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Old Apr 23, 2009, 07:23 PM   #1
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"UNPUBLISHED" Fake Bronze 1/2 Shekel

Here is fake 10.21 gram bronze year 1 1/2 shekel, currently for sale by CNG

They admit that the wieght is out of bounds - "This bronze coin was apparently struck from official half shekel dies, as the weight rules out the possibility of this being the core of a fourrée, and the style is comparable to official issues. It also is not likely to be a remnant of an emergency issue, as there were abundant quantities of silver available. Likewise, it is not an error strike on bronze, as no bronze coins of this module were struck at this time. Thus, this is a coin that was intentionally struck, and used official dies. Only
two possibilities seem logical: a trial strike or an off-metal strike for a souvenir piece."

HOW ABOUT A CHEAP TOURIST FAKE!!!! I am amazed at how CNG can price this "unique" piece and and the extend ot the yarn they are willing to spin to sell a mere $200 fake.

CNG might check out the Menorah Coin Project and see that these dies were never used authentic coins, so how can they claim that it "used official dies"?

CNG was also notified by a world renown expert on ancient Judaea coinage that this was fake, but why pull a fake coin that you may sell for $200. I have appended an image of the fake.
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File Type: jpg fake y1 half shekel H656 cng 81 lot 618 red .jpg (98.7 KB, 130 views)
Cliff Laubstein
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Old Apr 24, 2009, 12:42 PM   #2
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Can that be right a bronze half shekel that weighs over 10gms?? The silver ones weigh on the order of 7 grams. This weight seems way off even for bronze.

Good pick up on this one Cliff. With the menorah project having all known dies listed on JP's site one can easily compare this CNG example to known dies. For the half shekel of year one there were only 5 obverse dies and 11 reverse dies (that includes the early variety, beaded dies as well).

So either this coin is a fake (I think your argument has much merit), or it is struck from an unknown die, which contradicts what they have written in their catalogue.

To my mind, if this coin was legit, it would be unique and carry a premium of 10 times the estimate. There is a known bronze of a sela from the bar kokhba revolt, Meshorer lists this as #232 in,"A Treasury of Jewish Coins" . If memory serves me correctly, it is quite highly valued. There are bronze shekels from the first revolt, these were quite crude, not dated and struck at Gamla. One was offered at the bromberg sale in 1991, it went for $7425 .

Thanks for pointing this coin out, it is fascinating.
Ronn Berrol

Last edited by ibex-coins : Apr 24, 2009 at 03:00 PM.
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Old May 13, 2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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For anyone interested, this lot was withdrawn, but after bidding had already gone up to the $400 range in pre-auction positioning
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Old May 13, 2009, 10:36 PM   #4
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Good for CNG.
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