A.D.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right (various possible prototypes, perhaps copied from Roman Republic, L. Marcius Censorinus, 82 B.C., silver denarius, Crawford 363/1) ; reverse Juno Sospita in a biga right, brandishing spear and holding shield, snake below, L.PROCILI.F in exergue (copied from Roman Republic, L. Procilius L.f., 80 B.C., silver denarius serratus, Crawford 379/2); apparently unpublished, we were unable to find another example of this hybrid imitative type; extremely rare; $240.00 (211.20)


Lot of 16 Roman Empire, Unofficial Ancient Counterfeits, Imitatives and Limes, c. 50 - 250 A.D.

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LT89856. Mixed Lot, 16 Roman Empire, plated fouree ancient counterfeits, bronze fouree cores, limes or imitatives, F - VF, most with flaws, unattributed to type, no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $200.00 (176.00)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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The legends are mostly off flan. Reverse legend possibilities include LEG XX V V, LEG XX AVG, LEG II PARTH, LEG V [...] S M AVG. The mintmark may be retrograde MC, which is known for Camulodunum (Colchester, England), but no boar standing right types are published for Camulodunum. Perhaps the mintmark is retrograde ML, but that too is unpublished. This was likely struck in an unofficial mint (an ancient counterfeit?). Carausius' legionary boar types are highly desirable, and all seem to be quite rare. We do not know of another specimen of this variety.
RA73285. Billon antoninianus, cf. RIC V-2 82 (R2), Cohen VII 148, Hunter IV 13, Webb Carausius 97 - 99, Askew 151, SRCV IV 13617, aF, green patina, earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off legends, a little rough, weight 3.769 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 45o, unofficial(?) mint, c. 287 A.D.; obverse [IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG?], radiate and draped bust right, early reign 'moustache' portrait; reverse L[EG...], boar standing right, large tusks, prominent ridge of spinal bristles, [reversed C?]M in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $190.00 (167.20)


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit

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There are no clear breaks to the copper core but the lamination defects are typical of a plated fouree.
RS89769. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC III 424a, RSC II 451, BMCRE IV (A. Pius) 277, Hunter II 4, SRCV II 4786 (official, silver, Rome mint), VF, well centered, light toning, nice portrait of slightly unusual style, double strike, light marks, lamination defects, edge cracks, weight 2.982 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, as caesar, c. 140 - 144 A.D.; obverse AVRELIVS CAESAR AVG PII F COS, bare head right; reverse PIETAS AVG (to the piety of the Emperor), implements of the augurate and pontificate: secespita (knife), aspergillum (sprinkler), ewer (jug), lituus (augural staff), and simpulum (ladle); $150.00 (132.00)


Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.

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Magnentius, usurper of the western provinces, made his brother Decentius caesar, to oversee the defense of Gaul and the Rhine frontier. After Magnentius was defeated at the Battle of Mons Seleucus by Constantius II and committed suicide, Decentius, who was leading reinforcements, hanged himself at Senonae.
RB91842. Billon maiorina, for prototype cf. RIC VIII Lyons 122 (Roman, Decentius, caesar, usurper in Gaul, 351 - 353 A.D., Lugdunum mint), Choice gVF, slightly crude, tight flan, encrustations, weight 3.504 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, tribal mint, 350 - early 5th century A.D.; obverse D N DECENTIVS NOB CAE (or similar, blundered), bare-headed and cuirassed bust of Decentius right; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET C (or similar, blundered), two Victories standing confronted, together holding between them a wreath resting on a short column, IOT / HVL / X (blundered VOT V MVLT X) in three lines, SLG in exergue; $150.00 (132.00)


Agrippa, Military Commander, Friend of Augustus, Grandfather of Caligula, Ancient Unofficial Cast

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This coin is clearly cast and not an official struck mint issue. Many unofficial counterfeits or perhaps semi-offical local imitations were struck and cast in Gaul, especially during the reign of Claudius (up to 50% of the bronze Claudius coins found in some areas), apparently due to shortages of official coinage. This coin was probably cast at that time.
RB88887. Cast bronze as, cf. RIC I Gaius 58, BMCRE II Tiberius 161, BnF II Caligula 77, Hunter I 1, Cohen I 3, SRCV I 1812 (official, Rome mint, struck under Caligula), F, green patina, corrosion, casting seams and sprues, weight 15.775 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial mint, 38 - c. 60 A.D.; obverse M AGRIPPA L F COS III, head left wearing a rostral crown; reverse Neptune standing facing, head left, nude but for cloak draped over arms, dolphin in right hand, trident vertical in left hand, large S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $135.00 (118.80)


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

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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 Forum (2006), ex Goodman collection; $125.00 (110.00)


Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.

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This type was minted by and used as currency by tribes outside the Roman Empire. It copied a Roman type issued under Constantine the Great. Some imitative coins of this type are very similar to the Roman prototypes and some are very crude. This coin is closer to the Roman style than many but the illiterate imitations of legends are made up entirely of N's.
ME89938. Bronze AE 20, For possible prototype see RIC VII Siscia 61 (Roman, official, Constantine the Great, 319 A.D.), VF, overstruck on an official Constantine [II?] (the head of Constantine and part of the legend are visible on the reverse), weight 2.180 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 270o, tribal mint, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.; obverse helmeted and cuirassed bust of Constantine the Great right, spear in right hand over right shoulder, shield on left shoulder; reverse two Victories standing confronted, together holding shield over altar; $100.00 (88.00)


Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.

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Barbarian imitatives of the Roman VICT LAETAE PRINC PERP small bronze coins are among the most common barbarous coin types from the late Roman period. The prototype for this coin was a coin from the Roman mint at Siscia. Silvering on a barbaric imitative is unexpected, however, the blundered illiterate nonsense imitations of legends leave no doubt this coin is a tribal issue.
RL89627. Bronze AE 18, for prototype cf. RIC VII Siscia 53 (Roman, Constantine the Great, Siscia mint, 318 - 319 A.D.), gVF/aVF, silvering(?), slightly off center but only cutting off the tops of some letters, scratches, weight 3.099 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 285o, tribal mint, after 318 A.D.; obverse IHP CONSTHTHVS P E NVG (or similar, blundered, S's resemble retrograde Greek sigma), laureate, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Constantine the Great right; reverse HCTORIAE LATNE PIIC PEIIΠ (or similar, blundered), two Victories standing confronted, together holding shield inscribed VOT / P R over altar, SIS (retrograde) in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection, ex Ancient Coins Canada (Jun 2008), reportedly found in Germany; $95.00 (83.60)




  



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REFERENCES|

Cahn, H. "EIDibus MARtiis" in QT 18 (1989), pp. 229-231, 9a, 20a, and 25b.
Campbell, W. Greek and Roman Plated Coins. ANSNNM 75. (New York, 1933).
Crawford, M. "Plated Coins - False Coins" in NC 1968, pp. 55-59, pl. xiv.
Crawford, M. Roman Republican Coinage. (Cambridge, 1974), vol I., pp. 560-565, vol II, p. 570.
Davis, P. "Dacian and Celtic Imitations of Republican Denarii" in The Celator 18-4, April 2004, pp. 6-16.
Davis, P. "Dacian Imitations of Roman Republican Denarii" in Apvlvm Number XLIII/1. (2006).
Davis, P. Imitations of Roman Republican Denarii, website: http://rrimitations.ancients.info/.
Davis, P. & E. Paunov. "Imitations of Republican Denarii from Moesia and Thrace" in Studies Prokopov. (2012).
Lawrence, L. "On a Hoard of Plated Roman Denarii" in NC 1940, pp. 185-189.
Popović, Petar. "Hoard of imitations of the Roman Republican denars from the Belgrade National Museum" in Numizmatikai Kzlny 1974, pp. 7-13 & pl. 1.
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Southerland, C. "'Carausius II', 'Censeris', and the Barbarous Fel. Temp. Reparatio Overstrikes" in NC 1945.
Sydenham, E. "On Roman Plated Coins" in NC 1940, pp. 190-202.
Sydenham, E. The Coinage of the Roman Republic. (London, 1927 1952). pl. xliii-xliv.
Vasic, M. "A IVth and Vth Centuries Hoard of Roman coins and imitations in the collection of the National Museum in Belgrade" in Sirmium VIII, p. 128-129, 6-19.

Catalog current as of Monday, October 21, 2019.
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Unofficial and Barbaric