Can you spot the fake?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Gam3rBlake, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    It’s really scary how good counterfeiters are getting at making fake ancient coins. o_O

    Which of these denarius of Antoninus Pius is real and which is a fake?

    Can you spot the difference?

    If so: what gave it away?

    sand likes this.
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  3. derkerlegand

    derkerlegand Well-Known Member

    The top one appears to be cast.
    Gam3rBlake likes this.
  4. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    That's easy, the top one.
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  5. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    The top coin is a cast fake or I'll eat my hat :D

    It's not a very deceptive imitation - there are several things wrong with it - lack of detail, surfaces, the disappearing beaded border - especially on the obverse - and an apparent raised rim. The bottom coin appears to have been struck and the edge cracks look OK.

  6. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    Good job! You’re all right!

    The top one is indeed a fake sold by!

    The bottom one is a legitimate denarius sold by Heritage Auctions (I’m pretty sure it’s real based on that alone since HA wouldn’t want to be caught selling fakes).
    derkerlegand likes this.
  7. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Operative phrase "wouldn't be caught" they wouldn't deliberately do it.
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  8. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    Well yeah what I meant is that they wouldn’t sell anything if they suspected it was fake because the resulting damage to their reputation would far exceed any profit they made from the fake.

    So why sell a fake for like $500 if it’ll cost them tens of thousands of dollars in lost sales?

    There is no incentive.
    JPD3 likes this.
  9. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    For big guys like this, profit is rarely the reason, but sometimes ignorance is. They have sold fakes before (I think, someone more knowledgeable than I can respond)
    Orfew and Gam3rBlake like this.
  10. sand

    sand Active Member

    I'm not an expert on detecting fakes. But I agree with everything that @akeady (Aidan) said. The biggest red flag for me, is the many pits, on Pius's neck, and all over the obverse and reverse. The pits just look wrong to me. Too regular looking. Too round. Too well defined. I think corrosion pits would look more irregular, less round, and less well defined. The pits look like casting pits, to me. And the pits look bad, to me. I wouldn't want the coin, even if it were authentic.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
    DonnaML likes this.
  11. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    If the top coin had the OP fooled for anything more than millisecond, I now understand your concern in limiting yourself to slabbed coins.

    I would offer up a suggestion in studying up on how to detect (ancient) fakes -- ie. tell-tale signs to look for. It's a worthwhile endeavor for anyone who plans to be serious about the hobby. There are a few good resources on the internets about this. 'Google is your friend'.

    I take the approach to presume that any coin may be a copy, until it can be reasonable ruled out as otherwise. The coin in the OP is not what I would consider as a 'good' or 'dangerous' fake.

    These are 'dangerous' fakes:


    Courtesy of @Bob L.
  12. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    Nah the ones you linked are all obvious fakes that wouldn’t fool anyone.

    But I guess I’m glad you just made a supporting argument in favor of slabs.

    Hopefully next time someone criticizes a member for buying slabbed coins you will be there to remind them that buying slabbed coins is a good thing.

    I’ll make sure to let you know if I see any of that so you can come back me up in support of slabs.
  13. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    Ha Ha Ha, Ya think they're obvious fakes do ya?:facepalm:

    Yes, the ancients slabbing industry was created in mind primarily for collectors such as yourself. Those that take a modern coin collecting approaches and try to apply them to ancient coin collecting approaches.

    I personally look at slabbing ancient coins as a detriment to the hobby, encouraging investors rather than collectors -- Fretting about silver purity and established grading scales more than numismatic historical value or natural eye appeal.

    To each their own, I suppose.
  14. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    This is why I stopped shopping with Lanz. His reputation has been tarnished by numerous discussions about fakes and coins that have been enhanced.
    rrdenarius, Gam3rBlake and sand like this.
  15. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    Well yeah the slabbing industry was created to help people who don’t have expertise in ancient coinage and who don’t want to spend hundreds/thousands of dollars to get stuck with a fake.

    I don’t think anyone frets about silver purity or established grading scales. At least I have never seen it. Maybe they do somewhere.
  16. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    This was posted at the German forum; this is how they get the job done:

    that's how they do it.jpeg
  17. sand

    sand Active Member

    Slab Wars : Episode 1,000,000 : Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here
    Actually, I find these slab discussions, to be quite interesting.
    I think slabs have advantages and disadvantages.
    I just wish, that NGC also offered a certificate of authenticity (COA) option, with photos of the coin on the certificate, and with an NGC number on the certificate, which anyone could use, to lookup photos of the coin, on the NGC web site, just like for their slabs.
  18. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    I think the problem with a photo certificate is that it only grades the coin at the time of submission.

    What if someone damages it or cleans it or something after it’s been graded?

    The NGC certificate would say it’s problem free because at the time they graded it it was.

    Whereas with slabs any attempt to clean, alter, or do anything to the coin would require breaking it out of the slab which is very obvious.
    sand likes this.
  19. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    What problem are NGC trying to solve exactly with their hideous slabs?

    A coin will be judged on its merits at auction. The slab provides no value-add except someone's opinion that the coin is genuine - which the auction house should provide anyway. The slab removes elegant storage options (like my 19th century mahogany cabinet). And you shouldn't need NGC to give the coin a mark out of 5 for ancients, or 70 for moderns (btw i think the Sheldon scale is absurd!), as most people should know what they like when they see it.
  20. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    The way that I read @sand 's post was that they are referencing an actual COA; nothing to do with grading.

    The reason that NGC doesn't offer a basic COA is that they aren't infallible when it comes to authenticating ancients. As such, this is the reasoning behind why they don't give guarantees of authenticity.
    sand likes this.
  21. Gam3rBlake

    Gam3rBlake Supporter! Supporter

    I think the job NGC does is giving new collectors the opportunity to participate without fear of getting ripped off, or worse, fake coins.

    We all know NGC does not guarantee Ancients but the simple fact of the matter is they do not slab anything that their experts consider to be fake.

    Even without a “guarantee” NGC experts are much harder to dupe than a newbie collector.

    All it takes is buying a few counterfeits to ruin the hobby for a beginner. NGC helps prevent that for those who can’t tell real vs fake for themselves.
    DonnaML likes this.
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