Okay. We need to talk about Katz...

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Harry G, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Hi all! I know discussions are already on Forvm Ancient Coins and r/AncientCoins, but there isn't a thread here yet, so I'm posting one in case people aren't active on the other sites

    The new Katz auction has many suspected fake coins listed as genuine, including die matches to other coin in the same sale. None of these are marked as forgeries

    As an antoninianus collector, I went straight to their Imperial section to see what they had to offer. If I were looking to buy fakes, I would not be disappointed. Most of them have weird portrait styles - and even some common coins look like forgeries.

    Salonina: https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964306
    salonina fake.jpg

    Laelianus: https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964311
    Laelianus fake.jpg

    Marius: https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964310
    marius fake.jpg

    Another Marius: https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964312
    marius fake 2.jpg

    Quintillus: https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964314
    quintillus fake.jpg

    Aurelian & Vabalathus: https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964316
    a and v fake.jpg

    Tetricus II (Seriously, genuine ones are like £10) https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964318
    tetricus ii fake.jpg

    Probus: https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964324

    Numerian: https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964332

    Carinus (Rare obverse legend) https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964334

    Carausius: https://www.biddr.com/auctions/katz/browse?a=1814&l=1964338

    There are also a couple of die matches of antoninianii, matched with coins IN THE SAME SALE




    (Looking at the coin, I wouldn't have said it was a fake. However, the fact that there are THREE of them indicates otherwise)





    I only checked the antoninianii, so this is just scratching the surface

    How are they getting away with this? If anyone from Biddr is reading this, can something be done about this?

    Apparently, according to Reddit, OP says that, in the past when Katz has been accused of selling fakes, they have added 'Old Collector's Copy' to the description. I suspect they will have to add that to a lot of their listings...

    On Forvm Ancient Coins, there is a seven (!) part discussion about these fakes here: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?board=9.0

    And the Reddit post is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/AncientCoi..._of_suspected_fakes_on_upcoming_katz_auction/
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ...those are poor imitations...:)
  4. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Photos that I didn't upload (max 10 per post)
    probus fake.jpg numerian fake.jpg carinus fake.jpg carausius fake.jpg probus fake 1.jpg probus fake 2.jpg probus fake 3.jpg carausius fake 2.jpg carausius fake 3.jpg allectus fake 1.jpg
    galba68, Bayern, Spaniard and 7 others like this.
  5. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

  6. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    I know they're fakes, but I'd almost be tempted to buy some as curiosities lol - especially the Tetricus and Salonina
    ominus1 likes this.
  7. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    There are some problematic Greek coins as well. Unfortunately I don’t have time to post today but I think everyone gets the message to stay away!
    The Trachy Enjoyer and PeteB like this.
  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    I never heard of Katz. Where are they located?
    The Trachy Enjoyer likes this.
  9. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    Russia I think

    Edit: They are in Prague, Czechia
    DonnaML likes this.
  10. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    What bothers me the most is that I can't spot any fakes in this topic. I am not an experienced collector but I am starting to wonder why I can't see the clear signs.
    What bothers me also is that it looks there is an industry of forgeries of cheap coins. Beats me.

    And of course I am wondering if I don't have some fakes in my collection - I don't have expensive coins but it would be disturbing.
    The Trachy Enjoyer likes this.
  11. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    Interesting reply in another thread...
    Orfew and DonnaML like this.
  12. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    All is not lost. There must be dozens of ancient coin collectors who have not yet become international auction houses.
    Shea19, Gavin Richardson and DonnaML like this.
  13. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    “Know the coin or know the seller.”
    In time, you will be able to spot a lot of fakes. It won’t come quickly, though.
    Restitutor, DonnaML, ambr0zie and 2 others like this.
  14. Dwarf

    Dwarf Active Member

    Usually biddr takes actions, once they are informed.
    Problem is that many of those "new" auction houses either are not willing or are not capable of hiring experienced numismatists. Over here in Germany experienced stamp-auction companies are getting into numismatics as stamps don´t sell any more.
    This can lead to two scenarios:
    1. You get auctions loaded with forgeries (not only ancients)
    2. You see auctions with marvellous old collection offered at ridiculous prices and top dealers buying at ridicilous prices

    The market is changing
  15. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

  16. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    In the USA, I get the feeling that there are virtually no devpted stamp collectors anymore (as opposed to people who occasionally buy new US stamp issues, and/or save envelopes they receive with foreign stamps on them) between the ages of 10 and 75. My father, who collected stamps in his childhood in the 1920s and early 1930s, tried to make a stamp collector out of me when I was 7. I lasted a couple of years, but world coins had lured me away by the time I was 10, and fell in love with British coins on a vacation to the Bahamas.
    galba68, Bayern, Orfew and 1 other person like this.
  17. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Harry, Thanks for posting ;)! These coins are pretty scary stuff :nailbiting:. It looks like nothing is beyond the reach of these avaricious scumbags :shifty:. No doubt many of these fakes will be gobbled up by collectors who aren't members of CT, & would never suspect that such common coins could be counterfeited o_O. What will counterfeiters go after next, Lincoln Memorial pennies :rolleyes:?
    Bayern, Orfew, furryfrog02 and 4 others like this.
  18. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    I spotted the fakes too. This is very disappointing. Katz is great for medieval Russian coins, but their ability to deal with ancients is abysmal if they can't identify these coins as modern forgeries.
    Bayern and The Trachy Enjoyer like this.
  19. romismatist

    romismatist Well-Known Member

    Lansky is another shop which knowingly sells fakes. They sold a fake Baletium coin for EUR 8000. When I called them on it, they went ahead and sold it anyway.


    There were other fakes in that auction, which happened last summer, including a few Tarentum nomoi. There were probably many more outside my area of expertise which I would have been less confident about condemning.

    This gets back to the point made earlier about if you know the seller, you can trust the coin. I'm more than a little disappointed that some of these auction houses and dealers are moving to the dark side to make a quick buck (or are just too overwhelmed to properly screen what they're selling).
  20. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

    What I'd really love to see is a "no holds barred" review of all auction houses and sellers. Each one would have a score, and each fake found in a listing would ding it, and each uncovered fake not withdrawn would affect it even more.

    Many know of the list of known Ebay scammers, though I avoid EBay altogether, but things are fuzzier with auction houses and other sellers. It would be nice to make information like this available for general use. Companies like Katz and Lansky are major threats to our hobby.
  21. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    Lansky? Do you mean Lanz? I don't think Meyer was ever in the coin business.
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