Assistance With Nailing Down An Attribution

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kevin McGonigal, May 28, 2020.

  1. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I have what is probably a very common coin but the image just does not seem like the usual one for this emperor. The coin seems to be a common double denarius of Gordian III, about as common as one can get. It is most likely Sear 8600 with Aequitas on the reverse. Its weight is 4.0 grams. What seems odd to me is the image of Gordian. He is usually pictured as a young teen, not surprising as having been born ca. 225 AD, he was a young teen when he ascended the throne and he looks it on his coins. He also has a prominent and pointed (Roman) nose. On the coin below you will see that the image of Gordian looks like something noticeably different, to me anyway. He looks more like a young man and his profile looks very much like a typical, almost generic young man. The inscription on the obverse seems to read IMP CAES M ANTON GORDIANUS AVG. I am wondering if this may be what Sear calls his Sear 8600a version, that is, from an Eastern mint, namely Antioch. I cannot seem to find one in any of my books. I don't have a copy of RIC which is supposed to differentiate the coins produced at Rome from those of Antioch. Since the Antioch version is supposed to be a bit more valuable I'd like to be able to determine for sure what this variation from the norm seems to be. Thanks for any assistance. IMG_1375[5488]Gordian III obv..jpg IMG_1376[5486]Gordian III rev..jpg
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  3. shanxi

    shanxi Well-Known Member

    kevin McGonigal, Andres2 and PeteB like this.
  4. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Thanks. There's great deal there. I have no way of determining its metallic content. For whatever it is worth that little chunk removed from the coin reveals a material that looks exactly like the surface but short of a specific gravity test which I don't have the right equipment at home to do one, I have no way of verifying the metallic composition. It's not worth sending it out for authentication. I think Sear has it about fifty percent more in value than the coins of the mint of Rome. Thanks for that info. The images of Gordian from Antioch, some of them anyway, do look more like mine. Thanks, again.
  5. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Here's a silver Tet from my old folders. It was struck at Antioch, as well.

    Gord 298          silver.JPG Gordi left R     Tet antioch.JPG
  6. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Who is the emperor? Is that Gordian III? It does look more like mine than the ones from the Mint of Rome.
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  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    It certainly looks like an older Gordian, not one who was a young teenager (and who died at nineteen). Looks like a portrait of a twenty-five year old.
  8. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    According to RIC the issue appears from both Rome and Antioch. However, Rome did not start minting it until A.D. 240. In Antioch, the coin the type appears at the very beginning of his reign, probably before anyone at the mint knew what he looked like. Thus, the generic obverse portrait. I think your assumption of Antioch as the origin is reasonable. I have not noticed, though, any 50% premium on his Antioch coins, but then, I'm not a specialist. You may be more knowledgeable about this than I am.
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  9. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately this coin is a forgery.

    Barry Murphy
    Roman Collector and Kentucky like this.
  10. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    I would never have caught that.

    I checked Forgery Network and found this modern forgery:
    The obverse is different, of course, but it does look like a reverse die match.
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  11. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, forgery is a very common "rule" in ancient coins. Still it will be a challenge for us to keep going on. And Fortunately there are experts and coin-friends who can stand by our side to keep walking.
  12. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I have the coin in hand right now. As I look closely at the reverse the upper bar of the E on the word, AEQUITAS, seems weakly struck and slightly blurred on the fake coin but is quite crisp and clear on the coin in hand. Also the A of AVG on the coin in hand has a clear and well defined cross bar whereas the fake coin has a very ill defined cross bar. I don't really have that much into this coin but if I transfer it to my black box I need to be sure that it is fake. By the way I went to that site and the site has the reverse as AVGG (plural of AVGUSTUS) which is not the case with the coin itself. I am going to go out onto Forum Ancient coins for a look-see.
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
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  13. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    It’s fake. Portrait is wrong. Font isn’t correct.

    Barry Murphy
  14. harley bissell

    harley bissell Well-Known Member

    I like this reply better than your first reply because it is helpful and not merely dismissive.
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  15. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input. As I am most anxious not to have more additions to my black box, I need to be more aware of the oddities you point out. I did check the Forum Ancient Coins and could not find a match to a known fake there. The question of the portrait is, indeed, a matter I am trying figure out, as it does not match the traditional image of Gordian, but it does appear that some of the portraits of the Antioch Mint are somewhat different from those of Rome. Could you be so kind as to amplify what you means by the "font isn't correct"? What would be the tip off that the font on this coin is somehow "off" from the norm? Thanks, I appreciate your input but if I, and others, are to become better at spotting fakes I need to know what "the font isn't correct" actually means and what I need to look for. Thanks, again.
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  16. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Barry is an expert; I'm not.

    If your coin were legitimate, it would be catalogued as RIC 177. If you go to Wildwinds you'll find 3 examples of RIC 177 to compare your coin to. Perhaps that will help.
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  17. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I will do that.
  18. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    None of the examples at OCRE, whether from Rome or Antioch, has a portrait anything like this. Every one of them has a fairly standard Gordian III portrait with that distinctive nose. I've seen lots of Gordian III coins -- as just about everyone has! -- but none with a portrait like this.
  19. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    This is true, but this coin is from a distant mint early in the reign of Gordian III. Often people at the mints were told to prepare dies for the new emperor's coins before they had any idea what the emperor looked like. When this happened, they usually just modified the portrait of the preceding emperor or went with a generic portrait until a bust of the emperor arrived and they learned what he looked like.

    I think that's why Kevin was asking about the OP.
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  20. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I did go there and the RIC has three of these Aequitas reverses and the three facial images are pretty much the same as those from the Rome mint but as was mentioned above, if it was an early issue from Antioch it might have been done before they had a more accurate issue to work from. I am more concerned about the font not being correct as stated above and the one from the Forgery Network from the two other posters above. For the life of me I cannot determine what is iffy about the font.The Forum Ancient Coins fake website did not have the one like mine on it. Thanks for all the info being provided.
  21. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Sorry you got had, but it is indeed a fake
    PeteB likes this.
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