Elagabalus AD 218-222, 3.28 g, 18.2 mm, 6 h. Fourrée Denarius, imitative issue, (after AD 250?). Unknown (Sarmatian?) mint. Obv: ΛNTONINVS PIVS FEL ΛVG; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Rev: CONCORDIΛ; Two standards between two aquilae; NILIT in exergue (sic, the N backwards and replacing the correct M, and the L looking like an upside-down T). Refs: imitation of: RIC 187; BMC 275; C 15; Thirion-344. Notes: See CNG E-Auction 281, June 20, 2012, lot 369 (same dies). Julia Soaemias, AD 218-222. Fourrée Denarius, imitative issue, (after AD 250?). Unknown (Sarmatian?) mint, 3.12 g, 18.6 mm, 5 h. Obv: IVLIA SOAEMIAS AVGVSTA, bare-headed and draped bust, right. Rev: ΛESIA (sic), Vesta seated left, holding simpulum and scepter. Refs: cf. RIC 247-248; BMCRE p. 539, f (ancient forgery); RSC 22a. Notes: See CNG E-Auction 281, June 20, 2012, lot 373 (same dies). Correctly identified in the BM catalogue as a hybrid with a reverse of Julia Domna, although the authors of RIC accept it without comment as an official type of Soaemias. ~~~ These coins are so crude in artistic style that they would never have fooled a citizen of the empire, so they must have been produced for use outside of it. Curtis Clay of Harlan J. Berk notes, "The 'barbarous' style and poor engraving of some letters (notably, A is consistently rendered as Λ, V in VESTA is upside down, and T has an 'extra' crossbar at its bottom) reveals these denarii of Julia Soaemias and others of Elagabalus found with them to be ancient imitations, not products of the eastern mint that struck the prototypes. Also indicative of an unofficial issue is the wide variation of weight, ranging from 2.91 g to 3.66 g in the sample we obtained." AMCC notes, "The style is similar to imitations found in relatively large numbers in the region of modern Ukraine and Moldova, though these are not usually fourrée. In the 2nd century and later this corresponds to territory held by the Sarmatian tribe known as the Roxolani." These coins come from a group of plated ancient forgeries that came onto the market several years ago, apparently struck from just two die pairs: Elagabalus / Four Standards and Julia Soaemias / Vesta seated type of Julia Domna. They are somewhat controversial as to their authenticity. While the firms CNG (the source of these coins), Harlan J. Berk (Curtis Clay), and others are of the opinion that they are authentic ancient imitations, several knowledgeable German collectors and dealers have expressed doubts. Please see the thread at bit.ly/elagjsom for discussion. AMCC notes: "We have seen five examples, and some have extremely hard red deposits that would be difficult to reproduce. Some green deposits came off relatively easily. The silvering is extremely thin, so if they are authentic, they must have been produced after about 250 CE when at least one method of applying thin layers of silver (perhaps via mercury amalgam) was widely known, and used in official mint products. The style is difficult to evaluate, and their condition and state prior to cleaning is consistent with a hoard find with multiple coins sharing dies."