Featured A hybrid Roman Republican denarius -- could it possibly be real?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    This is a strange situation -- one I've never faced before -- and will take a while to explain. So please excuse the great length of this post.

    I recently bought, from a reputable dealer on VCoins (Herakles Numismatics), what certainly appears at first glance to be a genuine example of Crawford 378/1c: the 81 BCE C. Marius Capito denarius with Ceres on the obverse and a husbandman plowing with two oxen on the reverse. It's a type with a control number appearing on both the obverse and the reverse (the numbers go from I to CLI, and the same number should appear on both sides), as well as a control symbol on the obverse.

    At the time I bought the coin, I could see the reverse number CXXIII very clearly from the seller's photo, but the obverse number was partly off the flan and difficult to read, and I simply didn't notice before I bought the coin that there was a different number (CIIII) on the obverse from the one on the reverse. I don't think the seller noticed either. I noticed that it's a hybrid of CIIII and CXXIII only when I did some research afterwards to try to identify the obverse control symbol, which I thought might be some sort of bracelet, but in fact is a torc or torque (Celtic neck-ring) -- the symbol that goes with control number CIIII; see Crawford Vol. I p. 394. (There's no obverse symbol listed for CXXIII, and in fact I've found no published example of a coin with CXXIII on the obverse as well as the reverse.)

    I figured this out by looking at three examples of Capito reverse CXXIII that I found on acsearch, and realizing not only that they're all the same coin (sold three times, each time as a genuine example), but that even though the control symbol itself is off the flan on the obverse of that coin, the control number is easily readable (unlike on my coin), and is clearly a different number, namely CIIII -- for which Crawford and Grueber (at BMCRR 2875) both list the control symbol as a torque (torc). Which matches the visible control symbol on the obverse of my coin. So I concluded that my coin, like the coin on acsearch, is actually a hybrid of a CIIII obverse and a CXXIII reverse.

    The coin arrived today, and it's quite obvious from looking at it in-hand that the obverse number is CIIII, and is not the same as the number CXXIII on the reverse.

    So my coin is clearly a hybrid, and the question becomes whether it (and/or the example I found on acsearch) could possibly be genuine, or, like all Roman Republican hybrids (with a couple of exceptions) are supposed to be (see Crawford p. 562), is a plated coin (fourrée). Crawford states that "hybrids are often wrongly reported as being of pure silver, when they are in fact plated (for the only examples known to me of hybrids of pure silver see pp. 272 and 279 and no. 391; cf. also Table XVIII, 114)." He does not list my hybrid as one of these examples.

    So, on the one hand, the weight is in the range of a genuine example, there's no sign whatsoever of any copper showing through, and so far as I can tell, there's nothing wrong with the style, which I happen to like a lot (it's the reason I bought the coin!). The coin seems to be no different in general appearance or quality from the indisputably genuine examples I've seen of Crawford 378. (The Richard Schaefer die examples for Crawford 378 have not yet been published online, so I can't yet try to figure out whether either side matches an official die.) There's no sign of casting, and even the notches around the serrated edge all appear to be entirely silver.

    On the other hand, Crawford not only asserts that hybrids are counterfeit in general, but specifically identifies (see p. 395) examples of this very hybrid combination (CIIII obverse with CXXIII reverse), held in Paris and by the British Museum, as "plated."

    Here's the seller's photo, together with my description of the coin, cobbled together from various sources. (See especially the footnote regarding the coin's hybrid nature and the portion of the text accompanying the footnote, with my apologies for the partial repetition of the discussion above.)

    jpg version C. Marius Capito (Ceres - ploughman & oxen), Crawford 378-1c.jpg

    Roman Republic, C. [Gaius] Marius C.f. Capito, AR Serrate Denarius 81 BCE [Harlan: 81/80 BCE], Rome Mint. Obv. Draped bust of Ceres right, wearing earring, head bound with corn wreath, hair falling down neck; CAPIT• upwards behind, with legend followed by control number CIIII; control symbol (torc; Celtic neck ring) beneath chin / Rev. Husbandman with yoke of two oxen plowing left, control-number CXXIII [sic] above; C•MARI•C•F / S•C [Senatus consulto] on two lines in exergue. Crawford 378/1c (hybrid of obverse control number CIIII and reverse control number CXXIII; Crawford lists control-symbol for CIIII as a torque [torc]; see Vol. I p. 394)*; RSC I Maria 9; Sear RCV I 300 (ill.); Sydenham 744b; BMCRR Vol. I 2855-2890 [Control-number CIIII is no. 2875, with control symbol identified as a torque; control number CXXIII not listed]; Harlan, Michael, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (2012) [“RRM I”], Ch. 2 at pp. 8-13. 19 mm., 3.44 g. [Second footnote discussing symbolism of coin, summarizing different interpretations of Grueber, Crawford, and Harlan, omitted.]

    *See also Crawford p. 395, at the end of his list of control numbers and symbols for No. 378 (Table XXXIII), stating that hybrid “plated specimens” with CIIII on the obverse and CXXIII on the reverse (among other “aberrant combinations”) -- i.e., the same combination as this coin -- are held in Paris and by the British Museum. However, this coin does not appear on superficial examination to be plated. Another example of the same hybrid (not this coin) is listed three times on acsearch as having been sold as a genuine example: as GORNY & MOSCH GIESSENER MÜNZHANDLUNG, AUCTION 191, LOT 1960 (11 Oct 2010); FRITZ RUDOLF KÜNKER GMBH & CO. KG, AUCTION 257, LOT 8407 (20 Oct 2014); and GORNY & MOSCH GIESSENER MÜNZHANDLUNG, AUCTION 236, LOT 364 (7 Mar 2016). [End of description.]

    Here's a photo of the example on acsearch that's been sold three times in the last 10 years; I am certain that it's a reverse die match to mine, and suspect that it's an obverse die match as well. (I have found no photos of the examples of this hybrid apparently held in Paris and by the British Museum, and don't know how Crawford made the determination that they're not genuine.)

    Hybrid Capito denarius, German example from ACSearch id 2155540.jpg

    There's a well-known difference of opinion among various authorities as to whether plated coins of the Republic were the work of private counterfeiters (Crawford's view), or were official mint products. For a very vigorous presentation of the latter view, see the lengthy 2010 article by Pierluigi Debernardi entitled "Plated Coins, False Coins?," originally published in Revue Numismatique, Année 2010, 166, at pp. 337-381, and
    available online in English at https://www.persee.fr/doc/numi_0484- 8942_2010_num_6_166_2941 . (It contains, among other things, a catalogue of Republican types known to have been produced not only in silver but also as plated coins -- the list includes Crawford 378 -- and photos showing die links between plated coins and official issues). Interestingly enough, the issuance of plated Republican coins apparently reached its peak before Sulla's victory, whereas my coin was issued after Sulla was in power (and, in fact, may well symbolize the founding of colonies by Sulla's veterans: see discussion in Harlan RRM I at pp. 10-12; see also Grueber, BMCRR Vol. I p. 353 n. 2).

    However, if my coin is actually plated rather than genuine silver, I don't particularly care whether it was issued by private forgers or is a product of an official mint. (I must say, though, that I don't understand why either would have issued an obvious hybrid like this one even though they obviously knew what they were doing and had a lot of skill. This isn't a crude imitation crafted by barbarians!) What I care about is whether it's a plated coin in the first place, or might possibly be a genuine silver example.

    I know that the determination of whether an ancient coin is genuine silver or plated is usually made by testing the coin's specific gravity -- for example, the SG of pure silver is 10.49, and the SG of copper is 8.95. Debernardi discusses the specific gravity of plated vs. genuine Roman Republican specimens at pp. 340-341 and Table I, listing a number of plated Republican coins with specific gravities ranging from 6.99 on the low end to, on the high end, 9.07 and 9.08 for two coins which -- like mine if, in fact, it is not a genuine silver example -- "have reached us without any damage to their silver plating, which is intact." (Id. p. 341.)

    Unfortunately, although I did find a guide to measuring specific gravity without specialized equipment -- see http://coinsblog.ws/2016/06/detecting-counterfeits-specific-gravity.html -- my very inexpensive digital scale measures only in 10ths of a gram rather than the 100ths of a gram necessary for proper measurements. A difference of a few hundredths of gram in the weight of a coin while suspended in distilled water (using a harness made of thread) can make a huge difference in the specific gravity number. (One divides the "dry weight" by the weight while suspended in water.) For comparison purposes, I did make some rather crude calculations (based on several repetitions of the process) of the SG number for one of my undisputedly genuine Republican serrated denarii issued around the same time as the C. Marius Capito denarius -- a C. Poblicius denarius issued in 80 BCE, Crawford 380/1. I got SG numbers of around 9.6 each time (3.84 g. [weight provided by dealer]/0.4 g.). I did the same for my new Marius Capito denarius and got considerably lower SG numbers, around 8.6 (3.44 g. [weight provided by dealer/0.4 g.) -- although if I were to base the calculation on the couple of times my scale measured the weight of the Capito denarius suspended in water as 0.3 g. rather than 0.4 g., the SG number would jump to 11.33! Obviously, a more sensitive digital scale would be very helpful, and I've already ordered one from Amazon that measures in 100ths of gram, for $17. It should be here in another couple of days.

    I'm certainly not going to do anything until I'm able to accomplish a better SG calculation. But if the SG number continues to be below 9 -- and continues to be considerably lower than other denarii I own from the same time-period -- I suppose I'll have to conclude that regardless of appearance, the coin is plated, albeit (presumably) ancient.

    If that turns out to be the case, I'll have several options:

    1. Contact the seller, explain my conclusions, and try to return the coin for a full refund.

    2. Contact the seller, explain my conclusions, and tell him that I'd like to keep the coin for it's historical interest, but think he should give me a partial refund (perhaps 50%) because, as appealing as the coin may be, and despite the fact that it's probably ancient, it's still a counterfeit and shouldn't have cost me the same price as a genuine silver example. (I don't usually like to say how much I paid for a coin, but in this case I'll say that even with the modest discount I received as a previous customer, I still paid around $300 -- way more than I've paid for most of my ancient coins.)

    3. Do nothing and just keep the coin because I like it and it's historically interesting.

    4. Do nothing, say nothing, and commit fraud by selling the coin as a genuine silver coin to an unsuspecting buyer. (J/k.)

    What do people think, and what would you do?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  3. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    1 or 3, if you are disappointed then clearly 1.
     
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  4. abc123

    abc123 Member

    I saw the listing while on VCoins and also thought it suspicious that the control numbers on obverse and reverse didn’t match. Perry is a good guy and I would think as long as you don’t delay making contact he will work with you to make the deal right. Get a better scale and perform specific gravity measurement as you are planning to do. You need a scale that measures to a hundredth of a gram at a minimum. I was unable to locate images of the reported hybrid examples in the Paris and British Museum collections searching the CRRO database. Regardless of your coin being plated or not it is a very nice example of the type with a story to tell.
     
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  5. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks for looking. I simply didn't notice before I bought the coin that the obverse number wasn't CXXIII -- to the extent I thought about it at all, I thought that the rest of the number on the obverse after "C" was either illegible or off the flan. What I find most strange is that the only examples of CXXIII anyone appears to have recorded for Crawford 378/1 (whether on the obverse, the reverse, or both) -- namely my example, the one I found on acsearch, and the ones Crawford mentions as being held in Paris and by the British Museum -- are all the same hybrid combination of CXXIII on the reverse and CIIII on the obverse. Coincidence? I have no idea. Perhaps the Schaefer files, once they're released, will provide further examples. (By contrast, I found a number of examples with CIIII on both sides.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  6. Ryro

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

    Great score:woot: I'm all for 3!
    It's a beautiful die used ifn it is a fouree:artist:
    I should know, it looks close to mine:jawdrop: (which most definitely is a fouree)
    20190327_120821_011CE72B-6416-49C4-BC6C-34BBA92EEBD5-469-0000005536F49CE4.png
    And then of course you've got to have another...
    20190729_183732_0FA45CC9-C864-45E3-9CF7-8A1A5DBA14B7-619-00000048A2D78A09.png
     
  7. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Wow! Great research and an incredibly interesting coin.. I would take option #3 and continue your research. It's a beautiful example (of a hybrid or even if a plated example).
    You're getting the worth and entertainment value from this one!
     
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  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    It should be mentioned that there are RR coins where the dies were numbered but not paired 'for life' with a broken reverse die replaced with the first obverse and the first obverse discarded when it failed making a pattern 1/1,1/2,2/2,2/3,2/4,3/4,3,5,3/6 etc.
    Since reverse dies usually fail before obverses, issues using this system reached the high numbers with a great disparity but the reverse number was always higher. The example of Capito suggests that a usable obverse die would be thrown out as a pair with its broken reverse. The Piso below shows the other, more economical, option where obverse 77 paired with reverse 94.
    r14060bb2248.jpg
    https://www.cngcoins.com/Lot.aspx?L...1&SEARCH_IN_CONTAINER_TYPE_ID_4=1&VIEW_TYPE=0
    The above shows 85/106 suggesting that, between my coin and CNG's, there were 8 obverse dies and 12 reverse dies. That does not mean that all still exist but it might be fun to research.

    I will never understand the mindset that says just because there is one plated coin that is proven unofficial that ALL plated coins are unofficial. 'Rules' on the matter may have changed over time and place. It is hard enough to 'prove' solid coins are official in every case across the spectrum of coinage. I do note a larger number of Imperatorial are fourree than other periods. I always wondered if some of them were made on the sly by someone who wanted to discredit a strongman by putting out bad coins in his name. There is no way to prove that a coin was made by a crook or a political opponent (possibly both).

    If I were to go into the fourree making business back then, I would do something to assure I did not accept my bad coins back in trade after I had moved them on to some sucker. One way to do this would be to combine sides incorrectly. This is another matter that can never be proven. I can't prove it is; you can't prove it is not.
    These three coins illustrate another mismatched set.
    r11000bb0238.jpg r11090bb0223.jpg r11180bb0239.jpg
    I suggest that, if the seller will take the coin back, you should return it. I doubt it will grow on you in future years. I would consider it inappropriate to ask for a partial refund. It would be most interesting if the coin is returned and later relisted for sale without a modification of the description. I have bought enough from that particular seller to believe that it would not and I would be unhappy if it were. Trust is hard to develop and easy to destroy.
     
  9. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Donna, I enjoyed your well written article :D. You've got an interesting quandary on your hands :smuggrin:. I don't know enough about Republican coinage to guess about the coin being genuine, fake, or ancient fake. To check the specific gravity of an object so small, it should be done in a lab with an enclosed digital scale so movement & air current (by humans or air conditioning) have no effect. May I suggest one more option, #5, send the coin to NGC to see if they certify it or return it in a body bag :cool:.
     
  10. RichardT

    RichardT Well-Known Member

    3.44g for a RR coin in that state of preservation is suspicious to me. I'd think it is plated.

    Specific gravity is very hard to measure accurately on such a small object. I have tried myself.
     
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  11. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    I wouldn't suggest this. I purchased a slabbed coin that NGC had failed to recognize as plated. It was obvious once I removed it and closely inspected the edge but was not clear before that.
     
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  12. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Interesting situation, Donna. It seems like a learning situation too, now you need to figure out measuring specific gravity and all. This coin is already making its mark!
    For that reason, I think I would go for option 2. It’s also a likeable coin, I think.
    Good luck, whatever you decide. :)
     
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  13. Alegandron

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

    My thoughts:
    - I am anxious to see if you have a different reading with the specific gravity when you get your new scale.
    - I know Perry Siegel reasonably well. I lived in NC for 10 years, and frequented many of the coin shows there (all over the state). We, surprisingly, had a very good showing of Ancients dealers as many of those shows! Perry was great to work with. He would even send me photos of coins before he put them on his website or took to the shows. Always seemed fair, although I did have to "discuss" some of his pricing prior to purchasing. :)

    Hard to pick which point until you get a few further facts on SG.

    However, I REALLY like that coin! I cannot believe that Roman Republic minting were so strict that mixed die coins never got out into circulation. As @dougsmit discussed above, Obv and Rev dies failed/wore out/expired at different rates. I cannot believe there was never an "oops, we just pounded out a bunch of mixed die coins." Especially when THOUSANDS are being pounded.

    - After SG check, more can be understood. However, I say NO on #2. Either you want it or not. :)

    - [EDIT to add:] You can send it to David Sear for authentication, also. Had a few of mine condemned and several confirmed good coins by him. :)

    - Of course, now you are committed NOT do do #4. You have it in writing, you Lawyer, you! :) (LOL, one thing I NEVER did was to bring my Lawyers to the negotiating table...) :D

    - I am very much tending towards #3, as I REALLY like Historical anomalies. It is that cool uniqueness factor.

    - I do not like "absolutes" where it is stated that it MUST be a fourree, etc. There are always exceptions to every situation, and I can easily perceive die mixing errors due to my manufacturing experience.

    - However, if you are still "uncomfortable", you always have option #1. I do not think Perry would have any problem with you returning it if you are dissatisfied. Besides, if you DO return it, :D , I think I may be interested in getting it! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  14. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    If these Republican denarii are genuine should they not have a specific gravity closer to 10.4? Although no Roman coins could be minted at 100% silver (there were always trace elements in what they considered pure silver) I would think such genuine denarii would have a S.P. well over 10.0. Same for early imperial denarii as well.
     
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  15. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    2 sounds like a good compromise, but if the seller doesn't like the idea then go for 1. You paid a decent amount of money and if the coin is not what it is supposed to be (I have no opinion on that as I know next to nothing about Roman coins), then it would be an expensive coin to keep just for historical/research purposes.
     
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  16. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Interesting coin and quandary. I would go with 1. I would not be surprised to find a large issue denarius with mismatched dies.

    Is this your first hybrid RR coin? I bought a M. Servilius / L. Sentius denarius last year to add a hybrid to my collection. It is a fourree and low weight.

    I agree with Doug. If you can not see a break in the plating, I do not see a downside to a plated coin.

    A dealer advised me when I started collecting RR coins to find examples and make sure mine looked right and had a good weight. Your coin looks "right". I use a spreadsheet to average weights. I found a few hundred Marius Capito coins on acsearch. The first 100 coins averaged 3.85 grams with a Standard Deviation of 0.097 (ie a tight distribution), a min of 3.40 and a max of 4.06. Your coin would be close to the minimum on that list and more than 3 standard deviations below the average. The industrial engineers I knew would tell you the coin is more than half a bubble off plumb -> probably a fourree.
     
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  17. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I haven't been around all day, and see that there are a lot of comments that I'd like to address. I'll try to get to all of them!

    I'm a little confused -- I must be more obtuse than usual today! Are you addressing Crawford's contention that hybrids are (almost) all plated/fourrees, as opposed to his contention that all plated coins/fourrees are unofficial? Or both? Are your hybrid coin and CNG's genuine silver, or fourrees? If it's the former, that would certainly suggest that Crawford's first contention is incorrect.

    Also, how does a combination of 77 on the obverse and 94 on the reverse show a different, more economical option than my coin with 104 on the obverse and 123 on the reverse? In both cases, the number on the reverse is higher, so I don't get the distinction. Also, what do you mean by "thrown out" in this instance -- thrown out in the sense of discarded, or in the sense of "distributed to the public"?

    Do you see any significance to the fact that there appear to be no recorded or published obverses of this type with the control number CXXIII -- only the few hybrid examples, besides mine, with CXXIII on the reverse and CIIII on the obverse -- whereas there are a number of examples with CIIII on both sides?


    Again, are the first and third of these hybrids genuine silver, or fourrees? If the latter, I don't see any copper showing through.

    The dealer may not have noticed the hybrid nature of the coin, but I'm sure he wouldn't deliberately conceal it. Anyway, my feeling was (and is) that I'll consider returning it only if it's a fourree. Although even if it is, it looks so good (at least to me!) that it's difficult to believe that it was made by a private forger as opposed to being an official mint product. I don't know what you think. Thanks for suggesting possible motives of both a private forger and the official mint for putting out a hybrid.

    And I can understand your point about the "request a partial refund" option being inappropriate, on the theory that either I want to keep the coin or I don't. On the other hand, he could never have justified asking the price he did had he known and disclosed that it's a fourree (assuming that's what it is).
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  18. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I will note that the acearch example of the Capito hybrid is only 3.41 g., so even lighter than mine.

    As a totally unscientific comparison, here are the weights in grams of all my other Republican coins, in chronological order from 138 BCE to 47 BCE, with the Capito in the appropriate place : 3.8, 3.8, 3.89, 3.67, 3.82, 3.9, 3.83, 3.85, 4.97, 4.02, 3.8, 3.93, 3.8, 3.85, [3.44], 3.6, 3.84, 3.79, 3.96, 3.87, 3.9, 3.93, 3.77, 4.25, 3.82, 3.98, 4.0.

    So it's clearly very light for a Roman Republic silver denarius.

    Edited to add: Regarding the even lighter second example of this hybrid that I found on acsearch, I find it interesting that Gorny & Mosch (twice) and Kunker (once) sold the coin three times in the last 10 years without suggesting that it might be plated, although they did mention the different control-numbers on the obverse and reverse (something that would have been difficult to avoid mentioning given how clear both numbers are on that example) -- without ever pointing out that this type is supposed to have the same number on both sides, or using the word "hybrid." Does that surprise anyone?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  19. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    @kevin McGonigal and @rrdenarius: Yes, it's my first hybrid coin of the Roman Republic or any other era.

    And yes, one would think a genuine silver RR denarius, hybrid or otherwise, would have an SG over 10.

    What percentage silver would you expect the average Roman Republican silver coin to have? How about the average Roman Republican fouree? 10%?

    Here's a table I found listing the specific gravities of silver, copper, and alloys with various percentages of silver in a silver-copper alloy:

    100% silver 10.49
    100% copper 8.49

    98% silver 10.45
    90% silver 10.31
    83.5% silver 10.20
    75% silver 10.05
    50% silver 9.65
    40% silver 9.527
    30% silver 9.37
    20% silver 9.234

    The new digital scale, with measurements in 100ths of a gram, arrived this afternoon, after I ordered it last night. The coins I order should arrive so quickly!

    So I tried some further experiments with the Capito and two other Republican serrate denarii:

    1. Crawford 380/1, C. Poblicius (Roma/Hercules strangling Nemean lion), 3.84 g.: two measurements, both resulting in a SG calculation of 10.37 -- so something over 90% silver.

    2. Crawford 384/1, L.Papius (Juno Sospita/Gryhon), 3.79 g: two measurements, one resulting in a SG calculation of 10.42 and the other 10.24 -- so one something a little below 98% silver and the other something above 83.5% silver (Hey, precision and repeatability I don't exactly expect from a $17 scale, regardless of the fancy measurements!)

    3. Crawford 378/1, C. Marius Capito (Ceres/Husbandman with oxen), 3.44 g.: two measurements, one resulting in a SG calculation of 9.55 and the other 9.29. So one a bit above 40% silver, and the other one a little above 20%.

    Note that even the lower of these two SG numbers is considerably higher than the highest SG numbers that Debernardi lists in his article (see citation in the OP) for any of the Roman Republican plated coins he measured: 9.07 and 9.08 for two coins which -- like mine -- "have reached us without any damage to their silver plating, which is intact" (p. 341).

    Would 40+% silver be a high percentage for a Roman Republican plated coin/fourree? How about 20+% silver? Especially in the former case, why would a counterfeiter use that much silver? Does a 40% silver plated coin -- even a hybrid -- suggest the possiblity that it might be an official mint product?

    In either case, the plating must be pretty thick, which probably explains why it's intact.

    Now that I'm essentially certain that it's a fourree/plated, I have to decide what to do. I'm still not sure. Of all the Capitos I saw for sale at anything like what I thought was a manageable price for me, this one was by far the nicest!

    I wish I could wait to decide until the Schaefer ODEC files are released for Crawford 378/1, so I could get a better idea of what went on here, but obviously I can't.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  20. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Research all the coins of your type you can find. How many have matching numbers? Research all of the coins of the type I showed. How many of them have matching numbers? If the answer to the first is 'almost all' while the answer to the last is 'none' you will see that there were two different ways of managing dies. I could not be more clear.
    The difference is a Capito die set normally matches so one that does not is anomalous while the Piso would rarely match after the first die set so a pair that did match would be suspect.

    NO! What I said was that showing one plated coin to be unofficial does not say anything about a thousand other plated coins. Finding a thousand unofficial plated coins suggest you look closely at number 1001 but does not prove anything any more than commonly held beliefs that all lawyers are ambulance chasers and all used car salesmen wear cheap suits. A plated coin with no break is not worth anything approaching the price of a solid, official coin. Below is my best condition fourree. I would estimate it as bringing about 25% of a solid coin with the same wear and appearance. This is hard to test since most you will see are either prettier, uglier, rougher, more damaged --- something different. I do not know of a 100% unbroken surface on a fourree in my collection. This one has only a couple spots but, in the end, it is plated.
    ra8830bb0422.jpg
     
  21. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    OK, thanks. I think I understand now what you meant, including what you meant by "thrown out" in this context"! And you're correct that almost all the obverse and reverse numbers always match in the Capito denarius: out of who knows how many thousands of examples that exist, Crawford notes only a handful of known hybrid types (including mine), all of which he characterizes as plated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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