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Real or fake Roman dice

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  • Real or fake Roman dice

    Hello,
    I am interested in buying some Roman gaming dice. They were made of several materials; clay, metal and animal bone. I am concerned about fakes. I've attached three photos of Roman dice. One photo shows a single bone dice that was found during an archaeology dig in England. No doubt it's the real thing! Another photo is of three bone dice sold on ebay as modern reproductions. The last photo is of two modern reproduction dice, perhaps made of metal, with dark patina also on ebay. Looks like the modern makers did a good job. It seems it would be rather easy for a person to try and resell these reproductions as ancient. I wonder how a collector or dealer can tell the difference between ancient dice and modern ones? I have access to lots of deer bone and enough talent to use my scroll saw and drill press to make some dice. I'd round the edges a bit, maybe stain them and add encrustation to complete the feat. Then I'll head to Vegas!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by livingwater; Feb 19, 2013, 07:27 PM. Reason: more text

  • #2
    I am sure they could be faked rather easily but an authentic roman die (especially a 20 sided one!! ) would be really nice display alongside a few late Roman bronze folli.

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    • #3
      Hi, I bought two bronze dices. What's your opinion about these? Fake or geniue?
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      • #4
        dice

        I'm sorry but I don't have enough experience with ancient dice to give a strong opinion. If you bought them from a long time well known dealer I'd say they are okay. Under a 10X eye glass does the patina look ancient? It's wise to buy from dealers who have handled such things for decades. Their trained eye is the best way to avoid ancient fakes of any kind. I can say the corners look more like they were made with a grinder than with normal wear, which would have made the edges more curved than sharp as these appear. That's just my opinion. I've attached a photo of one of my Roman dice. I'm confident it is genuine and notice the rounded edges worn from many times being rolled. I assume the same type of wear should be on metal dice? Regards, Mark
        Attached Files
        Last edited by livingwater; Jun 4, 2014, 04:03 PM.

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