Author Topic: A nice Roman for Free !  (Read 1029 times)

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Offline THCoins

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A nice Roman for Free !
« on: August 26, 2013, 06:43:00 PM »
Recently i got a very nice present from a dealer for who i sometimes attribute ancients outside his field of expertise.
Although i do not really collect Romans, one does not refuse such gifts ! Especially because it was a quite rare and expensive Constantine II, Beata tranquilitas reverse, from Lugdunum (Lyon) Mint (321 AD).
It took me 5 seconds to realize he was testing me. For this coin is as real as an eleven pound note.

The easy give-aways.
- The surface and patina looks unnaturally grainy and toned.
- The coin is to thick.
- The edge is to sharp. The sides shows file marks and have completely different surface.
- There is a sharp boundary between the thin (elektrocopy ?) surface layer and the inside layer.

I still could have the coin, and consider it a nice addition to my collection  :)


Offline FosseWay

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Re: A nice Roman for Free !
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 08:01:42 PM »
Definitely looks cast - it has the same 'fuzziness' you see on many of those forged £1 coins in the UK.

Offline THCoins

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Re: A nice Roman for Free !
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2013, 10:48:26 PM »
Don't know about the Pound coins, but this one i think is not a plain cast.
If you look at the surface under magnification it looks more like it has been chemically eroded. Even if it may look so on the photos, it does not have the typical sharply defined air bubble inclusions of casting. Also it sounds quite solid when tapping.
 

akona20

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Re: A nice Roman for Free !
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2013, 10:59:21 PM »
Difficult to say without the coin in hand but it could be a coin from a "wet" area subjected to electrolysis to clean it.


Offline THCoins

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Re: A nice Roman for Free !
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 10:14:42 AM »
Wet surrounding and elektrolysis would not explain the huge difference between the surface of the obverse and reverse and the side ?
And indeed in hand it is easier. It just took a few seconds to realize "this is no good". Reasoning what factors bring about this feeling always takes me more time

Offline Figleaf

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Re: A nice Roman for Free !
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 03:35:40 PM »
Looking at how the surface(s) of the sandwich have come loose, my first impression was to agree with TH on an electrotype. A cast coin needs neither layers, nor filing. The problem with that diagnosis is that electrotyping gives you a faithful copy of the original, not the fuzzywuzzy stuff.

But what if the original was fuzzywuzzy, though? Suppose a collector had a cast copy he used as a filler and a friend collector asked him if he could electrotype the cast fake to use as a filler? He may have had a worn coin of almost the same size, pasted the electrocopy on it and filed away what stuck out. It would fool aunt Kay and uncle Paul...

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

Offline THCoins

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Re: A nice Roman for Free !
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 04:19:07 PM »
You almost sound like an experienced coin forger  :D
Looking a bit in to it it seems likely that there was no good original to work from for the forgerers.
This coin is supposed to be quite rare and much above my budget. A pristine copy possibly would have raised even more suspicion. So it may be combination of factors and techniques used, aimed at producing a worn end result.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: A nice Roman for Free !
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2013, 05:57:54 PM »
Sort of. When I started to learn about numismatics, it was still common for older collectors to produce fillers. I learned how to make a gypsum filler with an equivalent of silly putty, some carbon from a pencil and some hair spray (works only with big coins.) My mother didn't want me to play with electricity, or I would have made electrotypes also. Most fillers were one-sided, with a short description scratched on the other side. I would have looked with awe on this one and I would not have seen it as evil at that time.

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