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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Numismatics| ▸ |Counterfeits||View 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.

Imitative Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, c. 970 - 980 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Imitative| |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |c.| |970| |-| |980| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
Of this type of imitative, Lampinen writes, "The second phase of Balkan coinage production goes into high gear with the introduction of the anonymous follis series during the reign of John I (969 - 976). The explicit Christian imagery must have struck a chord with the recently converted Balkan masses because the official mint issues were accompanied by a fair quantity of copies, to meet the excess demand. These Christian issues would also be the prototypes for the initial coinage of several medieval Christian states, such as the first Crusader issues of Edessa and Antioch, medieval Armenia and distant Georgia in the Caucasus."
BZ89911. Bronze anonymous follis, See Lampinen Imitative p. 154 for a similar imitative; for the likely prototype cf. official Byzantine anonymous class A1 folles; SBCV 1793, VF, green patina, double struck, porous, crude and blundered, weight 6.880 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, unofficial (Balkan?) mint, c. 970 - 980 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, blundered imitation of the abbreviation: IC - XC (Greek: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse blundered inscription imitating: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); rare this crude; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||denarius|
There is another fouree specimen on Coin Archives struck with the same dies. Blundered legends are unusual on fourree denarii.
RS95665. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC I 418 (R5), RSC I 384, BMCRR II Rome 4677, BMCRE I 132, BnF I 567 (official, solid silver, Rome mint, 12 B.C.), F, very little silver plate remaining, weight 2.547 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 45o, unofficial mint, c. 12 - 14 B.C.; obverse AVGVSTO SAPRCA (sic, or similar, counterclosckwise), bare head right; reverse L CANINVS (sic) GALLVS III VIR (L. Caninius Gallus triumvir), cippus inscribed in four lines: CC / AVG / xXT / T; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00







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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 Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
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