PROBUS fourrée Aureus 21mm 3.51g Exactly the same coin, don't you think so ? No difference at all between the two...except de price...the genuine one cost 800 times more than the fourrée ! This is a description of this gold Probus : "Prior to his reign it was unusual to see an armoured bust with spear and shield, and especially to see the emperor wearing a helmet. Here we have the terrifying bust of an emperor ever-prepared to attack or defend on behalf of his empire. The helmet is elaborately decorated and crowned with a laurel wreath; the spear is in the prone position, and the shield is raised in defence. The impact of this war regalia is amplified by the 'heroic bust' composition, which harkens back to earlier numismatic prototypes. Probus' intention, no doubt, was to demonstrate the strength of his regime and to show the possessor of this beautiful aureus that Rome's future was secured by the strength of his command. If the obverse was meant to communicate Probus' unquestioned military supremacy, the elegant, noble reverse suggests the same level of confidence in the emperor's legislative authority". Some explanations about fourrés for our newest members: A fourrée is a coin, most often a counterfeit, struck with a base metal core that has been plated with a precious metal to look like its official solid metal counterpart. The term comes from a French word meaning "stuffed" and is most used to talk about ancient silver plated coins such as Roman denarii and Greek drachms but also to describe any plated coin. The manufacture of fourrée coins was done by placing a copper or bronze blank in a silver foil, this foil was then heated to very high temperature so that the silver and copper mix significantly and remain firmly attached to each other. These coins are more than likely all counterfeit coins but were probably rarely issued during the reign of the emperor they represent. This method is in fact popularized under Probus, and it is possibly under Probus that 90% of the fourrées were issued because it was probably much less dangerous to issue forgeries with the effigy of a deceased emperor than the reigning emperor. The most obvious way to detect a fourrée is a plating break exposing the base metal core like this old one in my collection : Often, however, plating breaks are not immediately obvious and the first indicator that a coin is a counterfeit is unofficial style. Copper and bronze are lighter than silver and gold. For example, mine is 3.5 g and the "original" ones weight between 6-7 g...Some counterfeiters were smart enough to make the flan slightly larger to achieve the correct weight, but fourrées are most often underweight. Ancient coins were often chiseled or "test cut" to ensure they were not plated. This next example (not my coin) is interesting and described as "defaced in antiquity with numerous test cuts, perhaps thinking that is was a fourrée. While it appears that there might be copper in the cuts, closer examination reveals that they are surface deposits in the cuts and elsewhere. Also, the weight is within the correct range for a silver denarius." Septimius Severus fourrée (???) denarius Silver fourrées are much more common than gold and electrum fourrées, perhaps because genuine silver coins are much more common, but also because the value of gold coins was so high that they were not be used by ordinary citizens for daily transactions, and they were certainly carefully examined each time they were used, like we do today when someone pays us with a hundred dollars bill...It is often claimed that some fourrée were issued by official mints or in official mints after hours by moonlighting mint workers. While this may have happened, it was certainly not common. Mints were were undoubtedly highly guarded and controlled in ancient times, as they still are today. Nearly all fourrée are unofficial counterfeits that were struck at illegal workshop. About my coin, I can't stop wondering if the poor guy (or gal) who punched it and proudly wear it as a pendant knew it wasn't the "real thing"... Please show us your aurei, fourrées, holed one or whatever you feel relevant !