Author Topic: Egypt 20 piastres 1916 - fake or just odd?  (Read 2176 times)

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Offline FosseWay

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Egypt 20 piastres 1916 - fake or just odd?
« on: May 15, 2012, 04:43:07 PM »
I have had the coin shown below in my collection for some years. It would appear to be a representative example, if in better than average condition, of its type except for the fact that its alignment is 180 degrees out. Egyptian coins of the post-WW1 British occupation are uniformly of medal alignment, but this is (perfectly) coin-aligned.

If this is fake, the workmanship looks pretty good. It's also the right colour for high-grade (0.833) silver IMO -- it doesn't have the peculiar soapiness or the dull pewter-grey colour that most 'silver' fakes have. That doesn't, of course, exclude the possibility that it's made of God knows what and plated with good silver.

The other thing that points against it being real is that it's slightly underweight. It should (according to KM) weigh 28 g but it actually weighs 26.4 g. That's not much of a difference, but in the condition it's in, you can't really blame any shortfall on wear. (I have a 5 piastres in the same series which I have no reason to doubt is real whose weight is even further off in percentage terms, but it's only in Fair condition.) But most of the fake silver coins I've come across over the years have deviated from the real weight by much more than 5.7%, so I'm not sure whether this discrepancy is indicative of funny business or is just within the tolerances expected of the period and issue.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Egypt 20 piastres 1916 - fake or just odd?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 10:21:07 PM »
Die rotation is maybe the commonest error of this period. The weight difference is a bit odd, though. Is the edge of the coin OK?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Egypt 20 piastres 1916 - fake or just odd?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 10:53:19 PM »
Nothing obviously wrong with the edge as far as I can see -- but then it's just bog-standard milling, which even the klutziest forgers seem to manage OK, never mind anyone capable of producing something as convincing as this.

Another thing that comes to mind is that if it's a fake, it could be one designed to fool collectors (i.e. me, though I got it from a reliable source) rather than Egyptians in 1916. But if this were the case, it would seem a bit of a schoolboy error to get the weight wrong.