Trajan Decius...more like Trajan emaciatedus

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    I purchased this coin off of a seller on eBay (I know, I know. That's what you get @Ryro) that I have bought several other coins from with no worries. He is not on any of the bad seller lists that I have checked (of course I always check those lists when buying coins from eBay)...but still this coin looks and weighs off.
    The coin is 22mm. So far so good. However, a skimpy 1.5 gr! As well, in the pic you can see that it has a copper core shinning on through. Looks bad. But I wanted my CT pals thoughts before sending this back for a refund.
    So is this an obvious modern forgery or a possible ancient fouree??
    Could I get some opinions here?

    TRAJANUS DECIUS (249-251). Antoninianus. Rome. 22 mm 1.5 gr
    Radiate, cuirassed bust right.
    Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia, standard behind.
    RIC 16c.
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  3. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I know next to nothing about forgeries or fourrees. I'm curious as to what the others will say.
    Also, I like how you tagged yourself in your post. :)
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  4. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    idk...might be a fouree...looks ancient to me but can't tell much from the pics, the weight sound too low to me, altho i have some that are around 2 grams + -..if you ain't happy with it send it back...
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  5. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I think it's genuine. It could be an ancient fourrée, but it doesn't really look like silver foil. Another possibility is surface enrichment which has worn away. Surface enrichment is normal for these, and can be increased by acid cleaning. This leaves an extra-coppery under-layer, from which the silver has been pulled in the enrichment process. I don't know how common that is on Decius ants.

    Definitely keep it if it's a fourrée. Fourrées this late are scarce! (There wasn't much money to be made by counterfeiting, given how low the silver content was in the first place.) Here's @Valentinian's page on late fourée ants.

    I do have a Decius fourrée, but unlike yours it's clearly unofficial. (Also you can see that it's made with silver foil.)
    Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 12.06.26 PM.jpg

    Then there's my (and quite possibly the) absolutely latest 2nd c. fourrée ant, a Gallienus (joint reign), issued no earlier than 256:
    Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 12.12.07 PM.jpg
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  6. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    That is both reassuring and good information. It was the weight and that copper showing underneath that had me worried. All the coins in AC search are so pristine, though aware of the silver debasement, I didn't know that they had an exterior enrichment Process. Thanks Severus Up!
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  7. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    For what it's worth, I think it is an official mint product that has, as Severus Alexander suggests, some surface enrichment/degradation issues. The weight is of concern, but weird things happen chemically sometimes - I have a Gordian III ant that looks fine but weighs in very light:

    Gordian III Jovi Statori (9).JPG

    As for Trajan Decius, I just got one myself off eBay. I like eBay.

    Treb Gallus - Illyria ant Jun 2019 (0).jpg

    Trajan Decius Antoninianus
    (c. 250-251 A.D.)
    Rome mint

    IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right / GENIVS
    EXERC ILLVRICIANI, Genius, standing with patera and cornucopiae; standard in rt. field.
    RIC 16c; RSC 49; Sear 9374.
    (4.50 grams / 22 x 19 mm)
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  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    This is a late Roman from the group that once was assigned to a different mint. Mine is a bit different and 4.3g.

    I believe it has suffered greatly in a chemical sense but really can't say if that was from fields and fertilizer over centuries or someone trying to cover up a bad fake. This series is also known overstruck on earlier coins so I see a possibility that it was overstruck on a barbarous or branch mint coin with less than stellar statistics. It is not a fourree. I agree that fourrees this late are worth a premium due to rarity but that premium is less than the hit to value from being a fourree. I have two. I am fond of my Decius with interesting style and well placed silver.

    The other is Herennius Etruscus with core exposed in all of the wrong places. Neither strikes me as foil type as used earlier (and on Sev's coin) but one of the lower quality plating methods (dipping, wash) mentioned in Campbell.

    I would like a Gallienus fourree like Sev's. It is as late as possible before we entered the silver wash period on regular coins.
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