A couple of Fouree, Fourree, Fourre... Ancient plated counterfeits.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ancientone, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Showing off my new fouree from Elis and resurrecting this Marc Antony that been buried in my collection for years.

    elis3.jpg ELIS, Olympia. 131st-135th Olympiad. 256-240 BC. Fouree
    Obv: Laureate head of Zeus right.
    Rev: Thunderbolt within olive wreath.
    AR(fourre) Hemidrachm

    marc antony.jpg ROMAN IMPERATORIAL. Marc Antony, died 30 BC. Fouree AR Legionary Denarius Obv: ANT. AVG above, III VIR. R. P. C below, galley right.
    Rev: legionary aquila(eagle) between two standards.

    One practice was to wrap a base metal core with AR or AU foil before striking. You can see the seam around the galley on this obverse.

    Please feel free to share your Ancient Plated Counterfeits.
    Broucheion, Edessa, ominus1 and 16 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    A Probus with silver plate and an ancient with silver that I haven't attributed yet. Probus with silver obv.jpg Probus with silver rev.jpg Acient Silver closer.jpg
    ominus1, Ajax, jamesicus and 9 others like this.
  4. arnoldoe

    arnoldoe Well-Known Member

    A Plated Commodus Denarius ( with a reverse from Marcus Aurelius)

    + Marcus Aurelius broken limes denarius, with some reddish patches showing through?
    ominus1, Ajax, jamesicus and 11 others like this.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I strongly suggest anyone with interest in plated coins read the Campbell book on them. I suggested it when you had to but a hardcopy but now it is free online:

    If everyone read Campbell we would not have all the confusion of what is a fourree and what is not. I guess this is just another matter of opinions not all matching up but my early exposure to the question did not use the term for silver washed coins, fakes that were not plated and coins with copper deposits on top of the silver.

    I probably have as many fourrees as anyone and show some on my old webpages:

    I stopped buying them when they got popular and people started paying what I considered way too much for poor examples. Most of my recent ones have been shown on CT way too often. I am, however, fond of a couple.

    Persia 1/3 siglos Type II

    One of my favorite fourrees is this tetradrachm of Arados 185BC using the Alexander types. It has obvious core on the eagle and several other random patches. I bought it from Frank Robinson in 1989 correctly listed as plated but soon discovered a die duplicate even lighter than my coin (13.8g) which had been consigned to Tom Cederlind (list 85,43) and listed as solid. I reported it to him and it was delisted. I assume he returned it to the consignor who then tried to sell it through an auction (I wish I remembered which one) who also withdrew it on being made aware of the plating. That coin has very, very little core exposure and probably resides in some collection of a collector who does not weigh his coins. I would love to know where that coin is today. It was centered so as to show the exergue date OE (75) which allowed me to date my coin to that year 185BC. I have not seen an Arados of this type later than OE and would like to see other coins of this series dated later if anyone has them.

    Also of Arados is this fourree drachm of the Ephesis type dated year 100 (P) according to Sear who takes the DI as a monogram rather than part of the date. I have never seen a coin of this type not dated simply P but would appreciate the link if anyone has one. I have seen enough fourrees of Arados to suggest looking closely at high grade silver coins of that period.

    Fourrees are interesting but should sell for a lot less than solid coins especially when they have a lot of ugly core exposure. I always avoided ones with irregular and patchy core preferring coins with core that followed the design as on this bee. We each pay what we believe to be appropriate and I prefer attractive patterns unless the coin is very rare and I had to take it or have none. Fourrees are fun but properly avoided by most collectors and all investors.
    Kavax, Broucheion, Edessa and 11 others like this.
  6. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    The ones that I have I found in batches of uncleaned coins.
    ancientone likes this.
  7. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Sorry, late to the game, traveling:

    Roman Republic
    AE Victoriatus (Normally AR - Republic's version of a Drachm)
    Anonymous issue after 218 B.C. (15.7 mm, 2.21 g, 11 h).
    Rome mint.
    Obv: Laureate head of Jupiter right
    Rev: in ex ROMA, Victory standing right, crowning trophy.
    Ref: Sear 49; Crawford 44/1; Sydenham 83; RSC 9 (exc struck AE)
    Ex: RBW Collection possibly Fouree core
  8. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I think Roman fourees are somewhat more common so I have posted two of my Greek ones. I must admit to being fascinated by these coins when their appearance is still a good one and I often wonder about who made these coins and why. Larcenous behavior or government desperation at a shortage of bullion? On a few occasions, like Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War, we can surmise the latter.

    The two coins I have here are Greek, a Corinthian Colt from the Corinthian Colony of Thourion (notice the small theta under Athena's chin).. The coin is of excellent style and the plating looks pretty thick. The time period is probably from the early Third century BC when there was still much turmoil going on as Alexander's successors fought it out for control of the Greek World. From its fine style and thick plating I am thinking this may have been a mint issue at a troubled time rather than an after hours basement project, but I am only conjecturing at that. It weighs 6.39 grams.The second coin, an early Ptolemaic tetradrachma of Ptolemy I, is an unusual coin, in that its copper core is almost black and its plating seems very thin. Surprisingly from the wear on the coin, it looks like it might have continued circulating for some time after the thin silver plating started to wear off. The tetradrachma was an early issue of Ptolemy I and was minted on the Attic standard so it should have weighed in at close to 17 grams but this one weighs in at 15.5 grams. Look at the tiny control mark, a helmet, under Athena's shield. If any readers have any other information on these two coins please share it with us.

    IMG_1469[5946]Greek fourre 2.jpg IMG_1471[5948]Greek fourre.jpg
  9. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    How bout an Achaemenid fouree...

    Persia Achaemenid Empire 4th C BCE FOUREE 15mm Siglos Persian hero-king in running incuse
    Official Version:
    ominus1, jamesicus, Bing and 5 others like this.
  10. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    These coins circulated in Ionia among the Greeks settled there. Do you have any idea if these plated coins were made by Persians or by the Ionian settlers?
    Inspector43 and Alegandron like this.
  11. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    LOL, duuuuaaaaaaah, I dunno!

    LOL, seriously, I have not researched it. I saw it, said “cool old fake money”, and absconded. :)
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  12. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I just wondered if making plated coins was something as common among the Persians as among the Greeks and Romans. I don't recall either these sigloi or Parthian drachmas or the Sassanian pieces of those Persians being nearly as common as Greek and Roman plated coins. My guess on the Sassanian drachmas is that they are so thin that plating them over such a large area would require so much silver as to make it impractical (unprofitable) to do them as plated coins. Bottom line is that I have not encountered nearly as many plated coins of any Persian dynasty's coinage as Greek or Roman and wondered if they just didn't do that much of it. Now, I expect a blizzard of Persian fourees to appear below within an hour or two demonstrating how narrow my knowledge of Persian coinage is.
    jamesicus, ancientone and Alegandron like this.
  13. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I was once told that there were no plated Parthians but I discounted that expert since I had one of Mithradates II. I will note that the very wide spread flan could mean the coin was overstruck on a Western (Roman?) fourree and the mint had no idea what they were striking. That is just a guess.
  14. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Now that's interesting. The deduction would seem to be, if this is indeed the case, that the Parthians were not familiar with plated coins because they did not issue any nor did individual Parthians freelance them as forgeries. Do you know if there are any (ancient) plated Sassanian pieces?
    Ryro likes this.
  15. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I agree with the opinion expressed above that the large, thin flans would make Sasanian fourrees less profitable than would attract many people. I do not recall one. In both cases, we might need to allow for how the king dealt with violators. Torturing the entire family before starting on the violator might cut down on cases. How many cases of punishment of counterfeiters do we have from Greece and Rome? Does this mean it was not a serious matter? I have not seen anything worthwhile on this. There is the following:
    but it dates the law to 81BC and mentions the emperor (a concept yet invented) so I have to question the details.

    This is better but falls down when discussing the difference between pickling and plating.

    Considering the number of fourree coins we have, I wonder at the lack of violations in the records.
    jamesicus, kevin McGonigal and Ryro like this.
  16. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Wonderful thread and coins! I could care less, heck sometimes I like em more, if they're fourees
    Tell me there isn't just a bit of bad aceness to these out law coins of our ancient ancestors.
    Like your Olympic coin, sometimes they show that excellent dies were used:artist:
    From the Cheechnchongneeses:cigar:

    They've been around since the beginning! No judgments hear, but I hope the forger or whomever he duped with this coin didn't get caught. Our ancestors weren't known to be forgiving:nailbiting:

    From the time of Nero's overthrow, brought on by the catalyst named Vindex. A CT pal told me that it's possible that all of this type are fouree!

    One of my favorite moderns:woot: And it's a fouree!
    That's right, as if the mui fantastique portrait and Mercury's mesmerizing reverse wasn't enough, the lady is wearing silver makeup:kiss:
    I'm no expert, but though I can find similar types in silver. The only exact coins I've been able to find are bronze.
  17. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    And, now I will drop a LIMES into the mix... :D


    Hadrian, AD 117-138
    Æ 'Limes’ Denarius, 18mm, 3.5mm, 6h; after AD 125.
    Obv.: HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS; Laureate head right.
    Rev.: COS III; Genius standing left, sacrificing over a lighted altar and holding cornucopia.
    Reference: cf. RIC II 173, p. 360
    From the Doug Smith Collection #397
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  18. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Fairly recent pickup from Frank Robinson's Bargain List:

    Larissa fouree 2.jpg
    Larissa, Thessaly,
    drachm (fouree)
    5.48g, 18mm

    (poor photo.. sorry)
  19. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    LOL, or you could had used Frank’s gorgeous photos. :D
  20. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Gosh, I love plated coins. Here are a few, from Early Greek to Byzantine:

    Ionia, c. 600 BCE
    Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 12.32.57 AM.jpg

    Neapolis, c. 320-300 BCE
    Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 12.33.22 AM.jpg

    Republican (moneyer: Maxsumus), c. 75 BCE:
    Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 12.33.39 AM.jpg

    Gordian III:
    Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 12.34.04 AM.jpg

    Extremely late & unprofitable fourrée antoninianus, Gallienus c. 256 (extremely rare):
    Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 12.34.30 AM.jpg

    Fourrée Merovingian tremissis, second half of the 7th century (also my most chicken-like portrait!):
    Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 12.34.42 AM.jpg

    Nicephorus II (963-969) w/ Basil II fourrée solidus, aka "Zombie Jesus" (ex X6):
    Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 12.34.52 AM.jpg
  21. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Gold plating also exists with silver cores.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page