The wonderful world of Imitations or “This is how they did it at the mint I worked at."

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by BenSi, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Imitations are coins that were imitated at the time of circulation not ment to decieve collectors just making a coin good enough to be passable in a transaction. Sometimes made by local governments sometimes made by two guys wanting to go to the local bar.

    Here are a few of my favorite examples.

    Please Post ANY imitation coins you have collected.

    12 century Tetartera .


    This is the coin that they were trying to imitate.

    Not too far off, this is a Manuel Comnenus half tetarteron ( official)

    Here are some others

    d6.jpg The Above one of one of my favorites, found in Cypress. Christ is made by an interesting design and he is missing his book. After an Alexius I coin.

    d9.jpg This one is kinda famous , they were selling for a very good price at market, easily spotted the letter on the cross are mixed up. Another Alexius Comnenus coin.

    Share your imitation coins.
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  3. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    I have begun to notice a preference for imitations in my collecting habits. I am currently waiting in two interesting ones to arrive, but here are others:

    Med-02-GOsn-1236-Konrad I-Pf-1837v.jpg HRE - Osnabrück
    Bishop Konrad I von Velber, r. 1227-1239 (1236-39)
    AR Pfenning, 17.71 mm x 1 gram
    Obv.: SANCT' PE[T']. Head of St. Peter facing holding key
    Rev.: +CON[RAD]VS EPC'. Voided short cross with quatrefoil in each angle
    Note: Imitation of Short Cross Sterling. Supposedly of Henry III

    Italy - Rome
    Roman Senate, c. 12-13th C.
    AR Denier, 17.26 mm x 0.9 grams
    Obv.: [RO]M[A CAPVT] MV[N]. Legend beginning at 3hr. Comb center, S above with sun to left and moon to right
    Rev.: [SENATVS . P.O.R.]. Cross patee, 1st q. moon, 2nd q. pellet, 3rd q. star, 4th q. V
    Ref.: Roberts 4733 Variety
    Note: Imitative of Champagne

    Med-14-INAp-1085-Roger Borsa-Fol-xx.jpg
    Norman Italy - Apulia
    Roger Borsa, r. 1085-1111
    AE Follis, 19.08 mm x 2.2 grams
    Obv.: Bust of Christ facing, cross behind, wearing pallium and Colvin , raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left, crescent above, IC - XC flanking
    Rev.: Cross with globule and two pellets at each extremity, large crescent below, four globules around each surrounded by pellets
    Note: Imitative of a Byzantine Anonymous Follis, Class J. Found in Southern Italy. It cannot be earlier than 1085, but my attribution to Roger Borsa in Apulia is due to coins of a similar weight and size from this time and region

    There are a few more imitatives on my radar as well...
  4. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    I posted this coin recently, it is an imitation of an Abbasid drachm that is thought to have been struck by the Khazars. Note the use of two obverses, and the blundered legends:
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  5. TuckHard

    TuckHard Well-Known Member

    Here is a handful of my imitation coins, mostly cash coins and related styles from China and the Southeast Asian islands of present-day Indonesia.

    1570-1640 AD Tin Cash Imitation Hong Wu Tong Bao 0.68g Unlisted Combined.jpg
    Island of Sumatra
    c. 1570 - 1640 CE
    Tin Cash | 0.68g
    Private coinage issue copying legend of Northern Song Dynasty coin
    Obv: Hong Wu Tong Bao
    Rev: Plain
    Ref: Unlisted in Hartill Guide to Cash Coins

    1595-1645 CE (circa) Tin Cash Coin from Palembang, Xian Ping Yuan Bao 0.31g H#3.73 Combined.jpg
    Island of Sumatra
    City of Palembang
    c. 1595-1645 CE
    Tin Cash | 0.31g
    Private coinage issue copying legend of Northern Song Dynasty coin
    Obv: Xian Ping Yuan Bao
    Rev: Plain
    Ref: Hartill Guide to Cash Coins #3.73

    1400-1700s Tin Cash 4x4 16 dots 0.92g Combined.jpg
    Island of Sumatra
    c. 14 - 18th Century
    Tin Cash | Possibly gambling token | 0.92g
    Obv: Four sets of four dots, imitating Chinese characters
    Rev: Plain
    Ref: Unlisted in Hartill Guide to Cash Coins

    1736-1800s AD Cash Qian Long Tong Bao Boo Chiowan Contemoprary Counterfeit 1.21g 20mm Combined.jpg
    Qing Dynasty of China
    1736 - 1800s CE
    AE Cash | Contemporary Counterfeit | 1.21g | 20mm
    Obv: Qian Long Tong Bao
    Rev: Boo Chiowan

    1770-1790 AD (circa) Cash Qian Long Tong Bao Boo Yun (Pu'er Unofficial Mint, Yunnan).jpg
    Qing Dynasty of China
    c. 1770 - 1790 CE
    AE Cash | Illicit Product
    Obv: Qian Long Tong Bao
    Rev: Boo Yun
    Minted at the unofficial mint of Pu'er in Yunnan
    Ref: See Zeno#168636

    Tin Cash Imitation Xiang Fu Yuan Bao Boo Yun 2.63g Combined.jpg
    Islands of Java and Bali
    c. 19 - 20th Century
    Zinc Cash | 2.63g
    Private imitation copying obverse of Northern Song Dynasty, reverse of Qing Dynasty
    Obv: Extremely corrupted Xiang Fu Yuan Bao
    Rev: Extremely corrupted Manchu script mint mark​
  6. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Scythian tribal imitation of Pontos Amisos:

    Circa 95-65 BC, AE21, 5.1g
    Obv: Crude aegis
    Rev: Blundered inscription, crude Nike
    Ref: Mitchener Ancient & Classical World #339

    Michael Mitchiner calls these imitations “Sarmatian”, perhaps because Mithradates was allied with those tribes and could have authorized the issue. The Sarmartians were a people from at least the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD who lived in western Scythia along the north cost of the Black Sea from the mouth of the Danube.

    I've noticed a great variety in style between different imitative examples of Mithradates coinage. The ethnic is blundered in different ways. There are different levels of crudeness in the gorgoneion and in the tufts surrounding it. Nike sometimes becomes a stick-figure. The polygonal aegis seems to always lose its sides and become a simple lined border.
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  7. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Very nice imitation examples @BenSi!
    I have a couple of imitations that I have yet to photograph.

    This is one of my favorites:
    Demetrios I Soter (161-150 B.C.) AR Drachm. Imitation of Antioch mint issue dated 152/1 BC (SE 161). Struck in Commagene, time of Samos II to Mithradates I, circa 140-70 B.C.
    Diademed head right of Demetrios I right.
    Reverse: Cornucopia; below, two monograms above AΞ(P) (date) below.
    Reference: SC 1770-1775. For type: SC 1657.
    4.30g; 15mm
  8. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    I've been picking up un-attributed lots of Greek AEs on eBay and wound up with two Danubian Celt imitations of Macedon "trident" issues of Philip V/Perseus (and one original Macedonian issue), all within the last month or so. Fortunately FORVM had some very detailed examples, or I'd still be figuring these out.

    There are several types of these, according to Malloy, but without the book, Malloy types are unclear to me; I guessed based on FORVM listings. The imitations are all over the place, from fair copies to crude. Mine are crude.

    Danubian Celts - Macedon Trident Lot June 2020 (0).jpg

    Danubian Celts, Serdi Æ 18
    Kingdom Imitative
    for Philip V / Perseus
    (c. 168-31 B.C.)
    Serdi, Moesia tribal mint

    Head of river god Strymon right, reed-wreathed / Trident, stylized dolphin ornaments, monograms, blundered partial inscription.
    Malloy Danubian Celts D4A?
    (5.84 grams / 18 mm)

    Notes: "Celtic imitative of a rare Macedonian issue struck under Philip V or Perseus, 187-168 B.C. The choice was appropriate for the Serdi Celts as the river
    Strymon runs through the Serdi region." FORVM

    Danubian Celts - Macedon Trident NC Lot June 2020  (0).jpg

    Danubian Celts, Serdi Æ 18
    Kingdom Imitative for Philip V / Perseus
    (c. 168-31 B.C.)
    Serdi, Moesia tribal mint

    Head of river god Strymon right, reed-wreathed / Trident, stylized dolphin ornaments, monograms, blundered inscription.
    Malloy Celts F3B or B3C?
    (5.44 grams / 18 x 16 mm)

    Here is the Macedonian original model - or a good Celtic copy. Despite the poor condition, it looks more Greek than Celtic, and the reverse legend is not blundered:
    Macedon - Philip V Trident NC Lot June 2020 (0).jpg

    Macedonia Kingdom Æ 18
    Autonomous Issue
    Philip V / Perseus
    (c. 185-168 B.C.)
    Uncertain Macedonia mint

    Head of the river god Strymon right, wearing grain wreath / [M]AKE[ΔONΩN], ttrident head, monogram above; & below.
    SNG Copenhagen 1298-9 var.
    (5.44 grams / 18 x 16 mm)

    "H. Gaebler has proved that Philip, probably about B.C. 185, allowed his subjects to issue small silver and bronze coins in the name of the whole people, ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΩΝ, his own name being omitted..."
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