Could this be ancient silver?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Inspector43, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Inspector43

    Inspector43 70 Year Collector

    I found this in my accumulation. I don't want to clean it without some advice. It is 19 mm and weighs 3.10 g. It looks like silver under the crust. Help is appreciated. Thanks.
    Acient Silver 1.jpg Ancient Silver 2.jpg
     
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  3. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper Supporter

    Could be Roman, but judging by the style maybe a barbarous imitation of a Denarius? Maybe even a fourree once all the crust is removed (ie. An ancient forgery...a plated coin)
     
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  4. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    It looks like a Roman fourrée denarius, an ancient silver-plated forgery. Your second image is upside down, but I think I can read "SEV" in the legend. This indicates that it's likely imitating a denarius of Septimius Severus.

    Here is a fourrée denarius of the same emperor from my collection:
    Rom – Septimius Severus, denar, fourree, Victoria.png
    Septimius Severus, Roman Empire, fourrée denarius, 198–202 AD, Rome mint (prototype). Obv: L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX, head of Septimius Severus, laureate, r. Rev: VICTORIAE AVGG FEL, Victory flying l., holding wreath, shield to l. 17mm, 2.2g. Ref: RIC IV.1 144b (prototype).
     
  5. SeptimusT

    SeptimusT Well-Known Member

    As for cleaning it, I think it would be advisable not to attempt further cleaning in the current condition. Too easy to lose what silvering remains, and there is nothing better to be revealed.
     
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  6. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper Supporter

    Good eye. I missed it the first time, but I see it now. It does look like it says SEV alright. I think I also see an A. So Severus Alexander??:woot:

    Anyway, OP, sorry to say you probably have a fake....an ancient fake. Highly collectible nonetheless.
     
  7. Inspector43

    Inspector43 70 Year Collector

  8. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper Supporter

    @Inspector43 Out of curiosity, how did you come across a possible fourree of Severus Alexander? I'm guessing there's no Roman hoard from the 230's AD in central Texas...so how did you find it?
     
  9. Inspector43

    Inspector43 70 Year Collector

    Believe it or not, many years ago I bought a pile of uncleaned coins on eBay. I was going to clean them one day but never got around to it. This was among the batch I received. I just started messing with them and trying to ID them.
     
  10. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    You're right, that would be the second possibility:

    "...SEV A[VG]" = Septimius Severus
    "...SEV A[LEXANDER]" = Severus Alexander

    Maybe you can make out in hand whether the second letter is an L or a V? Or whether the bust has a beard? If so, it would be Septimius Severus, if not, Severus Alexander.
     
  11. Inspector43

    Inspector43 70 Year Collector

    Here are close ups of the lettering and what may be a beard.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Inspector43

    Inspector43 70 Year Collector

    A better view of the letters. Acient Silver closer.jpg
     
  13. SeptimusT

    SeptimusT Well-Known Member

  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Another possibility is FELICITAS AVGG with the figure holding a long caduceus not unlike my unofficial but silver (not fourree) coin but in the other hand and with different obverse legend. With unofficial coins, anything is possible. It is easy to see what we want to see rather than what is really there when dealing with imperfect coins. Your coin will not improve and could well be ruined by cleaning. Look under a microscope and see if you agree the silver is on top of the corroded copper. Causing the silver to chip off will ruin what little is left of this piece. If the coin were mine, my catalog description would include a healthy number of question marks. If you get lucky, you may find a better one from these dies that would answer the questions but that is a very long, long shot. Also, 3.10g is quite heavy for a fourree of this period. It is a strange coin.
    rh3330bb1643.jpg
     
    PeteB, Inspector43 and Bing like this.
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