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Old Apr 12, 2009, 08:43 PM   #1
BeastCoins
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Two Honorius Solidi Fakes on eBay

I get home from Easter dinner at my mom's and decided to look at eBay for the first time in a month just to waste a couple of minutes before heading to bed. In under a minute (no kidding) I run across two examples of the same Honorius solidus fake.

One by ancientart-jerusalem of Israel:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=330282063374



and another by saxbys-coins in the UK:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=220392088857



I mean, come on. Is the supply of fake coins so bad right now that people have to start offering the same ones at the same time? It's like sellers aren't even trying any more.

I KNEW I shouldn't have looked at eBay just to wind down before bedtime. I run across way too many fakes that get me all fired up. Meh.



--Beast
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 06:33 AM   #2
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Zach,

It's not unusual for different specimens of this example to pop up at the same time on eBay (I have photos of 14 specimens from the last few years). It's one of a 'set' of fakes that are always doing the rounds. Most were published in BoC 21 (1996/1997), p. 29, though this one is of a more recent vintage. Note the impossible combination of a Western obverse and an Eastern reverse. Go to Forum's fake reports and search for 'Honorius mismatch' and you'll see most of the ones that appeared until about August 2007 when I stopped bothering to post them. Saxby's photo is quite nice and so I posted that one too. He's selling another one of the set, a solidus of Valentinian II. He's been notified, but nothing's happened yet.

Richard

Added PS:

Hey, Zach!

Check this out. This is one of my photos from 24 October of last year! Look familiar?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Honorius-A13.jpg (82.9 KB, 191 views)

Last edited by hydatius : Apr 13, 2009 at 06:46 AM. Reason: found photo
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydatius View Post
Zach,

He's selling another one of the set, a solidus of Valentinian II. He's been notified, but nothing's happened yet.
Token, yes - coin, no. And was not issued "under license from the U.S. Mint". That's just a flat out lie. Official US territorial and fractional gold has a denomination on it.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=360145705144

Fake "Byzantine.Tiberius II. Av Gold Solidus Coin.580 A.D-EF"
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=360145665024

Fake "346 A.D Valentinian Roman Av Gold Solidus Coin.EF grade" - the one Richard mentioned above.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=220393281586

Fake "610 B.C Byzantine.Heraclius Av Gold Solidus Coin.VF "
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=220394913522

I didn't bother looking at any of the silver or bronze auctions since 100% of the ancient gold by Saxby's Coins were all fakes (and bad ones).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydatius View Post
Hey, Zach!

Check this out. This is one of my photos from 24 October of last year! Look familiar?
Oh for Pete's sake. Fraudsters are getting so lazy they aren't even reshooting their fake crap? I mean, seriously. Put some effort into ripping people off. If you are going to make money stealing from others, at least give them a little entertainment value! Sheesh!

--Beast
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BeastCoins View Post
Oh for Pete's sake. Fraudsters are getting so lazy they aren't even reshooting their fake crap? I mean, seriously. Put some effort into ripping people off. If you are going to make money stealing from others, at least give them a little entertainment value! Sheesh!

--Beast
What, are you not entertained? (What movie is that a quote from?)

Richard
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 03:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by hydatius View Post
What, are you not entertained? (What movie is that a quote from?)

Richard
It's Gladiator, Richard ... one of my favorite movies (I'm putting aside the historical inaccuracy, since as far as I'm concerned, it was not meant to recreate history, but rather tell a fictional story within a historical setting).

And I have to disagree with you, Zach, on the dealers putting in a little extra effort into ripping people off. Since none of us are keen on getting ripped off by buying fake coins, I think it'd be better if they maintain the poor quality of fake crap out there, so that it's easier to at least spot the coins, if you can't take the seller out.

Dmitry
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 03:21 PM   #6
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Dmitry,

I was joking. Besides, all of the fakes I pointed out in this thread are so bad no one should be fooled by them for a second. If one of these sellers went out of their way to dress up any of the coins with wear or marks to make them look older, then they would just have bad looking fakes with distracting marks (like the scratched up one by the seller in Jerusalem).

--Beast
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 03:45 PM   #7
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I guess that if the counterfeiters are putting no to little effort into making them look more 'genuine,' then I guess they are happy with the market. Im sure that if they were not making any money, the fakes would be looking a lot better.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 07:07 PM   #8
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I guess that if the counterfeiters are putting no to little effort into making them look more 'genuine,' then I guess they are happy with the market. Im sure that if they were not making any money, the fakes would be looking a lot better.
How's this Georgios for "looking a lot better"...

O.k. folks - I was irritated when I started this thread because of how quickly I ran across two fakes on eBay. However, I'm also EXTREMELY glad I did start it. Why? Because the reverse die stuck in my head. Why did it stick in my head? Because it looked very familiar. Why is that? Because I just bought this coin last month from a very reputable German firm and put it in my store last weekend:



Theodosius II, AV Solidus, c.403-408, Constantinople, Officina 10
D N THEODO_SIVS P F AVG
Pearl-diademed, helmeted, cuirassed bust facing, shield with horse and rider design in left hand, spear in right hand over right shoulder
CONCORDI_A AVGG I
Constantinopolis enthroned facing, helmeted head right, scepter in right hand, Victory on globe in left hand, right foot on prow
* in left field
CONOB in exergue
19mm x 21mm, 4.41g
RIC X, 31 (Arcadius)
Grade: Very attractive aEF

Look familiar? It should - compare the reverse die to the first two coins from eBay. Nearly identical, except mine isn't as flat, has a nice struck look and attractive surfaces. Now, look at this entry on Forgery Network:

http://forgerynetwork.com/asset.aspx?id=nU5N0UOdEkM=

My one consolation is that I did buy this from a well-known numismatic firm, so I will get my money back and the other consolation is that the IBSCC described this as "Slightly matt 'satin' finish: a dangerous counterfeit". I take solice in the fact that I was able to catch this dangerous fake within a week before it sold to anyone. Still, I'm really angry this got by me in the first place. Diligence people - always be diligent in your purchases.

Sadly,

--Beast
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Old Apr 14, 2009, 10:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeastCoins View Post
Dmitry,

I was joking. Besides, all of the fakes I pointed out in this thread are so bad no one should be fooled by them for a second. If one of these sellers went out of their way to dress up any of the coins with wear or marks to make them look older, then they would just have bad looking fakes with distracting marks (like the scratched up one by the seller in Jerusalem).

--Beast
Man ... I must have really gotten up on the wrong side of the bed not to realize that you were joking ... but seriously, I would highly prefer that all fakes were like the Honorius (not the Theodosius II)

Dmitry
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Old Apr 14, 2009, 10:42 AM   #10
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Man ... I must have really gotten up on the wrong side of the bed not to realize that you were joking ... but seriously, I would highly prefer that all fakes were like the Honorius (not the Theodosius II)

Dmitry
Dmitry,

"Joking" really wasn't the correct word. I was being sarcastic. I should have used this: . Would have made my posts more obvious?

Anyway, I agree. I would rather have the easy to spot fakes than the dangerous ones like the Theodosius. I'm really upset with myself I didn't immediately catch it, but at least I got it quickly enough so that it's on the way back to the dealer for a refund.

Since we are talking about fakes, I just helped a friend this morning with a coin he offered me. Not fake, but along the same lines. Here is the really nice and interesting coin he offered me:



too bad this is what it actually looked like when CNG sold it:


Image courtesy Classical Numismatic Group, Triton XI, Lot 859, January 2008

Augustus. 27 BC-AD 14. AV Quinarius (3.90 g, 7h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck AD 7. AVGVSTVS DIVI F, laureate head right / [T]R POT XXX, Victory, draped, seated right on globe, holding wreath in both hands . RIC I 217; Lyon 80; Bahrfelt 229; BMCRE 505; BN 1679-80. Good VF, twice holed, minor marks in fields and on edge.

Here is what my friend had to say about it when I just told him:

"thank you for the notice as we bought the coin from a reputable (?) dealer we did not make detailed research about it, but there is no doubt: it's the same coin. The marks in the fields look compatible with ground marks and nothing can let us guess it is such unbelievable restoration work. We can assure that also at the 20X loupe there is no evidence of soldering or changes in metal where the holes were - even if now we know were we should see them.... the craftsman who made this should be very skill in his art."

Again - ALWAYS keep diligent folks when you are buying coins. Be sure you can get your money back if need be.

--Beast
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Old Apr 14, 2009, 10:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BeastCoins View Post



Look familiar? It should - compare the reverse die to the first two coins from eBay. Nearly identical, except mine isn't as flat, has a nice struck look and attractive surfaces. Now, look at this entry on Forgery Network:

http://forgerynetwork.com/asset.aspx?id=nU5N0UOdEkM=

My one consolation is that I did buy this from a well-known numismatic firm, so I will get my money back and the other consolation is that the IBSCC described this as "Slightly matt 'satin' finish: a dangerous counterfeit". I take solice in the fact that I was able to catch this dangerous fake within a week before it sold to anyone. Still, I'm really angry this got by me in the first place. Diligence people - always be diligent in your purchases.

Sadly,

--Beast

That's a pretty scary fake. I'm a novice, but I bet that one could fool some fairly good 'experts' out there.

Glad you won't get 'stuck' with it.
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Old Apr 14, 2009, 10:59 AM   #12
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Brian,

Considering how much Roman gold I study and sell, and it got by me for a couple of days, I would say yes, it's a damn scary fake and would easily pass for good even as a stand alone coin. And considering I bought it from a high-end and well-known German auction house and numismatic firm who also did not catch it, it could have easily gone to one of my clients, who I would have then had to contact to recall it.

Not happy.

--Beast
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Old Apr 14, 2009, 11:09 AM   #13
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That looks like a great restoration job indeed. I guess the properties of gold is what make this possible. Are there any examples of silver coin modification along these lines? It would seem harder to do, especially if there is toning involved, but few things are impossible in this "business".
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Old Apr 14, 2009, 11:17 AM   #14
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That looks like a great restoration job indeed. I guess the properties of gold is what make this possible. Are there any examples of silver coin modification along these lines? It would seem harder to do, especially if there is toning involved, but few things are impossible in this "business".
There was a thread on Forum 2 years ago about a coin Jeff (cogito) recognized as a plate coin which someone artfully repaired. They did major work on a die defect that made for a horrible nose on the portrait. The coin was silver and the repair work was undetectable if not for the pre-repaired picture.

HJB was selling the coin and returned it to the the original seller (whom they bought it from at the Chicago coin fair).

I guess anything is possible in the hands of a talented person.

BR

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Old Apr 14, 2009, 12:29 PM   #15
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I have three photos of the fake Beast posted (though I have only posted one of them at Forum, I notice, with a note about the proper obverse and reverse finally being linked; attached below).

I hate hate to differ with other members of the discussion, but it's not that hard to see from style alone that this one is a dud.

Richard
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Theod-II-6.jpg (16.3 KB, 119 views)
File Type: jpg Theod-II-16.jpg (9.8 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg Theod-II-17.jpg (70.3 KB, 119 views)
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