Is my tribute penny real? And how much is it worth?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Stupidcoinguy, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Stupidcoinguy

    Stupidcoinguy Senior Member

    So I bought this years ago because the dealer said it was nearly 2000 years old. Cost--->$49. So can anyone tell me a little about the history of this coin? Being that it is so old I imagine it was created during a time where whatever ruler of that time was in power, that is what image would be on the money. Not entirely for sure about that though. And is the thing real or just a fake? Can you tell by the pics?

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  3. ASUtodd

    ASUtodd Member

    I'm not an ancient collector, BUT I can look up other Tribute Pennies and compare. If you look at the pictures I have attached to this post you will see that yours looks nothing like them. Your coin looks as if someone tried to carve it out of another coin or chunk of metal. Even in the most worn examples I posted below there are tons of detail that your coin lacks and it isn't as worn as some of them are. I personally would say it is fake, but again...I am not an ancient collector. I am merely trying to assist you...
  4. ASUtodd

    ASUtodd Member

  5. Ardatirion

    Ardatirion Où est mon poisson

    Its an ancient counterfeit, struck in India sometime during the first century.
    This specimen appears to be a die match to your coin: [​IMG]
    (Note the reverse legend: PONTIK MAXIM)

    A very interesting coin that I, at least, would be happy to own. But if you're looking for a "Tribute penny," then you'd best try again.

    One last thing: this isn't really a "Tribute penny." Mark had a tendency to Latinize all denominations for his audience. In the east, Roman silver denarii would not have circulated much at this time. A drachm of some sort is a much more likely candidate.
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  6. Stupidcoinguy

    Stupidcoinguy Senior Member

    So sad. But I shall keep it as a novelty, because I paid $49 for what appears to be worth about $5 in silver. If it is indeed silver all the way through.

    Edit: Did you say this coin most likely is nearly 2000 years old?
  7. Ardatirion

    Ardatirion Où est mon poisson

    More than most likely. It definitely is 2000 years old. Just not an official product of the Rome mint.
  8. Stupidcoinguy

    Stupidcoinguy Senior Member

    Sweet, so how much is a 2000 year old counterfeit coin worth?
  9. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

    LOL...Now that is a funny old fake. I love it. I'll give you a buck for it. I collect counterfeits. :goofer: Traci
  10. HandsomeToad

    HandsomeToad Urinist

    It's actually worth more than that. ;) It's a 2000 year old contemporary counterfeit and there are collectors that would love to have it for their collection but I have no clue what it's actually worth. :goofer:

    Ribbit :)
  11. Ardatirion

    Ardatirion Où est mon poisson

    I'd say at least what you paid. I've seen some dealers sell them for around $100.
  12. Ardatirion

    Ardatirion Où est mon poisson

  13. Drusus

    Drusus Pecunia non olet

    very interesting peice...
  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    Indian denarius

    My photo of this type was posted above but I want to make clear that this coin is not a counterfeit. Counterfeits are made to fool fools and are aimed at providing something less than an original. This is money of necessity intended to be better than the real thing in a place that could not get enough proper denarii to met demand. When Rome started debasing denarii in or around the time of Nero, it went over like a lead balloon in some places that had come to look upon Roman denarii as trustworthy. The result was some local imitations made not to deceive but to provide circulating silver of the expected purity and weight. Some might call it a token of the class we see later in 'Hard Times' or 'Civil War' but since these were made to circulate outside the Roman Empire, it might be better to call them a Trade coin rather than a token. I suspect they were made in the first century AD but after the time of Tiberius. Your coin has a small chip so it may be a bit under my coin which weighs 3.63g. I have never seen one less than the high 3.5's so I suspect your (with chip) would fall around that weight. I posted my page on it a dozen years ago:

    You should sell the coin if you consider it a counterfeit. You were correctly advised that they tend to go for about $100 (again the chip might have some effect). The existing supply of these entered the market about 15 years ago and number somewhere in the range of 2-3 dozen. There are people who appreciate the subject who should be willing to buy it for more than you paid but I can't imagine what kind of 'real' Tribute Penny you will get for $100 these days. There are other Indian copies including gold aureii (which often have twin holes at the top since many of them seemed to have been used as decorative items later on).

    I wish you well and especially that you stick with the hobby long enough to appreciate a coin of this nature for what it is. Someone looking for one may have trouble finding it but both supply and demand are very small.
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  15. Bluegill

    Bluegill Senior Member

    Speaking as someone who is both interested in ancient coins and who likes to draw and paint people, that profile is fantastic! That nose, big eye, and protruding lower lip are amazing. Maybe the die engraver was doing his best to make it look like the original, but might he have been having fun and been very pleased with the result?
  16. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

    Bluegill, its the first conceptual piece of modern art...
    Adoration - I love the Celt Phillip II - The horse is soooooooo Celt.
    DC - you rule !!!! Traci
  17. kaparthy

    kaparthy Well-Known Member

    It depends on how you look at it

    This exchange exemplifies the reason why it is important to stop and think. When I saw the picture, I knew it was not a genuine Roman coin, but I hesitated to condemn it ... and now I am glad that I did.

    We have DOUG SMITH here as a "Junior Member" even though he is senior to most for his long years of study and research. In my book, his opinions get more weight than those of the average collector of ancients.

    The digression on Celtics also typifies the danger in quick judgments. Many Celtic coins -- right up to the Middle Ages, in fact -- were not meant to be looked at flat on like a painting. The intended view was EDGE on, obliquely. When you rotate many Celtic coins to see them edge-on, or obliquely, those "picasso" or "modern art" spaces and lines re-orient themselves into lifelike representations. This discovery is the work of Geraldine Chimirri-Russell of the Nickle Arts Museum of the University of Calgary. (I posted in more detail on FORVM under Celtic last December.)
  19. I have a tribute penny that looks just like your pics ASUtodd.. How can I get it authenticated. Or is there anyway I can tell if it's a real tribute penny or if it's a trade coin? If it is real what is value on it in Good Condition?
  20. It actually looks almost identical to your last pic on your post.
  21. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    DNG: Post a picture of your coin and we will try to help. As stated in my page linked higher in this thread, there are many of these and there are enough people, like me, who believe in them to make the price well above melt. Condition matters. I have one but would buy another or a roll of them if the price was right although most people will just scream fake and run away.

    Also note that it is never a real good idea to post to a thread that is five years old. It would have been better to start a new thread with photos and a link to the old thread. I've seen about 20 of these now. They never sell for as much as their rarity might suggest but they still bring more than fakes that are actually fakes. I still believe it is a genuine ancient coin copying the Tiberius denarius but it certainly never was anywhere close to Rome back then! The India attribution is based on where at least some were found. I do not know if all known examples were from that one find or not.
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