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Impossible request

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  • Impossible request

    This is a seemingly impossible request so I really do not expect too much.

    I have just been offered a couple of gold coins down here that I have serious
    doubts about, but could not get images of them before they were taken away
    by the vendors (no camera or scanner to hand! ).

    They were a Caracalla Aureus (7.35g) and an Antiochos VI Dionysos stater (7.76g).

    I have little doubts about them being fake, but wanted to ask if anyone can
    assist jogging my memory on a couple of relatively minor details.

    The Caracalla was a youthful portrait type, but notably had a clear "o" below
    the bust. This is a detail I seem to recall seeing somewhere before, but cannot
    place where. It may have been an unusual Elagabalus, but less likely to my eye.
    There was an unusual thing about the obverse lettering, it was all over the
    place size-wise, the S was huge and other letters were tiny, very strange.
    Foolishly (Doh!), I forgot to note the reverse type, but it was a standing figure.

    Do you know of any fakes with such details, and perhaps an image of same?

    The Seleukid item was easy. With Ant.VI's portraits being so strikingly alike
    across most of his issues, this piece stood out for many reasons as being fake.
    It was flat, lifeless, the portrait was nothing like Ant.VI, the figure of Apollo was
    not right, lettering a little strange, among other things, etc.

    The vendors said ("a usual story") that the coins had been in the family for
    decades and there are a couple more other items they want to show me at a
    later time, so I may be able to get an image at some later stage. They were
    an older Hungarian couple and claimed that they had been to a couple of US
    dealers (unspecified) on their way from Europe to Australia. They have done
    the "rounds" at a couple of local dealers as well, however none but one of
    the dealers they saw has any real idea about ancients (lucky me!).

    Hopefully they come back so I can get images of these things.

    If any of this sounds familiar, then I would like to hear from you.

    Thanks in advance.

    Walter Holt
    Sydney, Australia

  • #2
    The Carcalla is tough, but there is a Fake Antiochos Stater that has been around for years. It's published in the IAPN Bulletin and I've seen 3 or 4 of these.

    Barry Murphy
    Attached Files


    • #3
      That's the one! Brilliant. Well spotted.
      I am sure it was your vast brain, not my woeful description that led you to this.
      I have advised a couple of the locals down here to be aware of these items.
      Thanks again,



      • #4
        Impossible request - Now possible!

        Hi Barry and list,
        They have surfaced again!
        This time they were, unfortunately, bought by a good friend.
        The good news is that I was able to get an image of each of them.


        The Antiochus IV is well known (thanks Barry), but does anyone know
        anything further about the Caracalla? (yes, my memory failed me, this
        is clearly NOT a standing figure - see original post; *unless these are
        another two fakes and the standing figure one is still out there).

        Walter Holt


        • #5
          Bad also!

          I am afraid the aureus is also clearly bad. Notice the linear circle outside of the beaded circle. That represents the edge of the original coin from which the false die was made. This is a feature common on fakes and, as far as I know, unknown on authentic coins.



          • #6
            It is indeed a bad fake; a good fake aureus (able to pass the test of an international public auction) wouldn't bear that mark