Another Augustus/Comet Denarius - Real or Fake?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by JGGonzalez, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. JGGonzalez

    JGGonzalez Active Member

    The Augustus/Comet denarius is definitely my favorite coin. The story behind it is just fascinating. I just picked up this denarius. The seller insists it is genuine, but if it is he sold it for less than a tenth of it's real value. I don't have it yet, but here are some pics he sent. He said the weight is 3.72 grams.

    I think it's a decent copy and has just a few stylistic flaws around the eye on the obverse and the "D" on the reverse looks off. I think I see a few casting signs, but I'm not 100% sure. On the other hand, I'm assuming it's a copy based on the price. Maybe I've got a real denarius with retooled lettering. The eye looks slightly off, but I've seen a few authentic ones online that are very similar. Can you guys take a look and educate me? s-l1600 (2).jpg s-l1600 (1).jpg
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I don't see anything off-hand, but that doesn't mean anything. Here is my example:
    Augustus 21.jpg
  4. JGGonzalez

    JGGonzalez Active Member

    That's a nice example. The rim has a little damage, but the full design is visible and nicely centered.

    I'm a little puzzled by mine. The weight is on and I really don't see anything that screams out at me. The eBay dealer claims it is real and seems sincere. I paid such a small amount that I assumed it was a nice fake to add to my fake collection, but I'm wondering (and hoping) that I get a pleasant surprise. The dealer offered an unconditional return policy, but even if its fake I'm keeping it.

    Oh well, nothing as dangerous as a rabid coin collector with a few dollars in his pocket. I'm on a tight budget, so when this one came up I had to grab it. Anyone else see anything in the pics?
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  5. JGGonzalez

    JGGonzalez Active Member

    Here are a few more pics that show a little bit of the rim. s-l1600 (7).jpg s-l1600 (9).jpg
  6. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    From those pics, it looks fake to me. I don't like it.
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  7. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    Definitely fake. Its not too badly done I suppose but all the lines are incredibly sharp, usually showing that it was done with a rotary tool.
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  8. JGGonzalez

    JGGonzalez Active Member

    Hi Ken,

    Do you mind if I ask you a few questions? You mention a rotary tool. Can you explain a bit further? Do you mean it was cast and then cleaned up with a rotary tool? I'm trying to learn more about how to spot fakes, so any insight you can give me on what would indicate this is a fake would be great.
  9. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    Some of the lesser (or lazy) forgers use a rotary tool to engrave the coin dies and this leaves distinctive marks on the coin whether it is cast, pressed or struck. It usually results in very sharp and straight lines and often when you look at it under magnification you can see the markings left behind by the tool (similar to dentists drills or the brand name Dremel).

    On your coin the lines are straight and very sharp. They style of the coin is not right, the eye is very poorly done in particular. The toning has been achieved chemically (you can see it is 'splotchy' rather than evenly distributed). Spotting artificial toning will come with experience.

    Finally, this one is a bit interesting. The planchet looks like it was cast (you can see some sharp edges around the coin). But after the planchet was cast it was pressed. Pressed coins often end up with the type of flan cracks this one has. Below is a genuine example of this coin and what it should look more closely like:

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  10. JGGonzalez

    JGGonzalez Active Member

    Thanks for the info, Ken. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain this in detail to me. I'm trying to educate myself about what to look for when evaluating ancients and your explanation was really interesting!
  11. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    The first coin in this thread is a forgery. Modern dies.

    Barry Murphy
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