, I got a job working for a meat packing company on Rochester's west side. It was an awful job but the pay of $3.25 an hour (1966) was great. I used what money I could save to buy ancient coins . There were two coin dealers in downtown Rochester at that time but only one sold ancient coins. I bought about a half dozen Roman coins from him until I got a draft notice in December of that year . One of the coins I bought from him is pictured below, it's a denarius of Geta as Caesar, circa AD 200-202, bare headed facing right, with an inscription: P SEPT GETA CAES PONT. The reverse has an image of Nobilitas, standing half right holding a long scepter and palladium, with an inscription: NOBILITAS. The coin measures 18.5 mm and weighs 4.00 gm. The coin was priced at $25.00 and the dealer wouldn't budge on the price, exclaiming that choice denarii of Geta were scarce compared to denarii of Caracalla. I had a choice denarius of Caracalla as Caesar so I shelled out the money for the Geta coin. Many years after I was discharged from the Army my interest in ancient coins was renewed and I looked closer at the Geta denarius . A number of things didn't look right , e.g. the color looked more gray than silvery, the lettering looked strange, and the weight was heavy for that issue. I looked for other examples of that coin type and my suspicions were confirmed. See the photos of the two denarii below, courtesy of CNG. AR 3.54 gm. From the AK (not me) collection, May 2, 2000. AR 3.49 gm. Auction # 28, sale price $51.70. So what did I have ? The answer came after I bought a copy of the book CLASSICAL DECEPTION, Counterfeits, Forgeries, and Reproductions of Ancient Coins, by Wayne G. Sayles, copyright 2000. Lo and behold, there was my coin illustrated on page 175, #269 . It was a counterfeit lead strike by the notorious forger Peter Rosa. I was more angry at myself for buying the coin than the knowledgeable dealer who sold me the coin, who had long since passed away. Rosa had been selling fakes like the one I was duped with for $3.00 in the 1960s, so $25.00 was an expensive lesson. Peter Rosa is considered by many as the best coin forger of the 20th century. He started a business in 1955 in the Bronx, NYC named Becker Manufacturing Company, named after the famous German forger of the late 18th - early 19th century, Carl Wilhelm Becker. Rosa didn't confine himself to making just ancient fakes, he made beautiful copies of early American coinage too . Rosa even made copies of Becker forgeries ! Wayne Sayles got to meet Peter Rosa in 1987 and writes extensively about him in his book. In the late 1960s Rosa's company was selling over 200.000 replicas annually to 47 different countries ! Rosa's success was partly responsible for the Hobby Protection Act introduced in 1969. When the bill was finally passed in 1973 all copies had to bear the stamp COPY somewhere on the coin. The coin periodicals stopped advertising for Rosa's creations that didn't follow the law . The Hobby Protection Act of 1973 put the brakes on Rosa's company, but what happened to the hundreds of thousands of copies and fakes Rosa made before 1973 ? I'm sure collectors as stupid as I was unknowingly have Rosa and Becker fakes in their collections . Some day Rosa fakes will probably become collectible like Becker's fakes are today. Before I close this article please look closely at the three coins pictured below. They all purport to be Greco-Baktrian tetradrachms of Heliokles I, 145 - 130 BC, but one of them is a Becker forgery I knowingly bought . Can you pick out the Becker fake ? Until then Caveat Emptor. AR 30 mm, 16.82 gm, 6 h. AR 35 mm, 16.74 gm, 12 h. AR 32 mm, 16.96 gm, 12 h.