Confirm fake Macrinus denarius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by fomovore, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. fomovore

    fomovore Supporter! Supporter

    A friend asked me for help with this denarius from an estate sale lot. It came with a note "Macrinus denarius 218 with fire damage".
    I id-ed it as "Macrinus Denarius. 218 AD. IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate, draped bust right / P M TR P II COS P P, Anonna standing left holding corn ears of a modius & cornucopiae. RSC 47a. ".
    18mm, 2.36g, 12h.
    But I think it's obviously fake.
    Yea or nay?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  3. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Nay.....from just a photo, and old eyes.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  4. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    I don't think it is "obviously" fake. Why do you?
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Looks Ok but there is some crystallization which can happen with silver coins. By the time of Macrinus debasement was such that the denarius contained 1.8 grams of silver, roughly 60% fine, out of a weight of 3.2 grams or so.
    fomovore likes this.
  6. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    In my opinion it does not look fake, crystallized and etching on the border and surface.
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  7. fomovore

    fomovore Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you all! I'm inclined to trust your experience, but a few questions:

    The marked areas in the attached pics 1 and 4 - those look like flow lines to me.

    I thought of crystallization as well, but that rough surface is inconsistent and too chaotic. E.g., a flat band surrounds the portrait and is flatter than the rest of the surface - attached pic 2.
    Most of the "crystallization lines" are curved whereas crystallization is usually linear if I'm not mistaken (pic 3).

    The edges (pic 5) are heavily corroded in a way I've never seen on silver denarii (even debased).

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  8. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I think it is genuine with seriously corroded surfaces. The surfaces reduce the value a great deal. Many collectors, myself included, would not want it at any price, and the rest would expect a huge discount.
    fomovore likes this.
  9. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    All this for what? Figure out if a $20 denarius is worth only $15 because its modern?
    If you doubt it, don't buy it.
    For my dollar, I'd pay $20 for it.
  10. RichardT

    RichardT Well-Known Member

    Maybe you could consider what kind of fake it is, if it's indeed fake.

    Cast? Doesn't look like it with those sharp details. Pressed? Unlikely with those corroded surfaces.

    Plus the weight is consistent with a debased denarius that has had its interior copper leached out over the centuries.

    I think it's genuine.
    fomovore likes this.
  11. fomovore

    fomovore Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you everyone! I'm convinced.

    Well, my friend has already bought it so it's a done deal (a lot of five Roman denarii, no idea for how much).
    But I'm glad my suspicion was baseless and my ID was correct at least.
  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    A problem with fire damaged coins is some people torch a fake to make it look old. In this case, my feeling is someone torched a real coin trying to clean it. Real or fake, I agree with Valentinian. I do not want it. Once, years ago, I found a coin in a dealer's box that said '25 cents to you if you take it'. I bought several coins from him and to it so I got 25 cents off. That coin was not as ugly but I gave it away making the tidy profit of 25 cents.

    The dealer was named Bill. If you know him you would not be surprised.
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