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Forgery Alerts Reports and discussion regarding possible forgeries.

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Old Jan 11, 2011, 07:33 AM   #1
bpmurphy
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Fake Antony and Cleopatra Denarii

http://www.vcoins.com/ancient/bpmurp.../antoncleo.jpg

At the New York International last week a dealer brought to my table an Antony and Cleopatra denarius for my opinion on the coins authenticity. After a few minutes of study I told the dealer that I thought the coin was a forgery and should be returned. This afternoon I decided to check Coin Archives to see if I could find the host coin and what I found was not only the host but an entire group of fakes made from the same dies.

The host coins comes from Lanz Auction 125 which just happens to be the oldest appearance of the coins in the photo. The host coin appears to be made of good metal and is off center slightly. The centering is actually what I used to determine the coin was a forgery. The coin I saw happens to be the coin that appeared in Gorny Sale 175. Upon studying the coin/photos, one can see the edge of the host coin that has been transferred to the new dies and used to make the fakes.

On the Antony side of the host coin, the coin is off-center towards 5:00, cutting off the tops of the letters. On all the fakes, the tops of the same letters are missing and the remnants of the edge of host coin can bee seen. A small die break now extends across this line.

On the Cleopatra side of the host coin, the coin is off-center towards 11:00, cutting off the tops of the letters. On all the fakes, the tops of the same letters are missing and the remnants of the edge of host coin can bee seen. On the host coin there is also a small flan crack on the back of Cleo's head, which has been copied to all the forgeries.

Obviously a fairly deceptive fake that has passed the hands of many people.

Barry Murphy
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 10:11 AM   #2
Volodya
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Hi Barry-- I'm not disputing that these are all fakes, I've no doubt that they are, but I do wonder whether the Lanz 125 example is the host. For that to be the case, the border and die break visible around 5:00 on the Antony side of many of your other examples would have needed to be added to the mold or transfer die, since neither are present on the Lanz coin. That doesn't strike me as particularly likely.

Phil Davis
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 12:00 PM   #3
bpmurphy
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Phil,

That's not an added border, it's the remnants of the edge of the host coin. It's a very thin line and if you overlay the host coin on top you'll see that they line up perfectly. The Gorny 168 coin is centered slightly differently and here too you can see the edge of the host coin from 11 to 3. When you see these in the flesh the line isn't actually raised, it's even with the fields of the coins and drops off slightly towards the outside border.

When they make this type of forgery, they make the new dies slightly larger than the host coin so they alter the centering to help disguisse the forgery. Unlike a cast which is just a copy of the host, with these new dies are made and coins are struck or pressed, but no matter which way the centering is altered, the edge of the host coin is almost always visible somewhere.

You can see the same effect on the Cleopatra side. On the host coin the tops of the letters are cut off from about 10:00 to 1:00. When centered in the right way, you can see the letters are also cut off on the forgeries in the same location and the edge of the host coin is visible .

As for the new die break at 5:00, their new die evidently had a flaw as this isn't copied from the host.

You can also see that the flan crack coming out of the tops of both Antony and Cleopatra's head is an actual flan crack on the host coin, extending around the top edge of the coin. On the fakes it has become just a line that does not extend around the edge of the coins. See in particular the Gorny 164 coin where you can see the edge of the coin above Cleo's head and there is no crack.

Barry
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 01:31 PM   #4
Volodya
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Ah, got it, you're right about the "border" being the edge of the host. Nice piece of deductive reasoning!

Phil
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