Byzantine Gold Coins, Fouree or Authentic

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Obone, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Obone

    Obone Active Member

    Hi everyone, these appeared at my local auction, I inspected them and found them to be authentic. However, another member thought they were fourees, and I just wanted to confirm before buying them. Would appreciate any insight.
    Thanks in advance!

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  3. I see mothing idnicating them to be fourees
  4. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    They look fine to me. They do not look at all like fourrees. However, here have been very deceptive forgeries of late Roman gold as Sayles notes in his book "Classical Deception.". Authentic solidi weigh close to 4.45 grams unless they are clipped (some are, but not those two) to lighter weights. Any full-flan solidus in good shape that is not above 4.3 or even 4.35 grams should cause concern.

    So, if you could ascertain their weights that would be useful.
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I'm hard-pressed to find any evidence they are fourees.
  6. Obone

    Obone Active Member

    So in your opinions, these are fully genuine Byzantine Solidi Coins correct?
    Thanks for all the help guys
  7. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    Do a specific gravity test if you're worried.

    It won't rule out fouree completely, but it's another tick.
  8. David@PCC

    David@PCC Well-Known Member

    Those are late Roman, not Byzantine .
    7Calbrey likes this.
  9. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    It is very unlikely that they are fourrees. That would be easily detectable by the weight. But saying that they are not fourrees is not the same as saying that they are genuine. If you're concerned about them being counterfeit, there are several places you can check to see if it is a known fake. Here's just a couple:

    The first one looks good to me. The second one has some weirdness in the obverse border, but that could be just strike issues. Anyway, you're better off referring to the experts (above) than relying on my opinions. Here's another place to begin learning about fakes:
  10. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Obone, I agree with the other members, there is nothing visually that would indicate the coins are Fourees, like peeling metal or odd discoloration. Late Roman gold fourees are very uncommon compared to silver fourees.
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Redditor Lucis Aeternae

    They were cranking out these gold coins to pay off the barbarians to keep them from attacking. I see nothing to indicate they are forgeries, for what it's worth. Nice coins.
  12. Obone

    Obone Active Member

    I have them identified as an Honorius Solidus and an Arcadius Solidus with the rarer childlike portrait. Do you guys think I got it right?
  13. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    Yes, I do @Obone

    Great job
    Obone likes this.
  14. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Obone, You got it right. For comparison see my example of a Honorius solidus of the same type & same mint as yours from my collection pictured below.
    IMG_6164.JPG IMG_6165.JPG
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  15. Obone

    Obone Active Member

    Well I got the weights, the Honorius is 4.45g, and the Arcadius is 4.55g (too heavy?). Any thoughts?
  16. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I wonder if the scale used gives only results as a multiple of .05 so weight like 4.53 could not be displayed. 4.55 is a bit heavy but maybe it was really 4.53 with rounding error. Or, it may have weighed even less with a little inaccuracy. If the scale has not been calibrated recently with accurate weights an error of 0.05 grams (or more) is possible. For me, that slightly high weight is close enough.
    Obone likes this.
  17. Obone

    Obone Active Member

    Maybe I'm just paranoid here, but I was concerned about the brownish substance in the hair of Arcadius. I've never seen anything like it, I was just hesitant before I bought, as these are pricier items.
  18. RichardT

    RichardT Member


    Up to how many decimal places does your scale indicate?

    If it's up to two decimal places (like 4.45) then only the first decimal place should be really accurate. So, one can read 4.4 for that scale.

    If it's up to THREE decimal places (like 4.458) then up to the second decimal place should be accurate. So, one can read 4.45 for that scale.

    Having said that, 4.45 and 4.55 are both acceptable weights for a solidus. As for the brownish substance, I don't think it's a cause for concern. Maybe dirt. Here's one of my solidi, with something similar in the pearl diadem. 47.5.jpg
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  19. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    They look A-OK to me. The weights on Western Roman Solidi can vary from 4.45g-4.55g. I got a Constantius II Solidus from Triton III that weighed 4.58g!
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  20. Suarez

    Suarez Active Member

    Damn nice coins. Stop worrying about them being fourrees :)

    My own collection of Byzantines is coming along too. Isaac II was my latest addition.

    This is my 401k pretty much haha
    panzerman likes this.
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