Forgery or not?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by joecoincollect, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. joecoincollect

    joecoincollect Well-Known Member

    4A20EF46-96F8-4F88-8E83-E235E81534DF.jpeg 5B570A07-C54B-4BCD-854F-7684D7BEFE49.jpeg 2100939D-9BEA-4ECE-9122-A46325E26108.jpeg EC2DF660-8FFE-4313-81E4-024A598B6788.jpeg
    i got this coin for around 20 online. Ive seen other common late roman types sold for the same amount, so i thought a female figure would be a good deal at that same price considering females are generally scarcer. Maybe it was too good to be true. I’m reading Sayles’ Classical Deception and it says (written in 2001) that common coins are now being created more deceptively. Helena isn’t considered common, relative to a fallen horseman or other common type, but it’s still not an expensive coin in a low grade. It still seems fake to me. There’s no seam on the edge, and i cannot tell if it was sanded down to cover it up since most of the metal of the coin is the color of recently cleaned copper. The details are mottled, kind of poorly done especially on the obverse portrait. What do you think?
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  3. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Late Roman bronze is something I don't generally collect, but speaking from experience with ancient bronze coins, I think your coin is okay in terms of authenticity, but it has a considerable amount of corrosion and encrustation in areas, plus a pretty harsh cleaning.

    Do you have the coin's weight? Compare that with the expected weight range for this issue.
    joecoincollect and +VGO.DVCKS like this.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    From here, it looks like just a typically 'beat-up' example for the period. Right, that's mostly a metaphor for what happened chemically, while it was spending most of its life in the ground. --@robinjojo (just) got further into the details of that than I could have.
    This is Helena, mother of Constantine I, who issued the coin in her name. For historical significance, you did very well. And you're right, in the instance of Helena in particular, these are scarcer, and priced accordingly.
    What your example managed to do, despite all, was to preserve the legends, along with some nice detail on Helena's hair and profile.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    This link to Wildwinds (an easy, limited but reliable 'go-to' source for Roman and Byzantine) has a bunch of examples of your issue, all from different mints, but with everything else.
    ...Other people here can help you out with the mint, along with more else than I thought of.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
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  6. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    It is a nice coin with some merits, and it will re-tone darker over time, just let nature do her work. Storing the coin in a paper envelope would help.
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  7. Kiaora

    Kiaora Member

    The mint is Arles
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  8. joecoincollect

    joecoincollect Well-Known Member

    I really appreciate the input everyone! I was off then, but I’m glad you all see it as genuine. It came in one of those cheap “Constantinian Era” slabs. Sometimes you can find some keepers in those things. A bunch were recently listed and I noticed this one because of the female figure. Very glad I got it. Thanks again!!
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  9. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    lQQks legit to me...
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  10. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Looks legit. Nice coin
    joecoincollect likes this.
  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    A dealer friend of mine at a show in Baltimore a couple years ago had a box with a great number of similar grade late Romans which he was offering at $2 each mostly to young people (often with mom) who were there with a collector dad and were impressed that something that old was just $2. A man came up to him and offered to buy the lot of them at that price but neither of them wanted to sit there and count so they agreed on a number (300, I believe it was) so the box went for $600 and the kids at the show had to find something else to show dads who thought Indian Head cents were old. My friend was amazed at the lack of haggling over the lot price but was told that the buyer was inserting them in no-name slabs and selling them for $19.95 through mail order ads. When I was a kid, I recall ads like that in the back of Boys' Life magazine but then the coins were worth a dime and being sold for $1.98. Some things do not change in 60 years.

    This Helena is better than many slabbed coins since it has full legends and is not broken. It was cleaned harshly and will never turn into a mint state coin. I don't have an Arles but have a Siscia bought from a Coin Talk dealer for $52

    and an Antioch from a local show at $35. Neither of them will ever be mint state either. There is a lot of price difference between the best and the worst so we each can find what fits our desires both in price and eye appeal.

    Both of these were bought because I liked the style which is different from each mint. I am no longer buying coins just because I did not have that mint but there was a time that this was part of my hobby. I hope you will enjoy the Helena for years to come and add other ancients to the collection.
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  12. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

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  13. joecoincollect

    joecoincollect Well-Known Member

    thanks so much for the thoughtful response. I probably read your entire website about ancient coins, so I just wanted to thank you!!! I’ve learned a lot, and I’m inspired to learn more!
    hotwheelsearl and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
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