ancient coins and how to detect them
The collector who is
interested in studying forgeries will find this a very challenging subject,
because techniques are constantly evolving. The criminals who forge and
distribute imitations of ancient coins have learned many new ways to make their
falsifications difficult to detect. However, techniques for detecting forgeries
and authenticating genuine specimens have also advanced and collectors may rest
assured that museums, numismatic organizations, major dealers and law
enforcement agencies are still able to determine with considerable accuracy
whether an ancient coin is an authentic specimen or a forgery.
There are a number of useful references for those
who want to advance their knowledge of this subject:
||Classical Deception: Counterfeits, Forgeries and
Reproductions of Ancient Coins by Wayne G. Sayles
Format: Hardcover, 208pp.
Publisher: Krause Publications
Pub. Date: January 2001
"Classical Deception" takes an objective and candid look at the
history of falsifying ancient coins. It traces the careers of well-known forgers and
discusses the many fakes that proliferate in the modern market. Topics covered include
manufacturing techniques, the collector response to the problem and tools and methods of
detecting fakes. Special sections include a catalog of the previously unpublished work of
reproduction artist Peter Rosa and extensive bibliographies leading to a wealth of
technical information. Illustrated with more than 200 photos to help collectors
differentiate authentic coins from fakes.
Ravel: Numismatique Grecques
By the noted numismatist Oscar E. Ravel. An expansion and
development of notes originally published in Revue Numismatique,
1933. French text, 102 pp, 10 nice plates. Ravel's seminal contribution to
the never-ending struggle between coin collectors and those who would
defraud them provides a basic approach toward systematizing recognition of
technical and typological characteristics of modern forgeries, a detailed
analysis of which is presented in discussing a variety of deceptive
forgeries of Greek coins.
||Becker the Counterfeiter
Author: George F. Hill
Hardbound (1979 reprint of the 1924 edition); 111 pages plus 27
Reviews the coins of this master counterfeiter of
ancient coins. Becker's die-struck
forgeries, especially of the Roman series, are still very dangerous.
Fortunately his dies came into the possession of numismatic authorities, and
illustrations of each type are provided.
Author: Philip Kinns
Hardbound (1984); approx. 7 x 10 inches; 59 pages plus 8 plates of coin
||The Geneva Forgeries
A. G. Carson
Softcover; 14 pages plus 2 plates of coin photos. Covers Roman bronze coins
of the late third and early fourth centuries. Reprinted
from the Numismatic Chronicle.
||Imitations and Inventions of Roman
Author: Zander H.
Hardbound (1977); 137 pages with photos throughout. Documents the work of
Cavino, for whom the term 'Paduan' was coined. The forgeries and fantasies
of this Renaissance goldsmith are considered to be the pinnacle of the
This section is very much a
work in progress.
of a drachm from Apollonia Pontika.
of a Parthian drachm of Mithradates II. The "coin" is an impossible mule of
an obverse die from c. 100 bc and a reverse die from the 2nd century ad.
moderately deceptive imitation of a Parthian drachm of Mithradates II. The
"coin" is a realistic imitation of Sellwood Type 26, however details are not
as sharp as one expects in a genuine struck coin.