- The Collaborative Numismatics Project
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. The column on the left includes the "Best of NumisWiki" menu. If you are new to collecting, start with Ancient Coin Collecting 101. All blue text is linked. Keep clicking to endlessly explore. Welcome Guest. Please login or register. The column on the left includes the "Best of NumisWiki" menu. All blue text is linked. Keep clicking to endlessly explore. If you have written a numismatic article, please add it to NumisWiki.

Resources Home
Home
New Articles
Most Popular
Recent Changes
Current Projects
Admin Discussions
Guidelines
How to

Index Of All Titles


BEST OF

AEQVITI
Aes Grave
Aes Rude
The Age of Gallienus
Alexander Tetradrachms
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coin Prices 101
Ancient Coin Dates
Ancient Coin Lesson Plans
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Counterfeits
Ancient Glass
Ancient Oil Lamps
Ancient Weapons
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Folles
Anonymous Follis
Anonymous Class A Folles
Antioch Officinae
Aphlaston
Armenian Numismatics Page
Brockage
Byzantine
Byzantine Denominations
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
Caesarean and Actian Eras
Campgates of Constantine
Carausius
A Case of Counterfeits
Byzantine Christian Themes
Clashed Dies
Codewords
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Corinth Coins and Cults
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Danubian Celts
Damnatio Coinage
Damnatio Memoriae
Denomination
Denarii of Otho
Diameter 101
Die Alignment 101
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Draco
Edict on Prices
ERIC
ERIC - Rarity Tables
Etruscan Alphabet
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
EQVITI
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Fibula
Flavian
Fourree
Friend or Foe
The Gallic Empire
Gallienus Zoo
Greek Alphabet
Greek Coins
Greek Dates
Greek Coin Denominations
Greek Mythology Link
Greek Numismatic Dictionary
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Hasmoneans
Hasmonean Dynasty
Helvetica's ID Help Page
The Hexastyle Temple of Caligula
Historia Numorum
Horse Harnesses
Identifying Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Important Collection Auctions
Islamic Rulers and Dynasties
Julian II: The Beard and the Bull
Koson
Kushan Coins
People in the Bible Who Issued Coins
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Later Roman Coinage
Latin Plurals
Latin Pronunciation
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
List of Kings of Judea
Malloy Weapons
Maps of the Ancient World
Military Belts
Mint Marks
Monogram
Museum Collections Available Online
Nabataean Alphabet
Nabataean Numerals
The [Not] Cuirassed Elephant
Not in RIC
Numismatic Bulgarian
Numismatic Excellence Award
Numismatic French
Numismatic German
Numismatic Italian
Numismatic Spanish
Parthian Coins
Patina 101
Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet
Phoenician Alphabet
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Reading Judean Coins
Representations of Alexander the Great
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Roman Militaria
Roman Mints
Roman Names
romancoin.info
Rome and China
Satyrs and Nymphs
Scarabs
Serdi Celts
Serrated
Siglos
The Sign that Changed the World
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Star of Bethlehem Coins
Statuary Coins
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Syracusian Folles
Taras Drachms with Owl Left
The Temple Tax
The Temple Tax Hoard
Test Cut
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Tyrian Shekels
Uncleaned Ancient Coins 101
Vabalathus
Venus Cloacina
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Who was Trajan Decius
Widow's Mite
XXI

   View Menu
 

Fake of a Hadrian Aegyptos Denarius

By Jim Phelps

During the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138), an interesting series of coins were issued to commemorate his visits to the Roman provinces, to inspect troops and make needed reforms. These coins are often referred to as "Hadrian's Travel Series", and the coins are highly sought after by many collectors. Unfortunately, popular coins make excellent targets for the work of forgers. This page explores the possibility that some of these coins offered recently are modern forgeries. Though it would be rather unusual for 3 examples of this coin from the same die pair to show up for sale in a 3-month period, all of the coins having a remarkably similar flan, striking, and centering bring the odds to a staggering amount.

In April 2004 a coin from this series was sold on eBay. The coin commemorated Hadrian's visit to Egypt, and had the reverse legend "AEGYPTOS", showing the personification of Egypt reclining to the left, holding a sistrum (an Egyptian musical instrument), with an ibis at her feet. The buyer listed it on eBay the following month, no doubt hoping to turn a profit on an interesting and highly collectable coin.

At the same time, another eBay seller put a curiously similar coin on eBay. When the similarity between the two was pointed out, the first buyer/seller stopped his auction immediately, sending the coin off to a third-party grading service. This shows excellent responsibility on this person's part, but perhaps sending it to a service that specializes in ancient coins (or a large ancient coin auction house) would have been better. The service he sent it to has only recently started grading ancient coins, and their website shows no mention of authentication - only grading. The coin was slabbed and returned to the sender, who unfortunately took this as a guarantee of authenticity. Meanwhile the auction of the second coin continued and ended normally, the buyer receiving the coin according to the feedback.

Another month later and a third example of this coin went up for auction on eBay, by the same seller as the first one. This one has a variation, a small test cut on the obverse. When contacted, this seller says the two of this type were part of a mixed 300-coin group of denarii purchased from a dealer in Munich. Most of the coins were sold a few at a time on eBay, with an additional 50 sold to a few dealers at the 2004 Long Beach coin show. This seller does offer a money-back guarantee, and recommends David Sear's certification service in her auction text.

These coins were pointed out on the Moneta email list, and a debt of gratitude is owed to "Giacomo" for first mentioning this to the list, and to Curtis Clay, Robert Kokotailo and Susan Headley for their posts about this. Note that I do not claim to be an expert on forgeries - I created this page because this particular series of possible fakes does not seem to be documented elsewhere. This is not to accuse the sellers of knowingly dealing in fakes - it's investigating the possibility of a series of fakes infiltrating the market. The pictures on this page have been edited as follows: In most cases (coins 1, 1a, & 3) I have joined separate pictures of the obverse and reverse together for ease of viewing. Also, I have joined all 4 obverses and reverses together as collages, below. No further editing was done on these pictures by me.


Coin 1:
This coin was sold on 6 April 2004 through eBay. This same seller also sold coin #3, below.


Coin 1a:
Note that this is the same coin as #1, above. What a difference changed lighting makes! The person purchased it, and then a short time later intended to sell it on eBay. He ended the auction early on 15 May 2004 when coin #2 was pointed out to him.


Coin 2:
This coin was sold on 22 April 2004 through eBay, at the same time as coin 1a, above.


Coin 3:
This coin was sold on 21 June 2004 through eBay, by the same seller as coin #1. Note a difference on the obverse - a test cut at 7:00 that doesn't appear on the other coins.


Collages of obverse and reverse of each instance. Note that coins 1 and 1a (top & bottom left) are actually the same coin, just photographed by a different person.